Water soluble CBD vs. CBD oil

Water soluble CBD and CBD oil may look similar, but their formulas and uses differ in key ways. Here’s the difference and what you should know.
Water Soluble CBD vs. CBD Oil
minute read

It might seem like CBD product categories are firmly established after years of development and widespread success. With a range of edibles, oils, and topicals, CBD can be delivered in many different ways, with a broad variety of formulas to suit every imaginable need. 

However, there’s always a way to innovate and push forward with new and unique product types, especially in a fast-moving hemp extract marketplace. That’s exactly why water-soluble CBD is making waves in the world of hemp, with sought-after benefits that stand out against traditional CBD oil product types. 

This article will explain the science behind the how water-soluble CBD works in the body, comparing them to the familiar CBD oil products you likely already know. These two categories may seem similar, but there are enough key differences to warrant a full breakdown. Let’s get started and see if water-soluble CBD is right for you.

What is water-soluble CBD?

Water-soluble CBD is a type of liquid hemp extract designed for quick, easy mixing into beverages for convenient consumption. The concept of solubility is one of the pillars of chemistry — a chemical property meaning that a substance can dissolve completely in another to form a homogenous solution.

Water solubles are relatively new in the hemp extract marketplace, but they’re catching the attention of CBD newcomers and veterans alike. If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy your CBD in liquid format with the convenience of total solubility and fast-acting effects, you’re in the right place. 

How is water-soluble CBD produced?

The key to achieving solubility with high-quality hemp extract is found in a process known as liposomal emulsification. This advanced production method involves encapsulating the cannabinoid compounds in liposomes, which are microscopic cell membranes that mimic the structure of fatty acids. 

In liposomal emulsification, the phospholipids are chosen for high compatibility with CBD and other key cannabinoids, such as THC, plus potent terpenes and flavonoids from the hemp plant. The lipids are dissolved in a clean solvent, and then undergo a rapid dispersion which captures hemp compounds in the secure shell of the liposomes. 

The mixture is then purified to remove any remaining compounds that haven’t been encapsulated, as well as other impurities and solvent residue. This ensures that the final product is clean, uniform, and maximally effective for quick mixing and convenience.

What types of water-soluble CBD are available?

Because water solubles are relatively new in the CBD marketplace, you might not see as wide of a variety of hemp extract formulas in this product category compared to CBD oil. However, Sunmed is leading the charge with a water-soluble CBD product lineup that has something for everyone, covering all the bases for modern hemp users.

For example, our fast-acting wellness water-soluble products come in both broad spectrum and full spectrum formats, giving you the option for low-THC or non-detectable THC formulations. Our best-selling Neuro Water Soluble hemp extract contains CBD, CBG, and a powerful terpene blend to help you lock in with calm, focus, and balance first thing in the morning or throughout your days.*

If you’re looking for an all-natural boost, our Energy Water Enhancer formula combines a starter serving of CBD with electrolytes, caffeine from green coffee bean, and monk fruit to boost alertness while keeping you hydrated. It’s the perfect way to start your day or enjoy an afternoon pick-me-up without the jitters.* 

How do you use water-soluble CBD?

Using water-soluble CBD is easy, intuitive, and fast. Start by shaking up your tincture or squeeze bottle, then simply drop your desired amount into your preferred beverage. Mix briskly with a stirrer and watch as the hemp extract dissolves quickly into the liquid before your eyes. 

From there, you can either drink your beverage in one go or take your time sipping to enjoy a slow and steady serving of CBD over the course of your morning. It's never been so easy to incorporate CBD into your routine and experience fast-acting benefits on-the-go.

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil refers to liquid hemp extracts that use carrier oils to deliver cannabinoids like CBD and other active plant compounds and ingredients. This is the tried-and-true format that originally put liquid hemp extracts on the map, serving as a reliable way to get CBD into your system in an accurate, precise serving size. 

While water solubles, edibles, and topical CBD formats are catching up quickly in terms of popularity, CBD oils remain some of our best-selling products at Sunmed and in the broader marketplace. As a staple of the wellness and cannabis industries, CBD oils will be around forever, and there are still plenty of reasons to enjoy these products alongside other hemp extract formats. 

How is CBD oil produced?

CBD oil production starts with the extraction of active plant compounds from Cannabis sativa, whether with heat, solvents, or a combination of the two. The most valuable components of the plant are stripped from its leaves, flowers, and stems, ensuring that no part is left unused. The more thorough and clean the extraction process, the higher the quality of the CBD oil will be. 

At Sunmed, we draw from only the most potent and well-balanced cannabis crops, making sure our CBD oils are premium in look, feel, and effects. All of our CBD tinctures and oils are thoroughly tested by third-party labs, and you can see for yourself every batch's results on our site.* 

This transparency and commitment to quality is part of our promise, and it’s what you should expect from any modern hemp extract product you choose to buy. 

What types of CBD oil are available?

Since CBD oils have been around for far longer than water solubles and other new formats, you can find a wider range of product formulas and niche varieties in this category. Our lineup includes all the long-lasting tinctures you’ve grown to love, as well as special use-case products for sleep, relief, energy, focus, weight loss and more.

On the other hand, some producers use the term “CBD oil” more loosely, labeling CBD isolate and pure CBD products as such. While these products are functional, they don’t contain the full range of high-quality cannabinoids found in our premium CBD oils. As a result, choosing an isolate CBD product means you could miss out on the complete benefits of the hemp plant, which has a variety of natural compounds that work together in synergy to balance the endocannabinoid system. 

How should you use CBD oil?

You can consume CBD oil by mixing it in water or other beverages, but the compounds tend to sit at the surface instead of dissolving fully. If this is your preferred way to take liquid hemp extracts, we recommend water-soluble products instead of oils.

However, many CBD oil users find that sublingual CBD delivery is more effective with this product type, and produces a quicker onset of effects as well. Test out multiple types of CBD oils to see which one yields the best results for you and fits with your lifestyle in a sustainable way.* 

How do you choose the best water-soluble CBD and CBD oil?

Choosing the best liquid hemp extracts is a repeatable process, whether you opt for water-soluble CBD or traditional CBD oils. Here are the steps you should follow every time.

Put quality first

Quality is your top priority when selecting any type of CBD, so always look for premium ingredients and clean production processes. With Sunmed, quality is a given, as we deliver the purest hemp extracts manufactured in the USA with third-party lab results available for every batch. 

Additionally, always read third-party lab results to see the exact ratios of key cannabinoids and other actives. This ensures you get the desired effects and can compare your experience with other product formulations. 

Align with your goals

Do you want the general balancing, soothing benefits of CBD or a specific formula for energy, recovery, or relaxation? Asking these questions ensures you choose the right hemp extract formula before you pick a format like oils or water solubles.* 

CBD is highly versatile, but products aren’t necessarily one-size-fits-all. Sunmed acknowledges this, and we produce different hemp extract formulas to give you the results you want. 

Experience, reflect, and adjust

Part of easing into the CBD lifestyle means taking account of your experience every time you take a serving of hemp extract. Reflect on your mood, energy levels, mental and physical performance, and other key metrics that can help you adjust course in the future. 

There is no “finish line” when it comes to CBD, and even the most experienced users frequently adjust serving sizes, formulas, and delivery methods. This is your wellness journey, so be patient and experiment with different products to see what's the best approach for you  we have over 1250 options to choose from. 

The bottom line

The debate between water-soluble CBD and CBD oils has likely only just begun, but this isn’t a matter of competition. Instead, these are complementary hemp extract formats that can play a role at different stages of your day, week, and life in general. 

You may find that broad spectrum water solubles are ideal for your morning CBD serving, while full spectrum CBD oils could be better suited for your evening routine or recreational weekend use.* 

No matter what route you take, Sunmed is here to guide the way and support you with education, in-person guidance, and excellent products you can trust. Shop our CBD products


Solubility | Introductory Chemistry

Modes of Cannabis Use: A Secondary Analysis of an Intensive Longitudinal Natural History Study

Processing and extraction methods of medicinal cannabis: a narrative review | NIH

Terpenes/Terpenoids in Cannabis: Are They Important? | NIH