An Introduction to CBD Isolate

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CBD Isolate: What is it? 

CBD isolate is a fine crystalline powder containing 99 percent or greater cannabidiol. CBD Isolate contains nothing but CBD. All other matter contained within the hemp plant — including chlorophyll, waxes, and oils, among others – are removed, resulting in a finished product that is purely cannabidiol with absolutely no other ingredients.

To achieve this level of purity, the CBD cannabinoid is isolated from all other plant compounds from initial extracts until a fine, off-white colored powder is left over. This tasteless substance is the CBD isolate.

CBD Isolate Highlights

Lots of people enjoy CBD Isolate over other types of CBD, and for just as many reasons. Most often cited are:

  1. It’s THC-free.
  2. It’s easier to measure exact doses than most other CBD types.
  3. It’s also cheaper than most other CBD products.
  4. It’s tasteless and odorless, so makes for a great cooking ingredient.
  5. Those same properties make it a wonderful skincare product ingredient.
  6. It’s not as messy as oils and 
  7. It’s easier to consume since it basically dissolves in everything. 
  8. It can’t be beat for making DIY cannabidiol products

Three Common Types of CBD

CBD isolate is often mentioned in the same breath as “Full Spectrum CBD.” A third type, “Broad Spectrum CBD,” is somewhat less common but favored by many seeking a “best of both worlds” experience. 

Here’s a quick sound bite for each CBD type:

Full-spectrum: Refers to products containing all the compounds available in the hemp plant. While the plant contains tons of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, THC and CBD are the two most well-known. Full-spectrum products contain all of the plant’s compounds. Most of the people who use full-spectrum products cite the “entourage effect” – where other hemp plant compounds increase the effectiveness of cannabidiol – as one of the main reasons why they use full-spectrum CBD.

Broad-Spectrum: Broad-spectrum CBD products aren’t too different from full-spectrum products; the only difference between the two being that broad-spectrum products do not contain THC. This is achieved by passing the resulting product through one more refining process to eliminate any traces of THC found in the compound. It is worth noting that broad-spectrum products are generally offered at much stronger dosages considering that they increase the potency of cannabidiol without increasing THC levels. Broad-spectrum products are THC-free, making them ideal for customers who don’t want THC content in their product but still want to enjoy the benefits other cannabinoids have to offer

Isolate: Isolate products contain nothing but cannabidiol – no terpenes, no flavonoids, no cannabinoids. The process of isolating the extract typically results in a product that’s 99 percent pure cannabidiol. These products are ideal for customers that are sensitive to other phytonutrients, cannabinoids, or terpenes. CBD isolate can also be added to other extracts or products to make them more potent but is generally available in powder form, which allows users to use the isolate in its pure form. Since CBD isolate is 99% pure, users only need to use tiny doses to achieve the same results they would with other products.

How Is CBD Isolate Made? 

Extraction is the only way to get CBD out of the hemp plant. However, to get cannabidiol isolate, the extraction process is a bit different and a bit more detailed. The extraction process starts off like any other extraction process used to acquire cannabidiol. Once the initial extraction has taken place, the concentration acquired is still full of the different compounds contained in the plant. 

To acquire pure CBD isolate, the concentrate is passed through an extra purifying process. This process includes filtering out all unwanted plant materials from the extract. After filtration, the oil extracted is subjected to another extraction process known as “winterization” where all remaining plant materials and waxes are removed. 

At the end of the process, what you are left with is a highly refined, white powder that’s 99 percent cannabidiol. 

How Does CBD Isolate Compare To Full Spectrum?

It’s not a 1 to 1 comparison. What are you looking for? If you simply cannot — or will not — allow even trace amounts of THC into your system, then CBD Isolate is literally the only game in town. And it’s got pretty decent game. Have a look.

Here are a few of CBD isolate’s strengths and weaknesses compared to Full-Spectrum CBD:

CBD Isolate Weaknesses

The Entourage Effect

The entourage effect is one of the reasons why full-spectrum might be more effective at producing the many benefits CBD is touted for. 

The entourage effect is the idea that similar molecules, those that occur together naturally, interact in more useful ways, and applies to terpenes and cannabinoids. As molecular compounds, terpenes occur naturally in insects and plants and often manifest themselves as natural oils and are normally accompanied by a unique viscosity and aroma. 

Cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) and Terpene work in synergy to maximize the benefits of the compounds in the body. Patient-based and lab studies show that while THC or CBD can work alone to treat specific symptoms, they often create far better outcomes when used in combination with Terpenes.  

CBD Isolate’s Strengths

CBD Isolate is THC-Free

By definition, high-quality cannabidiol isolate contains 0 percent THC – the cannabinoid responsible for getting you lit.

When it comes to taking CBD, cannabidiol isolate offers one of the simplest ways of calculating dosage. When measuring your isolate, you will find that its weight is equal to the cannabidiol content in mg (milligrams.) This makes it a lot easier to make measurements and to experiment with the isolate. 

But that isn’t the case with CBD edibles, tinctures, and creams, products whose weights only contain a specific, often limited, amount of the compound. Calculating how much CBD is in a drop of cannabidiol oil and taking accurate doses can be a messy and confusing affair. 

CBD Wins When It Comes To Making Homemade/DIY CBD Products

CBD Isolate is pretty versatile for a single, lonesome cannabinoid. For instance, it can be:

  • Dissolved into drinks and food 
  • Mixed into coconut oil to amplify its effects

Infused into CBD drops or tinctures

  • Blended into topical creams 
  • Added to e-juice for use in a vaporizer

Rolled into a joint (or any other smoking medium, for that matter) and enjoyed with your preferred assortment of other cannabinoids.

Isolate’s versatility gives it an edge over other cannabidiol products. For example, cannabidiol buds need to be activated (heating) before you can use them for cooking. Cannabidiol oils, on the other hand, cannot be vaped and do not mix well with creams.

CBD Isolate Is Light On The Wallet

Compared to cannabidiol oils, edibles, and tinctures, isolate is more affordable, especially when it comes to CBD’s price per milligram.

Cannabidiol isolate is generally sold in powder form, or in 1 gram crystals, and less often in half-gram dosages. The price of CBD isolates in the U.S. ranges from $25-$40 per 1000 milligrams of CBD.

CBD oil or tincture containing the same amount of cannabidiol can be more than double the price of CBD isolate.

Check out Part 2 of this series to learn about who’s taking CBD Isolate and what they’re using it for.