While CBD is growing more and more popular by the day, sometimes it can be hard to understand what all the terms mean, making it difficult to decide what to buy.
In this article, we will outline the difference between full spectrum CBD distillate and CBD isolate, which are related and similar, but also quite different. We’ll also talk about why that difference matters and what it means for you.
What is CBD isolate?
CBD isolate, as you might have guessed from the name, is where CBD is isolated from all other compounds in the cannabis plant. All the other compounds are removed via a thorough process, and what is left behind is a powder or crystalline solid with no taste or smell. That solid is CBD isolate.
Depending on how thorough the extraction was, CBD isolates can achieve purity levels of up to 99%. They can then be blended with oils or other cannabis products for topical application, ingestion, or other uses.
The defining property of CBD isolate is its purity, which is unmatched by any other CBD product. In fact, so potent is it that even mixing it into other substances does not take that potency away. It also has no earthy flavors or aromas, which some users don’t like. CBD isolate is therefore well-suited to edibles and balms for people who want something neutral, or at least with a flavor or aroma other than earthy.
There are downsides to CBD isolate, though. There are over 150 known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. There are over 300 non-cannabinoids in the same plant. Think about it. You won’t find these compounds on any other plant on the planet, which makes them quite unique. It’s not just the chemicals that are unique, but also how they relate with each other and with our bodies. All of these wondrous chemicals are completely stripped during the process of making CBD isolate.
Researchers have especially been interested in how these chemicals work with and influence each other. It is natural to expect that a mixture of different cannabinoids will interact with and affect our receptors differently than if the cannabinoids were isolated and acted alone. As much research has found, this interplay is often beneficial and superior to having the cannabinoids acting by themselves. This is known as the entourage effect, and CBD isolate is completely robbed of it. Which brings us to CBD distillate.
What is CBD distillate?
CBD distillate is CBD concentrate made from hemp. It is taken through a thorough distillation process to remove THC for the most part, though it may also be stripped of most other cannabinoids as well, leaving as pure CBD as possible. The distillation process is just like the one you use to purify water: heating and cooling the substance until it is pure.
The distillation process can be used to create whatever blend of products you want in the end, though there may still be trace amounts of THC in the end. It won’t get you high, though, and it isn’t illegal.
You may have noticed that this sounds a lot like the purpose of making CBD isolate, so what is the difference between the two?
First of all, while CBD isolate is made with the sole purpose of having super pure CBD, CBD distillate is made to remove THC and also to have a specific blend of chemicals. It may or may not end up as pure CBD. Also, while CBD isolate is always in solid form, CBD distillate is always in liquid form. Because of the fact that you can obtain a blend of chemicals with CBD distillate, it also has the potential to benefit from the entourage effect better than CBD isolate.