CBD in its natural state is fat-soluble, not water-soluble. This means that if you were to take CBD isolate and drop it into water, it would not dissolve. Instead, it would clump and stay on the surface of the water. The idea behind water-soluble CBD is to create a something that mimics water solubility, rather than transforming it into something that is truly water-soluble.
This can be done using a process often described as “nano-technology.” The goal is to break down the CBD molecules into smaller “micro-sized” molecules. The smaller particles are then encapsulated or coated so they can be emulsified and remain stable in water.
The CBD isn’t actually dissolving into the water. It is just able to stay suspended within the water instead of clumping together. It is essentially made more “water-compatible” than truly “water-soluble.” In theory, products that are more water-compatible would be more easily absorbed and have higher bioavailability.
What Are the Potential Benefits?
Up to 60% of the human body is water. So some believe that creating “water-compatible” CBD products will increase the absorption rate, or bioavailability, of the product. Meaning that a higher percentage of the CBD will effectively be absorbed by the body.
The bioavailability of traditional CBD tinctures that use a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil or MCT coconut oil is around 20-30%. If water-soluble CBD were to truly have a higher absorption percentage, then the primary benefit would be that you could use less of the product and get the same results. It would be faster-acting than traditional tinctures as well.
Is It Better Than Regular CBD Oil?
The jury is still out on this question. Despite the claims being made by some of those selling it, there aren’t any independent research studies that prove higher absorption rates. But scientific research of CBD in general has been limited. Feedback on the effectiveness of water-soluble CBD from users in our Facebook group has been mixed.
Until more research studies are done, it seems the only way to find out if water-soluble CBD may work better is to give them a try yourself.
Does CBD Oil Need to be Water Soluble?
No, there are many people who report success with traditional oil-based CBD tinctures. The technology that produces water-compatible CBD seems promising. But more research is needed before this approach can be declared the wave of the future in the CBD industry.
What is CBD Water?
As the name suggests, CBD water is usually a bottle of water with CBD infused into it. These products are most commonly sold in 16.9 fluid ounce bottles and have typically claims of being made with “nano-technology.” The idea behind “nano-technology” is to try to reduce the size of the normal CBD molecules until they are so tiny that they can emulsify into the water without additional ingredients.
A key thing to note is that CBD is naturally fat-soluble, not water soluble. The goal with trying to create “nano-CBD particles” is to mimic water-solubility. By doing so, they claim that this increases the bioavailability of the CBD to upwards of 90%. This contrasts with the bioavailability of CBD tinctures that is approximately 20-30%.
Whether these claims are true or not remains to be proven. We haven’t seen any current studies that back them up. “Nano” CBD is still very much unresearched.
What are Some of the Problems with CBD Water?
The main problem with these type of waters we’ve seen are that they contain very little CBD. The amount of CBD most claim to contain is anywhere from 2 milligrams up to 10 milligrams per bottle. The effect from that small amount of CBD is virtually negligible.
With terms such as “nanoparticles” and “nanograms” being used in place of the typical CBD content on the label, consumers may be misled into thinking they are purchasing a highly concentrated product. For example, 10,000,000 nanograms is really just 10 milligrams of CBD.
In addition to having a small amount of CBD, these water products typically come with a high price tag. Prices for a bottle of CBD water can often be in the range of $5-10 per bottle. That’s a very high price per milligram of CBD when compared to traditional products.
CBD degrades when exposed to light. That’s why CBD oil tinctures are commonly packaged in dark or opaque bottles. Most of the CBD water products are being packaged in clear bottles. So there are concerns that exposure to light will further reduce the already small amount of CBD in the actual water products.