Water-soluble CBD – a fact or a myth?

Have you ever wondered why, in addition to the cannabinoids, there is also carrier oil in CBD oil? And why is it often suggested to consume CBD oil with or after a meal that is high in fat? In answering these two questions, we will refer to basic chemical knowledge, namely two concepts: ‘lipophilicity‘ and ‘hydrophobicity’

Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC are highly lipophilic and hydrophobic substances. This means that cannabinoids tend to dissolve in fats and oils and are also molecules that repel water from each other. Therefore, CBD oils are based on other vegetable oils, such as hemp seed oil, black cumin oil, coconut oil or olive oil, and it is recommended to take CBD in the company of products such as nuts, avocado, butter, fish, meats or yoghurts. 

What if CBD could be water-soluble? 


Nanotechnology in the cannabis industry

Every now and then we hear about technological innovations that may revolutionize the current industry, including the hemp industry. We have already written about CBD transporting liposomes, the time has come for nanoemulsions.

Nanoemulsions are nano-sized emulsions that are produced to improve the delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients. These are thermodynamically stable isotropic systems in which two immiscible liquids are mixed into one phase with the aid of an emulsifying agent, i.e. a surfactant and a co-surfactant.


Using ultrasound technology, lipophilic compounds such as CBD and THC can mix with water. Due to the nanoemulsification process, CBD absorption can be significantly increased and its bioavailability after oral administration can increase. This technology opens the door to cannabis processing companies. Beer with a high CBD content, CBD water, coffee or other drinks can become a valuable product – a combination of pleasant and useful.

Known Methods for Delivering CBD into the Bloodstream

There are several methods for taking cannabinoids, and the choice depends mainly on the preferences and expectations of the consumer. The most frequently chosen method is the delivery of CBD through the mucosa in the form of CBD oil drops administered under the tongue. In this way, the active substances enter the bloodstream relatively quickly through the mucous membranes. Smoking or vaporizing CBD herbs is equally popular, as is the use of CBD oils specially prepared for e-cigarettes. This method is very effective as CBD enters the blood through the lungs. Many people also choose capsules, mainly for the convenience of use and neutral taste, or add CBD oil to their food. The downside of taking CBD in the form of food is the long waiting time for the effects that we can feel only after an hour, but they last the longest, up to 8 hours. The effects will appear most quickly when you smoke or vaporize CBD, because it takes just a few seconds, but they don’t last long. It is optimal to take CBD oil sublingually in terms of time, as the effects can be seen after just 15 minutes and can last up to 6 hours. 

Most people who use CBD choose a particular method because of the speed of the effects and the length of time the effects last. It is also worth remembering about another important aspect – bioavailability.

Bioavailability – what is it?

This basic term used in pharmacology refers to the extent to which an active ingredient will eventually be absorbed and used by the body. One hundred percent bioavailability is provided only by substances administered intravenously or transdermally, in other cases, only a fraction of the substance will go into the general bloodstream, the rest will be excreted without affecting our body in any particular way. 

Depending on the chosen method, the bioavailability of CBD is as follows:

  • inhalation: 10-35%
  • absorption through the mucous membranes: 6-20%
  • oral route: 8-15%

As we can see, the bioavailability of CBD does not make you feel off your feet. Even after smoking or vaporizing, a significant part of the active substance does not get into the blood. If the use of nanotechnology helps to increase the bioavailability of CBD, why not use the tools offered by science?

Technological progress, continuous research and development in the field of science bring positive news for the cannabis industry. There are hemp products on the market that use another innovative technology, liposomes, which increase the bioavailability of CBD in capsules by up to three times, but we look forward to widely available hemp products using nanoemulsions. 

What do you think these products will be? Leave your answer in the comment. 


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