• CBD isolate is a type of cannabidiol free of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, marijuana’s psychoactive component(1).
  • A small dosage of CBD isolate will not provide psychoactive effects. On the other hand, full-spectrum CBD products may cause a euphoric feeling owing to the presence of THC(2).
  • There are no studies directly correlating CBD isolate and its purported health benefits. CBD’s chemistry and pharmacology have been extensively studied for their potential health benefits, including cannabinoid receptors and other endocannabinoid system components(3).

What Is CBD Isolate?

The purest form of CBD is CBD isolates. No other terpenes or cannabinoids

are present in these hemp plant compounds.

The single CBD molecule is processed and refined from the extracts of hemp flowers and leaves, resulting in a finished crystalline CBD product or CBD crystals. 

Because CBD isolates are THC-free, meaning they have no trace amounts of THC, they do not induce psychoactive effects(4)

Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa are various strains of the cannabis plant(5)

While hemp and marijuana come from the same plant species, Cannabis sativa, their THC concentrations vary. The hemp used to make food and fiber have less than 0.3% THC(6)

On the other hand, the marijuana plant Cannabis indica also makes THC and CBD, two of the most common and well-known phytocannabinoids.

Benefits of CBD Isolate

No direct studies have examined the benefits of CBD isolate alone.

Nevertheless, numerous molecular targets, including cannabinoid receptors and other endocannabinoid system components with which CBD interacts, have been intensively researched about CBD’s chemistry and pharmacology(7)

The human endocannabinoid system is a system that regulates the body’s various systems. ECS includes the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. When activated, cannabidiol can interact with the pain-relieving qualities of the N-acetylcysteine receptor.

CBD powder is convenient to measure. Thus, it is easy to compute the desired CBD dosage.

Pure CBD is THC-free, making it ideal for individuals who require or want no THC in their system.

Several clinical studies have examined the benefits of CBD isolates in specific medical conditions:

  • Cancer(8): The National Cancer Institute noted that CBD may help relieve certain cancer symptoms and adverse effects, including nausea and vomiting. However, the NCI does not endorse any cannabis treatment due to a lack of study.
  • Epilepsy(9): CBD contains antiseizure properties, which may be used to treat epilepsy. The American Epilepsy Society says CBD research provides hope to individuals with epilepsy.
  • Pain and inflammation: CBD is often used to treat several inflammatory illnesses and pain, including arthritis pain(10), back pain(11), and neuropathic pain(12)
  • Anxiety(13): According to studies, cannabidiol (CBD) may reverse the effects of anxiety-like behavior in late teens with social anxiety disorder.

How Is CBD Isolate Made?

Although there is no specific extraction process for CBD isolate, the two most common CBD extractions are CO2 extraction(14) and ethanol extraction(15). Note that these methods are the same extraction used in medical cannabis

When extracting CBD from hemp plants, the first result is the distillate, and the second is the isolate. 

The term “isolate” is the process of CBD isolation from the other cannabinoids in the extract. The finished product is typically 99%+ pure CBD.

Chromatography is a chemistry technique used to separate mixtures. This technique is also helpful in isolating and purifying cannabinoids

The entire process of separating and isolating eliminates scent, color, and any plant-based material. Hence, CBD isolates are white and odorless.

The following steps explain how to make CBD isolates.

  1. Extraction Process
    The manufacturers first extract the resin to make CBD concentrate. They can do so by using a variety of solvents, such as butane or ethanol.
  2. Winterization
    Winterization is a process that removes the various oils and nutrients from the CBD extract. Doing so lowers the percentage of the target compound extracted and prevents CBD extract from getting contaminated.
  3. Filtration
    After winterization has been completed, it is essential to quickly remove the remaining fats and waxes from the CBD extract. This process can be carried out using a vacuum pump and a filter press.
  4. Decarboxylation
    Decarboxylation is another step performed before distillation to obtain the optimal concentration of cannabidiol. This process removes the carboxylic acid and CO2 from the extract to convert it to its neutral form.
  5. Distillation
    After loading the tank, the CBD extract passes through a heated plate. The CBD oil is then cooled in a separate tank with recirculating fluid. Receiving containers catch the oil vapors.
  6. Crystallization
    A crystallization process involves changing the structure of the CBD isolate either in CBD isolate powder form or CBD oil.

The process of crystallization involves pouring a large vat of CBD oil. After settling, the crystals separate from the CBD oil. Then, crystals are washed with a solvent to remove CBD impurities

CBD Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum and Broad-Spectrum CBD Products

CBD extracts can be categorized as broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, or CBD isolate(16)

The extract is called full-spectrum CBD when all cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, like CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and other cannabinoids, are present. THC concentration should be less than 0.3%. 

Flavonoids are antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory active chemicals(17). Meanwhile, terpenes contribute to the distinct scent of cannabis(18),

The synergy of all the cannabis compounds results in “the entourage effect.” This phenomenon occurs when cannabis‘s active components are consumed together(19).

Meanwhile, broad-spectrum is the same as full-spectrum, except that the broad-spectrum variant is almost THC free

Lastly, CBD isolate is a pure form of CBD and has no trace amounts of THC, which gives psychoactive effects

Is CBD Isolate the Best CBD Type of Extract?

CBD isolate products are pure CBD without any trace of THC compound. Individuals may consider CBD isolate as the best CBD type. However, there is no supporting evidence to prove the claim. 

Is CBD Isolate More Potent Than the Other CBD Types?

A study conducted by the Lautenberg Center for Cancer Research stated that the effectiveness of a single dose of cannabidiol isolate over a full-spectrum extract is not significant. The study also noted that the effects of a single dose of cannabidiol would only last for a certain amount of time(20).

How to Use CBD Isolates

There are a variety of creative methods by which CBD isolate may be prepared for consumption. 

Individuals can employ several ways of administration(21) and do any of the following:

  1. Sublingual – Take a small amount of CBD powder and apply it directly to the tongue. The sublingual method eliminates the need for frequent swallowing.
  2. Topicals – Combine the CBD isolate with moisturizing oil, creams, or lotions and apply to the desired region of skin. 
  3. Inhalation – CBD isolate may be combined with terpenes to make one’s own CBD concentrates for vaping or dabbing. Also, the CBD isolate may be made into crystal slabs for dabbing with a normal oil rig.
  4. Oral – CBD crystals may be made into capsules or tablets, providing precise dosing. 

What Consumers Can Do With CBD Isolate

Here are some ways consumers can do with CBD isolate:

  • Mix CBD isolate with carrier oils(22), such as MCT oil from coconut oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil 
  • Pour some CBD powder under the tongue for one minute to maximize bloodstream absorption
  • Manage skin discomfort using skincare products containing CBD isolate 
  • Add CBD isolate to any meal or salad dressing, stirring it into soups, sauces, soups, batter, and stir fries 
  • Blend CBD powder into ice pops, smoothies, coffee, or tea
  • Make CBD capsules using CBD powder

What to Look for When Buying CBD Isolates

Below are pointers consumers need to keep in mind when looking to buy CBD isolate:

  • For consumers’ safety and wellness, they should look for high-quality CBD isolate derived from organic hemp oil made with natural plant extracts.
  • Extraction techniques include steam distillation, ethanol, CO2, and natural solvents. Using the highly effective and eco-friendly CO2 extraction process may appeal to customers.
  • If a third-party laboratory has tested the CBD oil, check for a certificate of analysis (COA) to verify a product’s potency and purity. 
  • The highest quality CBD products should be non-GMO, free of heavy metals, pesticides, molds, and residual solvents.
  • Note that CBD products are not intended for use in treating or preventing illness. Also, industrial hemp extracts are not considered a medical marijuana product.
  • CBD products are often sold as CBD tinctures, capsules, or soft gels. Also, CBD isolate edibles such as gummy bears, honey sticks, or lollipops may be a pleasant option to ingest pure CBD in a precise and controlled manner. The amount of CBD in each CBD edible is precisely measured.

Side Effects of CBD Isolate

There are certain risks associated with CBD consumption. CBD may induce side effects such as dry mouth, diarrhea, decreased appetite, tiredness, and fatigue, although generally well tolerated(23)

As with any medicine, CBD may interfere with other medications, including blood thinners.

How Can One Know if CBD Isolate Is Right for Them

The only CBD product authorized by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) is the prescription drug known as Epidiolex. CBD-based Epidiolex is used to treat epilepsy(24)

Consumers may try CBD isolate if they desire a THC-free product. However, in unregulated CBD markets, even products labeled as THC-free may contain trace levels of this chemical compound.

Individuals planning to take CBD isolate must always read labels before purchasing. A consultation with a doctor or healthcare practitioner before taking CBD isolate products is ideal.

Will CBD Isolate Products Get Users High?

CBD is a non-intoxicating compound. A small dose of CBD isolate will not cause a” high” feeling

On the other hand, full-spectrum CBD products have the potential to create a high feeling due to the presence of THC

Meanwhile, the amount of time it takes for CBD isolation to kick in depends on the administration method employed and various other factors such as the CBD potency and the user’s body weight(25)

In most cases, CBD users feel the effects of CBD when applied topically between 15 and 30 minutes after application(26).

Will Consuming CBD Isolate Show Up on a Drug Test?

THC and its metabolites are often detected in drug testing. However, one of the benefits of CBD isolate is zero THC

Still, full-spectrum CBD products may include up to 0.3% THC, which may build up in the body over four to six days if taken often(27). A high THC level in the blood might yield a positive drug test.

Thus, using only pure CBD isolate products eliminates the possibility of THC remaining in the system and showing up on a drug test.

  1. Cannabidiol primer for healthcare professionals
  2. The effects of cannabinoids on the brain
  3. Potential Clinical Benefits of CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Over Purified CBD in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Observational Data Meta-analysis
  4. The effects of cannabinoids on the brain
  5. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals
  6. Cannabidiol primer for healthcare professionals
  7. Potential Clinical Benefits of CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Over Purified CBD in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Observational Data Meta-analysis
  8. Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version
  9. News from the American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting Cannabidiol Research Offers Hope for Seizure Disorders
  10. Does CBD help with arthritis pain?
  11. Understanding CBD (Cannabidiol) for Back Pain
  12. Cannabinoid Therapeutics in Chronic Neuropathic Pain: From Animal Research to Human Treatment
  13. Anxiolytic Effects of Repeated Cannabidiol Treatment in Teenagers With Social Anxiety Disorders
  14. Utilisation of Design of Experiments Approach to Optimise Supercritical Fluid Extraction of Medicinal Cannabis
  15. Processing and extraction methods of medicinal cannabis: a narrative review
  16. Cannabidiol: Promise and Pitfalls
  17. Flavonoids as antioxidants
  18. The Cannabis Terpenes
  19. ​​The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain
  20. Full-spectrum cannabis extracts VS CBD isolate
  21. Page 190-193 of Healing With CBD
  22. Exploring the effects of carrier oil type on in vitro bioavailability of β-carotene: A cell culture study of carotenoid-enriched nanoemulsions
  23. What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?
  24. FDA Approves New Indication for Drug Containing an Active Ingredient Derived from Cannabis to Treat Seizures in Rare Genetic Disease
  25. Healing With CBD, page. 193
  26. Ibid.
  27. Can You Take CBD and Pass a Drug Test?
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