Photography by Georgia Love for Herb
You know CBD is in everything when they’re putting it in the water and selling it for a pretty penny. But is CBD water worth the price tag or is it a marketing gimmick? Let’s explore the ins and outs of CBD water to see if this newest trend is legit.
Beyond the obvious which is that CBD water is, well, water infused with CBD, it’s actually quite an interesting product and very new to the cannabis space. Ever notice how many CBD water companies have the word “nano” on their bottles? Well, it’s referring to nano-emulsion, a technique pioneered in the pharmaceutical field which was created to improve the bioavailability of oil-based drugs.
Bioavailability refers to how much of a drug is actually absorbed into the bloodstream. In fact, it may be a surprise to learn that many estimate you only ingest about 10 to 15 percent of CBD when you take an oil sublingually. So with our traditional mode of consumption, the bioavailability is very low.
By that logic, CBD water isn’t just the same old CBD oil we know and love infused into water. In theory, it’s an entirely new and far more effective way to consume cannabidiol.
The technology responsible for this advancement is cutting edge, even in the medical world. A miniaturization process is used to shrink the CBD molecule down to below 60 to 80 nanometers. The molecule is so small that it can then pass through the cell membrane of the mouth and gut tissues with ease, thus allowing for a far greater absorption into the bloodstream.
This miniaturized CBD oil must then be mixed with water to create a drinkable liquid. It’s generally understood that water and oil don’t mix, so in order to make it work, the water and CBD oil must be homogenized into an emulsion.
Still confused? Think of it like a salad dressing, when you put oil and vinegar in the bottom of a salad bowl, they tend to go their separate ways. They must be whisked together vigorously into a single liquid called an emulsion. The principle is the same for mixing nano-CBD oil and water, just on a much smaller scale, hence the term nano-emulsion.
In general, CBD has too many benefits to name in this article. But some of its popular uses are for pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and as a sleep and digestive aid. However, the dosage in CBD water appears to be quite low, often less than 5 mg per bottle. Even with the increased effectiveness of the nano-emulsion CBD, you would have to drink a lot of it to effectively treat severe conditions. Many studies that use CBD give participants upwards of 50 mg multiple times a day.
However, CBD water can still have benefits. It’s best used for everyday muscle aches, relaxation, and exercise, both during and after to aid in recovery. I also personally like to take a bottle to a party to keep me hydrated, relaxed, and hopefully to prevent any headaches that could creep up on me later. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter.
It tastes just like regular water and that’s the point. Taking CBD oil sublingually isn’t the most pleasurable experience. For those who prefer a tasteless way to consume cannabidiol, CBD water could be a great alternative. There’s no lingering weed taste or any difference from a regular bottle of water.
Some brands are also starting to making flavored CBD waters as well as sparkling CBD water. These can be fun to create CBD “mocktails” to share with friends and family for a hangover-free good time.
Now here’s the kicker, CBD water is by far the most expensive form of CBD available today. A single bottle of CBD water containing just 2.5 mg can cost more than $8. Compared to much stronger CBD oils and edibles, it is a substantial increase in cost. Even with the increased effectiveness of nano-emulsion CBD, conventional oils and edibles are far more cost effective if you’re taking CBD daily for medical or wellbeing reasons.
No, CBD is the non-intoxicating cousin of THC and does not produce any euphoric effects. Other than a calming and relaxed sensation, there shouldn’t be any kind of “high.” You can read more about how CBD will make you feel in this article about our experience vaping CBD.
Just like other forms of CBD, CBD water has very few side effects. Ironically, for a bottled water product, CBD water has been known to cause dry mouth. This could be off-putting if you prefer your water to be…thirst quenching and not the other way around.
In larger doses, CBD can cause drowsiness, which if you’re taking it as a sleeping aid, is actually desirable. But as mentioned, the dosage in CBD water seems to be quite low so you would have to drink a lot of it to feel anything more than a relaxed sensation.
It should also be noted that CBD can interact with some prescription medications. So if you’re on any prescription drugs, be sure to read our full explainer on CBD drug interactions before buying a case of CBD water.