lecithin cbdDecember 15, 2021
In most cases, the best form of lecithin to use in cannabis recipes will come down to personal choice. But one main reason people choose powder over liquid is that it has a lower fat content. Powders and granules typically contain less than 10% fat, while liquids contain between 20% – 30% fat – which could make them a good option for high-fat content recipes.
Lecithin is a food additive that comes from several sources, including sunflower seeds, eggs, soybeans, and avocados. It’s also a popular dietary supplement and has become somewhat of a buzzword in the cannabis edibles world lately.
Eggs are widely considered to be the best all-natural source of lecithin, which is why they are often used to make batters and sauces. However, there are many other sources of lecithin, including vegan-friendly options.
Now that you know what lecithin is and what it does, it’s time to get baking. Fortunately, adding lecithin to your favorite cannabis recipe is pretty straightforward and easy to do.
Lecithin is a commonly used binder when baking cannabis edibles. It can significantly enhance the structural integrity of your tasty treats and seems to help cannabinoids attach to fatty molecules.
How to Incorporate Lecithin into Cannabis Edibles.
In general, sunflower lecithin is viewed as the most superior form. It comes from a minimally processed source – cold-pressed seeds – and is available in a finely ground powder that is easy to work with. You can also get sunflower lecithin in granular and liquid form.
The compound acts as a binding agent that ensures ingredients stay “glued” together and can, therefore, significantly improve the structure of your edibles. Additionally, it’s widely believed that lecithin can enhance the potency of edibles.
Lastly, is what many would consider the most exciting attribute of lecithin – it could increase the bioavailability of edibles, therefore, making them feel more potent. However, while many sources claim that lecithin makes cannabis edibles more potent, this isn’t entirely true.
Aside from the role it plays in cooking and food products, lecithin also holds a key role in the body and makes up parts of cell membranes. It provides elasticity to these cells and protects them from the destructive effects of free radicals. Lecithin supplements are sometimes used to help with liver and gallbladder disease, to aid digestion, lower cholesterol levels, relieve dry skin, and more.
Another reason to use lecithin in cannabis edibles is that it could improve the shelf life and avoid degradation by eliminating the separation of waters and fats. Plus, the binding action may reduce the risk of mold forming.
If the consistency is not up to standard once baked, you know that you should increase your lecithin dosage in the next batch. On the flip side, if the sunflower taste is too intense, use less lecithin next time. There are no official guidelines on how much lecithin to use. However, it’s generally recommended not to use more than a tablespoon per cup of oil.
Imagine opening up an edible only to have it crumble in your hands. That’s what would happen if an emulsifying agent like lecithin wasn’t used. The lecithin helps ensure that oil-soluble ingredients, like cannabutter, bind to water-soluble ingredients, like sugar and cacao. In other words, it helps all the ingredients stick together, ensuring that you end up with a consistent, smooth, well-formed, quality edible.
Additionally, research suggests that lecithin helps “smooth out” fatty compounds, therefore making it easier for our livers to process. Increased absorption means that less THC and CBD is wasted by the body because it’s easier to digest the bound ingredients. This may result in an enhanced experience and higher therapeutic efficacy.
In this article, we will explain what lecithin is and what it does, which should give you insight into why it’s become so popular in the edibles space.
Many people stay away from soy lecithin because it is often genetically modified and highly processed.
What Is Lecithin?
Water and oil are two opposing ingredients that will never naturally combine without the use of an emulsifier.
Lecithin increases the absorption of cannabinoids into your cell membranes, speeding up the absorption process when added to cannabis-infused ingredients, like cannabutter. Ultimately, it won’t make your cannabis more potent but may make it faster acting. For instance, a 50mg dose will still be a 50mg dose, but the effects will come on quicker and may feel stronger.
Water and oil are two opposing ingredients that will never naturally combine without the use of an emulsifier. Over time, they will naturally separate, leaving a layer of water and a layer of oil. Lecithin helps counteract that effect and allows these two ingredients to bind, creating a well-formed cake, for example, instead of it crumbling all over the place. Basically, lecithin helps oil-based ingredients interact with and stabilize water-based ingredients.
Another reason to choose powder over liquid, though, is that it’s a lot less messy and much easier to clean up.
Generally, all forms of lecithin function in very much the same way and can be used interchangeably, depending on the recipe.
A good rule of thumb is to use one teaspoon of lecithin for every one cup of liquid, i.e., milk, butter, coconut oil, etc. Be sure to dissolve the lecithin into the liquid ingredients, and then continue to follow the recipe as instructed. It’s that easy.
However, not all lecithin is created equal, and some types are best to avoid. Many people stay away from soy lecithin because it is often genetically modified and highly processed. Moreover, it’s often extracted using potentially dangerous solvents that can be a risk to your health.
What Is the Best Source of Lecithin for Cannabis Edibles?
Lecithin is a phospholipid that is found in many plant and animal sources. It’s made up of fatty acids and is known to have several commercial and medicinal benefits. The substance has both water-soluble and oil-soluble parts, making it an excellent emulsifier. This means that it allows certain ingredients that would otherwise repel each other to bind and stick together.
Now is also a good time to mention that lecithin is available in powder, granulated, and liquid forms. Lecithin powders and granules are a dry, processed version of the compound and have been removed from other ingredients, like soy and eggs. Liquid lecithin is less processed and typically comes from sunflower and soy versions.
As a result, lecithin is a common additive used in the food industry, especially for things like chocolate, ice cream, cakes, cooking oil, salad dressing, processed cheeses, and sweets.
Lecithin is an excellent way to create consistent, well-formed edibles and is also a great way to enhance the overall effects. There are several sources of lecithin, and it’s all about choosing the type that works best for you and your specific recipe. Generally, sunflower lecithin is seen as the healthiest and best option. But, ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference.
What exactly lecithin is, and why it’s important for your health.
So then why do we use Lecithin in our infusions?
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Hi everyone! This is our blog-series about the premium ingredients we use, part of what makes Sow Eden Organics a premium stand-out CBD brand that you can trust time and time again. Sow Eden actually cares about what our customers put in their bodies. We think you should care too!
So at this point, it’s safe to say that lecithin and its main active ingredient, choline, are absolutely crucial to optimal human health.
That being said, chemically speaking, lecithin from soy is not significantly different than lecithin derived from sunflower seeds. Like we noted above, lecithin is pretty much comprised of fat-like compounds called phospholipids, especially Phosphatidylcholine and other nutrient dense phospholipids.
Lecithin is a yellowish fatty-like substance found in a wide variety of plant and animal sources. Most commonly, lecithin is derived from soybeans, sunflower seed, cottonseed (rapeseed), or egg yolks. Actually, the very word ‘lecithin’ comes from the Greek word for egg-yolk, lekithos.
May combat dementia / alzheimers.
Lecithin is pretty much brain food.
One of the most important phospholipids found in lecithin is called Phosphatidylcholine . In both humans and animals, phosphatidylcholines (PCs — or “ cholines ” for short) are concentrated in the lungs and brains. Although the human body manufactures a very small amount of choline in the liver, we need to supplement our intake from plant or animal sources high in PCs. Unfortunately, there is no USDA ‘Daily Recommended Value’ for cholines like there is for other micro/macronutrients such as magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamin B, etc.
Lowered bad cholesterol.
Wrong! Well, the devil is in the details, so keep reading. Soy has a bad reputation, and rightly so! According to a wide number of sources, over 94% of soybeans cultivated in the U.S. are Genetically Engineered (GE), also known as GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms). GMO soybeans are notorious for containing alarming amounts of Monsanto’s herbicide — RoundUp. For this reason alone, we highly recommend steering clear of non-organic and GMO soy products altogether . Unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult to avoid soy since it’s in pretty much everything you eat!
Improved cognitive function.
The benefits of choline may include:
Why we use lecithin in our tinctures.
Myths about soy-based lecithin.
What in the heck is “Lecithin” Anyways?
Why it makes our products so much better than the competition.
Nano CBD is nothing more than CBD with a smaller particle size. Both CBD crystals and hemp extracts are used for the development of nano CBD. It’s like the molecule is reduced in size with the use of ultrasonic frequencies, but the CBD’s lipophilic properties remain the same. So even though Nano CBD is smaller and can therefore be absorbed by the body more easily; the body will still need to bind the Nano CBD to a lipoprotein. This results in a large part of the Nano CBD being broken down in the liver by enzymes. Nano CBD has been banned and there are some major risks associated with this technique.
The next type of CBD oil is the CBD oil at nano level. CBD crystals or a hemp extract are brought to nano level using ultrasonic frequencies. Those selling this oil have stated the bioavailability is many times higher and this oil – according to the sellers – is therefore much more effectively absorbed by the body.
Most types of CBD oil available on the market have been made from a CO2 extract; which has been diluted with oils such as olive oil, hemp seed oil or coconut oil. Hemp seed oil (unprocessed) isn’t always as long-lasting and the disadvantage of coconut oil is that it can solidify, causing lumps. Coconut oil needs to be heated up before it can be consumed. CBD oil is usually stored in a dark, amber colored pipette bottle. The bioavailability is just like the hemp extract (CBD paste), 6-12%. As CBD oil is a diluted version of an extract, it often contains less CBD compared to a pure extract.
Effect of Nano CBD oil.
As is the case with pure CBD oil based on crystals, nano CBD oil is also missing all the other active substances, like other cannabinoids and terpenes. Though there are governmental limitations too, which are currently standing in the way of Nano CBD’s production and sales. The food authorities in EU have indicated that Nano CBD is a Novel Food; therefor it is banned and it may not be sold on the market. Many authorities have indicated they will maintain this ban across all Nano supplements in general, including Nano CBD oil.
CBDactive+ was developed to increase Cannabidiol’s bioavailability and to make the CBD water soluble. Ensuring CBDactive+ isn’t just absorbed more effectively, but will also provide more possibilities in terms of application than traditional oil-based CBD supplements. This makes CBDactive+ ‘the drinkable alternative’ to other CBD oil products.
CBDactive+ however, contains an advanced complex which is already bound to the CBD and acts like a lipoprotein (transporter) to the bloodstream. The bound CBD in CBDactive+ is therefore instantly water-soluble! As the CBD is already bound as a result of the BioACTIVE+ Formula in the supplement, the body won’t need to carry out a complicated metabolization to get the CBD into the bloodstream. This means the body will actually absorb 99% of the bound CBD based on the BioACTIVE+ Formula; compared to only 5% with regular, lipophilic CBD oil.
The biggest disadvantage of a CBD oil based on crystals is that it’s very difficult to distinguish between natural and synthetic CBD crystals. Synthetic crystals are virtually always sold as natural CBD crystals; and oil makers can’t tell the difference without the intervention of a specialized laboratory. Another disadvantage of ‘Pure CBD oil’ based on CBD Isolate is that it purely contains CBD. Therefore it misses a whole host of cannabinoids and terpenes which could support CBD’s entourage effect. This means the medicinal effect will always be less than CBD oil which also includes all the cannabinoids and terpenes.
An increasing number of CBD oils are now also being offered on the market based on lecithin. These are so-called ‘liposomal CBD’ products. Lecithin is a so-called emulsifier agent and can therefor bind fats with water. Lecithin is a substance found in eggs, soy and sunflower seeds and is used, for example, to make mayonnaise. And like with nano CBD, some producers say that their CBD formulas made with lecithin are more readily absorbed by the body – as a result of the binding with lecithin.
There is an increasing number of different types of CBD oil now being introduced to the market, based on isolated CBD crystals. These crystals are either of natural or synthetic origin, with the difference between the two being indistinguishable. The natural crystals are isolated from fibre hemp and purified in such a way that a solid crystalline substance is formed; so-called CBD Isolate or CBD Crystals.
CBD CO2 extracts from hemp contain approximately 1/3 of wax, which gives it a paste-like structure. Its thickness means a CBD Paste extract is usually offered in syringes for easier dosing. The bioavailability of a CO2 extract is approximately 6-12%, just like standard CBD oil. This means a mere 6 to 12% is going to be absorbed by the body. The amount of CBD present in a CO2 extract will depend on the type of hemp plant used, the harvest time, the climate and the extractor’s knowledge.
CBD oil at Nano Level.
There is nothing wrong with natural CBD crystals, they can be used safely. The synthetic CBD however, is made through various different chemical reactions. Resulting in the plant’s biological synthesis being mimicked. The natural CBD and synthetic CBD are the exact same substance with the exact same effect. However, different compounds can be created during the production process of the synthetic CBD; which could prove harmful and can even cause unwanted side effects. Residual chemicals from the chemical reaction will also remain in the synthetic CBD crystals.
For example, you don’t want to take hemp extract at nano level. As any heavy metals and pesticides present in the extract will also have been converted to nano parts; and it goes without saying that you don’t want these in your body. So nano CBD might be better absorbed by the body than the standard CBD oil, but it does have serious limitations.
Lecithin can ensure fats bind with water, a process we refer to as emulsion. Lecithin can therefore bind to fatty substances such as CBD and mix them with water, making the molecule water soluble. However, the binding of cannabinoids with lecithin is a very difficult process. Besides, the water solubility at room temperature is very low. Moreover, lecithins binding power is stronger than that of the body’s own lipoprotein. As a result, CBD bound to lecithin will be absorbed even less effectively than a standard CBD oil based on hemp seed or olive oil.
A water soluble CBD oil based on BioACTIVE+ will be more effectively absorbed by the body compared to standard CBD oil. As the BioACTIVE+ contains a complex which acts like a transporter (lipoprotein) to the bloodstream. In other words, this means the body won’t need to bind the CBD to a lipoprotein before it ends up in the bloodstream .
Discover more about the difference between PURE, Full-Spectrum and Broad-Spectrum CBD oil here.
CBD oils based on a CO2 extract (full plant product)
There are various different types of CBD oil and formulas for sale on the market; all with different effects. There is a lot written and there are a lot of claims made, but little is known about the exact content and different effects of CBD products. Here is a closer look at the science and effects of the various different types of CBD products:
Another advantage of a water soluble CBD product based on the BioACTIVE+ Formula, is that is contains all terpenes naturally present in cannabis. Which will result in a full entourage effect and will also have some effect on the Cytochrome P450 enzyme system. So that the active ingredients will be broken down in a slower pace, providing you with a longer lasting effect.
Because Cannabidiol (CBD) itself is a lipid component, it has to be metabolized after ingestion. Where the body has to bind the cannabinoid to a lipoprotein (transporter) in order to get it into the bloodstream. So actually, the body makes regular CBD oil water-soluble itself – when binding it to the bodies own lipoprotein. It does so, so that the CBD can be absorbed in the blood. Which, of course, is made up of >90% water. Though because the body has to carry out a complicated metabolization to process it; up to 94% of the ingested cannabinoids are broken down by the liver during metabolization. Which means approximately 6% of CBD from regular oils will eventually reach the bloodstream, if the body is able to bind this lipid substance to a lipoprotein.
In fact, as lecithin ensures fats and fatty substances are strongly bound; lecithin is ideal to use as a natural cholesterol reducer and slimming agent. As cannabinoids from hemp are also stored in the body’s fat tissue, lecithin actually helps CBD to be removed from the body at a faster pace! Considering the lecithin binds to the CBD stored in the body and ensures it is expelled from the body faster via the urinary tract. You could therefore effectively use lecithin to, for example, remove THC from your system – but not to achieve better CBD or THC-absorption. After all, lecithin’s powerful fat binding properties give it a counterproductive effect on the absorption of lipophilic substances such as CBD and THC .
A CO2 extract is, as the name indicates, a hemp concentrate where CO2 has been used to extract the active ingredients from the plant material. In addition to the Cannabidiol (CBD), CO2 also extracts other fats, sugars, leaf green and other substances; which don’t add anything if you purely want to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes. CO2 is often used in the food industry to produce extracts, as it literally extracts absolutely everything from the plant material.
On the other hand, lecithin can result in water soluble substances – like vitamin C – to be absorbed by the body more effectively. Resulting in a higher level of it in the blood, something which isn’t possible without the lecithin binding. With the sole exception of intravenous administration, that is. This is referred to as a liposomal vitamin C solution. So to conclude, lecithins do work with water soluble vitamins, but not with lipophilic (fat soluble) substances like THC and CBD!