Which Water Soluble CBD Tincture Should I Use?

With an overabundance of CBD products on the market and so much information to sort through, it can be a formidable challenge to discern which product might be best suited for your needs and offer the relief you are seeking. Here at Discover CBD, we strive to manufacture the highest quality products and many of our customers have shared fantastic experiences from taking our products for a vast array of issues. Amongst our most popular CBD products would be our Active CBD Oil Water Soluble Tinctures that are specifically formulated to maximize the efficiency of absorption and versatility of how they can be taken. In this blog, we will explore in more depth the primary similarities and differences between the two varieties of these tinctures to choose from; full spectrum or broad spectrum option. 

What is water soluble CBD? 

From a technical standpoint the CBD molecule is not water soluble, but rather is oil soluble. So what does water soluble CBD mean then? Well water soluble CBD products are specifically formulated to homogenize or mix evenly in water based drinks while maximizing the absorption of CBD. There are several different ways of making water soluble products based on lecithin and synthetic polymers however these are deemed inferior by experts. Instead, the type that we use is colloid CBD nanotechnology, which researchers consider to be the best methods by combining both nano and encapsulation processes.


The “nano” in nanotechnology refers to the metric measurement scale in nanometers or 10^-9 meters, meaning 1/1,000,000,000 meters. For our water soluble CBD, the formulas are essentially droplets containing CBD suspended in fluid that have particle diameters of less than 1000 nanometers so they are more easily absorbed into our bloodstream. To put this into perspective, the average human cell is about 25,000 nm which would make the colloid CBD about 1/25th the size of our cells. 

Encapsulation involves packaging the CBD molecules inside a “bubble” that consists of a hydrophobic (fat-like) interior with a hydrophilic (water-like) exterior. This allows for these tiny bubbles to be evenly dispersed or homogenized throughout the solution. Other natural examples of encapsulation in biology include blood, milk and eggs that have a fat with other smaller molecules suspended in liquid. The colloid structure we use consists of a single membrane that encapsulates an oil-like hydrophobic interior. A key difference between colloid encapsulation and lecithin based liposomes is that the colloids have a higher ratio of the oil interior to the surfactant ratio, which means that more CBD can be packaged inside with less ingredients. 

Traditionally most CBD tinctures that are oil based are unable to effectively cross the intestinal membrane alone and therefore our body must undergo a slow biological process of breaking down ingested fats and oils using bile salts into micelles before they can be readily absorbed across the intestinal lining. Colloids have shown to bypass this slow step of oil-based cannabinoid absorption in the digestive tract by having them already pre-packaged for delivery. This significantly increases the rate of absorption and the bioavailability or percentage of CBD actually absorbed into our system. Research has shown that water soluble CBD, whether taken sublingually (held under the tongue) or ingested (by mixing it in with food or drinks) shows an average rate of around 60-80% or more! In contrast, oil based tinctures taken sublingually have a bioavailability of around 40-60% and when ingested as low as 10-20%. That being said, on average most consumers need to take about twice as much CBD with an oil based product than they do with a water soluble one. 

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum

As mentioned previously our water soluble CBD tinctures come in two main varieties of either the full spectrum or broad spectrum option. So what does spectrum mean exactly? The word spectrum was initially used scientifically in optics to represent how light passes through a prism causing a rainbow of colors. You may recognize this in the iconic album art of the English rock band Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” released in March 1973.


The cannabis industry adopted the term spectrum in order to show not the full range of color in a rainbow, but rather the range of over a hundred plus different cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and amino acids that can be found in the cannabis plant that all have their own potential benefits. When we describe CBD as being full spectrum it will be made using the full hemp extract and include everything the hemp plant has to offer. This will of course include the trace amounts of delta 9 THC of 0.03% or less which is generally not enough to produce any psychoactive effects but still gain the potential benefits of THC. 

In contrast when the term broad spectrum is used, we mean that it is made using most of the broad range of the components of the hemp plant, except that the THC is removed through the process of chromatography. The critical difference therefore between full spectrum and broad spectrum is that the later will be THC free which makes it the better option for anyone who may be sensitive to THC or has drug screen concerns. 

The Entourage Effect 

Any time you combine different cannabinoids and terpenes this is suggested to promote what is called the entourage effect, where all of the individual parts of the hemp plant may work synergistically and even better together than on their own. A common misconception for CBD is that it is ineffective without it containing THC as well. This has been proven to be just a myth, and we often hear people sharing fantastic results using CBD oil that is THC free like the broad spectrum option. However many consumers often report that using a full spectrum CBD product with the trace amounts of THC was more effective for them than using a broad spectrum. Although both broad spectrum and full spectrum have been shown to create an entourage effect, it makes sense that even the one extra cannabinoid of THC in trace amounts may further enhance this effect. 

Drug testing concerns? 

We completely understand the importance of having THC free products available and the need for assurance when your job may be on the line. We send out every batch we make for third party lab testing for the cannabinoid potency which will break down exactly how much CBD is in any given product and show how much THC if any is in the product. All of our products have a QR code you can scan with your smartphone camera to take you directly to our Active CBD Oil website where we post all of our lab results. From there all you have to do is search for the corresponding batch number on your product (ex: TIN-1134). 

Even though the full spectrum option only has a trace amount of THC, there is still a risk of it showing up on a drug screen. Generally our customers that have concerns for random or regular drug testing will prefer to play it safe rather than sorry and go for the broad spectrum as the THC free option. We regularly see customers who are CDL drivers, nurses, and military personnel using our THC free options and we have not heard of them having any issues. Here is an example from our 900 mg broad spectrum tincture:

Sensitive to earthy bitter flavors? 

It is a common characteristic for both full and broad spectrum tinctures to have a natural, earthy, and bitter hemp taste since they are made using more of the full hemp extract. The full spectrum tinctures tend to be even more potent with this flavor than the broad spectrum. We typically see customers sensitive to earthy bitter flavors going for the broad spectrum especially since we have some excellent flavor options including a berry bliss, cinnamon spice, or vanilla dream  that may help to cover up this taste. Another fantastic feature that both tincture options offer is that they can easily be mixed into food or drinks such as tea or coffee to nearly eliminate the taste of the tinctures. 

Choosing a Strength and Size

Let’s say that you have narrowed down your preference of whether you want either the full spectrum or broad spectrum option, now all that is left to do is to determine which strength or concentration to try out. Both tinctures are available in the following strengths: the 300 mg in a 1 oz bottle which would yield around 10 mg in the full 1 ml dropper, or the 900 mg in a 2 oz bottle which would yield around 15 mg of CBD. 

Everyone will have their own unique dosing needs and so we generally see most people starting with lower doses and gradually increasing as needed until reaching their desired results. The droppers are graduated in quarter increments so that you can easily measure and control your dosing levels. We typically see people brand new to trying CBD start with the 300 mg option since it is easier to take lower doses in 2.5 mg increments rather than in 3.75 mg increments with the 900 mg. You can certainly take more than one full dropper of the 300 mg if needed and if you find that you need to take at least a 1 ½ dropper then that is the equivalent of taking the 1 full dropper of the 900 mg. 

For people already used to taking CBD or that need higher doses we usually see them leaning towards the 900 mg as the more cost effective option in terms of milligrams per dollar value. You get three times the amount of total CBD in twice the volume for only about twice the price. We regularly hear from consumers who need to take several doses throughout the day and they usually prefer to have a larger bottle so that it can last them longer before running out. If you were to take 1 ml as an average dose the bottle is 2 oz or 60 ml and therefore would get you about 60 doses. In contrast the 300 mg comes in a 1 oz bottle of 30 ml and would be about 30 doses at the full 1 ml dropper. 




Do you have any concerns about having a product with any amount of THC? If the answer to this is yes, then you will want to avoid the full spectrum option and instead might consider trying out the broad spectrum tincture. If the answer is no, then we generally see more customers that prefer to take the full spectrum option in order to fully capitalize on getting the potential benefits from everything the hemp plant has to offer. Even though the earthy hemp flavor is more potent in the full spectrum, it is still present in both options. Although we completely understand that for some people having the added flavors such as the vanilla make it much easier to take. Just keep in mind that both options you can easily mix into a flavored beverage such as tea or coffee to help cover up the taste almost entirely. We regularly hear our customers sharing amazing results with either the full or broad spectrum tinctures so why not give either of them a try for yourself and see what potential benefits you could discover. 

If you have any questions about CBD oil or need help finding the best CBD product for you our team is always happy to help! Feel free to visit any of our retail locations, chat with us at https://discovercbd.com, or give us a call at 719-666-7219.
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