Is taking liposome CBD oil the most effective method to maximize CBD absorption? The use of liposomes in CBD technology is rapidly increasing. In this article we discuss what liposomes are, their advantages, safety profile, and whether they are the future of the CBD industry.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is one of the most common cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD interacts with the body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS) and stimulates it. The ECS is involved in regulating processes including pain, inflammation, and emotions. It is also responsible for maintaining homeostasis (equilibrium). CBD stimulates the ECS, thus promotes overall health, as well as aiding in conditions including mental disorders, pain, and epilepsy. Check out our other HealthyTOKYO articles to learn more about CBD and its potential effects.
What are Liposomes?
The word liposome consists of a combination of the Greek words lipos (fat) and soma (body). As such, a liposome in its most simple form is a body of fat surrounding another molecule. They were first discovered by Alec D. Bangham and R. W. Horne in 1961. However, their potential uses weren’t widely realized until a scientific review on liposomes published in 1965.
Liposomes are little “bubbles” made of one or more phospholipid bilayers. Phospholipids are molecules with a hydrophilic (water-attracting) “head” and a hydrophobic (water-repelling) “tail”. When phospholipids are placed in water, they form a bilayer with the heads facing outwards and tails inwards. Scientists can make this bilayer form a sphere, the liposome, which can safely encapsulate liquid products inside it.
Liposomes and Absorption
Bioavailability is defined as the percentage of a substance that enters your circulation and travels to active sites. This can vary drastically depending on a number of factors. When taken orally on their own, many substances have low bioavailability. A major cause of this is their passage through the liver, where they can be degraded by enzymes or absorbed by the liver.
Liposomes improve both the speed and potency of the absorption of their contents into the body, resulting in higher bioavailability. Scientific studies show this is because they are able to safely transport their contents through the gastrointestinal tract into target areas throughout the body. The phospholipid bilayer encapsulates the products, protecting them against degradation by enzymes in the body. In addition, liposomes further increase the efficacy of delivery into cells due to their phospholipid bilayer structure, which allows them to adhere to biological cell membranes.
Due to their ability to maximize absorption, liposomes have been utilized extensively in fields including drug delivery, and delivering nutrients and genetic material into the body. They act as invaluable tools to increase the bioavailability of compounds such as drugs and nutrients in the body.
Liposomal CBD Oil
CBD oil taken alone orally has a bioavailability of around 15%. This is due to the effect of the liver mentioned previously, as well as the hydrophobic nature of CBD oil which causes it to accumulate in fatty tissues instead of traveling to active sites. In contrast, partnering CBD with liposomes enhances bioavailability significantly. The liposomes are hydrophilic (water-soluble) so less CBD accumulates in fatty tissues, leaving more CBD to travel to active sites. In addition, the liposome acts as a protective bubble to protect the CBD against degradation by enzymes and enhances its absorption rate.
1. Higher bioavailability
As a result of using liposomal CBD oil, the bioavailability of CBD is increased. This increases the potency of the CBD, meaning a lower dosage is required to achieve the same effect as non-liposomal CBD oil taken orally.
2. Faster effects
Liposomes also increase the rate of absorption, hence CBD oil reaches active tissues faster than when taken alone.
3. More accurate dosing
Taking CBD via liposomes allows for more accurate dosing than taking CBD oil on its own.
4. Greater penetration
Liposomal CBD oil can be taken either orally or topically, depending on the product. When taken topically, liposomes enable CBD oil to penetrate deeper into the skin than non-liposomal CBD oil.
Since liposomes are water-soluble, they can be easily mixed into food and drinks.
Are Liposomes Safe?
Scientific studies have demonstrated that liposomes are non-toxic, non-immunogenic, and have virtually no adverse side effects. This is to be expected, since they are comprised of phospholipids, which are the basis of all cell membranes in the body. In addition, they are biodegradable and biocompatible.
Liposomal CBD Oil vs Other CBD Products
Is liposomal CBD oil the best way to consume CBD? Despite all the above advantages, there are in fact disadvantages to liposomal CBD oil. In particular, liposomal CBD formulations are generally far more expensive than other CBD products. Therefore, consumers should weigh up the increased bioavailability against the higher cost for liposomes.
When making a decision, it should be noted that there are other methods of administering CBD that also have high bioavailability. For example, taking CBD oil sublingually or vaping CBD both result in high bioavailability. They result in CBD bypassing the liver and allow CBD to immediately enter the bloodstream. CBD oil and CBD vape juice are usually cheaper than Liposomal CBD, and have comparable bioavailabilities. Therefore, while liposomes do have advantages, they may not be the best value for money when compared to other high-bioavailability methods like vaping CBD or taking it sublingually.
In conclusion, liposomes are already widely used in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries to efficiently deliver drugs and nutrients to target sites in the body. Their water-soluble nature enables them to effectively travel through the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream, resulting in high bioavailability of their contents which could enhance the effect of the CBD oil. HealthyTOKYO currently sells Liposome CBD oils for pets, which are 3 times more absorbent than the equivalent CBD oils. As a result, a lower dosage is required, and bottles can last 3 times longer.
However, liposomal CBD is often a lot more expensive than other CBD products. Consumers should think about whether the high bioavailability justifies this additional cost. Especially considering other products like CBD vape juice, or CBD oil when taken sublingually, also have high bioavailabilities and are cheaper than liposomal CBD. Some people prefer specific CBD products, so it is worth trying a variety and finding your favorite. To buy a range of high-quality CBD products in Japan, including CBD vape juice and a range of CBD oils, visit our HealthyTOKYO online shop or visit our Cafe and Shop in Haneda Airport.