As cannabis-based health and wellness products increase in popularity, getting to know the more common forms of CBD is a good idea. With an estimated worth of $20 billion by 2020 and $22 billion by 2024, CBD is rapidly rising in popularity as more people turn to cannabis-based treatments to help treat various conditions, like anxiety, pain, and depression.
As the CBD industry continues to grow and an increasing number of products hit the shelves, you may come across some confusing terms that bring about plenty of questions. One of the most common questions out there; what is the difference between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD? Or just, what is a CBD isolate?
As CBD continues to make headlines across the world and more people realize the incredible benefits that this non-psychoactive compound could provide, CBD-based products are gaining in popularity. If you’re looking for one of the most potent forms of CBD, CBD isolates could be just what you need.
What is CBD Isolate?
CBD isolate means that the product contains zero THC and no other cannabis compounds. Researchers tout CBD isolate as being the purest form of cannabis, primarily because of the way that manufacturers split (isolate) the CBD from the rest of the components of the cannabis plant.
Essentially, CBD isolate is a pure, crystalline powder that contains 99% pure CBD. These products contain only CBD. All other plant matter, including waxes, oils, chlorophyll, and more, are all removed, offering a finished product that’s CBD and nothing more.
You may also come across the terms “full-spectrum” and “broad spectrum” CBD. Broad spectrum means that during the extraction process, CBD and the other compounds that are found within the plant are preserved, but the THC is completely removed. Full spectrum, on the other hand, means that all the compounds of the plant are preserved including the THC. In other words, full spectrum CBD products contain traces of THC, along with various other compounds.
In the past, some scientists believed that because CBD isolate products were more concentrated and potent, they had greater potential. However, recent studies have called that theory into question, with many claiming that full-spectrum products are more effective due to what is referred to as the “entourage effect”. This means that all compounds of the cannabis plant work together to enhance the effects that are produced by CBD alone.
How is CBD Isolate Made?
During the extraction process, the CBD, along with other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes of the plant, is initially extracted. Then, to create a CBD isolate product, the solution is further refined, taking out other plant parts and cannabinoids and leaving behind only CBD.
The CBD isolate extraction process starts out just like other extraction processes that are used to make CBD. However, after the initial extraction has taken place, the concentrated CBD is still full of all the plant material found in the hemp plant itself.
To get this ultra-pure form of isolated CBD, a purifying process is followed after the actual extraction. The purification process involves filtration, whereby all plant material is filtered out of the extract. Following the filtration process, the extracted oil is put through what is known as the “winterization process,” which further removes any other plant materials that may still be present after filtration.
What’s left is a fine, white powder that is 99% pure CBD.
CBD Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum CBD: Which is More Effective?
When it comes to full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate, there’s one basic similarity between the two – they both contain CBD. There are various ways that CBD can be extracted to make both types of products, but CO2 extraction is the best option.
Here are the key differences between CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD:
- Pure CBD
- Doesn’t contain THC or any other cannabinoids
- Doesn’t include other plant matter, like terpenes
- Delivers straight CBD
- Processed more than full-spectrum CBD
- Contains CBD together with other naturally occurring plant compounds
- When derived from hemp it contains less than 0.3% THC
- Works together with THC and other plant matter
- Less processed than CBD isolate
As briefly mentioned above, although CBD isolate is a more pure and concentrated form of CBD, it doesn’t mean that it has greater effects. In fact, while more research needs to be done, some studies indicate that full-spectrum CBD could be more effective thanks to the entourage effect.
The entourage effect means that when CBD is combined with other components of the cannabis plant, it can result in a dynamic combination that delivers optimal results. Although full-spectrum CBD typically includes other cannabis compounds and cannabinoids, the THC content tends to be very low (usually less than 0.3%) when the product is hemp-derived.
The Benefits of CBD Isolate
Now, after taking a look at the difference between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD, you may be wondering what the benefits are of using CBD isolate. It all comes down to personal preference and your reasons for using CBD.
For many people, the biggest advantage of CBD isolate products is that they contain absolutely no THC. Full-spectrum CBD can be sold legally as long as it contains no more than 0.3% THC. Typically, this tiny amount isn’t enough to make people high, but it could still show up in your system. CBD isolate, on the other hand, offers all the benefits of CBD without a trace of THC. This version is ideal for anyone who is sensitive to THC or can’t have the compound showing up on a drug test.
Another advantage of using CBD isolates is that calculating the dosage levels is fairly easy to do. Any good household scale can do the trick. Because the CBD is separated from all other cannabis compounds, measuring the dose in milligrams will give you the exact amount of CBD you need, as per the package directions. Essentially, for every one milligram of CBD powder, you are ingesting one milligram of CBD.
How Do You Use CBD Isolate?
Okay, so you’ve decided that you are going to give CBD isolate a try. But now you might be wondering what exactly you are supposed to do with this odorless, tasteless, fine white powder. The answer is easier than you might think, because basically, you can use it any way that you like. Since CBD isolate doesn’t have any odor or taste, there are a variety of ways in which you can use it. Here’s an overview of some of the easiest and most convenient ways to get your daily dose of CBD isolate:
- Administer it Directly Under the Tongue: Placing the isolate powder under your tongue is the easiest way to use it. Hold it there for about 60 seconds to ensure that the CBD is delivered into the bloodstream via the mucous membranes, which will help to provide the desired relief.
- Mix it in a Smoothie or Juice: You can simply add your isolate powder to a smoothie or glass of juice. It will blend seamlessly with the liquid.
- Try it in Tea or Coffee: If smoothies and juice aren’t your thing, CBD isolate will work just as well when added to your morning cup of tea or coffee.
- Create Your Own CBD Oil and Custom Products: You can infuse your CBD isolate into a carrier oil, like MCT oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil to create your own CBD oil that can be used sublingually. You can also use the CBD-infused oil to cook or bake with. You can even add it to skin care oils that can be applied topically to soothe sore muscles or other body pain.
Final Thoughts on CBD Isolate
With an array of CBD products on the market today, you have likely heard a number of different terms being used, the two most common being CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD. While each has its own benefits, at the end of the day, it’s all about individual needs and personal preference. If you are specifically looking for a product that contains no THC, then CBD isolate products are ideal. However, depending on what effects you are looking for, full-spectrum CBD may very well be more effective.