What is Nano CBD? Nanotechnology
is the application “of extremely small things” conducted at the
nanoscale — about 1 to 100 nanometers. Nanotechnology is pretty widespread in
medicine, beauty products, biomaterials, robotics, and now organic compounds
such as CBD.
Some companies refer to nano CBD as being “water-soluble CBD” — but
this term isn’t scientifically correct. No CBD is water-soluble, it’s just that
the smaller size of the molecules are able to appear water-soluble at the macro
scale. We’ll get into how this works in more detail later.
(Source: Folium Biosciences) The Bioavailability of CBD
If you’ve been a CBD aficionado for a while now, you already know that
CBD has a low bioavailability rate.
bioavailability? The bioavailability of a substance is the rate and degree at which it
enters the bloodstream to produce an active effect.
The bioavailability rate of a substance depends on several factors,
including the method of consumption. For example, the oral method of CBD
consumption has a high average bioavailability rate of 20% and a low average
rate of 4%. So, if you consume 100 mg of CBD, only 20% of it (20 mg) will end
up in your bloodstream to produce an active effect [
consumption has one of the highest bioavailability rates, between 34-46% [
With oral consumption being so low, and vaporized consumption being heavy on the lungs, consumers are looking for the middle ground. To some, that’s nano CBD.
Why Would Nano CBD Work Better
Than Regular CBD?
The reason CBD manufacturers and consumers became interested in nano
CBD is the nature of the compound itself. CBD is a hydrophobic molecule—which
means it won’t mix with water.
In addition to being hydrophobic, cannabinoids such as CBD are also
lipophilic, aka they combine or dissolve in lipids or fats. Therefore, CBD
molecules don’t naturally bind with water molecules. This is the reason why
bioavailability is so low.
Think of it this way, your mouth and digestive tract are watery, while
CBD is oily. Since water and oil don’t mix, most of the CBD particles stay
hidden in droplets until fully digested.
Additionally, because of the ‘first-pass metabolism,’ a large
percentage of CBD that gets swallowed is processed and broken down in the
intestines. After all these processes are finished, only a small percentage of
CBD remains to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
But, when the CBD particles become small enough (nano), they look and
act like a dissolved substance. This is why they’re called “water-soluble CBD,”
a term only used for marketing purposes. CBD doesn’t, in fact, lose its
hydrophobic nature to become water-soluble. The compound still follows the fat
absorption pathway but is delivered as tiny particles.
It’s easier for the body to digest and absorb nutrients from oil
that’s broken down into tiny drops. This is because smaller oil drops have
increased surface contact with the body’s enzymes and absorptive tissue,
helping the body absorb the CBD molecules sooner.
CBD still needs further processing in the body to be fully distributed
to the bloodstream, as opposed to true water-soluble molecules that can be used
by the body immediately.
A 2016 study published in the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and
Biopharmaceutics, looked into the efficiency of cannabinoid drugs when
encapsulated. Researchers used a method to encapsulate cannabinoid drugs in
nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs).
lipid carriers (NLCs) is a smarter drug carrier system made up of
physiological, biodegradable, and biocompatible lipid materials. NLCs is used
for pharmaceutical applications for various routes of drug delivery, including
oral, topical, ocular, etc. [ 3]. In short — encapsulating a drug with NLCs can help overcome complicated absorption issues,
increase active bioavailability, decrease degradation, and target active tissue
This carrier system allows multiple routes of administration and
offers advanced therapeutic efficacy and safety for more difficult-to-deliver
Researchers found that “
recovery, morphology, dimensional distribution and encapsulation efficiency are
presented.” This means that smaller
CBD particles are absorbed by the bloodstream more efficiently than
regular-sized particles of CBD [ 4]. What The Research Says About Nano
When manufactured correctly, nano CBD oil may increase the levels of
CBD that enter the bloodstream. Although there is limited research, here’s what
the science says about nano CBD.
A promising 2018 study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical
Sciences looked into the bioavailability of Sativex compared to a CBD/THC
nanoemulsion in healthy male volunteers. The authors of the study noticed an
increased overall absorption of the nanoemulsion [
A 2017 study published in the Journal of Controlled Release compared
the bioavailability of a CBD/THC Piperine nanoemulsion with Sativex, an
approved THC/CBD oromucosal spray in healthy volunteers. The study showed a
significant increase in absorption of THC and CBD compared to Sativex, but it
should be noted that the nanoemulsion also included Piperine — a natural
absorption enhancer [
Another 2016 study published in the Journal of Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy looked at lipid nanoparticles as a platform for cannabinoid delivery. The study focused on developing a valuable oral delivery carrier for a cannabinoid derivative CB13. According to the authors of the study, this derivative presents therapeutic potential for certain chronic pain states that respond poorly to conventional analgesics. The lipid formulation used in this study proved to be a promising carrier for the oral delivery of the derivative [
7]. This means that
nanoparticles can be an effective asset for cannabinoid delivery to targeted
tissues and help pain states that don’t react to conventional medicine. What Are the Risks of Nano CBD?
Nano CBD holds promise, but there is a lot of room for research,
especially when it comes to the safety of such products.
Dr. Pratap Singh, assistant professor at the
of British Columbia, said that nano-encapsulation “should require more clinical trials,”
and “more rigorous testing if the size is
below 50 or 20 nanometers.” This warning has been issued because
nanoparticles can enter human cells and accumulate in various organs,
potentially leading to inflammation and tissue damage.
on nanotechnology by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) discussed the risks and benefits of using nanotechnology
The report points out that:
is not clear, whether nanoparticles can pass from a pregnant woman’s body via
the placenta into the unborn child.”
As the particles decrease in size, the small particles start behaving
very similarly to the bigger particles. However, as the particles become even
tinier, up to a few hundred nanometers, they show some properties different to
normal particle sizes such as passing through gaps they couldn’t pass through
before and reaching tissues that weren’t previously expected.
These small particles can enter into different types of tissues, aside
from those that they are targeting.
However, Dr. Singh advised consumers to be more concerned about
whether a product is being made safely and is not toxic than whether or not it
Summary: Is Nano CBD More
Effective Than Regular CBD?
Research is scarce but promising — nano CBD is absorbed into the
body more efficiently.
To consumers, this means they get more from less when using nano CBD.
However, there is still room for research, and CBD users should be careful when choosing their nano CBD brand. There is still some potential for risk when using nano CBD — but we can’t be sure until more research is conducted.
CBD brands that are selling nano CBD products tend to over-promise in
order to sell their products. So, make sure to look for a company that offers
rigorous third-party testing, and remains up to date with current research in
the nano CBD space.
Infinite CBD Nano Energy Shots 30 mL (1 oz)
Cost per mg CBD:
Ojai Energetics Sports Gel 30 mL
Cost per mg CBD:
Infinite CBD Nano CBD Non-Dairy Creamer 8 oz (236 mL) References Huestis, M. A.
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(2016). Encapsulation of cannabinoid drugs in nanostructured lipid
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10.3109/1061186X.2012.716845 Duran-Lobato, M.
(2016). Lipid nanoparticles as an emerging platform for cannabinoid
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