CBD has been well known for many years, due to its beneficial effects on the body and brain. There is a downside to CBD however, and this is its bioavailability. Happily, some solutions are waiting in the wing, through nano-CBD. Using a special transport system, CBD can be delivered straight to the absorbing area of the gut. But how does this work? Let’s find out.
What Is CBD?
We have all heard of cannabidiol (CBD), and although it was rather absent since World War II, CBD has made a significant comeback in the past two decades (1).
CBD has been used for centuries as a medicine to treat several ailments, including pain, nausea, constipation, and mood (2). Currently, CBD is taking the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries by storm. However, there is an unknown dark side to CBD, which is its bioavailability.
CBD is known as an extremely lipophilic compound. Now, if you are not sure what this means, never fear. In a nutshell, CBD loves fat and oil, but not water. It has incredibly poor water solubility, and, as a result, is not absorbed by the body very well. A large proportion of the CBD we take is lost to the liver without being absorbed. This means that, on average, only 6% of the CBD we take is absorbed (3).
In medicine, this can be somewhat helped by the fact that CBD is taken orally in oils; however, the fact CBD still passes through the liver means that even despite being in oil, absorption into the body can be variable (4).
This is where the world of “nano-emulsifying” delivery systems for CBD comes in.
What Is Nano-CBD?
Nano-CBD consists of two things: CBD and a lipid-based vehicle. This vehicle is termed as a “self-nano-emulsifying drug delivery system” (SNEDDS) (5). SNEDDS are generally composed of lipids, and two other compounds called a co-solvent and a surfactant (6).
Together, they simply make an oily solution called the pre-concentrate. When the SNEDD has contact with the gut, it spontaneously forms a stable nano-emulsion. From here, the CBD, which is fortunately in the middle of the SNEDD, can be absorbed into the gut (7).
Think of this as a passenger in a parked vehicle, where the CBD can get out from the SNEDD and straight into the tissue of the gut.
How Does It Work?
The use of SNEDDS for oral drug delivery has been gaining momentum over the past few years. It excels in its ability to take medications, which are lipophilic and hard to absorb, straight to the gastrointestinal system to be absorbed into the bloodstream. This is incredibly important as this bypasses the first-pass metabolism of CBD by the liver (8).
- If you had a big microscope following the nano-CBD through your body, you would see that when the SNEDDS, along with CBD, makes it to the gut, the pre-concentrate suddenly transforms.
- Much like Cinderella, this transformation is rather remarkable: it changes from a big vehicle into much smaller “nano” spheres. Often these spheres are less than 60 nanometers in diameter. This is 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a strand of your hair (9). This allows the CBD to be readily absorbed into the gut tissue, and then your bloodstream, allowing it to exert all the wonderful, beneficial, effects CBD has on your body.
Happily, there are very minimal side effects of SNEDDS to the body, with the only complaint being that it can occasionally cause some gastric irritation (10). These side effects are especially rare when SNEDDS is used with high-quality CBD, such as that from Silver Lion Farms.
Why Is It Useful?
The ability for nano-particles to do their job is like no other. Investigations have found that by using SNEDDS, the solubility of lipophilic drugs, like CBD, can be improved by more than 99% (11). This is incredibly important, especially when there are drugs, like CBD, that can be incredibly beneficial to your health.
Increased CBD into the Body
In addition to being a great vehicle, SNEDDS also stops CBD from being destroyed by metabolism, increasing its bioavailability even further (12). This is even further enhanced by the incredibly large area the SNEDDS can deliver CBD to, including the areas of the gut that CBD would not be able to reach alone (13).
Investigations have shown that nano-CBD increases the bioavailability of CBD by 400% to 600% compared to CBD taken by itself (14). Nano-CBD has also already been credited for enhanced treatment for osteoporosis and bone injuries (15). When given doses of nano-CBD at four to six weeks post orthopedic surgery, there is a significant increase in the amount and rate of bone healing (16).
The Effect Is the Same Day after Day
The ability of SNEDDS to help increase the absorption of CBD into the body does not stop after just a few doses. Scientists have found that when nano-CBD is given over a long period, the bioavailability remains very high, at 250% more than just CBD alone (17). This is incredibly exciting, considering a large number of benefits CBD can have on the body.
The Bottom Line
CBD is well known for eliciting beneficial effects on the body and brain, but its bioavailability leaves us scratching our heads. Happily, a new technology, “self-nano-emulsifying drug delivery system”, allows the delivery of CBD straight to the absorption area of the gut. This means that we will be able to experience a new and improved effect from nano-CBD.