How Do You Take Water Soluble CBD? – Step by Step Guide

Brunette women with a beautiful smile holding a glass of water.

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Even if you’ve already settled on purchasing water soluble CBD, it can be difficult to know how to administer it, or what the best method of delivery is. 

Water soluble CBD can be taken one of two ways: 

  • Water soluble CBD can be absorbed sublingually, meaning it is absorbed under the tongue and/or through the blood vessels in one’s mouth without being swallowed.

  • Water soluble CBD can also be absorbed orally, meaning it can be swallowed through the mouth and then absorbed through the digestive system. 

    With both of these methods, however, there are more nuances, advantages, and disadvantages than there may seem. In this article, we will lay out the relative efficacy and functionality of both delivery methods in order to inform your choice of delivery method, in addition to giving in-depth, step-by-step instructions for how you take water soluble CBD. 

    How do you use water soluble CBD oil?

    Water soluble CBD oil can be used exactly the same way you would any other non-water soluble CBD oil. This means that it can be ingested straight in the form of drops that are swallowed on their own, placed under the tongue, mixed into drinks, or used for DIY CBD cosmetics, like homemade CBD lotions, salves, and rubs. 

    Just like traditional CBD oil, using water soluble CBD can have a wide range of positive effects on your health and wellbeing, from reducing pain, relieving anxiety, limiting nausea and stomach pain, reducing acne, acting as an antipsychotic, and offering neuroprotective and cardiovascular benefits. 

    However, there are some key differences between traditional CBD oil and water soluble oil that may change how you use it and incorporate it into your day. Specifically, water soluble CBD’s efficacy might actually mean that you use it differently from traditional CBD in your daily routine. Perhaps you might cut down the dosage due to its increased potency, opt to make more CBD beverages since it can be absorbed better in the body than traditional CBD, or other various changes to routine. 

    What is water soluble CBD, and how does it work?

    To explain this, we’ll have to first break down the properties of traditional CBD oil, and how that affects potency and appearance. 

    Traditionally, like most cannabis extracts, CBD comes in the form of an oily lipid molecule. Oils and water-based liquids do not mix, as oils are hydrophobic — meaning they have a chemical structure that repels water. 

    As a result, these oil particles will all stick together in one impenetrable glob that will refuse to disperse evenly unless they are either physically forced to disperse, such as by mixing or shaking (think of stirring up olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a salad), in which case they may stil form back together if not thoroughly mixed, or if they are mixed with an emulsifier. 

    An emulsifier is a type of substance that allows for fats to mix with water. This is achieved when tiny, tiny little particles of the fat are coated in the emulsifier, which essentially “stabilizes” the fat and prevents it from forming back into a big hydrophobic glob. This is the sentiment behind making something like salad dressing, where the oil is mixed into tiny little particles through whisking, which is then coated in an emulsifier like mustard or an egg yolk, which allows it to mix with ingredients like vinegar. While the fat is not actually chemically dissolved into the water, it functionally is, which allows it to take on similar properties (like making the fat particles too small to see, or by being easier to absorb in the body). 

    This is the science that water soluble CBD relies on. The CBD oil is broken into small particles — either “micro” or “nano” particles, though it can depend on the company — by ultrasonic waves, and then it is coated in a tasteless, body-safe emulsifying substance. The particles are coated in this emulsifier, keeping them small and stable, which allows them to mix seamlessly with water. 

    While the food-based applications for this are quite obvious (and convenient), one of the best things about water soluble CBD is the fact that our body is water-based and relies on water to move nutrients to and fro in the body. We cannot fully absorb all of the CBD in a dose of traditional CBD due to the fact that the droplets can form an impregnable glob of oil, even inside the body. Water solubility allows for you to by-pass all of this, since it can readily mix with water, meaning minimal loss of product and significantly increased potency. 

    A glass of water mixed with water soluble CBD to the left and a glass of water with traditional CBD oil floating on the top to the right.

    Can you drink water soluble CBD?

    Yes, you can absolutely drink water soluble CBD. In fact, water soluble CBD is essentially designed to be more drinkable, since its ability to disperse evenly into water makes it mix into drinks much better than traditional CBD, which is a hydrophobic oil that will separate from the drink and float on the top. 

    Water soluble CBD, while it is not chemically water soluble, should quickly dissolve when added to a liquid. This feature makes it a common pick for individuals and companies that make CBD beverages such as CBD lattes and CBD cocktails. 

    How to drink water soluble CBD

    Drinking water soluble CBD is an excellent choice for easily delivering CBD to your body. However, there are still some ins-and-outs to it that need to be addressed before you can confidently rely on it as a go-to method of consuming CBD. 

    Here is our step-by-step guide to drinking water soluble CBD: 

    • Unscrew the top of your CBD bottle if using CBD oil, or open powder package if using CBD powder.

    TIP: Be sure to know the volume of CBD in your bottle or container, and have an idea in mind regarding how much CBD you would like to take, as well as approximately how many drops of oil or how much powder that would be. Some water-soluble CBD powders meant to be mixed into beverages and foods may offer guidelines on how much to add to a given volume of liquid, but you may be better served looking up general dosage guidelines online and doing a bit of math. 

    • If you’re taking your water soluble CBD oil without mixing it, simply use the dropper to drop your allotted amount of CBD into your mouth and swallow.

    • If you’re mixing CBD into your beverage, mix your drink and drop your allotted amount of CBD oil or powder right into your beverage. Mix briefly to combine thoroughly before drinking. 

      If you’ve gotten the dosages right and had your whole drink, it might take anywhere from 45 minutes to up to two hours to begin to feel the euphoric, stress-relieving effects of your CBD drink. However, these times may actually be shorter if you are taking your CBD with caffeine, as evidence suggests caffeine can increase the absorption of drugs and supplements by speeding up the process of gastric emptying. 

      Can you put water soluble CBD under your tongue?

      Yes, you can absolutely put water soluble CBD under your tongue. In fact, this is a great way to consume CBD oil of any kind, as it can give you potent effects and fast results. 

      How to take water soluble CBD oil sublingually

      1. Unscrew the top of your CBD bottle. Be sure to know the volume of CBD in your bottle, and have an idea in mind regarding how much CBD you would like to take, as well as approximately how many drops of oil that would be.

      2. Use your dropper to place your desired number of drops under your tongue. Do not swallow.

      3. Hold CBD in mouth for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. If desired, you may spit out the excess, or swallow it for added absorption. 
      Womens hand extented out holding a green bottle with white eye dropper full of CBD with an indoor hemp flower garden in the background.

      Best way to consume water soluble CBD

      There are only two major ways to consume water soluble CBD: taking it orally, as in swallowing it, or taking it sublingually, which means to absorb it through the tissues of the mouth without swallowing it. Both methods offer a variety of advantages when it comes to CBD delivery, and your own individual preferences may decide which of the two works best for you. 

      Drinking and eating CBD

      Taking CBD oil orally is a very common method for absorbing CBD. Swallowing it is easy, does not require any special know-how, and can be very quickly incorporated into your day without a lot of fuss or expensive equipment to use it. Additionally, water soluble CBD oil can be mixed into drinks and fully emulsified. 

      However, there are some downsides to oral ingestion when compared with sublingual absorption. One major complaint is the difference in onset speed, as sublingual CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream much more quickly than orally ingested CBD. This is because orally ingested CBD must go through the process of digestion before the bulk of the supplement is absorbed into the bloodstream, which can take anywhere from an hour to two hours. 

      Furthermore, although water soluble CBD is much more thoroughly absorbed than traditional CBD oil, it still loses some of its potency through the process of digestion when it is absorbed orally. This is because of something called first pass metabolism, a phenomenon in which substances that are processed in the digestive system are first metabolized in the gut wall and liver before making it to your bloodstream, resulting in concentrations of that substance being noticeably lower by the time they reach the bloodstream. This results in lower potency overall and milder effects. 

      If choosing to take CBD orally, however, there are certainly ways to make it the best experience for you. If you’re looking for a no-frills route, simply incorporate your water soluble CBD oil into your morning routine by swallowing it as if you were taking your daily vitamin, or bring it with you on the go, whether you’re at work, with friends, or on your day off. 

      If you’d like to take your CBD mixed, however, it can be both fun and exciting to discover new ways that you can add your water soluble CBD into coffee, cocktails, and non-alcoholic mixed drinks. There are plenty of recipes online specifically made to be CBD cocktails, or you can go your own way and figure out your own mixes, depending on what tastes good to you. Unlike traditional CBD oil, water soluble CBD will mix perfectly into your drink without leaving you or your guests with an oily patch floating at the top of their drink. Instead, you can get the same drinking experience you would always have with your beverage of choice. 

      Similarly to how CBD cigarettes are sometimes used as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes, opting to drink non-alcoholic CBD can be a good alternative to alcoholic beverages if you’re looking to cut it out of your diet or lifestyle. Remember that if you are opting to mix CBD and alcohol, they can have compounding lethargic effects which, although not inherently harmful, can be unpleasant. Make sure you know how both alcohol and CBD affect you on their own before mixing them, and avoid taking high doses of either in combination. 

      Additionally, water soluble CBD products can also be mixed into foods, like dips, sauces, soups, salad dressings, and batters, since they’re designed to be tasteless and to dissolve in water. This offers many of the same benefits and downsides as drinking CBD, since foods infused with CBD would also be absorbed through the digestive system. 

      Sublingual delivery

      Taking water soluble CBD sublingually is also a common method of delivery, though it is slightly less common than simply eating, drinking, or swallowing CBD in its various edible forms. Sublingual delivery is potent and fast-acting, though it is also somewhat inconvenient for some people to have to hold it in their mouth for a long period of time. 

      Sublingual CBD delivery is so effective for reasons that are exactly the opposite of what can bog down oral ingestion. When CBD is held in the mouth and not swallowed, it is absorbed instead through the tissue of the mouth and into the large volume of blood vessels that cover the inside of the mouth, which all quickly bring it into systemic circulation throughout the entire body. It doesn’t have the issue of first pass metabolism, and it can work very quickly — anywhere from five to fifteen minutes for you to begin to feel its effects. 

      However, the process of holding it in the mouth may be annoying or inconvenient to manage, since it does require anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute of not talking and not swallowing. It might be difficult to do between meetings at the workplace, for instance, while by contrast you can quickly add water soluble CBD to a drink or have it already premixed in order to inconspicuously take sips on the go without a ton of fuss. 

      Oral vs. sublingual: the winner

      Ultimately, which method of delivery you choose should be based on your preferences and lifestyle. Sublingual absorption works faster than oral ingestion, and though water solubility helps ingested CBD be much more thoroughly absorbed, it still experiences some loss in potency due to metabolism. 

      On the other hand, sublingual absorption misses out on the exciting and fun opportunities of mixing them into drinks. Additionally, for some, mixing CBD into coffee or water and drinking it over a longer period of time may be much more convenient than placing CBD in the mouth and waiting for it to absorb for anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes (during which you can’t talk or swallow!). 

      Either way, both methods work, and the one you may choose to opt for might even change from occasion to occasion, depending on what you’re looking for that day from your CBD experience. 

      Conclusion

      Water soluble CBD oil is an incredibly potent and convenient form of CBD that allows for the more seamless delivery of CBD inside the body. There are two major ways to ingest water soluble CBD, both of which are noticeably improved by CBD’s ability to be mixed into water: 1. It can be swallowed or drank in a beverage, and 2. It can be absorbed sublingually without any swallowing.

      Both methods of water soluble CBD ingestion have relative benefits and downsides. Drinking CBD is easy, generally non-intrusive and fast, and offers the opportunity to do creative and social exploration with the types of ways you’re ingesting CBD by allowing you to make CBD drinks and foods. However, it suffers from being a generally slower and less potent method of delivery, even with water soluble CBD’s potency benefits. Sublingual water soluble CBD, by contrast, is fast and effective, but a little cumbersome to administer, and lacks the same sort of potential.

      Regardless, both can be taken in fewer than three steps, and water soluble CBD on the whole is a great choice for anyone looking to get consistent and effective results from their CBD. Consider browsing our directory of CBD products, where we offer water soluble CBD from the brand Active, in addition to a variety of other CBD products including transdermal patches, gummies, isolates, and raw hemp flower.

      Josh Murdoch

      Josh Murdoch

      I was born with Cystic Fibrosis, and although it is incurable, CBD and THC have been allowing me to live my life as a healthy adult now for years. For that reason, I’ve dedicated my career to spreading the good news about cannabinoids. Currently, I work for a vertically integrated cannabis company called Unrivaled Brands that operates in California, Oregon, and Nevada. Previously, I worked on two cannabis farms in northern California, one of which was located in the famous Humboldt County. I’ve also managed a medical cannabis delivery service in Marin County, California. I created CBD Facilitator to share what I’ve learned, and to recommend the best products that I have found in this chaotic market.

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