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Typically oil and water go together like, well…oil and water. They don’t mix. So much so that it’s become popular English shorthand for things that don’t go together, titling an aging Incubus hit and also present in countless other references across American culture. In scientific terms, oil and water are immiscible, meaning they don’t mix into a single continuous phase. Or put simply, again: oil and water don’t mix.

Except when they do. Enter: emulsions.

SPOILER: This ultimately means fast-acting, water-soluble hash. We’ll get there.

What is a nanoemulsion?

With the right added agent or disrupting energy, oil and water can combine not as a true solution, but rather as an emulsion, or a continuous fluid matrix of one substance evenly suspended in micro droplets across the other. Emulsions are nothing new to us, ever-present in our kitchens and medicine cabinets and composing of goods as common as milk, salad dressing, and lotion.

The “nano-” in “nanoemulsion” refers to technology downsizing the droplets to be measured in billionths of meters, advancing beyond a microemulsion, which colloquially describes a fluid containing droplets up to 1,000x as large (where “micro” = millionth).

This advancement in droplet downsizing allows for more stable goods, fast-acting drug delivery [1], and myriad other benefits across food and medicine.

How do we nanoemulsify CBD?

Nanoemulsions can be produced using a few different methods, they primarily consist of:

  • Ultrasonic emulsification
    This method sends sharp sound vibrations through the suspension liquid, creating microcavities for the second liquid to homogenously inhabit. Using this method, emulsions as small as 0.2 micrometers (200 nanometers) have been created.
  • High-pressure homogenization
    Uses a high-energy piston-like mechanism to heavily agitate the co-mingled fluids to create nanoemulsions with particle sizes as small as 1nm.
  • Microfluidization
    This is a patented technology that makes use of a device called a microfluidizer, mostly used in pharmaceutical processing.

At MBAF, high-pressure homogenization is our method of choice, helped by one of a couple proprietary agents meeting this standard:

An emulgent, in addition to its emulsifying properties, should be nontoxic and its taste, odour and chemical stability should be compatible with the product. [1]

Nanoemulsion: an advanced mode of drug delivery system

Our proprietary emulsifying agents or emulgents have each been selected for distinct purpose:

  • Flavorless Cloud
    Containing average droplet size under 600nm, this is our more taste-free agent of choice for our gummies, eventual sodas, and other ingestible products.
  • High Load Clear
    Containing average droplet sizes around 100nm, this agent helps maximize both the amount of CBD that can be contained in the carrier liquid and also the uptake-ability, but possesses more bitter taste, making it optimal for our muscle freeze and other topical products.

Why care about nanoemulsified CBD?

Repeat: fast-acting, water-soluble hash.

One of the greatest drawbacks to using edible CBD hemp products has always been the 30-60 minute activation time required to fully realize a product’s effect. Considering this, the nano-sized droplets present in our emulsifications can pass more easily through tissue walls and be absorbed directly into the bloodstream while passing through the mouth and throat, for faster effect, leading to greater control over user experience.

The second major drawback to edible products, historically, has always been the requirement for the presence of oils that can bind directly with intended cannabinoids. Emulsions as described above waive this requirement for oil’s heavy presence and open the door for our nanoemulsified CBD hash to be used in drinks and other water-based concoctions.

At MBAF we’re thrilled to be on the leading edge of hemp user-experience technology with triploid seeds, solventless extraction, nanoemulsions, and other innovations we intend to bring out in 2022 and beyond.