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Cannabis Oil / CBD Nanoemulsion by Ultrasonics

You can produce a CBD nanoemulsion in batch or continuous mode using an ultrasonic emulsification machine. Hielscher ultrasonic homogenizers are powerful emulsifiers to produce stable CBD nano-emulsions. The ultrasonic production of cannabis oil emulsions (o/w) is an easy and fast procedure, which convinces by optimum results.

Cannabis Oil or CBD Emulsion

Cannabis oil emulsions are suspensions of micron-size or nano-size cannabinoids for cannabis-, hemp-, THC- or CBD-based products such as tinctures, capsules, lotions, and e-cigarette vape cartridges. Cannabinoids such as THC, CBD etc. are lipophilic (= hydrophobic). Therefore they require intense shear to disperse the cannabinoid in water-based formulations. Cannabinoids are not soluble in water, but they show a good solubility in non-polar solvents such as oils and fats. It requires a suitable emulsification technique to overcome the immiscibility of cannabinoids in water. Intense ultrasonic cavitation is well-known and well-established technique to produce fine-sized, stable emulsions (o/w, w/o, w/o/w, o/w/o, micro- and nanoemulsions).

Oil: Vegetable oils such as olive oil, coconut oil or MCT oil assist the absorption of the active substances of cannabis into the digestive system. Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC can hardly be absorbed without oil or fat. To achieve an optimal absorption, cannabis extracts are mostly emulsified into oil and then further processed into an emulsion.
Emulsifier: Lecithin, which is available in powder, granules and liquid form, is an emulsifier, which is suitable for food and medical products. For cannabis oil emulsions, lecithin is one of the most common emulsifiers. Other emulsifiers, which give good effects are gum arabic or starch-based emulsifiers.

How to Prepare a Cannabis Emulsion with Sonication

In order to prepare stable CBD nano-emulsions, a mix of Polysorbate 80 and Lecithin works very well. There is no need to buy overpriced pre-mixes as both additives are easily available in food-grade.

  • Polysorbate 80: also known as Alkest TW 80, Scattics, Canarcel, Poegasorb 80, Montanox 80, Tween 80
  • Lecitin: Lipoid is a manufacturer of high-quality lecithin.

For 2wt% CDB nanoemulsion (oil in water) use: 2wt% CBD oil, 2wt% Polysorbate 80, 1wt% Lecithin, 95wt% water
For 5wt% CDB nanoemulsion (oil in water) use: 5wt% CBD oil, 3.3wt% Polysorbate 80, 1.7wt% Lecithin, 90wt% water

Ultrasonic energy requirement: approx. 300 to 400Ws/g of sonication energy at amplitudes of 40 to 70 micron.

Step-by-Step:

  1. Oil Mixture: For the preparation, premix approx. 10mL of hash oil (e.g. BHO) with 40mL of olive oil!
  2. Oil-in-water-Nanoemulsion: In order to prepare the cannabis oil emulsion, take a beaker with approx. 100mL of water. As emulsifier, add approx. 10-15 grams of liquid soy lecithin. The water should have room-temperature. Place the water beaker in a water bath in order to control temperature during sonication. Immerse the sonotrode of the UP400St into the beaker with water. For sonication, set to 50% amplitude. Slowly pour the hash oil/olive oil mix into the 100mL of room-temperature water while sonicating the water to form an nanoemulsion. In order to improve a better emulsion, add the oil premix into the water right under the sonotrode using an eyedropper or syringe.

For larger scale setups use a Hielscher InsertMPC48 to inject the CBD oil directly into the cavitational area under the ultrasonic sonotrode.

CBD Nano-Emulsions

Ultrasonic cavitation is a very effective emulsification method to prepare superior emulsions in the nano range. The sonication of emulsions with turbidities (micro-emulsions, approx. 150 to 100nm) makes them translucent or clear and transparent, because it reduces the CBD droplet size to diminutive droplets in the range of approx. 10nm. This increases the emulsion stability significantly. Ultrasonically produced emulsions are often self-stable without addition of an emulsifier or surfactant.
For cannabis oil, nano emulsification improves cannabinoids absorption (bioavailability) and produces a more profound effect. Therefore lower cannabis product doses can give you the same effects.

Cannabis oil emulsion

Liposomal Emulsions of CBD

Ultrasonification is the preffered method to produce liposomal CDB or liposomal THC as pharmaceutical and cosmetic vesicles. Liposomes are lipid-based nanocarriers for active drug components, which improve the bioavailability and therapeutic effects of the active substances such as CBD or THC. Since cannabinoids are really delicate molecules, they are prone to degradation by oxidization as well as to degradation by different enzymes. Nano-encapsulation of CBD or THC in liposomes, prevents the degradation of the cannabinoids. Sonication can effectively encapsulate the cannabinoids into liposomes.
Click here to read more about liposomal encapsulation of active substances!

THC/CBD Nanoemulsion Stability

In order to produce long-term stable oil-in-water (o/w) nanoemulsions, it is necessary to use a suitable surfactant or to form liposomes that encapsulate the lipophilic bioactive compounds into a carrier oil. For cannabis oil, the carrier oil should have food quality and it should not interfere with appearance, taste, or stability of the final product. Coconut oil (MCT) and olive oil are good carrier oils for cannabinoids. Carrier oils are a very important factor to create a physicochemically stable emulsion since they may help to prevent the emulsion against Ostwald ripening. The Ostwald ripening is the driving force which destabilizes an emulsion by droplet coarsening. Long chain triglyceride nanoemulsions are long-term stable against Ostwald ripening. Olive oil and coconut oil contain long chain triglycerides, so that both, olive and coconut oil are a suitable carrier oils to THC or CBD.

Ultrasonic Equipment for Nanoemulsification

Hielscher Ultrasonics is the leading supplier for powerful and reliable ultrasonic systems. It covers the full range from lab and bench-top devices to full industrial machines for the processing of large volumes under demanding conditions. Common applications or Hielscher ultrasonic machines include emulsification, homogenization and extraction for food and beverage as well as in the pharmaceutical or cosmetic industry.

The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonicators:

Emulsion Batch Volume Emulsion Flow Rate Recommended Devices
0.5 to 1.5mL n.a. VialTweeter
1 to 500mL 10 to 200mL/min UP100H
10 to 2000mL 20 to 400mL/min UP200Ht, UP400St
0.1 to 20L 0.2 to 4L/min UIP2000hdT
10 to 100L 2 to 10L/min UIP4000
n.a. 10 to 100L/min UIP16000
n.a. larger cluster of UIP16000

Ultrasonic Extraction

Ultrasonic extraction is well known and a long-term established process to extract valuable compounds from botanicals. Therefore, sonification is the ideal technique to produce high-quality CBD oils. By precisely controllable ultrasonic cavitation, plant cells are perforated and the solvent is pushed into the cell, where it absorbs intracellular compounds such as cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids etc.

Cannabis Oil / CBD Nanoemulsion by Ultrasonics You can produce a CBD nanoemulsion in batch or continuous mode using an ultrasonic emulsification machine. Hielscher ultrasonic homogenizers are