Liposomes are tiny spheres of liquid made up of one or more phospholipid bilayers. They are usually created in a lab by disrupting phospholipids so that they form small protective bubbles. What makes liposomes unique and effective carriers is that they can safely transport ingredients through the gastrointestinal tract into target areas of the body.
Phospholipids contain a hydrophilic head that attracts water, and a hydrophobic tail that repels it. When they come into contact with water, the tails turn inward and the heads turn outward, which forms a bilayer. The result is a tiny liposome bubble that safely encapsulates ingredients and protects them against degradation.
Essentially since their discovery back in 1965 by Dr. Alec Bangham, liposomes have attempted to be used as a molecular transport mechanism to deliver medications into the human body. In 1995, in fact, certain classes of them were actually approved by the FDA as “nanocarriers” for this application.
One of the most well known liposomal delivery systems is for tuberculosis victims, in which high-strength antimicrobial medications are “sealed up” in the fat bubbles and transported across the lipid membranes of affected cells.
Elixinol, a brand that has come to be known as one of the leading CBD oil manufacturers in the industry, is currently employing this exact same technique to deliver the active cannabidiol component to cells and tissues throughout the body.
They claim that their product, which is appropriately named “Hemp Oil Liposomes,” is the “best way to ensure that your body can absorb cannabinoids [such as CBD].” Of course we will need some time in order to consider how effective they actually are and how true this actually is, but if they end up being nearly as effective as their regular CBD oils, then it could prove to be a major boost to the overall medical cannabis industry.
CBD is particularly well-suited for delivery via liposomes. The reason for this is that CBD is non-psychoactive so ingesting it in its unadulterated form doesn’t have any adverse effects. In fact, liposomes allow individuals to receive the optimal amount of CBD with each dose.
CBD delivered via liposomes is possible with both oral and topical formulations. Both of these intake methods are already popular. When used for oral consumption, liposomes allow for more accurate dosing. As the CBD is safely encapsulated and doesn’t get compromised on its way to target tissues, liposomes greatly improve CBD absorption. When employed in topicals such as creams and ointments, liposomes allow the CBD to penetrate deeper into the skin for a more pronounced effect.
Like we’ve mentioned, liposomes are essentially molecular fat “bubbles” that have been used for decades as highly effective drug delivery systems. Given that CBD is in fact a drug that interacts with natural chemical components of the body, it makes perfect sense that liposomes would be a great way to ensure that the natural hemp compound(s) are delivered efficiently and effectively to the desired area of the body.
While more time (and more research) is certainly needed in order to better understand the physiological components of CBD and how it functions with liposomes on a molecular level, it’s certainly a unique concept in the industry, and is certainly something worth keeping an eye on.
Using liposomes for the delivery of CBD is likely to result in numerous benefits for the consumer. Aside from delivering higher concentrations of CBD in general, liposomes allow individuals to use less CBD to achieve the same effect as other intake methods. Given these physiological and economic benefits, the future of liposomes and CBD looks to be nothing but bright.