The Truth About CBD Nanotechnology
by Lexa W. Lee
If you haven’t heard the term “nano CBD” (nano cannabidiol) yet, you will. It’s a big deal at a time when so many manufacturers are looking for anything that will help them stand out to consumers in a crowded market. Nano CBD refers to a product with microscopic droplets of CBD oil in the nanometer range. Just for the record, a nanometer is one billionth of a meter (0.0001 millimeter).
CBD nanotechnology is a recent and promising development in the industry. As an oil, CBD is not absorbed readily by the body. Reducing the size of the oil droplets and encapsulating it in a water soluble emulsion can result in greater bioavailability and other benefits. Because regulation is much less stringent in this industry versus that for prescription drugs, the facts about nano CBD compared to other forms of CBD are not always clear. The marketplace is full of conflicting information, misinformation, unsubstantiated claims and marketing spin to fool the customer. Let’s dispel some of the myths and look at what nano CBD actually is and isn’t.
Myth 1: Nano CBD Is Not More Effective Than Typical CBD Products
The small size of CBD nanodrops means higher bioavailability, faster onset and greater duration of results — which enhances their effect. When it comes to truly efficacious CBD products, a nano delivery system is just as critical as the active ingredient. Without a nano-delivery system that can actually carry the active ingredient into the bloodstream, muscle, joint or other target areas, a non-nano CBD product is far less bioavailable and you won’t experience its full potency. Traditional products only have 6-8% absorption, while Curatio’s delivery yields 70% absorption.
Myth 2: Nano CBD Is Completely Water-Soluble
It’s probably most accurate to say it is more water-dispersible or water-compatible, since just like oil, CBD does not dissolve in water. It is actually hydrophobic. Because of this, CBD needs to be re-formulated utilizing sonication (sound waves) and simultaneously encapsulating the oil in a water based delivery system.. Nano CBD drops are microscopic, and because of the encapsulation, they evenly disperse in water and appear to be water-soluble . Since in this process the CBD oil is encapsulated in a water based delivery system, and that it evenly dispersed in water, it is still not technically water soluble.
Myth 3: The Best Nano CBD Is The Isolate
CBD isolate is a flavorless powder that is created through a process that uses solvents to distill hemp into the CBD molecule. It lacks the terpenes, phytocannabinoids and other compounds that make a truly efficacious CBD product. CBD isolate does not provide the entourage effect, or synergistic benefits of different phytocannabinoids and plant substances observable when using whole hemp concentrates, like in Curatio. In fact, the loose regulations surrounding the often harsh chemical solvents used to formulate an isolate product increase its risk of being illegitimate or not efficacious. Curatio CBD is full-spectrum and THC-free by a process in which THC is transformed into the phytocannabinoid CBN, yielding greater effects in the body. A much higher dose of the isolate is required for an effect but it still does not compare. (substantiate)
Myth 4: Microemulsions Are The Same As Nanoemulsions
In reference to size, micron means one millionth of a meter, while nanometer means one billionth of a meter. One thousand drops of 1 nanometer can fit into a drop of 1 micron. Smaller drops are more bioavailable. Emulsions of microdrops are formed by using a very high concentration of surfactants. This can negatively affect the smell, taste and sometimes safety of the final product. Nanoemulsions, on the other hand, require far less surfactant concentrations due to an important mechanical component to their formulation (as opposed to a purely chemical approach). Nanoemulsions can be derived by sonification technology, which shear the oil droplets to nanometer size. ??? Not sure how this helps…
Myth 5: Liposomal CBD Is Nanotechnology
Liposomes measure between 100 up to about 5,000 nanometers in diameter. Besides being larger than nanodrops under 100 nanometers , liposomes have a more complicated structure, and making them is a process requiring the use of concentrations of surfactants much higher than that of the active ingredient. Liposomes are designed to deliver hydrophilic products into the system are not as effective with hydrophobic oils like CBD. Liposomes are also harder to make with heterogeneous CBD extracts. So, synthetic or CBD isolates are typically used.
Nanodrops can be much smaller than liposomes. Curatio measures 40 nanometers average and reach as small as 10 nanometers which is the size of a DNA strand, for example. Reducing the size of the drops to this degree means that the total surface area of the CBD oil is increased, while the miniature particle size allows it to disperse more easily in a water-based carrier. Curatio uses sonication to make nano CBD — a mechanical process that requires much less surfactant to stabilize the structure of the drops. The final emulsion is stable and easily absorbed by the body compared to liposomal emulsions and CBD oil. Curatio’s bioavailability is at least 70 percent compared to no more than 8% percent for oils and 20% for liposomes.
Obviously, it helps to do some research before you buy CBD products. Don’t be fooled by misleading claims. Look for conscientious manufacturers who start with high quality hemp, then process and test it in ways that ensure you get a safe, high quality, effective product with a high concentration of CBD that is readily absorbable.
Lexa W. Lee is a former family physician, research fellow in immunology, lecturer and medical journalist. She also writes about consumer health issues.