When it comes to self-care, drinking enough water is as essential and straightforward as it gets. But getting your daily 64-ounce minimum isn’t always easy. Plain old water isn’t nearly as enticing as hot cocoa or pumpkin spiced lattes, no matter how you slice (or pour) it. Along with staying hydrated, Korean skincare, and superfoods, one of the things many wellness and self-care enthusiasts are raving about lately is CBD. When manufacturers started infusing water, something we all need, with CBD, something most of us can benefit from, it seemed like a great idea. Unfortunately, great ideas don’t always pan out in reality. Here’s what you should know about CBD water before you buy it.

What Is CBD Water?

CBD water is precisely what it sounds like – water infused with CBD. The concept is the same as CBD edibles. It provides an easy and convenient way to measure and take your daily dose of CBD. But while most CBD edibles (like gummies and brownies) do work as they’re intended, CBD water is another story.

What’s the Problem?

One of the significant reasons CBD water isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be is that most products contain very little CBD. Like, very, very little. Dosages fluctuate, but most have just 2-5 mg. There is no one-size-fits-all recommended dosage for CBD, but most people need at least 15 mg per day to get any benefits. I’m not great at math, but it doesn’t take an addition magician to figure out that you’d have to drink a lot of water to get enough CBD to experience any real effects.

Another problem is CBD is a fat-soluble compound, meaning it dissolves in fats, not water. Since CBD does not naturally break down in water, companies use nano-emulsion to break down the particles into tiny water-soluble spheres. There’s no evidence these particles work at all, let alone better than natural CBD.

What is Nanotechnology?

To get around these problems, some manufacturers will advertise their use of “nanotechnology.”

Essentially, manufacturers can use nanotechnology to break the CBD particles down into even smaller ones, thus increasing its surface area and, theoretically, helping it disperse more efficiently within the body. It’s true nanotechnology may increase bioavailability in some contexts. However, it is unlikely that, in this context, it makes up for the significantly lower dose of CBD you’re getting per serving or the fact that other factors in CBD water manufacturing and storage might decrease its potency.

Speaking of decreased potency, another problem with CBD water is that CBD is sensitive to air and light (which is why most CBD products, like tinctures and oils, come in dark or opaque bottles). Manufacturers must produce and store products properly. Otherwise, the CBD can lose its purity and potency. As you may have guessed (or noticed), CBD water is typically sold in the same clear bottles as regular water and stored in brightly-lit store aisles. Even if the product at one point had the 5 mg of CBD advertised, by the time you drink it, you’re probably getting much less.

Then there’s the price. Despite having much less CBD, CBD water tends to be much more expensive compared to other products. One bottle of water (with one serving of CBD) can easily cost $5. A bottle of CBD soft gels or tincture, on the other hand, may cost about $1 per serving on average.

Can You Make Your Own CBD Water?

If you’re not too keen on spending a lot of money on fancy water but you’re curious about stepping up your cucumber or fruit infusions, there’s another way to make your water more enticing and get your daily CBD dose at once. The easiest, and probably more cost-effective route, is to add a tincture to your water. For example, Bespoke Extract’s tincture can easily be added to water (or another drink of your choice). Simply add a drop or two to your glass or water bottle and drink up.

Popular CBD Water Brands

Although it’s not clear if CBD water has any real benefits over other CBD products, if it floats your boat and you’ve got the cash to spare, there’s probably no harm in giving it a try. In that case, there are a few major brands currently producing CBD water products:

  • CBD Living Water: One of the most popular brands, CBD Living Water, uses nanotechnology and 7.4 pH water.
  • CBD Naturals: Another major brand, CBD Naturals, makes CBD-infused H20 in a few packages and flavors. Their products include alkaline water, sparkling water, and coconut water.
  • Canna Nano: Canna Nano is another eco-friendly supplier that relies on natural sources to retrieve and purify its pH 9+ alkaline water before adding CBD.