The hype behind water soluble CBD and bioavailability

The world of hemp is moving at a fast pace, and while we started with simply CBD oils, there are now a host of other options available, including the latest innovation – water soluble CBD, although you might not have noticed it’s here.

This is because, In the UK, CBD drops are still the most popular way to use CBD at the moment. Other options such as concentrates, edibles and topicals are all of growing consumer interest.

You might have noticed a variety of CBD drinks having launched on the market recently. From CBD water to fizzy drinks infused with CBD, beverages are fast becoming a way for newbies to try CBD by picking up a can on the go.

If you’ve tried the usual CBD oils, you will know hemp can have a peculiar taste. Add in that CBD usually doesn’t mix well with water, you might wonder how CBD beverages are even possible.

Given its warm reception, its clear infused drinks are here to stay. This is supplemented by the fact experts already expect the global CBD drinks market to be worth $2.8bn by 2025, all powered by water soluble CBD!

So let’s jump in and explain why water soluble CBD is potentially such big news in the CBD industry.

What is water soluble CBD?

Hemp extracts used in a CBD oil are diluted in a carrier oil such as MCT or cold-pressed hemp seed oil. One of the reasons for this is because standard CBD doesn’t dissolve in water, but it does in oil.

Tinctures are popular as they are an easy way to use CBD along with being bio-efficient as membranes absorb the oil under our tongue. 

Sublingual consumption avoids our digestive tract and liver where the CBD would otherwise lose potency in the process of digestion.

Nonetheless, because the human body is largely made of water the absorption of compounds such as CBD which are only fat-soluble isn’t as high as we’d hope.

This process is referred to as bioavailability, which infers how much of a substance we consume reaches our bloodstream.

Unfortunately, CBD usually has low bioavailability, and it’s thought to vary between 4% – 55% depending on how you take your CBD.

On the lower end of the spectrum, a 2019 study based on an animal model suggests the oral consumption of CBD (capsules or edibles) has a bioavailability of around 8%.

Sounds low right?

This sub-par rate of absorption is which has driven the interest in creating a compound which has a much higher rate of bioavailability. …Cue water soluble CBD.

How is it made?

There two main ways to create water soluble CBD.

Either way, the process involves breaking down the CBD molecule into an increased number of nano-sized particles and then encapsulating the new smaller compound into another molecule which is naturally soluble in water.

So how small is nano? TINY! It’s measured in nanometers, where a nanometer is one-millionth of a millimetre!

The most popular methods are called nanoemulsion or liposome CBD, which stabilise CBD by coating (emulsifying) it in another liquid which is soluble in water.

This process is what stops the CBD from separating from the water and stabilises it within the water.

What are the benefits of Nano CBD?

There is only one reason you might want to consider nano CBD:

By its very nature, smaller molecules of CBD results in a larger surface area. This makes absorption more (bio) accessible and is thought to improve the rate of absorption.

As a result, it’s commonly suggested that water soluble CBD has a bioavailability of CBD to near 100%. Although, there isn’t a clinical (randomised controlled trial) study which confirms this hypothesis yet.

Given the lack of hardcoded evidence, this is still a theory more than fact, and this leads us to the potential problems with Nano CBD.

Is water soluble CBD all that?

There are two points to be aware of when it comes to water soluble CBD:

  • Added chemicals: By encapsulating CBD into another molecule you add another chemical into the mix. The question arises around which chemical is used to emulsify the CBD and is that something you want in your body?
  • A lack of clarity: While in theory, the process of nano CBD makes sense, in reality, some brands mince scientific words with sales copy which can sometimes confuse people. Buying from brands which are not using funny language as a smokescreen instead is usually a good idea.

What are the applications of water soluble CBD?

There are a variety of uses for nano CBD. The primary ones include:

  • Creating CBD infused drinks, including CBD water! These products allow CBD to mix with the water and avoid giving it an earthy taste which is common in raw full-spectrum CBD oils.
  • Using nano encapsulated CBD in topical CBD products. This is a relatively new application, but it’s interesting nonetheless. This uses the fact the CBD will have a higher surface area to absorb into your skin.
  • Water soluble CBD capsules. In order to counter the fast pass mechanism within our body, capsules using water soluble CBD are thought to deliver a higher dose via higher bioavailability.

Should you buy water soluble CBD?

  • The answer to this question depends on why you wanted to buy it in the first place.

    The most popular reasons include:

    • You were looking to try CBD oil and read that water soluble CBD oil is more beneficial.
    • You have tried other CBD oils and you found them not effective.
    • Tried CBD oil and found it useful but needed something more potent.

Should I buy water soluble CBD?

The answer to this question depends on why you wanted to buy it in the first place.

The most popular reasons include:

  • You were looking to try CBD oil and read that water soluble CBD oil is more beneficial.
  • You have tried other CBD oils and you found them not effective.
  • Tried CBD oil and found it useful but needed something more potent.

Let’s cover each point one by one:

  • If it’s your first time trying CBD, you might want to try a high quality CBD oil which is third party tested before venturing further afield. These type of products have more historical use, and thus, information is widely available.
  • You can do little things to encourage a higher level of absorption outside of using nano CBD too! For example. Try a CBD oil which uses MCT oil as the carrier oil and take your CBD after consuming a meal with high-fat content.
  • In this case, it might be a good use case, especially if you have used CBD before and understand how it works with your body already.

Final Word

It’s clear more research is needed, but this can be said for all CBD products!

No matter what you do, be sure only to buy third party tested CBD to give it the best chance of working.

Regardless, the choice is up to you! At Nature & Bloom we have decided to stick with the basics for the time being, simply because they work for us and we only retail products we 100% believe in.

Disclaimer: Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Nature & Bloom and its staff. This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention for any disease. Nature & Bloom products have not been evaluated by the MHRA.