Considerations when choosing emulsions for infused cannabis or hemp products
Bioavailability: Emulsions will generally increase the bioavailability of cannabinoids; however, the degree of how well they improve bioavailability will vary for different emulsion systems used. Ingredient list: Many cannabis emulsions are made using synthetic ingredients that may be prohibitive for products that require a clean label. However, some emulsions such as Realize TM emulsion delivery system can be made from all-natural and organic ingredients.
Flavor profile: Many cannabis emulsions are extremely bitter and use chemicals that impart a soapy taste into the infused product. However, few systems exist that mask bitterness and are virtually tasteless. The RealizeTM emulsion delivery system was designed to mask the bitter taste of cannabinoids.
Shelf life: Not all emulsions are stable, and hence, they will degrade overtime. This instability can cause issues for products such as RTD beverages that require a long shelf life and are prone to oil separation. Choosing the right emulsion system that has sufficient stability and product compatibility is essential.
Cost: Emulsions can be expensive to manufacture and difficult to scale up making them cost prohibitive for certain products.
An interesting finding from the PK Oral CBD study is that the emulsion delivery system achieved a higher plasma concentration of CBD (342 ng/ml) in 15 minutes compared to the maximum plasma concentrations achieved for CBD without a delivery system (26 ng/ml at 60 minutes) as well as CBD in a lipid delivery system (134 ng/ ml at 60 minutes).
O/W emulsions are dispersions of oil droplets in an aqueous solution that are stabilized against separation by emulsifiers creating micelles or liposomes. Micelles are small particles that have a hydrophobic (water repelling) core surrounded by a hydrophilic (water compatible) shell. Liposomes are vesicles having an aqueous core surrounded by a lipid bi-layer with a hydrophobic interior and a hydrophilic exterior.