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With many options for CBD products available today, it’s hard to know what’s right for you. Find out more about oil-based and water-soluble CBD here. If you are keen on understanding more about CBD or CBD products, CALL The Hemp Doctor today to learn more. We will answer all of your questions. Water-Soluble CBD 101: The difference between oil-based and water-soluble CBD Supplements: It’s not always about what you take, but what your body absorbs. No matter the potency of a product, it

Water-soluble CBD 101: Oil-Based vs Water-Soluble

Not all cannabidiol (CBD) products are developed in the same way. If you look closely, you will see that some are oil-based, while others are water-soluble.

In This Article

  • Water-soluble CBD characteristics
  • Benefits of water-soluble CBD
  • Oil-based CBD characteristics
  • Benefits of oil-based CBD

When CBD is extracted from cannabis sativa (or hemp) plants, it is in the form of a waxy or oily mixture. This can be dissolved in a carrier oil such as MCT and this is how most people ingested CBD for several years. However, technology and scientific research have meant this oil can be further processed to create water-miscible CBD or what some refer to as water-soluble CBD products.

You may think this doesn’t make much difference, and any product you buy will provide the same results. However, the reality is that whether a product is oil-based or water-soluble may affect how long it takes to be absorbed by the body and how long the effects last.

This article will examine the differences between oil-based and water-soluble CBD, helping you decide which product is the right choice for you.

What is water-soluble CBD

Water-soluble CBD undergoes a process where it is formulated into a water miscible format such as an emulsion which disperses freely in water rather than floating on the surface.

Up to 60% of the adult body is made of water , and H2O can be found in all organs and tissues. Even our bones are one-third water!

This means water-soluble CBD will be absorbed into the body more easily and quickly, resulting in more of it entering your bloodstream. This is known as bioavailability.

With water-soluble CBD, the CBD bypasses the ‘first pass effect’. Oil-based CBD formulations appear to go through the liver where much of the CBD gets metabolized and excreted from the body. This means more time is required for the CBD to take effect and much less is absorbed. As water-soluble CBD is in a form that circumvents the liver and takes effect faster.

While there are fewer water-soluble CBD products on the market than oil-based ones, there is still a decent range to choose from, including food and drink supplements, capsules and liquids.

There are three different kinds of water-soluble CBD available: CBD isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum. CBD isolate and broad-spectrum do not contain any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound associated with cannabis.

Water-soluble CBD characteristics

Water-soluble CBD can be created in a variety of ways. Here are three ways that oil-based CBD can be converted into a water-soluble solution.


Nanoemulsion technology is commonly used in the food and drink industry, for example, to reduce the fat content of ice cream and salad dressings. This method has now been applied to the CBD industry too.

Ultrasound or high shear mixers are used to break the CBD oil solutions down into smaller emulsified oil droplets known as nanoemulsions. The smaller the droplets, the more they will be able to penetrate the tissues in the body.


Microemulsion is similar to nanoemulsion, but the particles created are slightly larger. This means lower bioavailability.


A water-resistant liposome is placed around individual oil droplets, protecting them from being ingested too soon.

This technology has been used with vitamins to increase bioavailability and is now being used with CBD products.

Benefits of water-soluble CBD

As you can see, some effort is needed to create water-soluble CBD, but the effects are worth it. Here are some of the benefits that water-soluble CBD can offer.

It’s more readily absorbed

Water-soluble CBD usually has higher bioavailability than oil-based CBD, meaning you get the full benefit of the product you ingest.

Studies have shown water-soluble CBD is 4.5 times more bioavailable than the oil-based equivalent.

It absorbs faster

Water-soluble CBD is absorbed more quickly by the body. In fact, water-soluble CBD only takes 0.7 hours (about 40 minutes) to reach maximum concentration.

It tastes nicer

When you ingest oil-based CBD products, you also ingest the carrier oil that has been used. These can vary in flavor, from grassy and earthy to downright bitter.

As water doesn’t taste of anything, you don’t get that unpleasant aftertaste with water-soluble CBD. Another advantage of water-soluble products is that you can add them to any food or drink without altering the flavor or making them greasy.

What is oil-based CBD?

If you’ve ever shopped online for CBD cream or picked up a jar of gummies at your local store or dispensary, the chances are that the product was oil-based.

Oil-based CBD (or CBD oil) is one of the most common CBD products available on the market. This is because when CBD is extracted from cannabis, it’s already in oil form. It’s then added to a food-grade carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil, to be diluted.

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You can consume oil-based CBD in many ways, including:

  • Orally – capsules, gummies, oils and food and drink supplements
  • Topically – creams, lotions and massage oils

Like water-soluble CBD, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate oils do not contain any THC.

Oil-based CBD characteristics

We mentioned earlier that the body is predominantly made of water, which is why water-soluble CBD works so well.

Conversely, oil does not mix with water. This is because water molecules are polar, while oil molecules are not. Like holding two magnets the wrong way round, water and oil will always repel each other. We go into more detail about this on our blog here .

What does this mean for oil-based CBD products?

It makes it harder for the body to break down and absorb CBD. Oil-based CBD can be 4.5 times less bioavailable than water-soluble CBD. In fact, the bioavailability of oil-based CBD can be as low as 6% in some products.

Oil-based CBD is also a victim of the first-pass effect, where it mostly gets metabolized by the liver and excreted from the body.

Benefits of oil-based CBD

While there are many advantages to water-soluble CBD products, oil-based CBD does have its uses.

It’s more readily available

As it’s more expensive to process water-soluble CBD, there are currently more oil-based CBD products available on the market, making it easier to find the one that suits your needs.

However, as technology advances and becomes more affordable, we predict a wide range of water-soluble products will be on offer.

Is oil-based or water-soluble CBD better?

The right CBD product for you will depend on your specific needs and lifestyle. However, based on the available evidence and benefits, if you want a faster-acting better absorbed product, we recommend water-soluble CBD products every time.

At Next Evo Naturals, the CBD products we sell are water-soluble. We use our exclusive SmartSorb™ technology, which is clinically proven in several human studies to deliver four times the CBD into your bloodstream in as little as ten minutes. Learn more about Smartsorb technology in our blog.


American Journal of Endocannabinoid Medicine – Liposomal cannabidiol delivery: a pilot study

Is Water-Soluble CBD Better Than CBD Oil?

One of the most popular groups of products on the market – and one that’s gaining traction like crazy – are those that contain CBD. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of over 100 chemical compounds (referred to as cannabinoids) that comes from cannabis plants.

They can be used for many different purposes, they come in many forms, and they’re completely safe for use.

But, as consumers decide how and when to incorporate CBD products into their daily routines, one aspect to consider is the two most popular forms that CBD can come in. Here, we’ll be focusing specifically on water-soluble CBD in comparison to CBD oil, the characteristics and uses of each, and how to determine which might be a better fit for your lifestyle needs.

What Is CBD Oil?

First, let’s talk about CBD oil. Without a doubt, it’s one of the more common CBD products you will see on the shelves these days, but equally as common are some of the misperceptions that surround it. Essentially, CBD oil is simply any product where its CBD component has been extracted from a cannabis plant, then added to an oil (such as coconut or hemp seed oil, for example) to be diluted.

What Are the Characteristics of CBD Oil?

Because CBD oil is an oil, just like any other, its characteristics are similar to those of other oil types. Though it contains CBD (which, you’ll recall, is a cannabinoid), CBD oil does not contain another well-known cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the chemical compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of “getting high” that users often experience when using marijuana and other cannabis products. Because CBD oil does not contain THC, a key characteristic of CBD oil is its ability to transfer some of the benefits of cannabis, but without the psychoactive “high” sensation.

As an oil, consumers can use CBD oil in a variety of ways. Users can ingest CBD oil, apply it topically, or inhale it. But, given the physiological constraints that oil undergoes while being digested in our digestive systems, researchers have concluded that rubbing CBD oil directly onto the skin, dropping some under the tongue, or even vaping the oil can bypass these digestive blockages and allow all of the CBD and its benefits to enter the body’s circulation. If CBD oil is ingested normally, it’s estimated that only about 10 to 20 percent will actually reach the bloodstream.

What Is Water-Soluble CBD?

Like CBD oil, water-soluble CBD does not contain THC which, you’ll recall, is what produces the psychoactive “high” effects. But, unlike CBD oil, water-soluble CBD is a CBD extract that has been scientifically converted to a water-soluble form, making it much easier for the body to absorb.

What Are the Characteristics of Water-Soluble CBD?

CBD, a naturally oil-soluble substance, is converted into a water-soluble one by way of breaking down the oil into small particles then coating the particles with a bio-encapsulation that ensures the CBD is stabilized. In essence, what we are left with is a light, water-soluble, powdery CBD extract that can be fully digested and absorbed by the body.

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What Are the Common Uses of Water-Soluble CBD?

Once CBD oil has been encapsulated to be made water-soluble, its uses can be expanded to nearly any product in which consumers want to include it. Because of its amazing potential to be fully absorbed in the body, water-soluble CBD gets more bang for its buck when added to drinks, foods, or other means of consumption. When water-soluble CBD is used in this capacity, there’s no fear of low CBD absorption levels, nor is there fear of psychoactive effects (since, again, water-soluble CBD does not contain THC).

When Is It Better to Use Water-Soluble CBD?

Though choosing between water-soluble CBD products and CBD oil products is obviously each individual’s choice, the key to deciding which could be right for you is by evaluating your priorities.

Do you like the taste of CBD oil? Do you like applying it topically to your skin as part of your care regimen? And how about vaping CBD oil – do you enjoy it? If so, continuing to use CBD oil as a means to glean its benefits, while also enjoying the product itself, is perfectly fine and recommended.

If you’re not a strong fan of CBD oil’s taste, if you’re not interested in using it as a skin enhancer, or if you’re not interested in vaping the oil, water-soluble CBD is the better option to choose.

If you’re simply interested in getting the maximal results of CBD, without the psychoactive effects of THC, consider incorporating water-soluble CBD products into your diet.

In conclusion, is water-soluble CBD better than CBD oil? Though each individual’s CBD priorities will affect the answer to this question, there’s no denying that water-soluble CBD is more easily absorbed by the body through a wider variety of consumption methods.

But, the choice is yours.

How Do I Get the Most Out of My CBD?

If you are taking your CBD orally through a tincture, softgel, or edible the CBD is going to pass through your digestive tract before it gets to your bloodstream. This is why we suggest taking your oral CBD with or directly after a meal. By doing so, the processing of the CBD by your stomach and liver is slower than if you were to take it on an empty stomach.

By slowing the processing down the CBD and other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes that are contained in your product have more time to get into your bloodstream, thereby increasing their effectiveness. An additional note if you are ingesting CBD oil: because it is oil-soluble the best type of meal to eat before taking your CBD is one that is high in healthy fats, like fish or avocados. This not only slows the processing of the beneficial cannabinoids, but the fats will also help to break them down in order to get a higher absorption rate.

Another factor to getting the most out of your CBD is maintaining its potency with proper storage. Always keep the lid to your product tightly sealed when not in use, and store it in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight.

Interested in Learning More about Which CBD Product Is Right for You?

If you’re interested in learning more about what you can expect from CBD oil and water-soluble CBD, look no further than The Hemp Doctor.

At The Hemp Doctor, our goal is to give customers accurate information on CBD and hemp products and to provide only the best, safest, and purest hemp and CBD products available on the market. If you’re interested in learning more about CBD products, how water-soluble CBD differs from CBD oil, and how you can use both in a variety of ways, contact us online today.

Water-Soluble CBD 101: The difference between oil-based and water-soluble CBD

Supplements: It’s not always about what you take, but what your body absorbs. No matter the potency of a product, it can all go to waste if your body is unable to absorb the nutrients. No one wants to order a perfectly portioned and delicious meal to only be allowed to eat a fraction of it, but sometimes we’re only getting a fraction of the supplements we’re taking.

We all know that oil and water don’t mix, but water makes up more than half of our bodies. So, when we try to orally consume oil-based CBD products, they aren’t working their way into our systems as well as they could. For years, water-soluble vitamins have been a hot topic for better and faster absorption, and now CBD has been formulated into a water-soluble product for those very reasons. Here’s everything you need to know about this fast-acting and superior absorption CBD product.

Why Water-Soluble is the Most Effective CBD Product

A key term in the supplements world is “bioavailability.” This term is defined as the amount of a substance that enters the bloodstream when introduced into the body and so is able to have an active effect. Stripped of the scientific jargon, it’s the number of nutrients and components in the product that are actually absorbed . In regards to CBD, if a CBD product has high bioavailability this means that it contains CBD that is processed in a way that it can be absorbed at a higher rate.

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We lose the bioavailability of vitamins and supplements (CBD included) through something called the first-pass metabolism effect . The first-pass metabolism effect is when supplements are metabolized at a specific location in the body that results in a reduced concentration of the product once it does reach its site of action or the systemic circulation.

When swallowing an oil-based CBD product, most of the CBD is destroyed when passing through the body and into the liver. This happens before reaching general circulation, leaving a fraction left to reach the bloodstream.

One of the ruling ways to overcome the first-pass effect is to convert the naturally oil-soluble CBD extract into a water-soluble form. This makes sense because the average adult is anywhere from 50–65% water. So, w ater-soluble CBD is absorbed into your stomach and lymphatic system easier and at a higher concentration than the oil-based products.

This leads to another question: How do you convert an oil-based substance into something water-soluble?

How is Water-Soluble CBD Made?

CBD is hydrophobic, meaning that it does not dissolve in water on its own. It is also lipophilic, meaning that it dissolves in fat. These oil-based CBD particles need to be digested over time to shrink down to an absorbable size, this is why CBD is often recommended to be taken with food for better results. This ultimately results in the CBD losing its effectiveness over time as it is metabolized.

Although CBD is a naturally oil-soluble substance, it can be converted into a water-soluble one by a process called nano emulsification. CBD nanoemulsion involves the use of an emulsifier, this forces two typically incompatible substances (like oil and water) to mix with ease.

Nano emulsification causes CBD particles to explode into even smaller ones without losing their value.

After reducing the size of CBD molecules, those CBD nanoparticles are then placed into a fatty emulsifier—where it dissolves in fat—so that, upon consumption, it reaches the bloodstream very quickly. This is what makes it possible for CBD and the water in the bloodstream to mix.

Not only are more of these nano-sized CBD particles reaching the bloodstream at a higher rate, but they’re getting there faster because they don’t need to latch onto fat and slowly digest over time. These nano-sized CBD particles are absorbed at a higher rate and rapidly , at a 5x-10x absorption rate potency. This superior absorption and fast action make it easier to take your daily CBD dosage with water, coffee, or any other beverage that can be sipped on while bustling through the day.

What to Look for (and what to avoid) in Water-Soluble Products

Additional ingredients and processing are necessary to achieve this nanoparticle sizing, so it’s important to know what to look for when considering Water-Soluble CBD. Organic hemp-derived CBD is vastly different from conventional CBD that is available nearly everywhere nowadays (including gas stations- stay away!). To ensure that your product experience is optimally safe, always look for clean, natural ingredients, and 3rd party testing certification.

Oil Benefits,Why it’s Still a Valuable Product

The first-pass metabolism only affects the bioavailability of CBD when consumed orally, and while orally consuming oil-based products might have downsides for absorbing CBD, there are other more effective consumption methods for CBD oils and oil-based products.

Dropping some tincture under the tongue and allowing it to absorb through your salivary glands is less affected by the first-pass metabolism as well. We know supplement regimes are sacred to each individual and it’s hard to make a change from something you already love, but there are ways to ensure you’re getting optimal use out of your supplement favorites (woohoo!).

Rubbing CBD balms and creams into your skin—applying oil-based products topically allows the absorption of CBD through the skin, thus delivering the substance directly into your system. This method doesn’t inhibit first-pass concentration reduction at all.

The Bottom Line

T he benefit of taking water-soluble is that there are no guessing games, you’re sure to reap the benefits to its full potential. And it’s a savvy vantage for your supplement budget, being able to take lesser dosages for more.

There’s no denying that water-soluble CBD is more easily absorbed by the body and dramatically impacts the overall CBD experience and benefit, but choosing between Water-Soluble and Oil-Based CBD is about each individual’s choice and preference. Each product has its respectable benefits and key attributes to a supplement regime, but if you’re looking to get more out of your CBD intake, introducing water-soluble into your everyday life could enhance your overall CBD experience and save you money.

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