What is Nano-Enhanced CBD?
How is Nano CBD different?
Is it safe?
Is it more effective than Broad-Spectrum CBD oil?
If you’re shopping for CBD oil, you may have noticed a growing selection of products that sound like they belong in a science fiction novel instead of on your nightstand:
Nano-Amplified CBD. Nano-technology-Enhanced Diols. Nano-particle Cannabinoids. Nano-OMG!!!
Is all this nano-business a sign of scientific progress — or just a scientistic gimmick?
Fancy Salad Dressing
In truth, nano CBD products are about as technologically-advanced as creamy balsamic vinaigrette.
Don’t be fooled by the big words (or the small ones). This article explains the ins and outs of nano-enhanced CBD oil in language you can actually understand. Learn how to judge the quality and safety of nano CBD products for yourself...
Nano-Sized Drops of CBD Oil
It may sound intimidating, but nanotechnology is just a fancy way of saying that a company is working with extremely small things.
By the normal definition, those extremely small things should be less than 0.0000001 meters — i.e. 100 nanometers.
However, in the CBD industry, "nano" is thrown around pretty loosely, frequently describing much larger things. Why? Simply because “nano” sounds so coooool.
And what are these "nano" things anyway? Little drops of CBD oil!
You can visualize a droplet of any CBD oil product as one of those carnival ball-pits full of plastic spheres. Most of those spheres are molecules of the carrier oil (coconut oil, olive oil, etc.) but there's a much smaller number of CBD molecules interspersed throughout — mostly hidden inside the ball-pit with very little at the surface or edges.
Because your mouth and your digestive tract are moist and watery, and because oil & water don't mix, when you swallow a CBD product it tends to stay in droplets or globules, with most of the CBD molecules hidden and inaccessible until fully digested.
(And digestion tends to break down a large percentage of any CBD you swallow — which is why we strongly recommend that you vigorously swish your CBD oil around your tongue and gums for enhanced absorption.)
Helping CBD Oil Mix into our Watery Bodies
Since oil and water don’t mix, "nano" CBD companies use one of the oldest tricks in the recipe book…
When whipping up a homemade salad dressing, recipes usually call for honey, mustard or egg yolks. This isn’t just for taste — these ingredients are natural emulsifiers, which means they help stabilize oil-in-water mixtures.
If you look at a pre-mixed salad dressing on the grocery shelf, you'll see that it lists extra ingredients & chemicals — many of which help keep the oil & water mixed indefinitely. If you could zoom in on that salad dressing with a high-powered microscope, you would see countless tiny drops of oil suspended in vinegar (which is mostly water).
What you wouldn’t be able to see (even though it’s there) is a thin layer of emulsifiers & other chemicals coating the surface of every drop of oil. They’re what keep the oil droplets from merging and rising to the top to separate from the water.
Nano CBD products typically contains CBD oil, water and other ingredients that help stabilize this emulsion. For instance, one common nano CBD ingredient – lecithin or “phospholipids” – is the same fat in egg yolks that works great to keep salad dressings from separating.
Nano CBD: Any Benefits?
There is one true reason you might want to try emulsified CBD oil (aka nano CBD).
When manufactured correctly, emulsified CBD oil could potentially increase the amount of CBD that ends up in your bloodstream.
How is that true?
- Increased Surface Area: Your body has an easier time digesting and absorbing nutrients from oil when it’s broken down into tiny drops. The smaller those drops get, the more surface contact the oil has with your body’s enzymes and absorptive tissue. Within your digestive tract, your body’s natural bile salts will emulsify CBD oil and other dietary fats. However, putting pre-emulsified oil in your mouth could help your body start absorbing CBD molecules sooner.
- Penetration-Enhancers: Nano CBD products typically contain ingredients that belong to a class of chemicals called “penetration enhancers.” These include ethanol, propylene glycol and other surface-active molecules that coat the tiny drops of CBD oil. These chemicals can increase the movement of CBD molecules across skin and mucous membranes.
Nano CBD: Risks & Downsides?
Although nano-emulsified CBD can deliver higher levels of CBD quickly into your bloodstream, there are a few things you should consider before buying a nano CBD product:
- Added chemicals: Nano CBD products are manufactured with chemicals you might not want in your body. For instance, propylene glycol is a common additive in shelf-stable emulsions that was recently named “Allergen of the Year” by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. Each miniscule drop of CBD oil is literally coated with these ingredients, and different companies will choose different chemicals to create these emulsions.
- Dishonesty: Unfortunately, the nano CBD world is rife with fraudulent products and misinformation. You’ll need to do some detective work to find a trustworthy company. Beware: Many nano CBD companies love to use scientific-sounding language as a smokescreen to keep you from noticing red flags. If you don’t understand what they’re saying, they’re probably confusing you on purpose.
Deciding Whether to Buy Nano CBD Oil
Whether or not you should try nano CBD depends on why you were drawn to it in the first place.
Most of the benefits promised by nano CBD products can be found from less-adulterated CBD products for a much lower price.
Here are our thoughts on a few popular reasons people consider taking nano CBD:
- Are you buying your first CBD product and just stumbled on nano CBD? You might want to start simple and try a high-quality CBD oil on its own. You can use that as a baseline to see how — or even if — you would want to improve that experience.
- Have you found other CBD products ineffective? First triple check that the CBD products you previously bought came from a reputable company. (This new, minimally regulated industry is full of hype and snake oil, so it's easy to be sold fake products whether you’re buying nano CBD or natural CBD oil.)
- Do you wish your CBD oil was stronger or want to feel it quicker? Before giving away your bottle of non-nano CBD oil, there are natural tricks you can try to enhance your body’s ability to absorb CBD. For instance, try eating a nice meal full of healthy fats before taking the CBD oil. To speed the flow of CBD into your bloodstream, try vigorously swishing CBD oil around in your mouth for a few minutes before swallowing — not only does this spread the oil out across many absorption areas in the mouth, it also emulsifies the oil somewhat. You could even include a natural emulsifier like a spoonful of honey. For more tips, see our article on getting your CBD dosage right.
- Do you already love CBD and just want to try the newest thing? Well that sounds reasonable. However, make sure to scrutinize your options and choose a nano CBD company that treats you like an intelligent person while prioritizing your safety. We don’t currently recommend any specific products, but we do have some advice to help you navigate the hype.
Tips for Choosing the Best Nano CBD Products:
- Don’t get distracted by their promises: First and foremost, make sure they are using an organic, high quality, full-spectrum or broad-spectrum hemp extract. They should say where and how the plants were grown. Unfortunately, very low-quality CBD can end up in nano products.
- Check out the ingredient list: If they don’t have an ingredient list, run away. The main ingredients should be water, hemp extract/CBD oil and a few extra ingredients to stabilize the emulsions. Just like the foods you eat, the more chemicals they have listed, the more wary you might want to be of the product.
- Nano CBD is not an ingredient: Nano CBD means the company is unwilling to tell you what extra chemicals were used to create stable little drops of CBD oil. Don’t trust this on an ingredient list.
- Only oil ingredients: If the main ingredient is simply oil, it is not a nano-emulsified CBD product. The company is just taking advantage of the popular term “nano” in order to sell you normal CBD oil in a spray bottle.
- Website & Certificate of Analysis: Are they just throwing large words at you in order to confuse you? Don’t fall for this trick – scientific jargon is not a sign that they know what they’re talking about. You’d be better off purchasing from more straightforward companies that explain their products clearly and make their full ingredient list and test results available to the public.
- Nano Water: The main benefit to nano CBD is increased absorption in your mouth. Because your digestive system naturally emulsifies oil, consuming products like CBD water which don’t spend much time in your mouth before being swallowed won’t be worth the money. Look for a more concentrated product that you can hold in your mouth for a few minutes.
Does Foria Offer Nano-Enhanced CBD?
Not enough research has been done on shelf-stable nano-emulsified CBD yet, so at Foria, we are not convinced that the benefits of nano CBD are worth the risks — or the expense — of added chemicals, and we do not currently offer these products.
Just because the verdict is still out does not mean that nano CBD is not safe or effective — but we prefer to be cautious when it comes to the purity & safety of our products. If you enjoy Foria products and know of good research on or ingredient sources for natural nano-CBD, please let us know via hello (at) foriapleasure.com!
Fortunately, there are plenty of natural, inexpensive tricks people can use at home to increase their absorption of CBD oil.
Getting More out of Your Broad-Spectrum CBD
According to some customer testimonials, Foria's CBD Tonic seems to absorbs faster than competing products — likely because the carrier is MCT coconut oil.
Alternately, a high-quality CBD vaporizer can increase absorption speed & efficiency for a relaxing & clarifying effect most people notice within minutes.
More articles by: Genevieve R. Moore PhD