Water Soluble CBD – An in depth look into water soluble technologies

Water Soluble CBD – An in depth look into water soluble technologies and methods.

Water soluble CBD is becoming more popular as an added ingredient to CBD tinctures, capsules, edibles, beverages and topical cosmetics. It comes in many forms both, liquid and powder and is manufactured by a variety of methods. This article will break down the main types of water soluble CBD available and the technical and regulatory considerations you should take when developing a product using water soluble CBD.

Is CBD (Cannabidiol) Water soluble?

CBD is hydrophobic, meaning it is insoluble in water.
To prevent separation of the oily compounds in water based products, it is necessary to create a water compatible micro-encapsulation of the CBD extract or CBD isolate.

There are a variety of technologies available and each have their own advantages and disadvantages. We are constantly looking for better technologies, making sure they are excellent and can benefit from economy of scale, as this is what our clients require to successfully market these new products.

This article will discuss this method and the other common methods of creating a water soluble product.

Different Types Of Water Soluble CBD

There are five main methods of creating water soluble CBD products

• Nano-Emulsification
• Micelle
• Liposome
• Stabilized Suspension
• Esterification


Nanoemulsions are nano-sized emulsions, which are manufactured for improving the delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients. These are the thermodynamically stable isotropic system in which two immiscible liquids are mixed to form a single phase by means of an emulsifying agent.

When creating nano-emulsified CBD, the CBD is dissolved in a carrier oil that remains liquid at a wide temperature range. It is then blended with an emulsifier which is also termed a surfactant. These work at the interface of the oil and water to stabilize the droplet . This oil phase is added to water and mixed to form a coarse emulsion (stabilized droplets of oil dispersed in water). The coarse emulsion is then nano-emulsified with a high pressure emulsifier to create very small droplets (~250nm) which are stable over long periods of time without agglomerating (recombining), creaming (floating to the top) or sedimenting (sinking to the bottom).

Nano Emulsified Water Soluble CBD  - CBD Oil Europe


A Micelle is a small sphere, composed of ‘surfactants’, small molecules that are ‘amphiphilic’ (they have a water-loving head but a water-repelling tail). These properties make them form microscopic bubbles that can be made to contain another (fatty) compound.
Encapsulated this way, the CBD molecules can be equally distributed through water.

Micelle Water Soluble CBD - CBD Oil Europe


A liposome is similar to a micelle, with the main difference being that a liposome bubble is composed of 2 layers of surfactants. Fatty compounds can be stored in between the two layers, where the hydrophobic tails of the surfactants face each other.

Liposomal Water Soluble CBD - CBD Oil Europe

Stabilized Suspension

In stabilized suspension, CBD is present in water as a nano-sized suspended solid. It’s further stabilized using a few different techniques.
Charge stabilization: A negatively or positively charged chemical that associates with the CBD particles, preventing them from recombining to form larger particles.

Water Soluble CBD - Steric Stabilization and Elecrostatic Stabilization - CBD Oil Europe


CBD can be chemically modified to form esters, which increases its solubility in water. This technique is commonly used with pharmaceutical active ingredients, but requires significant chemical treatment of the base molecule, along with further extraction and purification to remove residual chemicals. Esterified pharmaceuticals are often referred to as “prodrugs” because the active form is created when the ester is lost. Esterified CBD dissolved in water forms a solution.

Water Soluble CBD Liquids

Water soluble CBD Liquids can be encapsulated in soft gels or hard capsules. The nature of their formulation means they have a higher absorption rate than conventional CBD products as the nano particles can be absorbed directly without being metabolised by the liver. This means you can get the same effects by using less product. Water soluble products used in this way will be subject to novel food regulations.

Water Soluble CBD Powder

When choosing a water soluble CBD powder the main consideration should be how will it be ingested by your customer. Will it be mixed and consumed straight away, or do you need the product to dissolve and stay in solution without separating.

CBD powders can be perfect for mixing into protein bars or dissolution immediately in an energy recovery drink prior to consumption and for manufacturing of slurries, semi-solid, and solid products.

Water Soluble CBD for drinks and beverages

When choosing a water soluble product for drinks and beverages you should take into account if the drink will be carbonated and the Ph level of the drink. Low Ph products can disrupt the emulsion.  Also the type of container used can also influence certain types of water soluble CBD.

If you are making a water soluble CBD water, the taste of the CBD should also be taken into account. Do you need to add any other flavourings to mask this. We can provide specialised nano formulations that are tasteless and clear and are ideal for making CBD water.


For more information on our bulk water soluble products click here

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