If you want to take cannabinoids orally, you first have to dissolve them in fat. That's why CBD is mostly available in the form of oils, and the cannabinoids in creams and edibles are also dissolved in fat beforehand. That's because CBD is fat-soluble and doesn't mix well with water. There are techniques that allow for water compatibility to maximize bioavailability.
CBD IS LIPOPHILIC
Like most other cannabinoids, cannabidiol only dissolves in non-polar solvents. This means fats and oils, which is why CBD is also called lipophilic, which means something like "fat-loving." A prerequisite for the lipophilic property is that there is no or only very poor solubility in water. For example, if you want to bake with cannabis, you first have to dissolve it in butter or milk to make it available to the body. However, it would make more sense to dissolve the CBD in water in terms of bioavailability.
The bioavailability tells you what percentage of an ingested substance actually has an active effect on the body. To do this, the respective substance must enter the bloodstream. Added to this is the fact that our bodies consist of almost 60% water, and fat has lost nothing in the bloodstream. That is why the bioavailability of CBD, in particular, is extremely sobering when it is present in fatty preparations.
For many oil-based products that are taken orally, only around 4% of the CBD is actually absorbed by the body. The remaining CBD is therefore given away. That is why in the modern cannabis industry, much emphasis is placed on dissolving CBD in water.
· Smaller emulsions - more impact
Basically, cannabinoids like CBD are not soluble in water, and this is simply based on their molecular structure. You don't even try to modify them in any way. Instead, one relies on dissolving the fat in water as best as possible. One tries to make the fat molecules as small as possible so that they are distributed as evenly and flatly as possible in the water.
This can be compared to regular milk. Here, too, a so-called emulsion is present, in which the fat droplets are present in infinitesimal forms and swim in the milk. The same procedure is followed with water-soluble CBD. There are basically three ways to achieve this goal.
Nanoemulsions are very beneficial for dissolving CBD in water. The fat droplets are only ten to 100 nanometers in size. One tries to incorporate as few surfactants as possible so synthetic alternatives do not have to be used. Basically, the use of many and especially synthetic surfactants in the food supplement industry is not highly regarded. In addition, nanoemulsions cannot be detected optically.
Usually, such emulsions are prepared by ultrasonic methods. There are many different devices for this. There are other methods in which distillation takes place via complex mechanisms, with the fat droplets ultimately being distributed in the water. The providers of the respective devices claim for themselves that the other processes are harmful to health. Every consumer should form their own opinion here.
Here, the individual fat droplets have a size of 100 to 5,000 nanometers. Many surfactants are used to the consumer's detriment, which entails undesirable side effects. For this reason, this form of emulsion is hardly ever used in today's industry.
Liposomes are spherical structures that contain water within themselves. The size of the individual structures varies between 50 and 5000 nanometers. They consist of an inner water-soluble layer surrounded by a non-water-soluble bilateral layer that immediately contains the CBD.
Liposomes are still used in industry today. However, the process is enormously complex and, in turn, requires an extraordinary amount of surfactants.
THE BENEFITS OF WATER-SOLUBLE CBD
Generally, less than 10% of the CBD is absorbed into the body with standard oil-based products. With liposomes, it is already around 20%. The nanoemulsions even enable absorption of a good 50%; more has not been achieved so far.
In addition, CBD dissolved in water is absorbed much faster by the body. There are also many more ways of consuming CBD dissolved in water, as it can also be used in drinks making it become more popular with coffee shops and bars. Fun side note: Did you know that CBD may actually help with those nasty booze hangovers? Check out our blog about it here. CBD products dissolved in water are also comparatively cheaper because you get much more CBD active in the body for the same money. Therefore, there is hope that even more productive methods will be discovered in the future.