Water Soluble CBD Oil: What Is It, and What Can It Do?

Crystal clear water pouring out of a bottle into a glass.

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It’s seemingly impossible to keep track of all the ways to use CBD. When options like water-soluble CBD oil enter the picture, things get even more complicated.

Water-soluble CBD oil is created via a specific process known as nanoemulsion and, as a result, can be broken down in the water found in the body instead of relying on fat. This means that more CBD is released and absorbed into the bloodstream, creating a stronger and better experience for patients.

Understanding just how these products are created is not just fascinating, but personally beneficial. Knowing how and when to use water-soluble CBD oil can help you manage symptoms efficiently and affordably. Here, we’ll explain what bioavailability is, how water solubility works, and how it all comes together to make a highly effective form of CBD.

What is bioavailability?

While it may sound like a complicated concept, bioavailability is relatively simple. Bioavailability is the measure of the amount of a drug or medication that has been (or can be) absorbed into the bloodstream. 

It’s a measure of the efficacy of a drug’s delivery method — ideally, all drugs would have 100% bioavailability, so patients could take lower doses and get the same effects. 

High bioavailability also means that a medication will work faster, so individuals taking medications can feel relief from their unpleasant symptoms much more quickly. 

Bioavailability rates can differ for a variety of reasons, including the delivery method of the drug (was it ingested orally? Intravenously? Smoked?), the body of the user, and the composition of the drug itself.

Factors that affect bioavailability

Our bodies are rarely perfect, and our metabolisms are no exception. Certain things can make us more or less liable to absorb a substance, such as:

  1. Delivery Method

Different methods of drug ingestion can have a huge impact on how well the substances are absorbed. 

For instance, intravenous drug administration is the most effective method through which drugs are consumed, with 100% bioavailability.

Inhaled substances also have high bioavailability, as whatever is inhaled through the lungs goes readily into the bloodstream. Orally ingested medications have somewhat lower bioavailability, as not all of what enters your stomach is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

  1. Other Drugs

Certain drugs or substances can have interactions with one another that can either potentiate or mitigate the effects of other drugs — meaning they can either increase or decrease bioavailability for that drug. 

The most well-known drug interaction of this type is the grapefruit warning, which warns users of many common prescription and over-the-counter drugs against drinking grapefruit juice while taking a course of certain drugs. 

Ironically, CBD is also known to have interactions with a variety of common medications. These medications can include Ibuprofen, Tylenol, acetaminophen, Lamictal, Xanax, and Prilosec, among others

  1. Weight, Water, and Food

Individual factors at the time of consumption can also have an impact on bioavailability. 

Some medications are absorbed better when taken with food, and some are less effective if not taken on an empty stomach. Additionally, the individual’s weight, body composition, and hydration levels might impact how well and how quickly drugs are absorbed.

What is Water Solubility, and How Does it Impact Bioavailability?

Solubility is the ability of a particular substance to dissolve when placed in a solution — in this case, that solution is water. Given the fact that the human body is mostly water, the ability of a drug or medication to break down in water is highly prized in the field of pharmacology.

When a drug is water-soluble, it means it not only breaks down more readily and disperses more evenly, but moves through the body’s various tissues and membranes much faster.

Most medications that are orally ingested are not particularly soluble in water, which explains why orally ingested medications have much lower bioavailability rates than other types of drugs. 

However, many pharmacologists have shifted their attention to finding new ways to improve bioavailability, which means that making new medications that will dissolve in water is a must.

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.

How Does Water-Soluble CBD Work?

Water-soluble CBD is not exactly water soluble in a chemical sense — CBD is naturally formulated as an oil, and as we all know, oils are hydrophobic, or water-repellant (ever wonder why oil and water can’t mix?). 

However, water soluble CBD is physically more soluble in water than CBD as it is naturally found. This is because it undergoes a process called nanoemulsion, which breaks the CBD into incredibly tiny particles. 

We know that particles on the nanoscale behave differently than regular particles, and this is no exception — suddenly a substance that normally repels water can break apart in it! 

It’s effective, too. When compared to oral sprays in a 2017 study, water-soluble CBD had significantly higher bioavailability. While it’s a small study, it demonstrates powerful potential for much more effective uses for CBD. 

Water-soluble CBD can be sold in the form of water-soluble CBD powder, which can be easily dissolved into foods and drinks or just consumed orally, or water-soluble CBD oil, which can be used in the same ways that regular CBD oil is used.

What is the difference between CBD oil and water soluble CBD oil?

The main difference between traditional CBD oil and its water-soluble counterparts is, aside from the differing processes used to create these products, simply bioavailability. 

Bioavailability, as you’ll remember, refers to how quickly and how efficiently a substance is absorbed. High levels of water in the body means that water-soluble products have a lot to dissolve in, and they can do so easily, creating a stronger and more beneficial experience for users.

What is Water-Soluble CBD Used For?

Water-soluble CBD is generally used just like traditional CBD products are: to manage pain, anxiety, insomnia, and more. 

Because water-soluble products can be absorbed by the body more easily and successfully, they tend to produce stronger effects that last for longer. This means water-soluble CBD oil may be a preferable option for those managing especially severe symptoms.

Water-soluble CBD may also have a promising future in terms of traditional medicine; taking advantage of water-solubility means that researchers may have an easier time creating cannabinoid-based medications that work quickly, consistently, and powerfully.

What are the benefits of water-soluble CBD?

Water-soluble CBD oil is a great way to ensure you get the most product and benefits for your money for a variety of reasons, including:

  • High bioavailability. This reality means that you’ll likely use less of your product to achieve the results you’d like when compared to other CBD oils. You might also have better experiences and find that your symptoms are more adequately addressed with water-soluble products.

  • Consistent dosages and experiences. Because the CBD in these products is easy for your body to absorb, it’s likely that the amount of CBD you end up with in your system will be more consistent than it might be with other oils. Factors like food, water, and body weight might have less of an impact on how well your body absorbs your CBD when using water-soluble products.

  • Convenience. Because water-soluble CBD oil gets the job done so well, it’s a stress-free and simple way to medicate.

  • Minimal wasted product. Of course, higher levels of absorption means that you’ll need to use less oil to end up with the same amount of CBD in your system. It also means that less of your total product is acting as a “filler.”
A man wearing a blue plad shirt pouring a packet of water soluble CBD into a glass of water.

How long does it take for water-soluble CBD to kick in?

When consumed orally, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes for water-soluble CBD oil to begin to produce effects. Some may find that it takes closer to an hour to fully feel all that their product has to offer.

Water-soluble CBD may produce effects faster than what you’re used to if you typically use regular CBD oil, so it’s a good idea to be mindful of this difference if you’re making the switch. 

Once they begin, the effects of water-soluble CBD oil may last from 4 to 6 hours or more, depending on the dosage.

How long does water-soluble CBD stay in your system?

CBD in general tends to linger in the body for about 2 to 6 days, but it’s possible that water-soluble CBD may stick around for less time.

This is because CBD and other cannabinoids can be stored in fat deposits throughout the body. Water-soluble CBD oil does not need fat to dissolve or be absorbed, so it may lead to a smaller build-up of CBD metabolites over time.

Water-soluble CBD oil is still a fairly new product in comparison to others, so more research is needed to fully understand how these products might impact the body from start to finish.


While at first blush it may not sound that significant, the technology used to break drug particles into tiny water-soluble nanoparticles is incredibly promising and has a huge impact on CBD bioavailability. 

Many CBD users have no interest in taking sublingual drops or vaping CBD oil, but when ingesting CBD orally, a good deal of the product is not absorbed — less than ideal, not only because it is less effective, but because to some it may feel like a waste of money. 

With water-soluble CBD, you can get faster, more effective results from your CBD without any of the waste.

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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