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What is Water Soluble CBD?

CBD is no longer breaking news. It’s now well and truly mainstream. High street retailers stock rows and rows of CBD capsules and oils on their shelves. However, there is one remaining well-kept secret; Water Soluble CBD. What is it? How is made? What are the benefits? All these questions and more answered here.

CBD products and the CBD market

CBD products continue to grow in popularity. A YouGov poll in 2019 found nearly 10% of the population had tried CBD products. However, the growth in popularity has also been accompanied by a growth in misinformation, baseless claims and half-truths.

Countless companies claim to have the best, most potent products. Cutting through the noise can be difficult. With all this in my mind it seems best to stick to the facts. In the case of CBD, the facts are the results of clinical trials and studies.

There are many things to consider when choosing a CBD product. There is no universal ‘best’ product, or consumption method – it’s subjective. People that love vaping may consider a CBD vape juice to be the best. Or someone that has been using the same oil for years may consider that the best. The truth is whatever works for you individually, and fits in with your lifestyle is the best option for you. However, with continual advancements in technology and products, it is wise to be aware of how CBD has developed in recent times.

Studies have shown CBD taken orally to have a bioavailability of as little as 6%, meaning that up to 94% is wasted as our bodies simply cannot break down and absorb it. CBD Oil taken using a dropper under the tongue can increase this number, but still is as low as 13-19%.

Why the need for Water Soluble CBD?

The problem with CBD is that it’s naturally hydrophobic (it repels water) and is not compatible with our body or digestive system. When we take traditional CBD, up to 94% is wasted. Tinctures bypass the digestive system by absorbing into your bloodstream via the membranes in your mouth. This reduces waste, but still up to 87% of the CBD can’t be absorbed.

However, this creates other problems. The fact that the CBD isn’t absorbed via your digestive system means it goes in and out of your bloodstream much faster. When we digest CBD, it is released slowly into our blood. It has the longest half-life of all ways of taking CBD.

The theory behind Water Soluble CBD

The principle behind Water Soluble CBD is simple. CBD molecules are reduced in size to increase surface area. If you can remember from Science lessons, this results in stronger chemical reactions. So, when it passes through our digestive system the chemical processes are more efficient at breaking the CBD down. Consequently, our bodies can absorb much more into our bloodstream. As a result, you receive a more bioavailable product, and over 3 times faster acting.

The process uses Nano Technology developed in the pharmaceutical industry. The goal is to increase the absorption of poorly soluble compounds. But, also to increase the speed of delivery into your blood stream. Furthermore, this 2018 study noted ‘The highly hydrophobic nature of cannabinoids means that they are suitable candidates for advanced nanosized drug delivery systems’ and ‘Nanotechnology-based drug delivery strategies have flourished recent year’s’.

The result of combining the latest in pharmaceutical technology with CBD extracts is the next generation of CBD products – Water Soluble CBD.

How is Water Soluble CBD manufactured?

Nanotechnology uses either mechanical (powerful sound waves) or chemical processes to break down CBD molecules into smaller particles. These particles are reduced in size to between 25-500 nanometres. One nanometre is tiny. It’s hard to comprehend exactly how small one is. For context a piece of paper is approx. 100,000 nanometres thick.

When the particles are reduced to this size they can easily mix with water. It should be said that technically they are still not water soluble, as they are still oil based. Water compatible would be a better technical description, although it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

How Water Soluble CBD works Infographic

how water soluble CBD works INFOGRAPHIC

What are the different types of Water Soluble CBD?

There are two main varieties of Water Soluble CBD; microemulsions and nanoemulsions. If you look at lots of products and posts regarding the subject you will also come across liposomes being mentioned. We will explain those as well.

Microemulsion CBD

Microemulsions are stable mixtures of water and surfactants with an oil-based substance. They generally have droplet sizes less than 100 nanometres. Surfactants are used to reduce the tension between two substances. Although the CBD particles are greatly reduced in size, they are still oil based. Meaning they will repel water. The surfactant is required to bind the two together.

The main problem with microemulsions is the amount of surfactant required. They can form spontaneously when mixing an oil-based substance in water with high levels of surfactant. So, it is impossible to create products with a high concentration of CBD. Typically, 10% would be the upper limit. If added to a beverage or food, the levels of surfactant can affect the taste.

Nanoemulsion CBD

Nanoemulsions have droplet sizes ranging from 25nm to 250nm. They have more attractive features when compared to microemulsions. They are more stable for one and are completely water compatible. They can be made using much lower levels of surfactants. This is because the method of producing them is more of a physical process than a chemical one.

Microemulsions rely on a large amount of surfactant to bind the two incompatible compounds together. Nanoemulsions are created by reducing the particle size using sound waves. The surface area of the two compounds meeting is larger, meaning less surfactant is required.

Another benefit is that natural surfactants, like sunflower lecithin, can be used. As opposed to synthetic alternatives used in microemulsions, like Tween80.

Liposome CBD

Liposomes range from around 50 to 5000 nm in diameter. They are spherical in shape. The best way to think about them would be a bubble in which the CBD is carried. This can speed up the absorption into the bloodstream.

It is not straight forward to create and requires high levels of surfactants. It is easier to create liposome CBD with isolate, rather than broad and full spectrum CBD.

What is the best type of Water Soluble CBD?

There is no universal best method of creating water soluble CBD. Firstly, it would depend the end product. If it was a drink or something you would eat, then nanoemulsions would be best. The other types can affect the flavour. If you creating cosmetics or a topical cream this would not be a factor.

Most important is the level of skill and competence of the producer. Anyone selling water soluble CBD should know exactly what method was used to create their products, the average nm size of the droplets and the type of CBD used.

What have Water Soluble CBD studies shown?

A 2019 animal study showed water soluble CBD to be 94% bioavailable. Two studies using human subjects found a substantial increase on bioavailability in comparison to CBD absorbed through the mouth. The first, in 2017, found water soluble CBD to have a stunning fourfold increase! The second, in 2018, found water soluble CBD to be an eye watering 131% more bioavailable than CBD oil tinctures. Three independent studies, with three different types of water soluble CBD each found it to be much more effective.

Water Soluble CBD VS CDB Oil

In the UK, CBD Oil is currently the most popular CBD product. Many people use it to treat a wide range of health problems. Studies have shown it to be beneficial for a range of ailments such as; anxiety, insomnia, pain management, epilepsy. However, CBD oil is far from a perfect product. There is plenty of room for improvement. In fact, the problems with taking CBD oil are extensive.

  • Only between 13-19% bioavailable
  • Hard to get an accurate dose with the dropper
  • Have to place the dose in the correct area to achieve maximum absorption. It’s very easy to waste an expensive product
  • To achieve the best possible levels of absorption you need to hold the oil under your tongue for up to 3 minutes. Not only is this inconvenient, it also can seem like an eternity with the bitter foul-tasting oil in your mouth.

Water Soluble CBD offers solutions to all these problems. Easier delivery methods are possible due the versatility of water soluble compounds. For example, CBD capsules contain a premeasured dose. You can just take one a day, no need to mess around with foul tasting oils under your tongue for minutes. Water soluble products can also be made with broad spectrum CBD. Broad spectrum has nearly untraceable levels of THC. You don’t need to worry about it showing up on drug tests or getting you ‘high’.  However, you can still benefit from the Entourage Effect.

Benefits of Water Soluble CBD Infographic

benefits of water soluble CBD infographic

What Should You Look For In CBD Products?

Choosing a Water Soluble CBD product, like any CBD product, can be overwhelming. It is wise to be cautious! Some sellers make wild claims about the effectiveness of their products on various ailments. Whilst others use affiliate marketing schemes to ‘review’ their products where in fact they pay for these adverts. Surprisingly some products have been shown to contain no CBD at all! Reassuringly, our lab reports show the CBD levels in our products reflect the advertised levels. Whether it’s capsules, oils or CBD vape you should always be able to see lab reports.

When Looking To Buy Any CBD Product You Should;

  • Look for CBD that was extracted using CO2, not ethanol. Ethanol is the crudest method, resulting in lower quality extracts. Companies should explicitly state which method was used to create their products. If they don’t, they may not actually know. This would be a worry!
  • Companies selling CBD should be able to trace their products from seed to shelf. Additionally, all products should be labelled accurately.
  • Companies selling CBD products should provide 3rd party lab tests for all products.
  • Companies selling CBD should provide the list of medicines that aren’t compatible with CBD.

A study found CBD to inhibit the CYP34A enzyme system. This can reduce your bodies ability to metabolise SSRI’s. This could cause a build-up in your system and potentially be dangerous. Grapefruit has the same effect, which is why you should avoid grapefruit juice when taking SSRI’s.
Furthermore, the fact so few CBD websites we have seen contain this is scary. Perhaps they are not particularly bothered about the safety of the products they are selling. Or they haven’t done enough research into them. Either way, this is alarming!

You should also avoid CBD if you are pregnant. All products containing CBD are not available to under 18s. Also, FSA advises the daily limit of CBD consumption at 70mg.

Water Soluble CBD – a final thought

Water Soluble CBD is a big advancement on existing CBD products. Developed to solve the biggest problem in the CBD industry – the low solubility of CBD Oil. By making the CBD particles smaller, they become easier to digest. The studies that have been conducted all showed a big increase in bioavailability, from 131% to 300% in humans. The fact that you digest it, rather than absorbing through your mouth or lungs, means the effects also last a lot longer.