Is All CBD Water-Soluble?

Have you heard the phrase, “oil and water do not mix?” If you’re unfamiliar and haven’t seen it in action, go ahead and test it out for yourself. Pour a few drops of oil into a cup of water and watch what happens—the oil separates from the water and floats to the top. This reaction, or lack thereof, is due to the fact that oil molecules are less dense than water, non-polar, and hydrophobic. As a result, oil in its natural state is not water-soluble. This is true for petroleum, canola oil, olive oil, and very importantly, cannabidiol (CBD) oil.

Naturally, you might wonder what water solubility has to do with CBD administration, and this leads to the question, how does CBD work in the body? When you consider the fact that nearly two-thirds of the human body is composed of water, the efficacy of CBD oil can be severely hampered if only a small amount can actually be absorbed into the bloodstream, leaving much of it wasted. In order to remedy this issue, several CBD oil manufacturers have begun to develop water-soluble CBD oils. Below, we will discuss the scientific process behind this, and why you should only purchase CBD products that are water-soluble.

The Push for Water-Soluble CBD

The push for water-soluble CBD oil is a relatively new phenomenon inspired by the concerted efforts of vitamin, supplement, and pharmaceutical companies to increase the bioavailability of CBD products in order to enhance their potency and efficacy. BioCBD+ was one of the first companies to successfully pursue this and became the world’s first water-soluble CBD company over 4 years ago.   

  • Bioavailability – The percentage of a drug or other substance which actually enters the bloodstream when introduced into the body, thus creating an active effect.

Without enhancements, if a drug, supplement, or vitamin is in its oil or crystalline form, approximately 10% of it will be absorbed due to its water-insoluble properties. This is incredibly inefficient and drives up the cost for both the company and the consumer.

To make matters worse, a large percentage of these drugs and molecules are not expelled, but rather, stored in your fat. A 2007 study found the following:

Substances that are poorly soluble in water and quite soluble in fat have relatively free access, via lipid-rich cellular membranes, to the cells of all organs including the ability to cross the blood-brain and placental barriers. While their characteristic lipophilicity permits drugs and medications to reach target tissues, thereby producing therapeutic effects in the present, current perceptions of risk may be ignoring the possibility that adipose accumulations of illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals may lead to future patterns of ill health similar to those associated with exposure to other categories of xenobiotic chemicals.

It concludes that the accumulation of drugs in fat storage can result in toxic levels, possibly resulting in:

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Cravings
  • Inflammation
  • Lowered cognitive functioning
  • Lowered energy levels

Seeing this mounting issue, pharmaceutical companies scrambled to solve the problem. So, it’s no wonder that the CBD industry also began to focus on the bioavailability problem with CBD by searching for processes by which they could make water soluble CBD.

What is Water-Soluble CBD?

As mentioned, not all CBD is water-soluble. Various studies indicate that only 5% to 6% of CBD oil that is insoluble gets absorbed into the system. This results in very little direct relief or therapeutic benefits. The answer to this problem was found in artificially creating “water-soluble CBD”.

It is important to note that while the label “water-soluble” does carry an element of truth with it, it is not entirely factual. CBD molecules can never fully dissolve in water. No drug or substance can achieve 100% absorption. The only theoretical way for this to be possible would be to inject the water-soluble products directly into the bloodstream. However, CBD can be made “water-soluble” by chemically altering it to make it more attuned to water and thereby improve absorption and bioavailability.

With that in mind, water-soluble CBD is far more effective than its base form. Its improved bioavailability and absorption rates result in an increased percentage of CBD in the bloodstream, and thus a more active therapeutic impact on the body.  When we say water-soluble CBD, we mean that the CBD oil has been chemically modified to be far less hydrophobic than its natural state. It’s important to have an understanding of this and the varying effects on the body whether you’re a CBD consumer or CBD distributor.

How is Water-Soluble CBD Made?

If you were to add oil and water into a bottle and then shake it up, you would see that there is a dispersion of oil droplets in the water. Once you stop shaking, they begin to separate again. The goal of water solubility is to prevent this final stage from happening. Commonly one of two additives are used to achieve this permanent dispersal:

  1. Surfactant – Compounds that lower the surface tension between two liquids or between a liquid and a solid.
  2. Emulsifier – Additive that helps two liquids mix by producing or stabilizing emulsion. Technically, it is a class of surfactant. An emulsifier is made up of a hydrophilic head and hydrophobic tail; the head connects to the water, the tail to the oil. The emulsifier reduces surface tension between the two liquids, thus stabilizing emulsion.

There are four main methods for creating water-soluble CBD.

Nanoemulsions and Nanoparticles

These are the most popular methods used today to improve solubility; however, they are not precisely the same, so it is important to differentiate the two.

  • Nanoparticles – These are typically active ingredient and carrier particles that are dispersed through ultrasonication (sound waves/frequencies) to disrupt the particle size of both the CBD and the carrier. This breaks down the molecules into smaller and smaller pieces known as nanoparticles. These are still composed of the carrier and active ingredient but are far smaller, and thus are more capable of passing through membrane walls in this diminished state.
  • Nanoemulsions – These are a mixture of the nanoparticles and emulsions of surfactant droplets created to reduce the surface tension of the liquid oils, thus further improving bioavailability. This process allows the nanoparticles to avoid absorption in the stomach by entering the bloodstream immediately. As a result, the CBD oil can work quicker and more effectively. Water-soluble CBD oil created via nanoemulsion is typically tasteless and can be easily added to food or drinks.

A 2013 study found that nano-emulsifying drug delivery systems were, “Accountable for improved bioavailability and reduced variability of Class-2 compounds by SNEDDS: increased solubilization reduced intra enterocyte metabolism and reduced P-gp efflux. SNEDDS effect is reversible and doesn’t cause intestinal tissue or cell damage.”


This method uses emulsions of 1 micron (1/1000 millimeter) sized drops of carrier oil and surfactants. It tends to be unstable and separates into an oil layer at the top and a water layer at the bottom, with a mixture in between. Due to this lack of stability, this method is not ideal, but it is an okay at-home fix and works decently with a sublingual dose.


This method uses emulsion droplets that are just 10% the size of the macroemulsion. Because they are smaller, they are more stable than their larger counterparts; however, this method is not very popular, especially when compared to nanoemulsions. The large number of surfactants can leave a bad taste or result in health complications or unpleasant effects.

Liposomal CBD

Liposomes are made of a drug delivery system that are small spherical structures that contain a hydrophilic outer layer and hydrophobic bilayer. This allows the carriers to encapsulate CBD molecules, thus creating a liposomic transfer. This process is very complex and requires a large number of surfactants. While this method has the potential to gain ground within the CBD industry, the technology around liposomal CBD is still relatively new.

Benefits of Water-Soluble CBD

As noted, water-soluble CBD, especially that created by nanoemulsion, is the most efficient delivery method for CBD oil. This enhanced efficiency results in two main benefits:

  1. The CBD is absorbed quicker and more effectively, thus improving any potential effects.
  2. The CBD remedy is more affordable since you need less of it to achieve the intended effects.
  3. Water-Soluble CBD is more safe due to giving the body less to reach the desired effect.  We should only give the body what it needs and only what it can handle. Too much of anything, even CBD, can become toxic.  

Water-soluble CBD provides several additional benefits, such as:

  • It’s more bioavailable than the water-insoluble CBD products currently on the market.
  • It’s an easy method for administering CBD.
  • The potential therapeutic effects of the CBD are felt much sooner.
  • A vial of CBD oil lasts much longer since drops are more efficient.
  • It’s a better way to receive a reliable dose each time you use the CBD.
  • There is improved convenience, which allows you to bring the CBD oil with you and add it to your own food or drinks.

BioCBD+ Water-Soluble CBD Oil

BioCBD+ offers an all-natural, plant-based water-soluble CBD formulation for our capsules. Our proprietary, award-winning CBD formulations are made from agricultural hemp. Therefore, they contain non-detectable amounts of THC, which means that it’s 100% legal and will not result in any psychoactive effects common to THC.  

BioCBD+ has always endeavored to be at the forefront of technological change. Through the use of hybrid nanoengineering, we have helped to revolutionize the water-soluble CBD market. We are confident that our all-natural products utilize the best and safest source of water-soluble CBD available today. Our CBD products contain no:

  • Glycerin
  • Toxins
  • GMOs
  • Liposomes
  • Pesticides
  • Gluten
  • Sugar
  • Artificial coloring or flavoring

BioCBD+ Total Body Care CBD Capsules

The BioCBD+ Total Body Care CBD Capsules also feature water-soluble formulations that are 5 to 10 times more bioavailable than any oil-based CBD on the market. We attribute this to multiple water-soluble active ingredients including:

  • Hemp-Derived Organic CBD – Our CBD is made of the finest organically-grown hemp, which is cultivated in America and Northern Europe. There are no cheap isolates; we utilize the full spectrum plant that is triple tested to ensure 99.9% purity.
  • Magnesium – Magnesium is a vital mineral and electrolyte that aids in enzyme, muscle, and nerve function and is also a precursor for serotonin.
  • Curcumin – A component of turmeric root, Curcumin has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s been valued in Ayurvedic medicine for over 5,000 years.  This is also the ‘secret sauce’ that we use in our patent pending technology.

A 2018 study entitled, Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment, stated the following, “There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that cannabinoids are beneficial for a range of clinical conditions, including pain, inflammation, epilepsy, sleep disorders, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, anorexia, schizophrenia, and other conditions.” 

If you experience muscle pain, joint pain, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, insomnia, or a host of other issues, BioCBD+ may be able to help you.

In addition, as illustrated in the 507 patent, CBD may also be used to:

  • Increase antioxidants
  • Increase neuroprotectants
  • Possibly help in events of stroke and trauma
  • Potentially ease neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, HIV, or Dementia
  • Possibly aid in treating inflammatory and autoimmune diseases

Water Solubility and CBD

In summation, not all CBD is water-soluble. In its natural state, CBD oil does not mix with water. As a result, most of the oil does not enter the bloodstream and instead gets expelled or stored into fats. To increase bioavailability, nanoemulsion has become the most common solution for decreasing CBD oil’s hydrophobic reaction to water.

It’s important to find CBD oil products that are water-soluble if you want a product that is effective for your body and your wallet. Water-soluble CBD products like those from BioCBD+ have been created to enhance the effects of CBD, thereby improving your experience with the product and making the purchase more cost-effective overall.

BioCBD+ respects and appreciates the hard work the FDA does, and the disclosure below is required by  The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

FDA Disclosure:

The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.


  1. Cecchini, M. NCBI. Drug Residues Store in the Body Following Cessation of Use. (2006).
  2. Huestis, M. NCBI. Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics. (2009).
  3. Elgart, A. NCBI. Improved Oral Bioavailability of BCS Class 2 Compounds by Self Nano-Emulsifying Drug Delivery Systems. (2013).
  4. Bruni, N. NCBI. Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. (2018).
  5. Aidan, J. U.S. Patent Application.  Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants.




James Sol Radina

About James Sol Radina

As CEO and Co-Founder of BioCBD Plus™, James Sol Radina brings years of experience and accumulated expertise from the CBD industry. His interest originated in early 2014, when James embarked on a major filmmaking project to travel and study CBD around the world. Together with a team of filmmakers, he sought out to interview top doctors, scientists, and researchers about CBD, which, at the time, was relatively lesser known, but was starting a buzz in the market. After seeing first-hand the results that CBD had in the patients and experts they filmed, James was “all in!” and his business pursuits began. James started BioCBD Plus™ in 2015, with the goal to fill a niche void that existed in the CBD industry. With the knowledge he gained through his study of CBD, combined with new scientific research, he created the world’s first water-soluble, 100% BioAvailable CBD. The proprietary formula is whole-plant based and more easily absorbable by the body than other CBD products on the market, and the company’s product suite has continued to expand following its demonstrated success. The strength of James’ passion for CBD is matched by his dedication to volunteer service. He incorporated a strong socially responsible model to BioCBD Plus™, which supports The Veterans Discount Program and other programs through donations of CBD products to those who cannot afford them. Since the start of the company, James has also continued to be the inspirational energy behind the company’s beliefs and marketing strategy, which are driven by his commitment to spreading the science-based truth about CBD and bringing the healing benefits of the product to as many people as possible.

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