As with any industry, people are always looking to innovate which is a good thing, but genuine innovation can be hijacked into ‘marketing speak’ to part people with their cash. Cannabidiol is a fat-soluble molecule, the main reason it is typically taken with MCT (medium chain triglycerides) or other oils/fats. A number of groups are/have attempted to increase the bioavailability of CBD by nano-encapsulating CBD in lipids which can then be added to a range of water-based products. In normal speak, that means, technologies are used that wraps each CBD molecule in a little layer of fat, allowing it to be more easily absorbed by the body, or so proponents claim. The problem is, this technology is fairly rare and expensive; why then are water-soluble CBD products popping up everywhere? The short answer is because most aren’t water soluble, it simply says so on the label.
The most common application of water-soluble CBD is found in ‘CBD water’ and these sorts of products should be viewed with extreme scepticism. Depending on the specific manufacturing process, the often-tiny amount of CBD that ‘CBD water’ contains is likely rendered ineffective when it is exposed to light for an extended period of time, such as being stationary in a brightly lit supermarket refrigerator or storage facility all day. CBD products should be kept out of direct light, in order for the CBD not to destabilize. This is one of the main reasons that knowledgeable brands provide CBD in dark glass or completely opaque bottles.
Additionally, the previous point about cannabidiol being a fat-soluble molecule still stands meaning companies have to nano-encapsulate the CBD in lipids (fats), considerably raising the cost. You aren’t paying for CBD; you are paying for the technology used to create it (if it is even used in the first place).
Some manufacturing processes may be able to keep the components stable while exposed to light in the short term, but it will not remain stable if the water is sitting on a shelf for months or even weeks. Conversely, properly stored CBD oil can be viable for years if not opened and many months if opened.
As a final note, even if the CBD in CBD water is stable and viable, this, like most marketing ploys, is an extremely expensive way of buying CBD and does no favours to the environment with daily purchases of plastic bottles. Although we don’t yet know the therapeutic dose range of cannabinoids in humans, animal modelling and anecdotal evidence suggests around 10mg-25mg per day is a good starting point. Some CBD water, not naming any names, contains a pitiful 2mg of CBD per bottle meaning the average consumer would need to be drinking at least 5 bottles a day!
The CBD industry is rife for abuse, partly because it is the hot topic at the moment but also because there is genuine therapeutic potential in cannabinoids – it’s not nonsense science, it is legitimate, and people know the demand is there. When it comes to cannabinoids, all that really matters is the delivery to the blood, or for very specific injuries/pain, the local area.
Many of these goofy products springing up seem to completely forget that and instead use nice packaging and flowery descriptions to get you to buy into a product you don’t need. If you are serious about cannabinoids, then you need to consider the route of administration i.e. how much CBD is actually getting into your body.
Tinctures/oils are popular because they are a steadfast way of getting CBD and cannabinoids into your system. Pillow sprays, toothpicks (yes toothpicks!) and other nonsense like CBD -infused clothes are not sensible ways to direct cannabinoids into your body; they are an incredibly inefficient and thus expensive way of taking CBD.
If pillow sprays and mists are your thing and you fancy some with CBD then of course, give it a whirl, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a reliable, effective, or consistent way of taking CBD.
No we don’t, not fully.
Looking at the social media of CBD/Cannabis brands and advocacy groups would lead you to believe they are all run by the same person. Obviously, there are exceptions, but so many of them post the same infographics, the same medical claims and the same half-baked statements. Very few have original thoughts or tell their consumers anything new and many make factually incorrect statements.
Aside from medical claims and other ‘miracle cure’ claims, one of the main things we see is summaries of how cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system work. As a science-focussed brand we understand that not everyone cares about the nitty gritty details but there is a difference between a genuine summary based on data and a summary based on incorrect ideas that everyone is saying.
The reason we don’t post summaries like this is because science doesn’t yet know the answers. We can’t post a two-sentence summary about a system which is only now being scrutinised by researchers – to do s0, in our opinion would be dishonest.
The truth of the matter is that we don’t yet know how phyto-cannabinoids (like CBD) work in the human body; we have a basic understanding on which we are constantly building. We have some high-quality research that has demonstrated the receptors through which cannabinoids may be producing effects and numerous rodent studies suggest certain parts of the brain are more important in mediating the effects of cannabinoids than others. We also have data specifically about therapeutic application i.e. inflammation and mood disorders. We’re building a picture of how cannabinoids from plants interact with our own endocannabinoid system, but we are far away from drawing solid, over-arching conclusions.
Cannabinoids and terpenes have truly fantastic therapeutic potential and a wealth of pre-clinical data shows this which is now being supported by emerging clinical data. BUT! Don’t let brands fool you with basic marketing lines and parroted summaries of the ‘science’.
Be smart when it comes to your health; do your research and if you are stuck or confused ask industry experts or scientists in the field about good sources of information.