Liposomal vs Micellar CBD: What’s the difference?

liposomal CBD micellar CBD

Liposomal vs Micellar CBD: What’s the difference?

Liposomal CBD and Micellar CBD are two water-soluble forms of CBD that have superior absorption and efficiency compared to oil-based CBD products. But what’s the difference between the two, and which one is best? Keep reading to find out.

CBD (cannabidiol) is a hydrophobic compound, which means that it doesn’t dissolve in water. However, it is soluble in oil (or lipophilic) and therefore often combined with a carrier oil, such as Medium Chain Triglyceride, to make CBD tinctures and other products.

While these oil-based products have improved absorption (or bioavailability) within the body, there are methods for making CBD water-soluble, which may enhance the compound’s efficiency and bioavailability even further. This is in part due to the fact that the human body, which is around 60% water, is much more efficient at absorbing water than oil.

Two common ways to make CBD soluble in water involve the use of liposomes and micelles, which are nano-sized structures often used in the targeted delivery of pharmaceutical drugs.

These two water-soluble forms of CBD have a similar function, but they differ in many ways. So how do they compare, and which one is better for CBD?

How do liposomes and micelles compare?

Liposomes and micelles are spherical, nano-sized carriers which encapsulate CBD within a water-soluble structure. This structure is amphipathic, which means that it consists of water-soluble (or hydrophilic) and water-insoluble (or hydrophobic) components.

While liposomes and micelles differ slightly in structure, both have a protective hydrophilic outer layer which delays the metabolism of CBD in the digestive system – increasing the amount of time that CBD remains in circulation and thereby enhancing its efficiency.


Liposomes and micelles differ primarily in terms of their size, structure and delivery process.

Micelles are typically smaller than liposomes (2-20nm), and composed of a monolayer of surfactants (substances which reduce surface tension) which help to mix the CBD into hydrophilic body fluids.

The micellar structure resembles that of a bicycle wheel: it consists of an outer layer of spherical hydrophilic head elements, attached to hydrophobic tails which point inwards like spokes towards the core, where CBD is contained.

While micelles are found naturally in foods like milk and eggs, they are also produced by the body to aid the absorption of fat-soluble substances, such as vitamins A, D, E and K. This may make them more effective at improving the bioavailability of lipophilic substances such as CBD.

Liposomes, on the other hand, are composed of one or more lipid bilayers, where the molecules in each layer are arranged in concentric circles around a hydrophilic core. Their bilayer structure means they are typically larger than micelles (>150nm).

Liposomes can deliver CBD either by fusing to a cell surface, or the cell can swallow the liposome through a process known as endocytosis. This targeted delivery to cell walls allows CBD to bypass metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract.

How do liposomes and micelles compare?

Why Micellar CBD is better

While liposomal CBD is the most common form of water-soluble CBD, it has many drawbacks. For example, it has a high production cost and is more prone to premature leakage than micellar CBD. In addition, there is a risk that the encapsulated ingredients may fuse together. 

why micellar CBD is better

Although liposomal and micellar structures both improve the efficiency of CBD within the body, micellar CBD has higher mechanical, thermal and pH stability, which increases its resistance to changes in force, temperature and acidity.

As a result, the micellar structure extends the amount of time that CBD can remain in the body even more than liposomal CBD, thereby increasing its absorption and efficiency.

This makes micellar CBD the best option for people looking to optimise their CBD intake and experience faster, more powerful effects.

“Micellar CBD improves the absorption of CBD by the body and extends the amount of time that CBD remains in circulation, thereby enhancing its efficiency and effectiveness.”

Liposomes vs micelles: Key similarities

  • Water-soluble, amphipathic carriers
  • Non-toxic and biodegradable
  • Commonly used for targeted delivery of pharmaceutical drugs within body
  • Improve absorption and efficiency of CBD
  • Increase the amount of time that CBD remains in circulation

Liposomes vs micelles: Key differences

 Liposomal CBDMicellar CBD
DefinitionCBD contained within a liposome, which consists of a lipid bilayer in which the molecules are arranged in concentric circles, with hydrophilic heads pointing both out towards the environment and in towards a hydrophilic coreCBD contained within a micelle, which consists of a monolayer of surfactants in which the molecules are arranged like a bicycle wheel, with an outer layer of hydrophilic heads, and hydrophobic tails pointing in towards a lipophilic core
FormationLiposomes can be formed by hydrating dry lipids (e.g. cholesterol) in a solvent, followed by mechanical agitationMicelles are formed by the self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules in a polar aqueous solution
AdvantagesImproved absorption, stability and efficiency of CBDImproved absorption, stability and efficiency of CBD

Higher stability than liposomes
DisadvantagesMore prone to premature leakage than micelles

Possible fusion of encapsulated ingredients

Shorter half-life (degrades faster than micelles)

High production cost
Not as effective for carrying hydrophilic substances

Why Naturecan choose micellar CBD

At Naturecan, we are always on the lookout for ways to maximise the potential benefits of our CBD products. That’s why we have chosen to expand our CBD range with micellar CBD products, including our fast-acting Micellar CBD Capsules, which are scientifically-proven to enhance and accelerate the absorption of CBD by the body. 

Key benefits of Naturecan’s Micellar CBD:

1. Rapid absorption: clinically-proven to deliver 16x more CBD in the first hour, taking effect much faster than standard CBD.

2. High efficiency: clinically-proven to deliver 88% more CBD in the first 24 hours, increasing the bioavailability and giving consumers more value for money.

why naturecan choose micellar CBD

Are you ready to take your CBD routine to the next level? Try out our micellar CBD range and feel the difference for yourself.

Discover more here:


Liposome: a water-soluble, nano-sized vesicle consisting of one or more lipid bilayers

Micelle: a water-soluble, nano-sized structure consisting of a monolayer of surfactants

Hydrophilic: attracts or absorbs well in water

Hydrophobic: repels or does not absorb in water

Lipophilic: soluble in oil or fat

Vesicle: a sac-like structure consisting of fluid or gas encapsulated within a layer of cell membranes

Amphipathic: consisting of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts

Amphiphilic: consisting of many hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts

Lipid: any of a group compounds that do not dissolve in water (e.g. oils, fats, waxes, hormones)


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Alex Coughlan

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