Why Hemp Extracts Are Not Water Soluble

Packaging on certain hemp products is getting it wrong. Anything that advertises itself as water-soluble is technically incorrect according to Dr. Alexey Peshkovsky. 

During a presentation at the 2018 Marijuana for Medical Professionals Conference in Denver, Dr. Peshkovsky breaks it all down.

Water-soluble vs water-compatible

When a mixture is water-soluble, the components within the mixture are able to separate into individual molecules within water. It’s how the mixture mixes. Oils don’t break down this way in water, and all cannabis extracts are oils. 

If you want to make a hemp extract water-soluble, you’d have to alter the hemp molecules, and they’d cease to be the cannabinoid you started with.

Instead, hemp is water-compatible. This means hemp molecules behave similarly to those that are actually water-soluble. The results are so close that it’s easy to confuse the two terms, but only one is correct.

The benefits of being water-compatible

Because hemp extracts are water-compatible they:

  • Disappear in water and easily mix into beverages
  • Absorb quickly and completely
  • Provide long-term product stability
  • Are all-natural and non-toxic
  • Won’t change the flavor of the liquid

You’re also able to extract nano emulsions thanks to hemp’s water compatibility. This term relates to the dispersion of oil droplets in water. With a carrier like olive oil or coconut oil, a bioactive (the hemp extract), and an emulsifier, oil and water can mix together into a clear liquid.

Your options when it comes to emulsions

There are actually four different types of emulsions, including nano emulsions. The other three are:

  • Macro-emulsions: This is when two liquids are dispersed into each other. They’ll appear milky because of droplet size. These mixtures can separate over time and are often unstable.
  • Micro-emulsions: Not exactly an emulsion, since it doesn’t always form droplets, this type of mixture needs a lot of harsh emulsifiers, so it’s really more of a solvent. It usually includes an additional ingredient like salt. Stable if left alone, slight changes can make the mixture unstable.
  • Liposomes: The shape of a liposome makes it a great molecule to use in an emulsion with water-soluble compounds like Vitamin C. Shaped like a donut, there’s actually a droplet of water in the center of the molecule. Hemp extracts struggle to penetrate liposomes to achieve emulsion.

When it comes to hemp, nano emulsions are the only way to get things right. While mixing compounds this way does require special equipment, when you get the droplet size consistent, and just right (at 10-20 nanometers), you end up with a stable, clear liquid, perfectly infused with your cannabinoid of choice.

The big bonus of nano

Consumers will really see a difference in products that use nano emulsions, no matter their preferred delivery route. This is because nano emulsion helps eliminate the unpredictable absorption and delayed onset that can occur with many hemp-derived products.

For oral or digestive products, like edibles or capsules, nano emulsions, in products like beverages, get into your system faster. There’s less to break down or break through to get to the hemp extract once the product hits your stomach.

Hemp users who vape or smoke also have to deal with unpredictable absorption, influenced mostly by how big of an inhale you take. There are a lot of people who find this method too harsh as well. Nano emulsions make nebulization possible. A much easier and dependable way to inhale hemp.

Tinctures that are sublingual pose issues because it’s really hard to keep it under your tongue without swallowing too soon or letting it mix with the saliva in your mouth. When this happens, you have to wait for the liquid to get digested. And, it takes longer. Nano emulsion lets you swap out the base liquid in tinctures. You go from alcohol, which can burn in your mouth, to water, which is milder and easier to hold in place.

Even those consumers who prefer transdermal hemp products have an alternative option that absorbs faster into the skin. Nanoemulgel is the topical form of a nano emulsion. The smaller particles make it easier for the jelly to sink into the skin.

In all cases, the smaller particles resulting from a nano emulsion lead to faster absorption and predictable dosing. You don’t have to wait so long for something to happen, and there’s more dependability on how a set dose can make you feel.

Stop saying hemp is water-soluble

So, to get it right, hemp is water-compatible. Although a less familiar term, putting hemp into this category is what enables nano emulsions to occur. And, that opens the door to myriad benefits from the clarity of a mixture to the quality of products.
Reach out to us at Arbor Vita8 to learn more about nano emulsions, hemp extracts, and how to create the best possible products. Our experienced and knowledgeable team is ready to help.


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