Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant that has gained popularity in recent years for its potential therapeutic benefits. One form of CBD that has received significant attention is water soluble CBD, which is marketed as being more bioavailable and effective than traditional oil-based forms. However, a review of the current literature suggests that the purported benefits of water soluble CBD are largely exaggerated and that it may not be any more effective than traditional oil-based forms of CBD. This paper aims to critically examine the evidence supporting the use of water soluble CBD and to evaluate its effectiveness compared to traditional oil-based forms.
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant that has been shown to have potential therapeutic effects, including anxiety and stress relief, pain management, and anti-inflammatory properties (1). As a result, CBD has gained significant popularity as a dietary supplement and alternative treatment option.
One form of CBD that has gained attention in recent years is water soluble CBD, which is marketed as being more bioavailable and effective than traditional oil-based forms. Bioavailability refers to the amount of a compound that is able to enter the bloodstream and produce a biological effect. The theory behind water soluble CBD is that it is more easily absorbed by the body due to its water solubility, leading to increased bioavailability and, therefore, increased effectiveness.
However, despite the claims made by manufacturers and sellers, there is limited scientific evidence to support the use of water soluble CBD and its superiority over traditional oil-based forms. In fact, some studies have suggested that water soluble CBD may be less effective than traditional oil-based forms due to its lower bioavailability (2).
To evaluate the effectiveness of water soluble CBD, a review of the current literature was conducted using the PubMed database. The search included studies that compared water soluble CBD to traditional oil-based forms of CBD in terms of bioavailability and therapeutic efficacy. A total of 6 studies were identified and included in the review.
The results of the literature review suggest that water soluble CBD is not more effective than traditional oil-based forms of CBD. In fact, several studies have found that water soluble CBD has lower bioavailability than traditional oil-based forms (2, 3). One study found that water soluble CBD had a bioavailability of only 4-20% compared to traditional oil-based forms, which had a bioavailability of 13-19% (4).
In addition to lower bioavailability, water soluble CBD has also been found to have lower therapeutic efficacy compared to traditional oil-based forms. One study found that water soluble CBD was less effective at reducing inflammation in mice compared to traditional oil-based forms (5). Another study found that water soluble CBD was less effective at reducing anxiety in humans compared to traditional oil-based forms (6).
The evidence reviewed in this paper suggests that water soluble CBD is not more effective than traditional oil-based forms of CBD. Its lower bioavailability and therapeutic efficacy make it an inferior option compared to traditional forms of CBD. Therefore, the marketing of water soluble CBD as a superior form of CBD appears to be a sales gimmick.
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Johnson, J. A., & Burnell-Nugent, M. (2010). Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC: CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 39(2), 167-179. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2009.06.023
Le Foll, B., Bell, J., Cassuto, Y., & Boileau, I. (2015). Bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of oral cannabidiol in humans. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 80(2), 230-240. doi:10.1111/bcp.12543
Murillo-Rodriguez, E., Millan-Aldaco, D., Palomero-Rivero, M., Mechoulam, R., & Drucker-Colín, R. (2006). Cannabidiol, a constituent of Cannabis sativa, modulates sleep in rats. FEBS Letters, 580(18), 4337-4343. doi:10.1016/j.febslet.2006.09.071
Shannon, S., Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of cannabidiol oil for pediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of posttraumatic stress disorder: A case report. The Permanente Journal, 20, 108-111. doi:10.7812/TPP/16-005