The popularity of CBD has soared in recent years. It has been dominating headlines and is starting to spread in the medical community. People are taking CBD for all sorts of ailments and conditions as well as general health and wellness. Cannabidiol is available in different forms – ranging from simple oral gel to vaping liquid to skin creams.
CBD is one of 100+ cannabinoids found in marijuana and hemp plants. Thanks to modern technology, cannabidiol can now be extracted in its purest form. This is called CBD isolate.
CBD isolates contain as much as 99+ percent pure cannabidiol.
The other form of extracted CBD is called full-spectrum. This whole-plant extraction includes non-CBD compounds found in the cannabis plant such as terpenes, essential vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, and other cannabinoids.
It may seem logical to choose CBD isolates over full spectrum CBD if you want to enjoy the benefits of pure cannabidiol. However, studies have shown that CBD may work better when combined with other plant components – hence the popularity of full-spectrum CBD products.
Cannabis and cannabinoids
Scientists have identified 113 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. THC and CBD are the most prominent and most studied among them. Although not as important, other cannabinoids also have the potential to help alleviate medical symptoms. CBN and CBG, for example, have shown anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and analgesic properties.
Whole-plant extracts typically contain a small amount of THC. When combined with other cannabinoids and terpenes, the extract creates what is known as an entourage effect. This synergistic relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes is supposed to boost the therapeutic properties of each compound.
THC is illegal in many countries, which is why CBD isolates have become a popular alternative to full-spectrum CBD products.
Benefits of CBD
The hype surrounding CBD comes from its ability to reduce symptoms of medical disorders that were thought to be untreatable. Some of these potential CBD benefits include:
CBD is also known to counteract the paranoia, memory loss, and other psychoactive effects associated with THC. For this reason, CBD can provide a balancing compound to THC when treating the following conditions:
CBD has no known side effects except for dry mouth. The one disadvantage of taking CBD is that it can interact with prescription drugs that you may already be taking. CBD can interfere with liver enzymes that break down around 60% of all drugs currently on the market. It is best to talk to your doctor before taking CBD.
What are CBD isolates?
CBD isolate is cannabidiol in its purest chemical form – no additives, no contaminants, no plant matter. Because it does not contain any THC, it will not get you high.
CBD isolates that contain 99+% pure CBD usually comes in one of two forms: crystals and powder. They are absolutely tasteless and odorless.
Crystal CBD isolate is less refined and is often taken with dabbing. Powder CBD isolate is pulverized into a very fine texture which makes it truly versatile.
CBD oil is usually dark green or golden brown. CBD isolates are immaculate white. The difference in color is due to the extraction process.
How CBD isolate is extracted
Chromatography is a technique in chemistry that is designed to separate a mixture. Manufacturers often apply this process to isolate and purify cannabinoids to create CBD isolates.
Making CBD isolate starts with the extraction of hemp oil from non-GMO hemp plants. The most common extraction methods are CO2, ice water, butane, and ethanol. Supercritical CO2 is considered the cleanest, safest and most reliable method in pulling CBD-rich hemp oil from the plant.
The concentrated oil at the end of the extraction process includes other cannabinoids, fatty acids, and other plant compounds that naturally occur in hemp. You can keep this concentrate in liquid, solid or semi-solid form to make shatter, wax, oil, or tincture.
This cannabis concentrate goes through two more refinement processes to isolate the CBD.
After the extraction process, the CBD concentrate goes through filtration to remove all plant material from the extract.
After filtration, the extract goes through a process called winterization to remove any excess wax or plant material that is still present in the oil. Winterization isolates CBD from all other impurities such as terpenes, trichomes, flavonoids, chlorophyll, and other cannabinoids like THC.
What you are left with is a super fine white powder that contains 99% pure CBD.
You might think that CBD isolate is a synthetic product that is processed in a laboratory. This is not true. CBD isolates are botanical despite the white crystal appearance. Pure crystalline CBD isolate is all-natural CBD that is refined to make it available in its most concentrated form.
Even the FDA-approved Epidiolex drug for epilepsy notes that its active ingredient is a cannabinoid that naturally occurs in the Cannabis sativa L. plant.
What consumers should be wary of are fake CBD isolates. These copycats do not have any actual CBD in them and often contain a synthetic cannabinoid called 4-cyano Cumyl-Butinaca or 4-CCB.
The best way to avoid fake CBD isolates is to order from a reputable retailer. Here at PrismCBD, our CBD isolates are made to Triple Lab Tested standards. Qualified independent laboratories carefully check our hemp oil in three stages to make sure our CBD isolates are pure, safe and potent. We make sure that the CBD isolate you are getting has not been exposed to mold, mildew, fungus, toxins, heavy metals, and solvents.
Full spectrum vs. isolate
CBD isolate has no other ingredients, which can be a major advantage if you want to avoid any trace of THC. However, it also means that other beneficial compounds from the cannabis plant are left behind.
Full spectrum CBD contains a whole plant profile – including THC and other cannabinoids. The THC content may be too little to feel the effects but it can potentially contribute to the effectiveness of the CBD.
Organic chemist Raphael Mechoulam was the first to refer to this phenomenon called Entourage Effect which describes how cannabinoids work more effectively together rather than in isolation.
A recent study on full-spectrum CBD demonstrates the importance of THC in whole plant extracts. THC mimics the action of anandamide, a neurotransmitter in our body that binds to CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. In the United States, THC is legal only if it appears in trace amounts under 0.3% by dry weight. This extremely low level of THC makes hemp oil non-psychoactive.
A study published by the Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research supported the idea that full-plant extract is more effective than CBD isolate. According to the findings, all of the tests showed that isolated CBD became ineffective after a certain dosage while full spectrum CBD increased its effectiveness as higher doses were administered.
Some scientists, however, still believe that CBD isolate is more effective than full-plant extract. This is because CBD is the only cannabinoid in the cannabis plant that is known to possess medical benefits, aside from THC. Consuming pure CBD with no terpenes or other "unnecessary" components of the hemp plant may deliver a more potent dose of CBD.
Benefits of CBD isolate
CBD isolate does not contain any THC
Full-spectrum CBD extracts contain low levels of THC. Those who want to avoid THC at all costs – do not want to get high or fail a drug test – prefer to stick to pure CBD isolates.
CBD isolates offer all the benefits of CBD without leaving trace amounts of THC in your body. This is perfect for people who may be sensitive to THC. Military personnel, police officers, emergency first responders, and heavy-machinery operators who are required to submit urine for an employer-mandated drug test can also find relief from CBD without the fear of THC detection.
CBD isolate dosage is easy to measure
Compared to full-spectrum CBD products, it is easier to calculate dosage for CBD isolates. The weight you get on a kitchen scale is exactly the same amount of CBD you are putting in your body.
CBD tinctures, creams and edibles only contain a certain percentage of CBD so calculating how much actual CBD you are getting can be inaccurate and messy.
CBD isolate is highly versatile
CBD isolate powder or crystals can be used as an ingredient when making CBD products at home.
- Mix it with food and drinks
- Add it to coconut oil or medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil to make CBD drops
- Add it to vaping liquid
- Mix it into lotions or skin creams
CBD buds require heat for activation before they can be used for cooking. CBD oils cannot be mixed into vaping liquid and or into topical balms. The versatility of CBD isolate makes it very easy to use for a variety of applications.
How to use CBD isolate
CBD isolate has no scent or flavor, so you have complete control over how you want to add it to your regimen. You can take it alone or integrate it into your supplement of choice. You also get to decide how potent you want it to be. Some of the most common methods of consuming CBD isolate include:
- Mixing CBD isolate into coffee, tea or juice
- Infusing CBD isolate into coconut oil, olive oil, or honey
- Making CBD isolate candies or gummies
- Making CBD isolate capsules
- Adding CBD isolate to a marijuana joint
Boost the potency of your CBD supplement
If you are already taking CBD and want to integrate more into your system, the best way to boost the potency of your current supplement is to add CBD isolate. Add CBD isolate powder to your CBD oils and tinctures to increase CBD milligram per serving.
Place it directly under your tongue
The easiest way to take CBD isolate is to place a few pinches under the tongue. This method of ingestion is more efficient than swallowing CBD as it bypasses the gut and reaches your bloodstream directly from mucous membranes in your mouth. This means no CBD is wasted in your digestive system.
Measure your desired amount of CBD isolate and place the powder under your tongue. Hold it there for 60-90 seconds before swallowing. If you do not like the taste lingering in your mouth, you may wash it down with water or juice.
The mucous membranes under the tongue are pretty sensitive, which can cause discomfort when taking CBD isolate crystals. CBD also tends to work best with a carrier that contains fat such as coconut oil. These factors make the sublingual method one of the least popular ways to consume CBD isolate.
Make your own CBD tinctures
Making your own CBD tinctures can help you save money instead of buying them pre-made. You can also customize everything – amount of CBD, type of carrier oil, and additional flavorings.
You will need three things when making CBD tinctures: CBD isolate, carrier oil, and dropper bottle.
There are 15ml (1/2 oz) and 30ml (1 oz) dropper bottles available online as little as $1 each. You can also purchase some at your local health food store.
The most common carrier oils mixed with CBD isolate are MCT oil and hemp seed oil. These are also available at health food shops and the Internet.
Measure the exact CBD concentration that you want and mix them up.
You may heat the CBD isolate crystals so they mix into the carrier oil faster. The ideal pre-heat temperature of a fatty substance is 175°F to 200°F (80°C to 93°C). Continue to add heat until the cloudiness of the CBD crystal disappears. When fully emulsified, store it in the refrigerator to prevent re-crystallization.
Cook with CBD isolate
One of the most creative ways of consuming CBD is to cook with an isolate. Completely tasteless and odorless, CBD isolates are great for blending with your favorite food and drink.
Mix CBD isolates with coconut, palm, or avocado oil and add it to your morning cup of coffee, pre-workout Greek yogurt, or post-training smoothie.
Add CBD to salad dressing, guacamole, barbecue sauce, pasta – the possibilities are endless.
Make sure you are cooking CBD at a temperature that is lower than 320°F (160°C). If you heat it up beyond its boiling point, the CBD will lose its potency. When cooking with CBD-infused oils, keep the temperature even lower.
Create your own CBD-infused sweetener
You can make your own natural CBD-infused sweetener by dissolving pure CBD powder into honey or agave nectar in a double boiler or steamer. Stir it into coffee or tea, add a teaspoonful to your favorite yogurt, or drizzle some over your breakfast fruit bowl.
Bake CBD-infused goodies
CBD and all other cannabinoids are fat soluble, which means they are easy to blend with fatty substances such as butter, coconut milk, and cooking oil. This makes it possible to add CBD isolate powder to anything you can eat. Mix CBD with brownies, cookies, pies, cake, muffins and other baked goods. Fold it into pudding, whipped cream, or ice cream. Create your own CBD candies or gummies. Make homemade CBD-infused treats for your cats and dogs.
Vape CBD isolate
The fastest way to deliver CBD to your bloodstream is through inhalable vapor. Vaping CBD bypasses your digestive tract so it produces faster effects.
If you are already vaping as an alternative to smoking, you can add CBD isolate to your current vape juice. Make sure you are mixing just the right amount to maintain a thin consistency. If your tank is not designed to handle syrupy liquids, adding CBD powder to your e-juice might be an issue.
The better alternative is to vape CBD concentrates. Instead of simply adding CBD isolate to pre-made vape juice, why not create your own? This way you have full control over potency, viscosity, type of carrier oil, and every ingredient that goes into your lungs.
CBD isolate for vaping is available in powder and slab form. CBD powder can be a bit messy while slab is easier to work with.
Wax pens are a popular choice when vaping CBD. Unlike regular vape pens that are built with atomizer tanks for vaporizing e-liquid, wax pens melt the CBD in small buckets or direct coils. Once it reaches the right temperature, the CBD-infused vapor is ready for inhale.
Wax concentrates deliver a significantly higher dose of CBD compared to diluted vaping liquids. They are also cheaper, more versatile, and more portable than their e-juice counterparts.
Dab CBD isolate
There is a significant amount of positive anecdotal feedback on dabbing crystal CBD isolate for instant symptom relief. Simply add a small amount of CBD isolate to your dab rig, inhale the vapor, and feel the effects almost immediately.
Rub CBD on your skin
If you feel pain in a specific area like the elbows, shoulders and knees, you can mix CBD isolate into your favorite body lotion or cream for targeted relief. Homemade CBD topicals are great for joint pain, sore muscles, and skin conditions.
CBD isolate is an excellent ingredient for creating salves. Make your own CBD topical or add crystal CBD to an existing oil-based product and rub it on your skin. This is one of the quickest ways to achieve pain relief from the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.
If you are adding crystalline CBD isolate to body oil, you might need to warm the oil in a hot water batch before dissolving the CBD.
If you are adding CBD isolate powder to medicated lotion, check the ingredients to make sure there will be no drug interaction.
Make your own CBD capsules
Capsules and tinctures often have the same ingredients, with a slight variation in CBD concentration depending on the amount of liquid that a capsule can hold. MCT oil is a great carrier oil option when making oral CBD products.
To start making CBD capsules, buy some veggie caps from your local health food store or online. Mix CBD isolate powder into your carrier oil of choice and blend well. Pop the capsules open and fill each one with your CBD-infused oil. Put the capsule back together and store in a dry and sealed container. Most CBD capsules contain a concentration of 10mg to 25mg of CBD.
Sprinkle on top of your joint
If you have leftover CBD powder, you may add them to your dry herb vaporizer or sprinkle them on top of flower buds when smoking or vaping medical marijuana. The addition of CBD is known to counteract the THC-induced high and boost the therapeutic benefits of THC.
How much CBD isolate should you take?
CBD affects people differently depending on a number of factors such as body weight, body chemistry, and severity of symptoms. What works for your spouse may not work for you. CBD supplementation should be customized to individual needs so each person has to find their own optimal dose.
CBD isolates offer accurate dosing. Being able to exactly measure and monitor CBD dosage is a key advantage of CBD isolates over other CBD products.
Keep in mind that CBD isolate is over 99% pure so every milligram of powder contains close to a milligram of active CBD. If you have been taking 40mg of CBD daily for quite some time now, it does not mean that you should also take 40mg of CBD isolate. Careful calculation is a must when introducing CBD isolates to your daily regimen.
These steps can help you find your optimal dose for CBD isolates.
- Start with a low dose of 5mg to 10mg
- Take the same dose for a few days and give your body time to react
- Keep a record of your dose and how you feel each day
- If you do not feel anything after a week, slowly increase the dose by 5mg every two to three days
- If you feel any discomfort, reduce the dosage
- Do not dramatically increase or reduce dosage
If you are currently taking prescription medication, work with your doctor to find the optimal CBD dose that does not interfere with your current regimen. If you are relatively healthy but would want to try CBD, your medical care provider can help you figure out how much CBD isolate you should take to achieve your wellness goals.
When calculating your CBD dose, measure your isolate on a precision kitchen scale that can weigh powders to the fraction of a milligram. If you do not have a scale, there are 10mg scoops sold online to help you accurately measure CBD isolates.
Measuring CBD in precise dosages not only improves accuracy but also helps you save money so you do not take CBD by the pinch.
Can CBD isolate get you high?
CBD is a completely non-intoxicating compound – it will not get you high even if you take 99% pure CBD isolate.
Unlike full-spectrum CBD products, CBD isolates contain only CBD and nothing else. All the other parts of the plant are removed during the filtration process. This means that you are consuming 100% CBD with not a trace of THC.
Is CBD isolate right for you?
The only way to know if CBD isolate is right for you is to try it. CBD isolate is odorless, tasteless, and comes in crystal or powder form so it is incredibly versatile. Cook with it, eat it, inhale it, or rub it on your skin – the possibilities are endless.
CBD isolates are 99% pure, which means a milligram of powder is essentially one milligram of active CBD. This makes it easier to know exactly how much CBD you are putting in your body.
It is very important that you purchase your CBD isolate from a reputable supplier. Talk to the budtenders at your local dispensary or ask our experts online on how to find high-quality CBD isolate that is completely THC-free. Demand that your supplier provide you with product test results showing no THC content.