You know how aspirin is a commercialized, processed form of the willow tree’s most active ingredient?
It’s true. Thanks to aspirin we don’t have to chew copious amounts of tree bark in order to experience pain relief. A little bit of science made things easier for all.
CBD isolate is a little similar. It’s the purest type of hemp extract out there — one that sets all of hemp’s trace compounds aside in favor of 99% pure CBD. While CBD isolate does have some downsides, we feel like overzealous branding efforts have given it a bad rap recently. In this blog, we’ll do our very best to stick to the objective truth.
CBD Isolate 101
In its least processed form, hemp contains at least 400 different plant compounds that serve as active ingredients. The primary active ingredient? CBD.
When hemp is extracted with solvents like CO2, many of these important ingredients become concentrated in a CBD-rich full spectrum extract.
CBD isolate takes things a couple steps further. A second process called distillation is used to separate CBD from hemp’s terpenes, cannabinoids, and plant waxes. The resulting substance is scentless, flavorless, and crystalline: CBD isolate!
CBD Isolate vs. Full Spectrum CBD
Compared with full spectrum CBD, CBD isolate is less powerful but more predictable. While full spectrum CBD products contain many of hemp’s 400+ active ingredients, CBD isolate only contains one.
Some studies imply that CBD isolate is less effective per unit than other types of CBD. This study from Israel also found that CBD isolate dosing is a little more particular than full spectrum dosing. In other words, it could take a little more effort to find your optimal dose.
CBD Isolate: The Pros
But CBD isolate still has plenty of upsides. It still powerfully activates the endocannabinoid system en route to promoting full-body balance. It’s still loved by customers with everything from anxiety to chronic pain. In short, it still works!
CBD isolate may also be ideal for those who have to take frequent drug tests for work. Because it’s verifiably free from even the smallest amounts of THC, those who take CBD isolate can do so with total peace of mind.
Finally, CBD isolate may be able to match less processed forms of CBD when it comes to topical application. THC doesn’t absorb that well through the skin, anyways.
CBD Isolate: The Cons
The biggest downside to CBD isolate is highlighted in that Israel study we linked earlier: its mg per mg efficacy compared to full spectrum CBD. CBD isolate users may need to take more isolate than they expect to get good results.
CBD isolate is also free of terpenes. While that means there are no risks of allergies, it also means users miss out on the broad-spectrum aromatherapy we call hemp.
All in all, CBD isolate has its place. So feel free to use it wisely! When combined with other botanicals it can still really shine.