If you’ve been paying attention to the cannabis scene, you may have noticed a new buzzword, “water-soluble cannabis.”
Cannabinoids are naturally hydrophobic, meaning that they are lipid-based and don’t mix well with water. This characteristic has posed a significant challenge to edibles makers and other cannabis-oriented manufacturers—until now.
Not only do water-soluble cannabinoids offer you an even greater choice of cannabis products, but they’re also more bioavailable, giving them more therapeutic value.
Check out our quick run-down of water-soluble cannabinoids and how you can benefit from them.
What Is Water-Soluble Cannabis?
In short, water-soluble cannabis allows cannabinoids like CBD and THC to mix with water instead of requiring an oil or alcohol-based solvent. Using technology from soft-drink makers, manufacturers of water-soluble cannabinoids employ a simple process called emulsification to break cannabis clusters into smaller sizes.
Manufacturers make cannabinoids water-soluble through three primary processes:
- Physical Dispersion: This process is similar to mixing up a bottle of salad dressing. Physical dispersion is inexpensive and simple, but the contents generally reseparate, and the process doesn’t protect the mixture from oxidation.
- Using Co-Solvents: During this process, the cannabinoids are blended with a solvent that mixes well with water. However, using this method introduces the risk of residual solvents in the final product.
- Ultrasound: The ultrasound method involves breaking the cannabinoid up into smaller particles by passing a sonic wave through the material. The downside is that this process requires the use of surfactants and costly equipment.
- Emulsification: As mentioned earlier, most manufacturers create water-soluble cannabis through emulsification. This process uses a food-grade emulsifier to prevent the cannabinoids from separating from the water. Once the product has been emulsified, the manufacturer tests the mixture to ensure that the emulsion will remain stable for at least a year and that the particles have consistent sizes so that the customer can be certain about dosages.
Benefits of Water-Soluble Cannabis
Now that you have a better understanding of the emulsification process, you’re probably wondering, “How does water-soluble cannabis benefit me?”
Water-Soluble Cannabis Provides Greater Bioavailability.
The human body is comprised of over 60% water. This composition means that the body must process oils through the liver before passing them on to the bloodstream. Unfortunately, many of these oil-based cannabinoids remain in the liver, and you never get the full benefit of your CBD oil or cannabis edible.
Making water-soluble cannabis products also accelerates the onset of effects. Waiting up to two hours for ingested cannabis to kick in can be excruciating, especially if you’re consuming them for therapeutic purposes. Water-soluble cannabis can reduce wait times to just 10-20 minutes.
Water-Soluble Cannabis Offers an Expanded Range of Products.
Water-soluble cannabis helps edibles makers offer more consistent products and expands the kinds of infused recipes they can create. In liquid form, water-soluble cannabis is ideal for infused beverages and topicals like shampoo. Edible makers typically use powdered water-soluble cannabis for baked goods. Water-soluble powders also work well for making on-the-spot fizzy drinks, much the same as vitamin C packs.
As with any cannabis product, we recommend that you examine the official Certificates of Analysis for potency and purity. With water-soluble cannabis, you’ll also want to check for stability, homogeneity, and accurate dosing.