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Study: Water-Soluble CBD Trumps Oil-Based

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As oil-based CBD supplements continue to rule the market, a Colorado State University study points out that water-soluble CBD appears to absorb more efficiently—by a significant margin.

In the placebo-controlled, randomized study, which was published in Nutrients, fourteen male participants were given five different CBD formulations (or placebos) and then assessed to determine the absorbability of each formulation, their effects on “food-induced thermogenesis,” the liver response, and other elements related to the pharmacokinetics of CBD.

As the researchers evaluated these connections using the proper tests, they found that water-soluble CBD supplements outperformed oil-based supplements in the ability to reach higher peak concentration levels in the bloodstream.

In the most extreme case, the CBD concentration (in the blood) observed after the consumption of a water-soluble formulation (3.1 ng/ml) was almost eight times that of the concentration observed after an oil-soluble formulation (0.4 ng/ml).

To be clear, this doesn’t negate the known lipophilicity of cannabidiol—a term denoting its affinity for being dissolved in fats—as the Colorado State University researchers confirmed that consuming food before taking CBD increased blood concentration of CBD in the participants by a statistically significant margin.

Rather, the findings support that while both water and fat are appropriate delivery methods, water seems to be more effective at maintaining a higher concentration of CBD in the bloodstream for longer. 

We would love to see more research in this vein, and if it is confirmed more concretely that water-soluble formulations are more absorbable, we will keep a close eye on the industry to see who, if anyone, reflects this understanding in their product catalogs.


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