Extraction 101

Extraction 101: What is CBD Isolate?

What is CBD Isolate?

The previous guide covered the differences between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products, but there’s one more type of CBD concentrate. CBD isolate is entirely different than full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products. In fact, it’s the most pure CBD form of CBD available. While you probably won’t find CBD isolate on the shelf in your local shop, the people who make CBD-infused products rely on isolate to add CBD to edibles, beverages, skin care products, and other items without changing the taste or smell. 

What is CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate is best described as pure CBD. Unlike full-spectrum and broad-spectrum concentrates which include other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids from the hemp plant, CBD isolates only contains high-purity CBD. It takes an off-white crystalline form, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as CBD crystals.  

If made correctly, CBD crystals only contain CBD. There won’t be any THC or other cannabinoids present. This also means that, while CBD isolate is effective at alleviating the symptoms that CBD is typically used to treat, it doesn’t benefit from the entourage effect. Generally speaking, CBD isolate is not as effective as full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products. 

How is it Made?

In order to make CBD isolate, you’ll need to start with CBD distillate. It’s best to work with broad-spectrum distillate, rather than full-spectrum, to eliminate the possibility of trace amounts of THC. This can happen because CBD and THC are chemically very similar. 

In order for crystallization to work, you need to have the CBD in a solution where it’s soluble at high temperatures and insoluble at lower temperatures. By dropping the temperature of the solution, you can cause CBD crystals to form, separate from the rest of the solution. In essence, dropping the temperature both pulls the CBD from the solution and causes it to “freeze.” Yields are largely dependent on just how insoluble the CBD is with the solvent at lower temperatures.  

After the CBD crystals are removed from the distillate, what’s left over is called Mother Liquor. Mother Liquor is the mixture of leftover cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavinoidsflavonoids. It doesn’t have much CBD in it, but it’s rich in other, much less common, cannabinoids. 

What is CBD Isolate Used For?

CBD isolate is the most versatile form of extract. Because it only contains pure CBD, it doesn’t have any of the taste or smell from the hemp plant. That means that it can be added to virtually any product and not impact the taste or smell, while adding an easily managed concentration of pure CBD.  

CBD isolate is highly valued in the consumables market because manufacturers can add it to just about anything to create a CBD-infused product. It’s possible to dissolve CBD isolate for baking. It can be added to an oil. It can also be mixed into a beverage formula.  

CBD isolate is also useful in making topicals, like skin care products. Again, it can easily be mixed into a formula without changing the smell of the product. It also shouldn’t impact the consistency either because it is just pure CBD. 

At the same time, CBD isolate’s highly-concentrated from makes it easier for manufacturers to work with. It’s high purity, so any isolate added to a formula could be treated as pure CBD, which makes it simpler to dial-in the exact concentration needed for the formulation. 

CBD isolate also offers some DIY potential for home users. If someone is interested in making their own CBD edibles or infused products. They can use CBD isolate to easily add the CBD without changing the taste or worrying about cooling with oil or butters that could change their recipe. 

CBD isolate is a high-demand concentrate that has an even higher value in driving the CBD-infused product market. 

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