There are various different types of CBD oil and formulas for sale on the market; all with different effects. There is a lot written and there are a lot of claims made, but little is known about the exact content and different effects of CBD products. Here is a closer look at the science and effects of the various different types of CBD products:
Hemp CO2 extract (CBD paste)
A CO2 extract is, as the name indicates, a hemp concentrate where CO2 has been used to extract the active ingredients from the plant material. In addition to the Cannabidiol (CBD), CO2 also extracts other fats, sugars, leaf green and other substances; which don’t add anything if you purely want to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes. CO2 is often used in the food industry to produce extracts, as it literally extracts absolutely everything from the plant material.
CBD CO2 extracts from hemp contain approximately 1/3 of wax, which gives it a paste-like structure. Its thickness means a CBD Paste extract is usually offered in syringes for easier dosing. The bioavailability of a CO2 extract is approximately 6-12%, just like standard CBD oil. This means a mere 6 to 12% is going to be absorbed by the body. The amount of CBD present in a CO2 extract will depend on the type of hemp plant used, the harvest time, the climate and the extractor’s knowledge.
CBD oils based on a CO2 extract (full plant product)
Most types of CBD oil available on the market have been made from a CO2 extract; which has been diluted with oils such as olive oil, hemp seed oil or coconut oil. Hemp seed oil (unprocessed) isn’t always as long-lasting and the disadvantage of coconut oil is that it can solidify, causing lumps. Coconut oil needs to be heated up before it can be consumed. CBD oil is usually stored in a dark, amber colored pipette bottle. The bioavailability is just like the hemp extract (CBD paste), 6-12%. As CBD oil is a diluted version of an extract, it often contains less CBD compared to a pure extract.
CBD oil based on crystals
There is an increasing number of different types of CBD oil now being introduced to the market, based on isolated CBD crystals. These crystals are either of natural or synthetic origin, with the difference between the two being indistinguishable. The natural crystals are isolated from fibre hemp and purified in such a way that a solid crystalline substance is formed; so-called CBD Isolate or CBD Crystals.
There is nothing wrong with natural CBD crystals, they can be used safely. The synthetic CBD however, is made through various different chemical reactions. Resulting in the plant’s biological synthesis being mimicked. The natural CBD and synthetic CBD are the exact same substance with the exact same effect. However, different compounds can be created during the production process of the synthetic CBD; which could prove harmful and can even cause unwanted side effects. Residual chemicals from the chemical reaction will also remain in the synthetic CBD crystals.
The biggest disadvantage of a CBD oil based on crystals is that it’s very difficult to distinguish between natural and synthetic CBD crystals. Synthetic crystals are virtually always sold as natural CBD crystals; and oil makers can’t tell the difference without the intervention of a specialized laboratory. Another disadvantage of ‘Pure CBD oil’ based on CBD Isolate is that it purely contains CBD. Therefore it misses a whole host of cannabinoids and terpenes which could support CBD’s entourage effect. This means the medicinal effect will always be less than CBD oil which also includes all the cannabinoids and terpenes.
Discover more about the difference between PURE, Full-Spectrum and Broad-Spectrum CBD oil here
CBD oil at Nano Level
The next type of CBD oil is the CBD oil at nano level. CBD crystals or a hemp extract are brought to nano level using ultrasonic frequencies. Those selling this oil have stated the bioavailability is many times higher and this oil – according to the sellers – is therefore much more effectively absorbed by the body.
Effect of Nano CBD oil
Nano CBD is nothing more than CBD with a smaller particle size. Both CBD crystals and hemp extracts are used for the development of nano CBD. It’s like the molecule is reduced in size with the use of ultrasonic frequencies, but the CBD’s lipophilic properties remain the same. So even though Nano CBD is smaller and can therefore be absorbed by the body more easily; the body will still need to bind the Nano CBD to a lipoprotein. This results in a large part of the Nano CBD being broken down in the liver by enzymes. Nano CBD has been banned and there are some major risks associated with this technique.
For example, you don’t want to take hemp extract at nano level. As any heavy metals and pesticides present in the extract will also have been converted to nano parts; and it goes without saying that you don’t want these in your body. So nano CBD might be better absorbed by the body than the standard CBD oil, but it does have serious limitations.
As is the case with pure CBD oil based on crystals, nano CBD oil is also missing all the other active substances, like other cannabinoids and terpenes. Though there are governmental limitations too, which are currently standing in the way of Nano CBD’s production and sales. The food authorities in EU have indicated that Nano CBD is a Novel Food; therefor it is banned and it may not be sold on the market. Many authorities have indicated they will maintain this ban across all Nano supplements in general, including Nano CBD oil.
Liposomal CBD oil based on Lecithin/ liposomes
An increasing number of CBD oils are now also being offered on the market based on lecithin. These are so-called ‘liposomal CBD’ products. Lecithin is a so-called emulsifier agent and can therefor bind fats with water. Lecithin is a substance found in eggs, soy and sunflower seeds and is used, for example, to make mayonnaise. And like with nano CBD, some producers say that their CBD formulas made with lecithin are more readily absorbed by the body - as a result of the binding with lecithin.
Comparisons in efforts to support this theory are often made with so-called liposomal vitamin C formulas. Where lecithin is also used to ensure the vitamin C is more effectively absorbed by the body. Lecithin makes sure fats can bind in the body, resulting in them being effectively broken down. At cell level, lecithin is essential for a healthy cell function. Lecithin is definitely a healthy food supplement, but will it actually aid the absorption of CBD in the body too?
Effects of liposomal CBD with lecithin/liposomes
Lecithin can ensure fats bind with water, a process we refer to as emulsion. Lecithin can therefore bind to fatty substances such as CBD and mix them with water, making the molecule water soluble. However, the binding of cannabinoids with lecithin is a very difficult process. Besides, the water solubility at room temperature is very low. Moreover, lecithins binding power is stronger than that of the body’s own lipoprotein. As a result, CBD bound to lecithin will be absorbed even less effectively than a standard CBD oil based on hemp seed or olive oil.
In fact, as lecithin ensures fats and fatty substances are strongly bound; lecithin is ideal to use as a natural cholesterol reducer and slimming agent. As cannabinoids from hemp are also stored in the body’s fat tissue, lecithin actually helps CBD to be removed from the body at a faster pace! Considering the lecithin binds to the CBD stored in the body and ensures it is expelled from the body faster via the urinary tract. You could therefore effectively use lecithin to, for example, remove THC from your system - but not to achieve better CBD or THC-absorption. After all, lecithin’s powerful fat binding properties give it a counterproductive effect on the absorption of lipophilic substances such as CBD and THC.
On the other hand, lecithin can result in water soluble substances - like vitamin C - to be absorbed by the body more effectively. Resulting in a higher level of it in the blood, something which isn’t possible without the lecithin binding. With the sole exception of intravenous administration, that is. This is referred to as a liposomal vitamin C solution. So to conclude, lecithins do work with water soluble vitamins, but not with lipophilic (fat soluble) substances like THC and CBD!
Water soluble CBD based on BioACTIVE+ (CBDactive+)
A water soluble CBD oil based on BioACTIVE+ will be more effectively absorbed by the body compared to standard CBD oil. As the BioACTIVE+ contains a complex which acts like a transporter (lipoprotein) to the bloodstream. In other words, this means the body won’t need to bind the CBD to a lipoprotein before it ends up in the bloodstream.
How does CBDactive+ work?
CBDactive+ was developed to increase Cannabidiol’s bioavailability and to make the CBD water soluble. Ensuring CBDactive+ isn’t just absorbed more effectively, but will also provide more possibilities in terms of application than traditional oil-based CBD supplements. This makes CBDactive+ ‘the drinkable alternative’ to other CBD oil products.
Because Cannabidiol (CBD) itself is a lipid component, it has to be metabolized after ingestion. Where the body has to bind the cannabinoid to a lipoprotein (transporter) in order to get it into the bloodstream. So actually, the body makes regular CBD oil water-soluble itself – when binding it to the bodies own lipoprotein. It does so, so that the CBD can be absorbed in the blood. Which, of course, is made up of >90% water. Though because the body has to carry out a complicated metabolization to process it; up to 94% of the ingested cannabinoids are broken down by the liver during metabolization. Which means approximately 6% of CBD from regular oils will eventually reach the bloodstream, if the body is able to bind this lipid substance to a lipoprotein.
CBDactive+ however, contains an advanced complex which is already bound to the CBD and acts like a lipoprotein (transporter) to the bloodstream. The bound CBD in CBDactive+ is therefore instantly water-soluble! As the CBD is already bound as a result of the BioACTIVE+ Formula in the supplement, the body won’t need to carry out a complicated metabolization to get the CBD into the bloodstream. This means the body will actually absorb 99% of the bound CBD based on the BioACTIVE+ Formula; compared to only 5% with regular, lipophilic CBD oil.
Another advantage of a water soluble CBD product based on the BioACTIVE+ Formula, is that is contains all terpenes naturally present in cannabis. Which will result in a full entourage effect and will also have some effect on the Cytochrome P450 enzyme system. So that the active ingredients will be broken down in a slower pace, providing you with a longer lasting effect.
Another tip ...
Now you know a little more about the content and efficacy of various types of CBD oil available on the market today. It may well be easier to make the right choice when buying a CBD oil and choosing a CBD oil which meets your needs. Do bear in mind that not every oil seller will always have your best interests at heart. Therefore always choose a supplier who knows what he’s talking about and has appropriate experience with cannabinoids. Also ask about the techniques used, the analyses and the ingredients; to make sure you know it contains exactly what it says on the label. Stay true to yourself and make sure you are conscious of the impact the product has on you. Are you unsure about the effects of CBD? Use these tips to find out if CBD really works for you!