Liposomal vs Nano-Emulsified CBD: Which Is the Best?

Oil droplets floating vertically in water.

The terminology of the world of CBD can be confusing. What do words like “liposomal” or “nano-emulsified” CBD mean for your product? What’s the difference?

Liposomes and nanotechnology are both utilized when creating CBD products to maximize bioavailability and overall product effectiveness. Both liposomal and nano-emulsified CBD are products created using very specific chemical processes to ensure that users can feel strong effects quickly.

Though the two both strive to achieve the same goals, both liposomal and nano-emulsified CBD products offer different benefits and potential drawbacks. Consider your priorities and goals for CBD use before making a decision; choose a product type that works well with your unique challenges to ensure you reap as many benefits as possible.

What Is Liposomal CBD?

This revolutionary lab creation has been used in the supplement industry for years but is new to most of the CBD community.

The word liposomal comes from the word liposome. A liposome is a small spherical sac made up of phospholipid molecules (which are lipids that make up most of the membranes of our cells).

Liposomes are naturally encased in droplets of water so that when they come into contact with our body’s cells, they’re easily recognized and absorbed. This improves bioavailability, meaning CBD and its benefits are more quickly absorbed.

Because of how dramatically they increase the bioavailability of nutrients, liposomes are rapidly changing the landscape of the supplement industry.

When we consume nutrients via ingestion, our body metabolizes them through the digestive system. 

Though our bodies break down most of the compounds, they receive only a fraction of the consumed nutrients.

But, when we consume these same nutrients in the form of liposomes, those nutrients directly feed our body’s cells, bypassing steps of the digestive system and allowing for higher levels of absorption.

More and more companies are launching liposomal products and, if you can afford it, this can be an extremely efficient way to administer CBD.

What Is Nano-Emulsified CBD?

Over the last few years, several new technologies have enabled CBD producers to create products that break oil particles down into tiny molecules.

On average, each molecule is 50-100 nanometers, which to put into perspective is 800-2000 times smaller than a human hair (a human hair is 80,000-100,000 nanometers in diameter).

The small particle size allows them to disperse throughout water, effectively mimicking water-soluble substances and increasing the surface area of the compounds.

Nano-Emulsification is a process in which the molecules of CBD get spun into tiny nanoparticles that pass efficiently through our body’s cell walls.

The particles, nutrients, and vitamins (or in this case, CBD) are so small that they collectively have a greater surface area allowing maximum absorption and efficacy into the body.

Nano-emulsified CBD has a higher bioavailability than almost any other delivery method, and because of this, it’s becoming the most cost-effective CBD product on the market.

Nano particles being encapsulated by a lipid cell.

The Difference Between Liposomal CBD and Nano-Emulsified CBD

Both methods are becoming more widely available with lower price tags, so we thought that it would be a good idea to explain the differences that set them apart.

Many factors come into play when choosing the right CBD product for you. Do you need more rapid relief, for example? Perhaps your budget is a factor. Or, maybe you prefer a specific delivery method.

Below we will break down what sets the nano-emulsified CBD and liposomal CBD apart and provide all the information necessary to decide which best suits you.

Molecule Size

Particle size is a decisive factor when it comes to determining the efficiency of CBD oil. 

Smaller droplets have a larger surface area interacting with the body’s enzymes and tissue. So, as a result, the smaller the droplet, the easier it is for your body to absorb it. 

  • Liposomal CBD molecules are much larger
    • Measure in at as much as 5,000 nanometers.
  • Nano-Emulsified CBD molecules are comparatively smaller
    • Average size of only 50-100 nanometers.

For reference, a nanometer is one-billionth of a millimeter (or approximately the diameter of the lead in a pencil). 

    Bioavailability

    Each of these methods has different levels of bioavailability. Bioavailability is the degree to and rate at which a substance gets absorbed into the bloodstream.

    Bioavailability is relevant in this case because it will determine how much and how often you will need to consume to reach the desired effects. Substances with a higher availability are more powerful or potent, for example. 

    • Liposomal CBD has a lower bioavailability
      • Can be as high as 35%
    • Nano-Emulsified CBD has a high bioavailability
      • Can be as high as 50%

    Onset Time

    Onset time is a significant factor when it comes to specific conditions that require immediate relief, such as anxiety or pain management. If you have an anxiety attack or a sudden migraine, it wouldn’t be ideal to wait an hour and a half to get the relief you need.

    Although liposomes will provide faster onset times than conventional CBD, nano-emulsified CBD is the current gold standard.

    • Liposomal CBD has a longer onset time
      • 30 minutes – 1.5 hours
    • Nano-Emulsified CBD has a faster onset time
      • 15-30 minutes

    Consistency

    Your CBD oil should be stable and even throughout. Nano-emulsified CBD stays in solution evenly, while liposomal CBD may produce an uneven mixture resulting in some doses having more CBD than others. Such a result can be a problem for anyone who needs to take a consistent amount of CBD daily.

    • Liposomal CBD is less consistent
      • Every dose will have a different amount of CBD
      • For example, if you take a 5mg dose today, it might be 5mg and provide the desired results, but if you take 5mg tomorrow, it might actually only be 4mg, and you may need more to reach the desired results.
    • Nano-Emulsified CBD is more consistent
      • Every dose will have the same amount of CBD
      • For example, if you take 5mg today and you get the desired results, you know that 5mg will work tomorrow.

    Our Recommendation

    We recommend nano-emulsified CBD oil. 

    Why? It’s easier for the body to digest and absorb nutrients from oil that’s broken down into tiny droplets.

    Smaller oil drops have increased surface contact with the body’s enzymes and absorptive tissue so the body can absorb the CBD molecules more quickly and efficiently.

    While liposomes are a better alternative than standard CBD, they are not as effective as nano-emulsified CBD. Ultimately nano-emulsified CBD offers better absorption, faster onset, and is more economical.

    And if you are looking for a reliable place to buy CBD products, we have created a directory of the greatest hemp flower and CBD products on the market, which you can access for free here

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What form of CBD is most effective?

    CBD products come in all shapes and sizes, and some methods of consumption may be more efficient than others if you’re looking to treat something like chronic pain. 

    However, in general, broad-spectrum CBD products (those that contain a variety of molecules and cannabinoids) are considered the most effective. Similar to the idea of the entourage effect, ingesting broad-spectrum CBD is thought by many to be a better, more well-rounded experience.

    The way you consume your CBD products also affects the results that you will experience. This is where the bioavailability of CBD comes into play. 

    The bioavailability of CBD refers to how strong/how quickly a user experiences desired results. Some methods of consumption, like inhalation, may have a higher bioavailability than others. So, the “best” form of CBD may vary from person to person. 

    What is nano emulsified?

    Nano-emulsification is a relatively new method of consumption that’s used to effectively deliver the active components of all sorts of drugs (medicinal) to the user. Nano simply means small, or a billionth of a meter, and emulsion refers to mixing liquids together.

    Nano-emulsified CBD particles are, as a result, incredibly small. This means that they will have an easier time passing through the body and into the bloodstream. 

    Nano-emulsification is used in a variety of different drugs, and it’s a great way to help deliver effects quickly and effectively. 

    How is CBD best absorbed?

    CBD absorption can depend on a lot of factors, including the potency and form of CBD that you’re ingesting. 

    As we discussed above, the bioavailability of CBD products matters a lot when it comes to determining what sort of effects you will feel. Orally-ingested CBD has one of the lowest bioavailability levels out of all the different methods of CBD consumption, though it is the most popular way to take CBD.

    CBD particles can have a hard time being fully absorbed by the body due to the fact that cannabinoids are fat-soluble. This means that they break down and dissolve in fats, which makes it easier for the body to quickly absorb CBD particles into the bloodstream. 

    As a result, CBD products that interact with fat may be more potent and be better at producing the desired effect. 

    What is liposomal CBD spray used for?

    Liposomal CBD spray, as well as other sprayable CBD or THC products, is often used as a topical treatment for pain or inflammation.

    Sprays are popular amongst those who use CBD to treat pain because they’re easy to use, effective, and don’t have to be orally ingested. They can quickly deliver a good dose of CBD to the area in need.

    Liposomal CBD sprays may be more powerful or effective than other CBD sprays on the market due to the reasons we’ve discussed here in our guide. Liposomal CBD is also commonly consumed or used in the form of CBD oil, which can be ingested orally or used topically, similar to creams or sprays.

    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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    2 Comments

    Dan · May 26, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    “On average, each molecule is 25 nanometers, which to put into perspective is only ten times larger than a human hair (a human hair is 2.5 nanometers in diameter).”

    A human hair is MUCH larger than 2.5 nanometers. It is more in the range of 80,000 – 100,000 nm

      Josh Murdoch · May 26, 2021 at 10:37 pm

      Thanks for catching that! I just verified the info you provided and updated the article 🙂

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