Water Soluble CBD Vs Oil


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In this article, you'll learn the key benefits of water-soluble CBD, and how it measures up to other forms of CBD on the market, specifically about its bioavailability. With many options for CBD products available today, it’s hard to know what’s right for you. Find out more about oil-based and water-soluble CBD here.

Is Water-Soluble CBD Better? A deeper look

Drinking water-soluble CBD is one of the many ways you can take CBD. As a refresher, CBD is one of 113 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. In this article, you’ll learn the key benefits of water-soluble CBD, and how it measures up to other forms of CBD on the market.


Water-soluble CBD is CBD oil that has been broken through a 4-step process into fine crystalline particles, making it easier to be absorbed. Being easily absorbed, the CBD powder form of CBD extract can easily be ingested by mixing into drinks or food.

Being easily absorbed, the CBD powder form of CBD extract can easily be ingested by mixing into drinks or food.


When researching water-soluble CBD on the Internet, you might find that water-soluble CBD and CBD oil are commonly compared. CBD oil is one of the more popular ways to take CBD, so it’s important to see how water-soluble CBD stacks up. The biggest differences between the two are their physical format and bioaccessibility, or absorption rate.


Water-soluble CBD is in powder form, while CBD oil is, well, in oil form. Both can be taken orally, however pure CBD oil has an earthy taste that might not be for everyone. Water-soluble CBD powder often doesn’t taste like hemp, and can even come in fruit-infused flavors like Tropical Orange or Passion Fruit in Well+.

Another key difference between water-soluble CBD vs. CBD oil is absorption rate. Water-soluble CBD is known to have a higher absorption rate than other forms of CBD. This is because the CBD has been broken down into even smaller particles that can be easily absorbed by the body. For example, when you take 20mg of CBD oil, you will typically absorb 10-20% of the CBD that was ingested. On the other hand, water-soluble CBD such as Zolt has bioavailability that is 5 times higher than other CBD formats. That means you can absorb 90% of the CBD you are ingesting with water-soluble form of CBD. Pretty cool, right?


The beauty of water-soluble CBD is that you can mix it into just about anything. With Zolt water-soluble mixie sticks, we recommend mixing the powder with 16oz of water (hot or cold) and stirring with gusto. We’ve heard from our customers that they use our CBD powder in lemonade, smoothies, cocktails, or in a CBD tea.


When you’re looking into buying water-soluble CBD, you might come across two different types of products: hemp CBD isolate and full-spectrum hemp. It’s important to know the difference between the two, so you know exactly what you’re taking.

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CBD isolate is pure CBD with no additional compounds, which means that it doesn’t contain active compounds like other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. One major cannabinoid that CBD isolate does not contain is THC. Some people opt for CBD Isolate because it has no trace of THC. One downside of CBD isolate is that you won’t get the entire benefit of the plant, known as the entourage effect, a term used to describe the synergistic effect of the full range of cannabinoids and hemp biomolecules working together.

Full-spectrum hemp includes the full-range of cannabinoids in the hemp plant, including a trace level of THC (less than 0.3%). With full-spectrum water-soluble hemp, you get the full benefits of hemp’s active compounds that work together to achieve a balance of mind and body. This is called the entourage effect. Some CBD companies offer hemp CBD isolate and full-spectrum hemp product lines. On the Zolt site, you can identify our full-spectrum CBD by looking for those that are marked + after the product name.


When choosing certain CBD products, it’s really up to personal preference. A good rule of thumb is to start with a small dose of the CBD product, see how you feel, and increase from there. We recommend starting with the Zolt Variety Pack to try out different flavors. It includes both CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD, so you can explore which CBD type is the right fit.

Water-soluble CBD 101: Oil-Based vs Water-Soluble

Not all cannabidiol (CBD) products are developed in the same way. If you look closely, you will see that some are oil-based, while others are water-soluble.

In This Article

  • Water-soluble CBD characteristics
  • Benefits of water-soluble CBD
  • Oil-based CBD characteristics
  • Benefits of oil-based CBD

When CBD is extracted from cannabis sativa (or hemp) plants, it is in the form of a waxy or oily mixture. This can be dissolved in a carrier oil such as MCT and this is how most people ingested CBD for several years. However, technology and scientific research have meant this oil can be further processed to create water-miscible CBD or what some refer to as water-soluble CBD products.

You may think this doesn’t make much difference, and any product you buy will provide the same results. However, the reality is that whether a product is oil-based or water-soluble may affect how long it takes to be absorbed by the body and how long the effects last.

This article will examine the differences between oil-based and water-soluble CBD, helping you decide which product is the right choice for you.

What is water-soluble CBD

Water-soluble CBD undergoes a process where it is formulated into a water miscible format such as an emulsion which disperses freely in water rather than floating on the surface.

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Up to 60% of the adult body is made of water , and H2O can be found in all organs and tissues. Even our bones are one-third water!

This means water-soluble CBD will be absorbed into the body more easily and quickly, resulting in more of it entering your bloodstream. This is known as bioavailability.

With water-soluble CBD, the CBD bypasses the ‘first pass effect’. Oil-based CBD formulations appear to go through the liver where much of the CBD gets metabolized and excreted from the body. This means more time is required for the CBD to take effect and much less is absorbed. As water-soluble CBD is in a form that circumvents the liver and takes effect faster.

While there are fewer water-soluble CBD products on the market than oil-based ones, there is still a decent range to choose from, including food and drink supplements, capsules and liquids.

There are three different kinds of water-soluble CBD available: CBD isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum. CBD isolate and broad-spectrum do not contain any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound associated with cannabis.

Water-soluble CBD characteristics

Water-soluble CBD can be created in a variety of ways. Here are three ways that oil-based CBD can be converted into a water-soluble solution.


Nanoemulsion technology is commonly used in the food and drink industry, for example, to reduce the fat content of ice cream and salad dressings. This method has now been applied to the CBD industry too.

Ultrasound or high shear mixers are used to break the CBD oil solutions down into smaller emulsified oil droplets known as nanoemulsions. The smaller the droplets, the more they will be able to penetrate the tissues in the body.


Microemulsion is similar to nanoemulsion, but the particles created are slightly larger. This means lower bioavailability.


A water-resistant liposome is placed around individual oil droplets, protecting them from being ingested too soon.

This technology has been used with vitamins to increase bioavailability and is now being used with CBD products.

Benefits of water-soluble CBD

As you can see, some effort is needed to create water-soluble CBD, but the effects are worth it. Here are some of the benefits that water-soluble CBD can offer.

It’s more readily absorbed

Water-soluble CBD usually has higher bioavailability than oil-based CBD, meaning you get the full benefit of the product you ingest.

Studies have shown water-soluble CBD is 4.5 times more bioavailable than the oil-based equivalent.

It absorbs faster

Water-soluble CBD is absorbed more quickly by the body. In fact, water-soluble CBD only takes 0.7 hours (about 40 minutes) to reach maximum concentration.

It tastes nicer

When you ingest oil-based CBD products, you also ingest the carrier oil that has been used. These can vary in flavor, from grassy and earthy to downright bitter.

As water doesn’t taste of anything, you don’t get that unpleasant aftertaste with water-soluble CBD. Another advantage of water-soluble products is that you can add them to any food or drink without altering the flavor or making them greasy.

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What is oil-based CBD?

If you’ve ever shopped online for CBD cream or picked up a jar of gummies at your local store or dispensary, the chances are that the product was oil-based.

Oil-based CBD (or CBD oil) is one of the most common CBD products available on the market. This is because when CBD is extracted from cannabis, it’s already in oil form. It’s then added to a food-grade carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil, to be diluted.

You can consume oil-based CBD in many ways, including:

  • Orally – capsules, gummies, oils and food and drink supplements
  • Topically – creams, lotions and massage oils

Like water-soluble CBD, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate oils do not contain any THC.

Oil-based CBD characteristics

We mentioned earlier that the body is predominantly made of water, which is why water-soluble CBD works so well.

Conversely, oil does not mix with water. This is because water molecules are polar, while oil molecules are not. Like holding two magnets the wrong way round, water and oil will always repel each other. We go into more detail about this on our blog here .

What does this mean for oil-based CBD products?

It makes it harder for the body to break down and absorb CBD. Oil-based CBD can be 4.5 times less bioavailable than water-soluble CBD. In fact, the bioavailability of oil-based CBD can be as low as 6% in some products.

Oil-based CBD is also a victim of the first-pass effect, where it mostly gets metabolized by the liver and excreted from the body.

Benefits of oil-based CBD

While there are many advantages to water-soluble CBD products, oil-based CBD does have its uses.

It’s more readily available

As it’s more expensive to process water-soluble CBD, there are currently more oil-based CBD products available on the market, making it easier to find the one that suits your needs.

However, as technology advances and becomes more affordable, we predict a wide range of water-soluble products will be on offer.

Is oil-based or water-soluble CBD better?

The right CBD product for you will depend on your specific needs and lifestyle. However, based on the available evidence and benefits, if you want a faster-acting better absorbed product, we recommend water-soluble CBD products every time.

At Next Evo Naturals, the CBD products we sell are water-soluble. We use our exclusive SmartSorb™ technology, which is clinically proven in several human studies to deliver four times the CBD into your bloodstream in as little as ten minutes. Learn more about Smartsorb technology in our blog.


American Journal of Endocannabinoid Medicine – Liposomal cannabidiol delivery: a pilot study

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