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Can CBD or THC be Made Water-Soluble?

[fa icon=”calendar”] Jul 3, 2016 10:11:12 AM / by Alexey Peshkovsky, Ph.D.

Cannabinoids (CBD, THC, etc.) are hydrophobic (water-hating) oily substances and, as such, not water-soluble. They can, however, be formulated to be water-compatible and appear water-soluble.

The term “water-soluble CBD” has lately been extensively used throughout the medical cannabis industry. “Water-soluble” means able to homogeneously incorporate into water by separating into molecules or ions (dissolve like sugar, alcohol or salt). Oily substances, however, are repelled by water, which forces them to stay separate from it.

CBD, THC and many other oils can, however, be made water compatible if they are formulated as micro– or nanoemulsions, which are stable and visually homogeneous oil/water mixtures. The definitions of these emulsion types, important differences between them and methods by which they can be prepared are provided in our earlier blog post: “Achieving Stability of Oil-in-Water and Water-in-Oil Emulsion Products” as well as in this free eBook:

Both micro- and nanoemulsions can be prepared in concentrated forms that are fully miscible with water and, therefore, appear water-soluble. Both require the use of surfactants, which dilute the products, but are not otherwise a major concern, since several natural options are available with minimal negative effects. It is, of course, beneficial to use as little surfactants as possible. This is where nanoemulsions have a clear advantage: the amounts of surfactants used for their preparation are up to 10 times lower that those needed to make microemulsions.

Benefits of CBD and THC Nanoemulsions

Besides being water-compatible and easily mixed into beverages at essentially any desired concentrations, cannabis extract nanoemulsions (nano-cannabinoids) provide exceptionally high bioavailability and therapeutic effect, and are absorbed by the body, either orally or through the skin, very rapidly and completely. The uptake starts to occur in the mouth almost immediately upon oral administration. This means higher potency and faster onset of action for lower doses.

Further information on CBD and THC nanoemulsions, including how they can be prepared using ultrasonic liquid processors, is provided in our recent blog post: “Are Cannabinoids More Effective in Nano Form?

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CBD and THC are hydrophobic and not water-soluble. With ultrasonic processing they can, however, be formulated into fully water-compatible nanoemulsions.

Is Water-Soluble CBD Better Than CBD Oil?

One of the most popular groups of products on the market – and one that’s gaining traction like crazy – are those that contain CBD. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of over 100 chemical compounds (referred to as cannabinoids) that comes from cannabis plants.

They can be used for many different purposes, they come in many forms, and they’re completely safe for use.

But, as consumers decide how and when to incorporate CBD products into their daily routines, one aspect to consider is the two most popular forms that CBD can come in. Here, we’ll be focusing specifically on water-soluble CBD in comparison to CBD oil, the characteristics and uses of each, and how to determine which might be a better fit for your lifestyle needs.

What Is CBD Oil?

First, let’s talk about CBD oil. Without a doubt, it’s one of the more common CBD products you will see on the shelves these days, but equally as common are some of the misperceptions that surround it. Essentially, CBD oil is simply any product where its CBD component has been extracted from a cannabis plant, then added to an oil (such as coconut or hemp seed oil, for example) to be diluted.

What Are the Characteristics of CBD Oil?

Because CBD oil is an oil, just like any other, its characteristics are similar to those of other oil types. Though it contains CBD (which, you’ll recall, is a cannabinoid), CBD oil does not contain another well-known cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the chemical compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of “getting high” that users often experience when using marijuana and other cannabis products. Because CBD oil does not contain THC, a key characteristic of CBD oil is its ability to transfer some of the benefits of cannabis, but without the psychoactive “high” sensation.

As an oil, consumers can use CBD oil in a variety of ways. Users can ingest CBD oil, apply it topically, or inhale it. But, given the physiological constraints that oil undergoes while being digested in our digestive systems, researchers have concluded that rubbing CBD oil directly onto the skin, dropping some under the tongue, or even vaping the oil can bypass these digestive blockages and allow all of the CBD and its benefits to enter the body’s circulation. If CBD oil is ingested normally, it’s estimated that only about 10 to 20 percent will actually reach the bloodstream.

What Is Water-Soluble CBD?

Like CBD oil, water-soluble CBD does not contain THC which, you’ll recall, is what produces the psychoactive “high” effects. But, unlike CBD oil, water-soluble CBD is a CBD extract that has been scientifically converted to a water-soluble form, making it much easier for the body to absorb.

What Are the Characteristics of Water-Soluble CBD?

CBD, a naturally oil-soluble substance, is converted into a water-soluble one by way of breaking down the oil into small particles then coating the particles with a bio-encapsulation that ensures the CBD is stabilized. In essence, what we are left with is a light, water-soluble, powdery CBD extract that can be fully digested and absorbed by the body.

What Are the Common Uses of Water-Soluble CBD?

Once CBD oil has been encapsulated to be made water-soluble, its uses can be expanded to nearly any product in which consumers want to include it. Because of its amazing potential to be fully absorbed in the body, water-soluble CBD gets more bang for its buck when added to drinks, foods, or other means of consumption. When water-soluble CBD is used in this capacity, there’s no fear of low CBD absorption levels, nor is there fear of psychoactive effects (since, again, water-soluble CBD does not contain THC).

When Is It Better to Use Water-Soluble CBD?

Though choosing between water-soluble CBD products and CBD oil products is obviously each individual’s choice, the key to deciding which could be right for you is by evaluating your priorities.

Do you like the taste of CBD oil? Do you like applying it topically to your skin as part of your care regimen? And how about vaping CBD oil – do you enjoy it? If so, continuing to use CBD oil as a means to glean its benefits, while also enjoying the product itself, is perfectly fine and recommended.

If you’re not a strong fan of CBD oil’s taste, if you’re not interested in using it as a skin enhancer, or if you’re not interested in vaping the oil, water-soluble CBD is the better option to choose.

If you’re simply interested in getting the maximal results of CBD, without the psychoactive effects of THC, consider incorporating water-soluble CBD products into your diet.

In conclusion, is water-soluble CBD better than CBD oil? Though each individual’s CBD priorities will affect the answer to this question, there’s no denying that water-soluble CBD is more easily absorbed by the body through a wider variety of consumption methods.

But, the choice is yours.

Interested in Learning More about Which CBD Product Is Right for You?

If you’re interested in learning more about what you can expect from CBD oil and water-soluble CBD, look no further than The Hemp Doctor.

At The Hemp Doctor, our goal is to give customers accurate information on CBD and hemp products and to provide only the best, safest, and purest hemp and CBD products available on the market. If you’re interested in learning more about CBD products, how water-soluble CBD differs from CBD oil, and how you can use both in a variety of ways, contact us online today.

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