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People have been drinking hemp teas for centuries for a range of therapeutic benefits, but it wasn’t until the 1940s that scientists were able to identify, isolate and begin to understand the cannabidiol molecule. Through discovery of further cannabinoids, we subsequently came to learn more about the network of receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, and how CBD interacted with these.
Later, with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, producers could finally extract THC-free hemp-derived CBD legally in the U.S. and the market exploded, with predictions pointing towards a $22 billion market by 2022. Initially, manufacturers focused on CBD oils (CBD + carrier oil) and tinctures (CBD isolate + alcohol) because they were easy to produce, but the market has now embraced everything from balms and lotions to gummies.
When CBD is extracted from the hemp plant — along with other cannabinoids, fatty acids and plant oils — it is a viscous, highly hydrophobic substance. Combining hemp oil with a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) carrier oil (e.g., coconut oil) and other essential oils for aroma and flavor (e.g., lemon or peppermint) has been the conventional formula.
And cbd oils do offer advantages for manufacturers and users — they give a consistent taste profile and potency and are easy to add to food or beverages. But do they deliver? Some studies have found that bioavailability of oil-based CBD after oral dosing (under fasting conditions) is as low as 6 percent. That would indicate that consumers of oil-based products may be missing out on any of the effects and benefits of CBD simply because the cannabidiol is flushed from their body before it has a chance to make its presence felt. This applies even when users hold CBD oil or tincture under the tongue (or ‘sublingually’).
In addition, too many manufacturers start with a low-quality CBD extract and combine it with additives that do not support bioavailability. As a result, consumers are not getting the concentrations of CBD necessary to experience any benefits, and results can be erratic. Taken with a high-fat meal, for example, oil-based CBD does become somewhat more bioavailable than without food, but consumers should expect consistent results whatever the conditions. In that respect, emulsion-based CBD formulas may deliver a more consistent experience if carefully produced under GMP standards.
Adding other fatty non-emulsion ingredients to a CBD tincture is a common approach, whether it’s natural citrus or peppermint oils for flavor. The problem is that these substances don’t help, limiting rather than encouraging absorption. In one 2020 study by Colorado State University, a CBD base in primarily MCT oil took 3.29 hours to reach maximum concentration, compared to 0.7 hours for a water-dispersible preparation. Based on what we know about the metabolism of CBD in the body, it’s clear that oil-based tinctures deliver CBD too slowly into the bloodstream to have a noticeable effect.
Taking an innovative approach to CBD technology revolutionizes the speed at which CBD can get to work, and how easily it is absorbed into the body. To overcome the limitations of oil-based tinctures, we developed our proprietary SmartSorb™ technology using research-backed science on bioavailability and emulsion. Our capsules allow the body to absorb CBD faster compared to oil-based CBD products, getting to work in as little as 10 minutes.
The starting point for any CBD formula should be an understanding of how cannabidiol and other ingredients are absorbed in the body. The goal is to deliver the benefits of CBD before the body can metabolize it. Our SmartSorb™ formula is the only research-backed pure CBD with faster absorption times, making it the perfect starting point for achieving next-level wellness.
Frontiers in Pharmacology - “A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans”
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry - “The Essential Medicinal Chemistry of Cannabidiol (CBD)”
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology - “The pharmacokinetics and the pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids”