Some of the most difficult CBD products to develop are water-based products such as drinks. The complexity comes from the hydrophobic nature of the CBD molecule. It is challenging to disperse the CBD in the product and, perhaps the greater challenge, to keep it dispersed in the product. There are several “water soluble” CBD products on the market that utilize various technologies to disperse the CBD.
However, using these CBD ingredients will not guarantee that you end up with a quality product. In this blog we will discuss some of the factors that go into developing a water-based CBD product. The most critical factor when formulating a water-based CBD product is using water-soluble CBD ingredients, which are specifically formulated to disperse the CBD in water. That said, the term water soluble is a bit of a misnomer. CBD cannot be solubilized, or dissolved, into water without a modification to its molecular structure and that would render it a different molecule. Water-soluble CBD ingredients are actually water dispersible and will allow the CBD to be evenly distributed throughout the water-based product. Studies should be conducted to determine if the water-soluble CBD ingredient will be dispersed and will remain dispersed throughout the shelf life of your water-soluble product.
The selection of packaging is the second most critical aspect of water-based product development. If you are planning to package your product in an aluminum can, you will need to ensure that the CBD will not be absorbed into the can’s liner. The majority of readily available aluminum cans absorb CBD, some at a very significant amount. When selecting the packaging you should evaluate whether or not the CBD will be absorbed into the liner. If your packaging does absorb CBD you can consider adding an overage of CBD to the product to compensate for the CBD loss, or look at alternative options such as glass containers.
The third and final consideration in water-based CBD product development is the propensity of the formulation and the manufacturing process to degrade the CBD. Degradation of CBD can occur with exposure to light, heat and acidic conditions. The product formulation should be evaluated to ensure it will not cause degradation and the CBD in the product will meet the labeled amount throughout shelf life. This can be accomplished with accelerated stability studies during product development. In addition to checking the formulation, the manufacturing process should be evaluated to ensure that processing steps such as carbonation and pasteurization will not cause the product to degrade.