If you take cannabidiol (CBD), you may already be aware of the many ways in which it works in the body.
But did you know that there’s a way to make your CBD even more effective and efficient? When combined with a substance called liposomes, CBD may be able to go a lot further than it can on its own.
Scientists have known for a while that certain substances can actually help transport medicines into the body for a controlled release. These drug-delivery systems allow chemicals like CBD to catch a ride to a targeted area of the body—without being released or broken down on the way. This is why consuming liposomes along with CBD could help the cannabinoid become more easily available to your body.
What Are Liposomes?
Liposomes are tiny sphere-shaped vesicles, or bubbles. They’re usually made in a lab using biomolecules called phospholipids. These artificial, fluid-filled bubbles were designed in the mid-1960s as a way to carry active molecules to an intended site.
Liposomes are particularly useful in medicine, where drugs often have to pass through the digestive system before making their way into the bloodstream. For medicines that are broken down by digestion, medicinal effects may be lost as they pass through your system. But with liposomes, these medicines can be carried, unharmed, to their intended location.
So how does this work? Phospholipids actually contain a hydrophilic (or water-attracting) head and a hydrophobic (or water-repelling) tail. When these come into contact with water, the head turns inward as the tail turns outward and forms a bilayer, or a film that’s two molecules thick. This results in a tiny liposome bubble, which can encapsulate other chemicals and protect them from being broken down during digestion.
Liposomes can transport ingredients, fully protected, to specific tissues. This makes the bioavailability of medicines transported with liposomes much higher than those delivered without their protective bubble.
Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies have used liposomes successfully for years and now CBD product makers are also starting to take advantage of this safe, nontoxic, nonimmunogenic, biodegradable and incredibly useful drug-delivery system.
How Liposomes Help CBD Absorption
Specific research on CBD and liposomes is hard to find. But based on the science of each, they seem to be a perfect match. Like other chemicals, liposomes can encapsulate CBD for a safer trip to its intended location.
By preserving CBD as it travels through the digestive system, liposomes should effectively lower your needed dose. You’d need much higher levels of CBD to get the same results if you had to account for the amount that’s usually lost to digestive enzymes. With liposomes, the amount of CBD actually absorbed, relative to the amount taken, should be much higher.
Liposomes are also well-suited to transporting hydrophobic molecules like CBD. Because CBD shies away from water, it can be directly mixed with liposomes during formation. This means that little to no CBD is lost in the process of being trapped by the liposomes, and even more of it will make its way into your system.
We may even be able to use liposomes to increase efficient CBD delivery through the skin. A study from 2003 found that CBD was better absorbed by a group of arthritic mice when it was encased in a similar carrier called ethosomes.
Researchers noted that this produced much higher accumulation of CBD in the skin and muscle of the mice and significantly reduced inflammation. This suggests that carriers like liposomes may help CBD better penetrate the skin’s layers.
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Using Liposomes & CBD
If you’d like to use liposomes to improve your own CBD delivery, don’t pull out your chemistry set just yet. Liposomes aren’t a supplement you can mix in with your CBD. CBD needs to be embedded into the microscopic liposomes—something you can’t do at home.
You shouldn’t try to mix up liposomes yourself, but thankfully, experts are already making CBD products with liposomes, such as Elixinol’s Hemp Oil Liposomes.
Chris Husong, Elixinol’s director of sales and marketing, says its CBD Liposomes are an employee favorite. He adds, “Our Liposomes taste great and are formulated to be fast-absorbing and convenient. Some people take a couple of drops under the tongue, while other folks just add it to their water. Either way, it’s great for when you’re on the go or to just get CBD throughout the day.”
Try out the Elixinol Liposomes or another CBD liposomes product, and see if it works for you. It just may deliver a more potent and efficient CBD experience.
Photo credit: Almos Bechtold
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