Research based articles

Water-Soluble: A Guide

Cannabinoids are fat soluble molecules. In basic chemistry we learn that oil and water does not mix. This poses a problem for manufacturers of cannabinoid-based formulations as often times the cannabinoid mixture will not fully dissolve leaving sediment in the product, improper dosing, and often times a foul taste. Water-soluble cannabinoid extracts solve this problem by creating a solution that easily blends into any cannabinoid-based formulation and has helped propel the edible and drink markets within the cannabis and hemp industries.
In this guide we will discuss what water-soluble is, the different types to purchase, and the advantage of water-soluble cannabinoid extracts.

What does water-soluble mean?

Water-soluble means a substance can dissolve in water.

Water-Soluble Cannabinoids

Technically there is no such thing as a “water-soluble cannabinoid.” The term is used more for marketing rather than scientific purposes, because cannabinoids by themselves are naturally fat and alcohol soluble.
Global solution providers have found ways to create extracts of cannabinoids that they market as water-soluble, meaning they break down the cannabinoids to much smaller particles that then disperse evenly throughout water-based mixtures. However, many global solution providers are using nano-emulsion technology which forms colloidal suspensions, dispersing the cannabinoids rather than fully dissolving them within the formulation. This illusion of a true water-soluble product can be damaging to manufacturers of cannabinoid-based products that expect a cannabinoid extract that seamlessly blends with their formulations.
For the purpose of this guide, we will utilize the term “water-soluble.” Though it is important to note not all extracts that are marketed as “water-soluble” are truly water-soluble. As stated prior most “water-soluble” extracts on the market today form colloidal suspensions, not fully mixing with the cannabinoid formulation.

The different types of water-soluble cannabinoids

Currently there are two forms of water-soluble cannabinoid extracts available. They are water-soluble powders and water-soluble liquids.

Water-Soluble Powders

The largest advantage to water-soluble powders is the wide range of product applications it can be infused into. Often times they are odorless and tasteless and can be easily infused into many cannabinoid-based formulation, without the fear or worry of the product separating, and ensures quality, consistent products with each batch.

Water-Soluble Liquids

Water-soluble liquids have drastically advanced the cannabinoid beverage market. In fact, Fortune Business Insights estimates the industry will reach $2 billion globally by 2026. Liquid extracts allow manufacturers to easily infuse a wide range of beverages including coffee, energy drinks, water, hemp juices, and more! With new technology that is providing these extracts with mass production, the explosion of the cannabinoid beverage industry is inevitable.

Advantages of Water-Soluble Products

The most obvious benefit of water-soluble extracts is that they can be easily infused into many cannabinoid-based formulations. However, there are many more advantages of water-soluble extractions. Here are a few:

Improved Bioavailability and Fast Acting Effects

Bioavailability refers to the percentage of the cannabinoid that gets absorbed into the blood stream.
When a cannabinoid is nano-emulsified it turns the cannabinoid into tiny nano particles that can easily be absorbed into the bloodstream, allowing consumers to feel the effects more quickly compared to oil-based extractions. Additionally, water-soluble cannabinoid products have a higher bioavailability, meaning our bodies absorb more of the cannabinoid compared to oil-based applications.

Tastes Great

The problem with many cannabinoid infusions have been the flavor for consumers. Most water-soluble extractions are odorless and tasteless, forgoing the hempy flavor, and only having consumers taste the product itself. Additionally, since water-soluble extracts blend with water, there is no undesired sediment floating in the products.

Easier to Dose Properly

Consistent dosing is important when it comes to cannabinoids. When taking a product made with a water-soluble extract, the cannabinoids blend perfectly into the formulation allowing for more accurate dosing for the consumer.

Has a Longer Shelf Life

Water-soluble extracts have a longer shelf life. Most products made with water-soluble extracts can last two years or longer! This is twice the amount of time the majority of cannabinoid oils, such as CBD oil, will last.

Types of Products to Infuse

Water-soluble cannabinoids can be used for a vast amount of cannabinoid-based formulations. Here are a few of the most common uses:


Beverages are an up-and-coming market thanks to water-soluble extracted cannabinoids. By using water-soluble products, companies are able to make great taking drinks with the power of hemp, without the hempy flavor.


Topicals with cannabinoids like CBD have been popular for many years. The problem though is many formulations are made with oil-based extractions, leaving the cannabinoids separating from the lotion itself, and the oils just sitting on the surface of the skin. Products made with water-soluble cannabinoid extracts have great skin permeability, absorbing into the skin, and bringing benefits to consumers.


Edibles are a great way for consumers to gain the benefits of hemp or cannabis. Often times though they come with the unpleasant earthy flavor the plant brings. Water-soluble extracts are odorless and tasteless, easily infused into recipes for a delicious and benefiting culinary experience.

The Essentia Advantage

At Essentia Scientific we provide truly water-soluble extracts with our clearly soluble solutions. Unlike nano-emulsions or liposomes which form colloidal suspensions, our clearly water-soluble extracts fully dissolve in water forming a clear and transparent solution. When mixed with water the extract forms a true solution where the solvent and solute consist of a single phase, not separating over time. Our extracts rapidly dissolve in your desired formulation, remain stable over time, and the flowable powder and liquids are easy to dose and handle. Our water-based extraction process produces a thermally stable cannabinoid inclusion complex that is truly water-soluble, ready to easily infuse into any cannabinoid-based aqueous formulations.
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