Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is big business. Commonly derived from the hemp plant, CBD is famous for not getting you high. The compound’s non-intoxicating nature means companies have greater freedom to sell a variety of CBD products, as long as they are made from industrial hemp.
Of course, the primary draw to CBD and CBD products is the therapeutic benefit they can provide; scientific studies suggest the capacity for CBD to help with things like chronic pain, anxiety, and even trouble sleeping.
Hemp-derived CBD can come in many different forms. One of the most popular is CBD oil, wherein the cannabidiol compound is extracted from hemp prior to being infused in a high-lipid content carrier oil (such as MCT oil).
Recently, however, more and more companies are catching on to the idea of CBD water. By its natural chemical nature, CBD is hydrophobic – meaning it does not dissolve in water. Using a special process called nanoemulsion, however, companies are claiming to be able to suspend cannabidiol molecules in water, and increase the rate that the compound is absorbed in the human body.
Are these claims justified, or is “nano CBD water” just another new industry buzz term? Let’s take a closer look.
What is CBD Water?
As mentioned above, the majority of manufacturers that sell CBD infused water are doing so using a process called nanotechnology. This process essentially breaks the cannabidiol compound down into its smallest molecular form. In theory, this process would expose more of the body’s intestinal lining to the CBD, thus resulting in a greater level of bioavailability.
Nanomaterials are extraordinarily small, measuring in billionths of a meter (nanometers). The tiny particles are supposed to help the CBD get through the body – and its cell structures – in a more efficient manner because the relative surface area of the CBD oil is a lot higher. It is an interesting method of consuming CBD, and some say it is even better than the traditional forms of consumption.
The issue of bioavailability is a crucial one, as it determines the efficacy of the CBD. If you consume the compound via an edible, for example, up to 90% of it can be lost because of poor bioavailability. With CBD water, the theory is that practically every part of it goes to where it needs to be, meaning you need far less of it to feel the benefits.
CBD Water Benefits
As we explained above, CBD water potentially allows for rapid bioavailability and increased absorption of the CBD. Some CBD water may also be infused with additional antioxidants, which can give your immune system a boost. Possible benefits include faster recovery time and reduced muscle pain.
In terms of flavor, there shouldn’t be much of a taste at all because you’re effectively only drinking mineral water with CBD in it. Most brands add up to 50 mg of CBD to a bottle of water. Since the FDA does not regulate CBD, researchers don’t know what the optimal dose for CBD is. Of course, CBD water is completely non-psychoactive (i.e., it doesn’t get you high), and you may feel energetic and refreshed after drinking a bottle.
The Trouble with CBD Water
The main issue with CBD water relates to nanotechnology itself. While most scientists agree that it enhances bioavailability, there is a concern about increased toxicity. There are established upper limits for vitamin and mineral consumption, but no such guidelines exist for phytochemicals and other non-nutrients. So-called ‘nanoceuticals’ can help bypass the body’s protective barriers and expose it to higher biochemical quantities that it simply isn’t used to.
As it is an unregulated industry, though, nanoceuticals have yet to be properly tested. As a result, there is an element of risk associated with CBD water.
Then, of course, there is the small matter of the ‘entourage effect’. This is the term used to describe the phenomenon where various cannabinoids and terpenes in marijuana work together to promote a positive outcome. When you use isolates (like CBD just by itself), you’re potentially reducing the effectiveness.
In other words, depending on the effects you are looking for, smoking a marijuana plant may have a better effect than using just CBD or just THC in their isolated versions. Most companies add nothing but CBD to their water, which means it may lack the full-spectrum qualities available in some other CBD oils.
Who Are the Leading CBD Water Brands?
The CBD water niche is a relatively new one, but there are already a couple of clear market leaders:
- CBD Living Water: This company has quickly earned a reputation for being one of the most popular in the industry. It uses nanotechnology to deliver CBD in tiny drops and infuses them in 7.4 pH water.
- CBD Naturals: This firm claims its CBD water was created by a team of doctors, and points out that engineered nanomaterials are already being added to conventional food and drink.
- Canna Nano: This is another eco-friendly company that purifies its water by relying on nature. In other words, it mimics the evaporation, condensation, and precipitation process before adding high-quality CBD to the mix.
Which Is Better, CBD Water or CBD Oil?
At present, CBD oil remains the most popular method of consuming cannabidiol, but is CBD water likely to catch up? Both have their pros and cons. For example, CBD water excels in the following:
- Bioavailability: If the science behind nanotechnology is accurate, there is no comparison. While a reasonable percentage of oil gets through your system, it is likely that a higher percentage of the CBD in water is used by the body. As a result, you may need far less CBD through water than CBD via oil.
- Taste: CBD water has a more refreshing taste than oil. Frankly, high-quality CBD oil is rather unpleasant, unless additional flavors are added.
- Speed: You may be able to rely on CBD water to work a lot faster than its oil counterpart, which is ideal if you need quick pain relief, for example.
However, this doesn’t mean you should ditch CBD oil, as it has the following advantages over CBD water:
- Cost: Although CBD water may be more effective in terms of bioavailability, it is extremely expensive. For example, it isn’t unusual to pay up to $8 for a single bottle containing 25 mg of CBD.
- Safety: There are plenty of concerns about nanotechnology, and the testing standards of the potency and purity of CBD water is up to the manufacturers. A higher percentage of CBD oil makers show evidence of lab testing, and as the market is better known, it is under a greater degree of scrutiny.
- Full Spectrum: While the water products may only contain CBD, oil usually includes additional cannabinoids and terpenes. By using the whole plant, CBD oil may be more effective than CBD water at achieving certain outcomes.
Where Can I Buy CBD Water?
Contrary to what you might believe, CBD is NOT legal throughout the United States. We wish it was clear cut, but unfortunately, the differing state and federal laws in the country make matters confusing.
While most people believe that CBD oil is legal because of the 2018 Farm Bill, this isn’t necessarily the case.
An Indiana resident named Mamadou Ndiaye, for example, was charged with marijuana possession for owning and using CBD oil. His case was thankfully dismissed, but it only serves to outline the confusion over CBD law.
CBD is technically a Schedule I substance if it comes from marijuana, and in 2016 CBD hemp oil was classified as a Schedule I substance. Yet the DEA has admitted that it won’t actively pursue people who use CBD oil, so hopefully, that clears things up once and for all! (Yeah, right…)
In any case, you can purchase CBD water directly from the websites of the companies mentioned above. While the legality everywhere may be unclear, the chances of you being arrested for buying and using it are minimal.
Final Thoughts on CBD Water
CBD water is a potentially exciting product because it enables you to consume cannabidiol in the knowledge that it may more efficiently get through your system. Also, it is a cool alternative to CBD oil if you can’t stand the taste of hemp tinctures. And of course, it is also extremely refreshing!
However, CBD water is also very expensive, so you’ll have to decide if it is worth paying considerably more than you would for oil. Also, there are still concerns over the safety of nanotechnology, especially when it comes to food and drink. Only a few reputable firms are selling it at present, and you still have to be careful not to fall foul of the law!
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