As the popularity of CBD grows, people are becoming more clued up on how it works. Most often, people take CBD in the form of a sublingual oil. This is dropped under the tongue, where the CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream through blood vessels in the mouth. Alternatively, users take capsules that contain this CBD oil inside.
Bioavailability has become a hot topic as of late. This refers to the amount of a substance that is actually usable after it is consumed. Capsules, for example, have a lower bioavailability than sublingual oils because much of the CBD is lost to the digestive system. However, the bioavailability of sublingual CBD tinctures is not all that high to start with.
Part of this is to do with the fact that CBD is insoluble in water. Brands have started developing water-soluble forms of CBD to get around this issue; but what actually is water-soluble CBD, and why do we need it? Today, we are investigating exactly that…
What’s the Need for Water Soluble CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid, meaning it is one of the active compounds found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are insoluble in water, which means that CBD also cannot mix with water.
Instead, cannabinoids are lipophilic. This means that they bond with fats, but not with water. CBD oils are the product of choice because oils are fats (lipids), and therefore the CBD assimilates well with the carrier oil of choice.
The problem is that oil and water don’t mix. This can be an issue because users often like to make creations like CBD lattes or CBD tea. Dropping an oil directly into your drink is a bad idea – it just sits on the surface, and trust us, it doesn’t taste very good! As a result, the beverage of choice has to contain a fatty substance, such as milk, that the oil will mix better with.
Alternatively, people have turned to ready-made CBD beverages, like CBD teabags, CBD beer, and CBD coffee sold in bags. You can even buy CBD water online. But if you can’t mix CBD into liquids, then how are brands achieving this?
The answer is water-soluble CBD, but there are a few ways to go about producing it.
Types of Water-Soluble CBD: Nano-CBD vs. Liposomes
Water-soluble CBD comes in two forms. Nano-CBD is probably the most common at the moment because it isn’t just used in liquid products.
Nano-CBD refers to nanoparticles of cannabidiol. Usually, a nanoparticle is 0.0000001 metres in size; or 100 nanometres. CBD makers tend to be a little loose with this definition because the word “nano-CBD” makes it sound pretty cutting-edge and cool. Nonetheless, nano-CBD refers to extremely tiny particles of CBD that have been shrunk down from their original size.
But why? Well, the nano-CBD particles are so small that they can fit into smaller gaps. They can even blend with water. Not only is this great news for the production industry, because it means CBD beverages can be made, but it is also thought to increase bioavailability (more on that later).
Nano-CBD can be put into various products, including CBD oils, CBD capsules, and CBD water. It is more expensive than regular CBD because, obviously, it takes a lot of equipment and know-how.
A second way to create water-soluble CBD is to use liposomes. To create these, manufacturers basically wrap the CBD particles in a tiny layer of fat. This fat is a phospholipid, which contains a hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail. The hydrophobic tail binds to the CBD, which is a fat, while the hydrophilic head faces outward. This means that the CBD can be blended with water.
Liposomes are usually used to keep compounds safe during drug delivery, and they happen to increase bioavailability. It just happens to be that an added benefit is making CBD water-soluble. As a result, a few companies have made liposomal CBD products that can be added to water, sometimes called ‘beverage enhancers.’
Is Water Soluble CBD Better?
Water soluble CBD is definitely convenient. A lot of people dislike the taste of CBD, and so adding it to a drink can make it easier to wash down. But what about the science?
The human body is largely made up of water. The reason the bioavailability of CBD is so low is that it can’t assimilate well with the human body – it can’t blend with all the water we contain. Water-soluble CBD products get around this by providing a way for the CBD to mix well with our bodies, thereby increasing the bioavailability.
In theory, this means you get more bang for your buck. If your body can use more of the CBD it’s getting, then surely it is worth it. However, you do have to consider that water soluble CBD products increase the cost of already expensive CBD products; you have to ask yourself whether it’s worth it.
Nano-CBD products appear to be the more beneficial of the two types right now, but both are pretty expensive. If you can’t afford nano-CBD, then don’t worry – standard CBD products work just fine. If you can, then feel free to give them a try! But remember that more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better.
How to Use Water Soluble CBD
If you have decided to give water-soluble CBD a shot, then you’ll be glad to know that it’s really easy to use. Nano-CBD products are the most common and come in a variety of forms. You use them like a regular CBD product, as per the instructions. Oils are dropped under the tongue, capsules are swallowed with a glass of water, topicals are applied to the problematic area, etc. If you buy nano-CBD water, you simply drink the bottle!
As for liposomal CBD beverage enhancers, simply add a little bit of the product to a glass of water and mix it in. These concoctions are flavoured, and so it tastes a little better to drink. The dose will be stated on the label, and often brands will tell you roughly how much CBD is contained per squeeze of the bottle.
Where Can I Get Water Soluble CBD in the UK?
Water-soluble CBD products are primarily sold in the USA right now, but a few are springing up in the UK, too. Here are some of the products we found:
Water Soluble CBD Spray by The Cannifamily
The Cannifamily is a fairly new brand. It produces cold-pressed CBD products right here in the UK, including a few different water-soluble options. The Water Soluble CBD Spray is ideal for adding to any cold drink. The spray bottle also ensures that it won’t leak and is incredibly easy to dose. The 10ml bottle contains 400mg of CBD in total and costs £39.95.
The Cannifamily also sells a curcumin edition of water-soluble CBD in drop form, containing 300mg of CBD in a 30ml bottle. This costs £58.95. Apparently, they are soon to be stocking a CBD For Coffee product, specially designed for coffees.
CBDX Water Soluble Spray by Amma Life
Amma Life is an established brand. It now stocks a water-soluble CBD spray which it calls “groundbreaking”. This vegan CBD product is non-GMO and full-spectrum, containing a variety of terpenes. Interestingly, this brand has also elected to feature curcumin in its product.
The product is available in a few options, ranging from 5ml (200mg) to 20ml (800mg). It costs between £23.50 and £75.00 depending on your choice.
CBD Water 500ml by Love Hemp
Love Hemp sells a variety of CBD products, but this brand is pretty famed for its hemp water. The water is made using nano-CBD, but it should be noted that there is only a very low quantity of CBD in each bottle of spring water – only 2mg per 500ml.
Holland & Barrett currently stocks this product cheaper than the official website. From this shop, it costs £0.99 for one bottle. However, it is possible to buy in bulk from the Love Hemp official site, where 12 bottles cost £22.99.