Cannabidiol (CBD) is a popular supplement made from hemp plant extracts. Water-soluble CBD and full-spectrum CBD oil are two types of CBD that are widely used today.

Water-soluble CBD is a CBD oil extract that has been broken down into small particles. They’re emulsified to prevent the regrouping of the oil particles. This aids a better dispersion of the particles and increases the surface area of the oil, making it more absorbent.

Full-spectrum CBD oil, on the other hand, refers to a diverse group of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients. The administration of this pure oil strain is effective both in minimal and high dosages. 

This article discusses the main differences between these two types of CBD:

1. Manufacturing Process

To clarify, the CBD molecules in water-soluble CBD don’t dissolve in water but their small sizes allow better dispersion in liquids. These types of products can either be in liquid or powdered form. There are three processes used to produce these water-soluble products, namely nanoemulsion, liposomes, and microemulsions.

Nanoemulsion particles fall between 10 to 100 nanometers. Ultrasonic waves are used to pressurize the CBD particles to break into much smaller particles. Emulsifiers are then used to facilitate the mixing of both oil and water. The two other methods are more suited for industrial purposes and are considerably larger than nanoemulsion particles–with sizes between 50 to 5000 nanometers.

Full-spectrum CBD oil is extracted using different methods such as ethanol extraction, steam distillation, and CO2 extraction methods. The CO2 distillation method is credited to be the most efficient method as it retains 92% of CBD concentration.

2. Delivery Methods And Shelf Life

Many users are concerned about how to take water soluble CBD and full-spectrum CBD oil. The preferred delivery method for water-soluble CBD is oral. Some users also dissolve water-soluble CBD into drinks that they consume daily, such as coffee and tea. For full-spectrum CBD oil, other methods such as vaping, skin rubbing, and holding it under the tongue is used.

The shelf life of water-soluble CBD is longer than that of full-spectrum oil. Water-soluble products can last for over two years compared to one year on CBD oils.

3. Bioavailability

The bioavailability of a drug refers to the amount of nutrients being absorbed into the bloodstream. According to a report, standard CBD oil molecules are absorbed less than 10% of the total intake amount and the unabsorbed nutrients are digested and passed out as body waste. 

Molecule size is inversely proportional to the bioavailability of drugs and supplements. Therefore, the proportion of CBD absorbed in the body increases as the CBD molecule sizes reduce from liposomal microemulsion down to nano-sized microemulsion.  

The improved bioavailability of CBD in water-soluble form greatly improves the effectiveness of the supplement. This helps reduce the CBD dosage required per time and the cost of purchasing CBD products due to a reduction of the wastage of useful CBD via excretion.

4. Effects Of Intake

Full-spectrum CBD effects are experienced slower than their water-soluble alternatives. Full-spectrum CBD takes between 60 to 90 minutes to kick in while water-soluble alternatives take between 30 to 60 minutes.

The lasting effects of these supplements play an important role when determining the use of either of these options. Full-spectrum CBD lasts between 6 to 8 hours, while water-soluble CBD lasts between 3 to 6 hours after use.

This makes users who want a fast-acting effect from their intake to take water-soluble CBD while making a slight trade-off on the duration the effects will last for.

5. Dosage

The right dosage for the ailments CBD treats are not clearly stated medically. This has made many experts advise that you should use an incremental dosage to determine the perfect dosage for you.

Water-soluble CBD can be delivered in precise dosages due to its availability in capsules and soft gels that contain specific amounts of CBD. This allows users to follow their pattern of dosing.


CBD remains a useful supplement, but the forms in which it’s delivered are applicable for different purposes. 

For instance, the water-soluble form and the full-spectrum CBD oil aren’t produced in the same way. Their delivery methods differ in great ways–with water-soluble ones being suitable for oral consumption, while oils are better suited for vaping and other methods. Also, shelf life is longer in water-soluble ones than in full-spectrum oils.

Bioavailability, intake effect, and dosage are improved in water-soluble CBD compared to full-spectrum oil. The only trade-off on water-soluble CBD is that its effects don’t last as long as full spectrum oil provided that you get the dosage of your oils right.