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Making Hydrophobic Cannabidiol (CBD) Water Soluble

Athletic Man Drinking Water, Credit: Stock Photography


Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are hydrophobic, which means they are oily and tend to repel water or fail to mix with it. With the help of a little science, we can make CBD form that is nearly water-soluble. CBD water is made using a process where sound waves break up CBD clusters into micro-sized particles that are smaller than 100 nanometers. The nano-sized nutrients available in CBD water soar past the blood-brain barrier and penetrate cells immediately, allowing for nearly 100% bioavailability and absorption.

In this article, we discuss CBD, what is water-soluble CBD and how to make it, types of water-soluble CBD and how they are different, the benefits of water-soluble CBD, and the bioavailability of CBD water.

Making Hydrophobic Cannabidiol (CBD) Water Soluble

Clear Liquids, Credit: Stock Photography
Clear Liquids

Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are hydrophobic, which means they are oily and tend to repel water or fail to mix with it. However, with the help of a little science, they can be formulated into water-compatible nanoemulsions. In this form, they appear water-soluble.

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many cannabinoids. While many plants contain cannabinoids, most people associate them with cannabis or hemp.

Unlike the more notorious cannabinoid THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD does not produce a euphoric “high” or psychoactive effect. This is because CBD does not affect the same receptors as THC.

The reasons people have for consuming CBD vary, from chronic pain and inflammation to nausea-related symptoms of chemotherapy to general overall wellness. CBD is known to work as a powerful pain-reliever and anti-inflammatory, and the benefit is that there are no psychoactive effects and it is made of safe and non-addictive plant materials. The effects that CBD will have on you will depend on many factors including your experience with cannabis and CBD, your tolerance level, your current ailments and condition, your endocannabinoid levels, and other factors. All of this will not only affect how CBD interacts with your body and the effects you will feel, but also whether or not it is worth it for you to take as a supplement.

CBD Water

Water With Bubbles, Credit: Stock Photography
Water with Bubbles

What Is “Water-soluble CBD”?

The term “water-soluble CBD” has lately been used extensively in 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 other oils can, however, be made water-compatible if they are formulated as oil-in-water nanoemulsions, which are stable and visually homogeneous oil/water mixtures. Nanoemulsions can be prepared in concentrated forms (tens of mg/ml) that are fully miscible with water and, therefore, appear water-soluble. In addition, nanoemulsions can be made translucent and practically tasteless, which means that they can be mixed into water without compromising its optical clarity or taste.

Can CBD or THC be Made Water-Soluble?

Making Water-soluble CBD

CBD water is made using a process called nanotechnology, which uses soundwaves to break up CBD clusters into micro-sized particles that are smaller than 100 nanometers. The result is a “water compatible” product that is small enough to dissolve and blend with water molecules, allowing for immediate bioavailability that many brands call the “nano-amplified effect.”

While other CBD products that have to reach the digestive system before taking effect, the nano-sized nutrients available in CBD water soar past the blood-brain barrier and penetrate cells immediately, allowing for nearly 100% bioavailability and absorption. These immediate, CBD-filled effects are why so many people enjoy drinking CBD water over other CBD edibles, although there are benefits to all of it depending on what you’re looking to achieve.

CBD Water

Fit Woman Drinking Water, Credit: Stock Photography
Fit Woman Drinking Water

Types of Water-soluble CBD

  • Liposomes
  • Microemulsions
  • Nanoemulsions

How Are They Different?

Macroemulsions are common emulsions with droplets averaging over 1 micron in diameter and generally having wide droplet size distributions. They are unstable and tend to separate into an oil layer at the top and a water layer at the bottom, sometimes with a mixed layer in between. Due to their lack of stability, macroemulsions are generally not suitable as water-compatible cannabinoid delivery vehicles.

Microemulsions are translucent and thermodynamically stable mixtures of oil, water and surfactants having average droplet diameters below 100 nm. They can be spontaneously formed by “solubilizing” the oil in water or a beverage by very high amounts of surfactants – substantially higher than the amount of the oil. Because of many undesirable side-effects caused by concentrated surfactants (health issues, taste deterioration, etc.), the use of microemulsion-based, water-compatible cannabis oil formulations is disadvantageous. Furthermore, it is frequently impossible to achieve the desired cannabinoid concentration in a beverage without exceeding maximum permitted surfactant levels.

Liposomes are spherical structures with diameters from about 50 to 5000 nm formed by one or more concentric phospholipid bilayers with an aqueous phase inside and in-between the bilayers. Liposomes can entrap water-soluble (hydrophilic) active ingredients in their internal water compartment and water-insoluble (hydrophobic) active ingredients in their bilayer membrane. The latter property makes it possible to use liposomes to formulate water-compatible cannabis extracts. This, however, involves complex preparation procedures and, as with microemulsions, very high surfactant (lecithin phospholipids) concentrations. In addition, it is difficult to produce liposomal formulations using natural cannabis extracts, requiring the use of synthetic or isolated cannabinoids instead.

Water-Soluble Cannabis Oils: Microemulsion, Liposomes or Nanoemulsion?

Benefits Of Water-soluble CBD

  • Easy to Mix
  • Increased Bioavailability
  • Less Waste
  • Quick Onset
Scientists Working, Credit: Stock Photography
Scientists Working

CBD Water Bioavailability

Bioavailability is defined as: “the amount of a substance that enters the bloodstream when introduced into the body and so is able to have an active effect.”

Since our bodies are made of ~60% water, CBD naturally resists absorption into the bloodstream. This has a big impact on the bioavailability of some of the most popular and convenient forms of taking CBD including capsules, tinctures, topicals, edibles, and drinks. As an example, when oil-based CBD capsules or soft gels are swallowed, some studies show that as little as 4% of the substance actually makes it to the bloodstream. What this means is that up to 96% of the CBD ends up being flushed from the body without ever having an active effect.

Water Soluble CBD Explained

CBD is relatively new, which means there are still limited studies available to support the benefits it provides, and there are even fewer studies about the effects of CBD water. As a potential user, you will need to work out the ideal dosage for your condition, just remember “low-and-slow” – start with a low dosage, and slowly work your way up.

Most CBD water products contain between 5mg and 20mg of CBD, and they are made to consume in a single serving like any other water beverage so you don’t have to ration it for appropriate dosing.

At TheraJoy, we always the finest all-natural ingredients in our line of topical CBD products. We offer purity you can trust, guaranteed, and we are always made with 99% pure CBD derived from medical grade, non-GMO hemp, sourced directly from Switzerland. If you use CBD and want an organic, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher product, then you need TheraJoy. Make it part of your daily regime to maximize the benefits.

Remember, always consult your doctor before you begin taking a supplement or make any changes to your existing medication and supplement routine. This blog post is not intended to be medical advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation-starter with your doctor at your next appointment.


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