CBD Isolate: Your Complete Guide

Article Highlights:

  • CBD Isolate is a great alternative when full spectrum CBD oil comes up short.
  • By isolating the phytocannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), CBD isolate is 99% of composed of the most well-known and therapeutic non-psychoactive molecule found in hemp.
  • Many of the negative criticism of isolate are overblown — and due to unique body chemistry, some people find Isolate is the only form of CBD that can provide adequate pain and anxiety relief.
  • Sublingual (under the tongue) and vaping are the two most popular and effective ways to dose CBD isolate which is notably more difficult to dose compared to full spectrum CBD oil.


There are many different types of CBD products you can buy, and this makes it confusing for many people. While there are all these different types, they will all fall into one of two forms: full spectrum or isolate.

CBD Isolate is 99% pure unadulterated cannabidiol (CBD) and is the most powerful form of CBD available.

While CBD is the main therapeutic phytocannabinoid in hemp plants, it’s not the only cannabinoid. In fact, there are 113+ phytocannabinoids that bring along their own therapeutic properties. As well, the essential oils or terpenes that give hemp plants their pungent and diverse aroma also bring along medical benefits. When CBD oil has these 113+ phytocannabinoids and 200+ terpenes in the oil we call it full spectrum.


Isolate or Full Spectrum?

If you’re completely new to CBD, we recommend full spectrum for two reasons.

First, it has a wider therapeutic range as some of the phytocannabinoids and terpenes have unique beneficial properties. Second, it’s usually easier for people to dose because again, some of the other phytocannabinoids and terpenes help out. This time they make it easier for CBD itself to pass the blood-brain barrier.

But wait — Make sure you read the next part because there are a few reasons full spectrum might not even be an option for you in the first place.


Why Chose Isolate?

It’s simple. Because people have different body chemistry, CBD isolate works way better for some compared to full spectrum. Some report that it helps them with their pain and anxiety in ways full spectrum never could. Others report that it didn’t make them tired or feel cloudy like full spectrum hemp oil did. While we recommend full spectrum first — it’s 4x more effective compared to isolate — if it isn’t quite working out for you, try CBD isolate.

What’s nice about CBD oil is that when one form doesn’t work, this doesn’t automatically discredit the other. It’s anyone's guess why full spectrum causes side effects for some — which are admittedly rare — perhaps body chemistry makes some people more sensitive to the other cannabinoids.  

For example, full spectrum CBD oil has no more than 0.03% THC — if that — don’t worry, this is nowhere close to ever getting you high. However, because we know that cannabinoids interact with each other’s functions, perhaps there is just enough for it to interact with other cannabinoids, and this makes those rare few who are sensitive to THC tired.


Drug Testing

Even when full spectrum is derived from hemp, it will contain trace amounts of THC. Again, this can’t get you high so worries, however, THC loves attaching to fat cells and this leaves detectable traces in the body with heavy use of CBD full spectrum.

If you consume 1000 mg of full spectrum CBD oil in a week, there is potentially 30 mg of inactive THC in your system, and this may lead to a false positive reading on a drug test. A false positive means that a further test will be undertaken to confirm that the THC is inactive so you should not ultimately fail the test.

This is all a highly unlikely scenario, and most have no issue with full spectrum and drug testing as 1000 mg a week is an extremely high amount for full spectrum users. However, people have reportedly run into issues, so if you are concerned then CBD isolate is your best option. You absolutely will not have to worry about testing positive for THC or marijuana on a drug test with CBD isolate.


CBD oil, regardless if it’s isolate or full spectrum, will always absorb the fastest when taken sublingually or held under the tongue — inhalation works fast as well, but taking CBD orally remains the most popular.

Hemp has a strong bitter grassy flavor, and since full spectrum means all parts of the plant, expect the oil to taste the same. Some have no issue with this, others hide it in their food, and CBD capsules are super popular as well. The problem with the latter two methods is CBD can take 4 to 5 times longer to start working because it will get metabolized in the liver first before it enters the bloodstream.

CBD has no taste and since that’s all CBD isolate is, you will have a completely flavorless oil that when taken sublingually can start working in 10-15 minutes.  


Cost is a catch-22 for CBD isolate, but this is good for CBD isolate because many always expect it to be more expensive, but this isn’t necessarily always the case.

Because there aren’t other cannabinoids in CBD isolate to help it pass the blood-brain barrier, isolate requires a higher than normal dose. How much more will depend on your unique body chemistry — some find that they only need a slightly higher dose compared to full spectrum, others need to go a good bit higher.

Fortunately, CBD isolate is often cheaper than full spectrum as it can be derived from any variety of cannabis plants. Since CBD will be separated from everything else, you can even derive it from a high THC marijuana plant and not get high from the oil. Cannabidiol (CBD) is always non-psychoactive — with time and strong acids scientists have successfully converted it into THC, but this cannot happen in the body or naturally.


How CBD Isolate is Made

Even though it's common to find more affordably priced CBD isolate compared to full spectrum, isolate requires additional process before it ready for consumption.

The phytocannabinoids in hemp plants are derived in a number of fashions with supercritical CO2 the prefer method for CBD oil — both for its effectiveness and safety. From this, we have an unctuous and viscous botanical concentrate that varies in color from light green to almost black. In this concentrate, you will find the 113+ phytocannabinoids, terpenes, fatty acids, and other plant material like chlorophyll and sugars. This is full spectrum CBD oil.

To isolate CBD out of the raw hemp extract, a number of processes can be used -- usually, this involves slowly heat up the extract at different temperature points to release CBD. All phytocannabinoids have different boiling point ranges where they are released — CBD's is between 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit.

This extract will then go through one last process called chromatography that will ensure CBD is separated from everything else. When done we are left with fine white crystals — this is the most common form you’ll find isolates available in.


How To Use CBD Isolate

All cannabinoids are fat-soluble — this is the reason why marijuana doesn't leave a lasting scent on clothes like tobacco which is water soluble. Anyways back to our story, because they are fat soluble, it’s best to mix your CBD isolate crystal powder into a high-fat carrier oil like coconut. Even better, you can just buy CBD isolate which already does this for you.

Orally: After you’ve mixed the CBD isolate into a carrier oil, simply hold the oil under your tongue for a few moments then shallow. The longer you hold it under your tongue, the better.

Topicals: For pain and aches, topicals are great for penetrating deep and targeting the source of the issue. Besides mixing the crystals into coconut oil, you can also use shea butter, olive oil, cocoa butter — just make sure it’s high in fat!  

Vaporizer: You won't need to mix your CBD isolate with a high-fat carrier oil if you plan to vape or dab it. Vape pens are a great low-key way to vape CBD isolate, but before you get one make sure you can set it in the range CBD is vaporized (160-180F). For vape pens, you’ll have to use vape oil.

In Foods: Many people take CBD as a way to naturally improve their health, and we think that’s fantastic. What’s great about CBD is you can take it without making it feel like you’re taking a drug or pill.  Instead of vaping or taking a pill, throw CBD isolates in your food -- it’s as simple as dropping the flavorless oil right into it.


What You Should Know Before You Buy

It’s a complete bummer to have to write the next part, but there are a few rules you’ll need to follow when buying CBD online. It has become so popular in the last year or so and companies — both good and bad — are jumping on it. But let’s not have the bad ones ruin what is helping so many people far-and-wide.

Guidelines For Buying CBD:

  • Certificate of Analysis (COA) — A COA is the lab report for the product and will confirm that what’s advertised on the label is legit. You always want to make sure you can find it before you ever buy the product and don’t be afraid to ask the company — however, most great CBD companies have a COA right on their website in plain sight.  
  • Check Reviews — It’s understandable if a company recently release a product and it doesn’t have reviews yet, but if you’re not seeing reviews at all  . . . run!
  • CBD for Pets? — Both cats and dogs can benefit from taking CBD in all the same great ways as humans do. But because isolate can be difficult to dose and doesn’t work best for most, all CBD for pets is full spectrum. Since they can’t talk, they can’t let us know which oil they prefer.  


For more information on CBD products, click here!

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