Dissolving Cannabinoids in Alcoholic Beverages
The production of cannabis-infused beverages of both, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, is a challenging task. In order to achieve long-term stability, clear appearance and a desired development of flavours requires an efficient and reliable mixing technology and a compatible emulsifying agent. Hielscher Ultrasonics’ high-performance ultrasonic emulsifiers are efficacious homogenizers for the production of cannabinoid-nanoinfused alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Ultrasonic Dissolving Cannabinoids in Alcohol
Cannabinoids easily dissolve in 190-proof alcohol (with 92.4% ethanol by weight is has achieved the practical limit of distillation purity). However, 190-proof alcohol is for consumption mainly inappropriate since the high alcohol level may strongly affect the human body and cause intoxication. Furthermore, the flavour of 190-proof is not palatable for most consumers.
In order to create cannabis-infused alcoholic beverages for the main stream market, lower alcohol content and pleasant flavour profiles are required. To dissolve cannabis extracts such as CBD, THC and full spectrum extracts into alcoholic beverages, a high-shear mixing technology such as ultrasonic nano-emulsification is required. Breaking the liquids into nano-droplets and mixing them under addition of a food-grade emulsifier (e.g. Stuph nano-emulsifier) into a clear nano-emulsion, allows to produce long-term stable cannabis-infused beverages with pleasant flavour, consistence, and optical appearance.
- efficient, rapid homogenization
- clear, transparent appearance
- nano-emulsified for superior bioavailbility
- long-term stability
- compatible with any emulsifier
- easy and safe to operate
Nano-Dissolved Cannabinoids for Superior Bioavailability
Cannabinoids are poorly water-soluble (i.e. they are hydrophobic) and exhibit therefore naturally a low bioavailability.
In order to achieve desired effects of orally consumed cannabis products, e.g. beverages, the acitive compounds must reach the intended site of action, which is the interior of the body’s cells. Bioavailability is the technical term of pharmacology which describes the degree and rate at which a bioactive compounds (e.g. CBD, THC, CBG and other cannabinoids) are absorbed by the human body. The pharmacokinetics of cannabinoids describe their absorption via specific forms of administration and by their different drug formulations, the distribution of the bioactive compounds through the body, how they are metabolized by the liver and finally excreted.
When it comes to the formulation of high-quality cannabis products, achieving an improved bioavailability is a crucial factor. A higher bioavailability results in a higher absorption rate and reliable effects of the cannabis-infused product. Nano-emulsions, liposomes, and solid-lipid nanocarriers are used in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements and fortified foods to design products with optimized bioavailability.
Hielscher Ultrasonics dissolvers and emulsifiers are used in the pharma, supplement, and food & beverage industries to create nano-infused / nano-emulsified products of highest quality.
The formulation of THC-infused drinks and beverages comes with a special challenge. THC has a very intense flavour; and whilst many consumers enjoy the psychoactive effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, they prefer a milder flavour profile of the beverage. Therefore, nano-emulsification or nano-dissolving THC into a clear, transparent beverage alone does not yet create the perfect beverage. A suitable food-grade nano-emulsifying agent with flavour masking effects such as STUPH nanoemulsifiers is required to overcome the strong taste profile of THC.
STUPH nano-emulsifiers are food-grade natural emulsifying agents, which turn two oil- and water-based phases into a clear stable, tasty nano-emulsion. STUPH nano-emulsifiers are widely used to mix cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, and CBG into foods, beverages and cosmetics. STUPH nano-emulsifiers work best in combination with ultrasonic emulsification and homogenization. Ultrasonic high-shear homogenization of nanoemuslions using STUPH nanoemulsifiers facilitates and accelerates the preparation of high-quality, transparent alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages with great taste. The use of Stuph nano-emulsifiers reduce the ultrasonic energy input to form long-time stable, clear nano-emulsions.
Being experienced with ultrasonic emulsification processes, Stuph Corp. has already worked with several of Hielscher customers consulting and assisting them to formulate high-quality nano-emulsions used for beverages, tinctures, edibles and cosmetic products.
Being food-grade, clean-label surfactants with a great taste, which does not interfere with the final flavour of your product, Stuph Corp. nano-emulsifiers facilitates the production of nano-enhanced emulsions with superior bioavailability.
For more information about STUPH nanoemulsifiers and samples, please visit www.stuphcorp.com!
- Nano-emulsifiers for beverages and foods
- Clean label
- Great taste
- Clear, transparent nanoemulsions
- High bioavailability
- Easy and safe to use
Why Have Nanoemulsion a High Bioavailability?
Nano-emulsified cannabis products for oral consumption / administration offer superior bioavailability because the nano form allows the bioactive compounds (i.e. THC, CBD, CBG etc.) to pass more unaffected through the digestive tract. Ultrasonically nano-emulsified cannabis products show an i dissolution in the gut, are better absorbed through the gut wall, and are less metabolized during first-pass metabolism. This means, ultrasonically nano-emulsified cannabis phyto-compounds get to a fuller extent and in a more intact state into the body’s blood stream and subsequently into the cells than compounds, which are not encapsulated in a nanoemulsion.
Ultrasonic extraction can be applied to produce non-alcoholic and alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages. For instance, using sonication to infuse a cannabis-spiked beverage with other botanicals can enhance flavour and adds additional health-boosting compounds.
- any alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage such as
- bitters (e.g. amaro)
- alcoholic lemonades
- alcoholic sodas
- alcoholic mix drinks
- seltzers / sparkling waters
- fruit juices, lemonades
Ultrasonic High-Shear Processors for Dissolving and Emulsification
Hielscher Ultrasonics offer a broad product range of high-performance ultrasonicators for nano-emulsifying cannabinoids into alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Cannabis-infused drinks and alcoholic beverages (e.g. aperitifs, booze, cocktails) can be formulated by mixing phyto-cannabinoids such as CBD, THC or full spectrum cannabis extracts into drinkable liquids.
Hielscher Ultrasonics’ industrial ultrasonic processors can deliver very high amplitudes. Amplitudes of up to 200µm can be easily continuously run in 24/7 operation. For even higher amplitudes, customized ultrasonic sonotrodes are available.
The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonicators:
|Batch Volume||Flow Rate||Recommended Devices|
|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||UIP4000hdT|
|n.a.||10 to 100L/min||UIP16000|
|n.a.||larger||cluster of UIP16000|
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Literature / References
- Huestis, Marilyn A. (2007): Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics. Chem Biodivers. 2007 August ; 4(8): 1770–1804.
- Seyed Mohammad Mohsen Modarres-Gheisari, Roghayeh Gavagsaz-Ghoachani, Massoud Malaki, Pedram Safarpour, Majid Zandi (2019): Ultrasonic nano-emulsification – A review. Ultrasonics Sonochemistry Vol. 52, 2019. 88-105.
Facts Worth Knowing
The Cannabis sativa plant contains more than 500 different chemical compounds – so-called phyto-cehmicals – , including at least 113 cannabinoids. The best-kown cannabinoids are CBD and THC.
Cannabidiol or CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant – in hemp and marijuana – and is known for relaxant and anti-inflammatory effects. Cannabidiol is a non-psychotomimetic phytocannabinoid. This means, CBD is, in contrast to THC, not psychoactive/psychotropic, which means it won’t get you high. CBD is available as oil, tinctures, in edible goods, capsules, vape juice, as well as in non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.
THC, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the bioactive compound in the marijuana plant, which is mainly known for its psychoactive effects. Psychoactive or psychotropic means that THC creates a “high effect”.