CBD is cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid found in cannabis plants. CBD isolate is CBD that has been isolated from all other plant material through a process of extraction and refining. CBD isolate is available in crystal or powder form.
Following the mainstream emergence of cannabidiol (CBD) products, there’s a compelling option out there for those who want to experience the potential therapeutic effects of CBD without even the smallest trace of THC. It may not receive the same amount of hype as CBD lattes, infused cookies, or other CBD products, but CBD isolate is actually one of the most distinct and versatile forms of CBD on the market.
If someone is testing for CBD isolate, yes. But common drug tests look for THC and its metabolites. And part of the point of CBD isolate is that it doesn’t contain any THC, unlike full-spectrum CBD products, which are legally permitted to contain up to 0.3% THC. Generally, worries about CBD oil and drug testing are unwarranted but it’s even less of an issue with CBD isolate.
For topicals, mix the CBD isolate with moisturizing oils or lotions and apply it to the area of your skin you’d like to treat. You can also buy topicals that contain CBD isolate.
What is the difference between CBD and CBD isolate?
As we’ll discuss in detail below under How to Use CBD Isolates, another clear-cut advantage is the many inventive ways CBD isolate can be prepared for use. Whether it’s administered sublingually or mixed with food and drinks, this crystalline powdered CBD works well in a variety of consumption methods.
CBD isolate can be mixed with terpenes to create homemade CBD concentrates that can be vaped or dabbed. The isolate can also be made into crystal slabs that can be dabbed using a traditional oil rig.
It’s incredibly easy to measure CBD isolate dosages, as there’s nothing else to account for aside from the pure CBD. With other CBD-based products, such as broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oil, the cannabinoid is mixed with other cannabinoids, making it more difficult at times to quantify the exact amount of CBD that is being consumed.
For topicals, mix the CBD isolate with moisturizing oils or lotions and apply it to the area of your skin you’d like to treat. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
When shopping for CBD isolate, it’s important to look for products from reputable companies that are lab-tested by a third party. This should ensure that your isolate doesn’t contain any THC, additional plant materials, or other impurities.
While under vacuum, the extract is loaded into the feed tank where it passes over a heated rotating plate. From there, the heated oil then enters a secondary vessel where there are spinning wipers and a thin film is created around the heated, jacketed vessel. A long condensing coil in the middle of the vessel, cooled with recirculating fluid, recondenses the vapors back into liquid form. Receiving vessels then collect the CBD (known as ‘main body’) from the terpenes, volatiles and high boiling point cannabinoids (known as ‘heads’ and ‘tails’).
Once winterization has been completed it is necessary to now quickly filter those fats and waxes we coagulated from the miscella. A filter press is used with the assistance of a vacuum pump to pull the miscella mixture through a series of filter plates. Fats, waxes, etc are collected in one vessel and the desired miscella in another.
In order to achieve optimal CBD content, decarboxylation is a critical step prior to distillation. The process of decarboxylation is to remove carboxylic acid and CO2 from cannabinoids present in the cannabis extract. Converting the acidic cannabinoid (CBDa) to its neutral form (CBD) ensures the end product contains all of the several benefits the cannabinoid has to offer. Furthermore, failure to remove CO2 from the extract will also affect the ability to properly form a vacuum in your distillation apparatus. The decarboxylation process is achieved through the application of heat in a reactionary vessel.
Step 5: Distillation
Depending on what end product you’re trying to make you may prefer to use a CBD isolate powder when manufacturing lotions, edibles, beverages, etc. In order to make a powder you are simply taking the CBD isolate crystals and grinding them down into a powder-like substance.
Making CBD isolate requires more steps than creating a CBD oil, as you have to remove every other element, such as phospholipids and flavors, from the product. While the process is more complex and requires additional equipment, it creates a totally pure end product that is free of anything besides CBD.
This crystallization process is started by putting the CBD oil into a large vat, or reactionary vessel, with a stirring attachment. The mixture is heated while constantly being stirred. Then, the temperature is lowered and the rate of stirring is slowed down. Once the mixture has cooled and nucleation starts to occur (the initial stages of crystallization), the stirring rate is drastically increased, which causes the crystals to separate from the solution. After this, the crystals are rinsed with pentane, or another chemical solvent, to remove any remaining unwanted impurities.
Step 2: Winterization
CBD isolate is 99% pure CBD, often in the form of a white powder that can be mixed into drinks or taken sublingually. This option is often popular among people who are just beginning to explore the use of cannabis or hemp derived products or looking to avoid the euphoric high associated with THC. It is also a great option for people who want hyper-accurate doses of CBD and the flexibility to create their own customized mixtures in their preferred carrier oil or liquid.
Winterization is the process of removing the fats, waxes and chlorophyll from the extract. Not removing these will lower the percentage and purity of the targeted CBD compound we are trying to capture. To achieve winterization you are essentially cooling down the extract to sub-zero temperatures with a solvent. Then, maintaining that chilled environment for a period of time in order for the lipids (fats and waxes) to coagulate and separate from the crude oil – now termed ‘miscella’.
CBD Isolate Powder
ii) Broad Spectrum CBD
You are always advised to check and recheck the labels and packaging of CBD products. Many products or brands claim THC-free content, yet the product may still contain THC.
i) Full Spectrum CBD
Here are some quick tips that you can consider before purchasing a CBD isolate product.