As the water soluble cannabinoids industry shifts toward goal-oriented healthy living, many processors are turning to the manufacture of beverages. This is a great option for consumers and provides a new way for the industry to deliver cannabis to our bodies, but it comes with some serious challenges that must be overcome. For starters, infused beverages are very different from edible products because they are being consumed orally. This is a very different method of consumption that requires specific extraction and processing techniques to produce and formulate properly.
The biggest challenge with incorporating cannabinoids into beverages is that most phytocannabinoids are fat-soluble, or hydrophobic, which means they do not naturally dissolve in water. This is a major issue for producers, as oil extracts are incompatible with the majority of ingredients used in beverage production. It can also lead to separation, settling and layering in the finished product, as well as creating unattractive, bubbly drinks that are often avoided by consumers.
The Next Wave in Cannabinoid Innovation: Exploring Water-Soluble Solutions
Luckily, scientists have developed a process that allows the cannabinoid to be made water-soluble. This can be done by attaching a sugar molecule to the cannabinoid. This is similar to the process by which organisms detoxify molecules that are not naturally fat-soluble, like a drug in your body.
The resulting water-soluble cannabinoids allow for easier blending with other ingredients in cannabis products, such as infused beverages. This allows for a higher degree of homogeneity, consistency, and a more predictable experience for the consumer. Water soluble cannabinoids are also more bioavailable, meaning they absorb faster into the bloodstream once ingested.