BLOG: Water-Soluble vs. Oil-Soluble CBD : What You Need To Know
Posted by Alex Corren on February 20, 2018
Water-Soluble vs. Oil-Soluble CBD : What You Need To Know
Hemp-derived CBD oil has gone mainstream.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is an incredibly beneficial plant compound derived from Hemp. Although not everyone knows about it yet, the vast majority of people out there that have heard about it associate it with oil. They may imagine any of the popular oil-based products such as tinctures, creams, and vapes.
We all know that oil and water don’t mix well. This reality makes things a bit tricky for CBD and other oil-soluble plant extracts because most products and supplements we use are not oil-based.
What most people don’t know is that CBD, in its natural oil form, can only be effectively incorporated into the body through a narrow range of uses. Common oil-based delivery methods, like tinctures, are not meant to be swallowed, and for good reason.
It all comes down something known as bioavailability, which indicates how much of any given substance is actually able to be absorbed by the body. There’s one bodily process in particular that’s responsible for preventing the effective uptake of CBD oil in the stomach.
First Pass Metabolism
First-pass metabolism (also referred to as the first-pass effect) is a physiological phenomena in drug (plant extract) delivery science where the concentration of a compound is greatly reduced before it reaches systemic circulation.
This concentration reduction means a decrease in bioavailability, and is a relatively common problem that affects a huge range of compounds including, morphine, curcumin (from turmeric), lidocaine, nitroglycerin, and many found in cannabis.
CBD can’t effectively make it through hepatic portal vein system when swallowed in it’s natural oil state.
First-pass metabolism only affects the bioavailability of CBD when consumed orally, and there are some creative chemistry techniques used to get around it.
Luckily, rubbing CBD into your skin, dropping some tincture under your tongue, or hitting a vape pen allows the CBD to directly enter systemic circulation. These delivery methods don’t go near any of the mechanisms associated with the first-pass effect, and bioavailability is not negatively affected.
What’s the problem?
The issue still remains that we cannot effectively absorb CBD when swallowed in it’s natural oil state.
You might be thinking, “What about all the CBD capsules and drinks out there? Am I not actually getting the full dose that’s advertised?” The answer to those questions all depend on the method used to formulate the CBD extract.
As we learned above, the first pass effect greatly decreases the bioavailability of CBD oil when swallowed. So, unfortunately, nearly all CBD-oil capsules that you see on the market will have very poor absorption rates. That translates to taking a 20mg capsule and only actually absorbing around 5mg!
Luckily, brilliant scientists have already addressed this problem and have devised ways to effectively overcome the first pass effect.
They’ve developed novel chemistry techniques that are now common in drug delivery science and are super important because almost 40% of new drug compounds are hydrophobic and have the same oral bioavailability issues as CBD. [source]
Enter Water-Soluble CBD…
One of the primary ways to overcome the first-pass effect is to convert the naturally oil-soluble CBD extract into a water-soluble form. This makes total sense, especially when considering the fact that the average adult is somewhere from 50–60% water.
WE ARE WATER | Photo by Amritanshu Sikdar
So how does this happen? Well, the technique that we use at UnCanny Wellness is known as Self-Emulsifying Drug Delivery System [SEDDS], and possesses unparalleled potential in improving oral bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs. [source]
Basically, you can think of CBD extract in oil form is a big blob (very scientific, I know). When this blob of oil enters your stomach it’s too large to pass through your gut lining and enter systemic circulation without being broken down by enzymes and passed along the the liver for processing.
By converting the oil to a water-soluble powder, the oil-blob is broken down into tiny, micro-sized pieces. These pieces of oil are very, very small, and are encapsulated within other non-toxic materials to ensure they remain stable in this new form. The end result of this process is an off-white, water-soluble, micro-encapsulated, full-spectrum, CBD hemp extract.
This conversion process completely overcomes the first-pass effect, and allows CBD oil (and other similar compounds) to be consumed orally without sacrificing bioavailability.
Why should you care?
Converting CBD oil to a water-soluble powder greatly increases the ways in which it can be used. Not everyone wants to hold a tincture under their tongue or hit a vape pen in order to get their dose of CBD.
When we take a look what’s on the shelves of health and wellness aisles in natural food stores, we can see that there are an overwhelmingly large amount of capsules and drink-powders. Only by converting CBD oil into a water-soluble powder can we effectively incorporate CBD into these types of products.
Water-soluble CBD powder opens up a world of possibilities. Not only does it allow us to effectively use capsules as a form of precise CBD delivery, but it also lets us use CBD in any drink or food product we can imagine.
CBD & Coffee — a lovely combination | Photo by Wu Yi
Want to infuse CBD into your pasta sauce? Sure.
How about throwing some CBD into that latte? No problem at all.
CBD in your smoothie? Done deal.
As you can see, water-soluble CBD powder has endless potential. It makes the most sense for widespread adoption and use in our everyday lives. Sure, you could just drop some CBD oil into any of the examples above. But how much would you actually be absorbing? Not much at all…
It would be like paying for a full tank of gas and only getting 10–20%. That’s simply unacceptable.
Supplementing your wellness routine with a powerful plant compound like CBD does not need to be a chore. As a species, we’ve grown up with the cannabis plant, and hemp has played such an important role in our history.
We all contain an incredibly complex and important endocannabinoid system in our body that helps to regulate the function of our nervous and immune systems. Activating this system with CBD supplementation is something that nearly everyone can benefit from.
It’s time to start firing that system up with water-soluble CBD !
Water-Soluble vs. Oil-Soluble CBD : What You Need To Know Hemp-derived CBD oil has gone mainstream. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is an incredibly beneficial plant compound derived from Hemp. Although not everyone knows about it yet, the vast majority of people out there that have heard about it associate it with oil
What is CBD isolate and what is it used for?
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- What is CBD isolate?
- Benefits of CBD isolate
- How CBD isolate is made
- How to use CBD isolate
- Buying CBD isolate
Following the mainstream emergence of cannabidiol (CBD) products, there’s another compelling option out there for those who want to experience the potential therapeutic effects of CBD without even the smallest trace of THC. It may not receive the same amount of hype as CBD lattes or infused facial moisturizers, but CBD isolate is actually one of the most distinct and versatile forms of CBD on the market.
While it’s true that hemp-derived CBD doesn’t have the same psychoactive effects as THC, that doesn’t mean it’s completely free of THC. According to federal law established following the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, hemp plants and hemp-derived products are legally permitted to contain 0.3% THC or less.
Thankfully for those who want to dabble in the world of CBD but get cold feet after hearing about the presence of THC in hemp-derived products, there’s still a way to enjoy the benefits of this cannabinoid without other unwanted plant parts. CBD isolate could be the right product for you.
CBD isolate is an option for those who want to experience the potential therapeutic effects of CBD without even the smallest trace of THC.
What is CBD isolate?
CBD isolate is a crystalline solid or powder that contains 99% pure CBD. A traditional extraction process removes all the active compounds from the cannabis plant, followed by a refinement process that strips away all other phytocannabinoids, including THC, and any plant matter, leaving behind nothing but the CBD chemical compound in its purest form.
Depending on the process, the resulting product is either large CBD crystals or a fine white powder that resembles confectioner’s sugar. While there may be a slight residual cherry flavor, neither form of CBD isolate should contain a distinct odor or taste. But don’t be fooled by its dull demeanor — there are actually a number of reasons to get excited about CBD isolate and all that it has to offer.
Benefits of CBD isolate
It might not seem as appealing as the well-packaged CBD oil or topicals, but CBD crystalline is surprisingly versatile when it comes to consumption, and there are a number of benefits to using this pure powder over other conventional forms of CBD.
For starters, true CBD isolates should consist of nothing but pure CBD, so there’s no need to worry about THC possibly entering your system and showing up on a potential drug test. Although it’s highly unlikely, trace amounts of THC found in hemp-derived CBD oil can possibly cause a positive drug screening result.
Many Modes of Consumption
As we’ll discuss in detail below under How to Use CBD Isolates, another clear-cut advantage is the many inventive ways CBD isolate can be prepared for use. Whether it’s administered sublingually or mixed with food and drinks, this crystalline powdered CBD works well in a variety of consumption methods.
Easier to Dose
It’s also incredibly easy to measure CBD isolate dosages, as there’s nothing else to account for aside from the pure CBD crystals. With other CBD-based products, such as broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oil, the cannabinoid is mixed with other ingredients, making it more difficult to quantify the exact amount of CBD that is being consumed.
It’s incredibly easy to measure CBD isolate dosages, as there’s nothing else to account for aside from the pure CBD crystals.
The Case Against CBD Isolate
While CBD isolate might sound like the best approach to CBD for you, keep in mind that there is also a key disadvantage to isolating CBD from other cannabis compounds. Research has shown that the combination of cannabinoids and terpenes generates an entourage effect, a synergistic interaction that boosts the individual effects of each compound involved.
How CBD isolate is made
There are various processes used to produce CBD isolate from industrial hemp extracts, such as supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) or ethanol-based extractions. The same extraction methods can also be used as a starting point for the production of THC isolate as well, but typically with marijuana plants instead of industrial hemp. When the CBD extraction process takes place, a number of components are removed from the hemp plant, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, as well as fats, lipids, and other compounds. After that, the CBD compound needs to be separated from the rest of the extraction, which is done through a series of washing and separation processes.
The process begins with the initial wash, which is usually done with a mixture of hexane, an extracting hydrocarbon, and acetic acid. Once these chemical solvents are combined, the next step is the winterization process, effectively separating the lipids, waxes, and fats from extracts, followed by the removal of impurities and unwanted plant particles. These chemicals then need to be removed from the resulting extract. Rotary evaporators and falling-film units are devices that utilize heat and pressure to carefully separate solvents from compounds.
From here, the remaining cannabis compounds need to be refined even further through preparative chromatography, a separation process that separates cannabinoids by putting them through various chemicals at different speeds. Again, because additional chemicals were introduced, they must be removed via distillation before the final product can be prepared for consumption.
Once all of the impurities and solvents are stripped away, you’re left with 99% pure CBD crystalline.
How to use CBD isolate
While you might not know what to do with a pile of odorless CBD isolate powder at first, there are a number of different ways to consume CBD isolate. Here are some of the most common ways:
To take CBD isolate sublingually, you can apply the CBD powder directly underneath your tongue and hold it there for about 60 seconds. With this method, the CBD is absorbed by the mucous membranes and delivered directly to the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system and liver to provide more immediate and effective relief.
Create Custom CBD Oil or Topicals
If you want to take the DIY route, you can also mix CBD isolate with a carrier oil, such as medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil or olive oil, to make your own CBD oil. This will allow you to enjoy the convenience of more conventional CBD products while still maintaining full control over the CBD dosage. For topicals, mix the CBD isolate with skin oils and apply the homemade concoction to the area of your skin you’d like to treat.
For topicals, mix the CBD isolate with skin oils and apply the homemade concoction to the area of your skin you’d like to treat.
CBD isolate can be mixed with terpenes to create homemade CBD concentrates that can be vaped or dabbed. The isolate can also be made into crystal slabs that can be dabbed on a traditional oil rig.
CBD crystalline can be measured out and put into capsules or pills, allowing you to ingest an accurately measured dosage. You can also mix CBD isolate with a variety of ingredients to create CBD-infused food and drinks. However, because CBD is not absorbed very well by the gastrointestinal tract, it has a low oral bioavailability. In order to increase bioavailability, CBD isolate can be added to carrier oils, such as MCT oil, to increase its chances of permeating the gastrointestinal system and reaching the bloodstream.
Buying CBD isolate
When shopping for CBD isolate, it’s important to look for products from reputable companies that are lab-tested by a third-party source, ensuring that your isolate doesn’t contain any THC, additional plant materials, or other impurities.
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