Cannabidiol, CBD, is a non-psychoactive chemical compound obtained from Cannabis sativa, more specifically the hemp plant. CBD has many benefits including anti-inflammatory properties and neuropathic pain relief, which may be preferred over other pain-relieving methods due to its non-addictive characteristics. Furthermore, CBD can be helpful in managing anxiety and mood disorders, improving sleep, and serving as an anticonvulsant. Traditionally, CBD is supplied as a very lipophilic oil; however, due to the poor bioavailability of CBD oil and low solubility in water, new methods for CBD delivery have been explored, including the development of CBD nanoemulsions.
An obstacle that arises when creating a nanoemulsion is determining the droplet size and polydispersity index (PDI), which are essential for establishing whether the emulsion even classifies as a nanoemulsion. Through a series of experiments, the team at Brookhaven Instruments has successfully used the NanoBrook Series to determine droplet size, PDI, and several other characteristics of CBD nanoemulsions.
CBD nanoemulsions are colloidally stable delivery systems that can vary in size from 20 nm to 200 nm. They are oil-inwater emulsions consisting of an oil phase and an aqueous phase which includes a polar solvent, such as water. Essentially, the nanoemulsion droplet consists of an amphiphilic shell and a lipophilic core as seen in Figure 1. Due to the small droplet size nature of CBD nanoemulsions, greater absorption occurs in the GI tract and by cells, further enhancing bioavailability
Not only is bioavailability of CBD oil improved with a CBD nanoemulsion, but so is stability. Since CBD nanoemulsions are stable, there is a decrease in sensitivity to physical and chemical changes; however phase separation will occur over time. Examples of nanoemulsion breakdown include Ostwald ripening, flocculation, coalescence, and gravitation separation, with Ostwald ripening serving as the main mechanism for nanoemulsion destabilization. Adding a carrier oil helps to minimize Ostwald ripening.
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Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) & CBD Nanoemulsions