CBD Isolate vs Full-Spectrum: What’s the difference

The hemp plant (cannabis sativa) contains more than 140 chemical substances, among them cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. The two best known of these substances are of course THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).

While THC is the psychoactive chemical responsible for producing a “cannabis high”, non-psychoactive CBD has in recent times made headlines due to its efficacy in treating, preventing and possibly even curing certain health conditions such as anxiety, insomnia and epilepsy.

There also is increasing evidence from clinical studies that show that CBD eases pain and discomfort, for instance in advanced cancer patients. It is therefore no wonder that CBD is gathering increasingly more users, especially on the background that many countries have begun relaxing their legislations against cannabis.

Commercially available CBD comes in two main forms, either as CBD isolate or as full-spectrum CBD.

The Difference Between CBD Isolate and Full-Spectrum CBD

In simple terms, CBD isolate is the purest form of cannabidiol. The substance literally has been isolated from all those other chemical compounds naturally present in the cannabis plant

Although the actual cannabidiol content in full-spectrum CBD is significantly lower than in pure CBD isolate, the other accompanying components can greatly enhance the overall benefits that CBD imparts through a mechanism known as “synergic effect”.

Why 100% Purity is Impossible to Achieve in CBD Isolate

It basically is a matter of the extraction methods currently available. Minute traces of other hemp chemicals are unavoidable. Think of it like fine gold that can be purchased as bullion as an inflation-safe investment, for example.

Fine gold generally has a purity level of “only” 99.9%, the other 0.1% comprising metals such as silver or copper. And even “pure sea salt”, valued as a food ingredient, is never 100% pure but always contains tiny amounts of other substances that naturally occur in sea water, like manganese, zinc, iodine, selenium and various others. The same applies to CBD isolate.

While the extraction process results in a 99.9% pure product, there still will be traces of the other hemp plant compounds present. But as we already mentioned, this is not a bad thing, as the “synergic effect” of these other chemicals can actually increase the efficacy of cannabidiol.

What Are CBD Crystals?

CBD isolate sometimes also is referred to as “CBD crystals” – although the substance primarily is commercially sold as a fine powder. The term “CBD crystals” stems from the circumstance cannabidiol “clumps together” into microscopic crystals when it is extracted from the cannabis plant.

While CBD isolate sometimes is sold in this crystal form, it is most commonly ground into a fine powder because that makes it easier to dose and dissolve and use in industrial processes. Some industries prefer to order their CBD isolate in crystal form, others don’t. It is a matter of preference and for what type of end product the CBD isolate is to be used.

Terpenes in CBD Isolates

As we have already mentioned, CBD isolate is up to 99.9% pure, the remaining 0.1% consisting of trace amounts of the other chemical compounds naturally occurring in the hemp plant.

However, depending on the end product for which the CBD isolate is to be used, an additional amount of terpenes may be added to the powder. Terpenes basically are the aroma carriers of the hemp plant responsible for the typical “cannabis taste”.

Thus, if the end product is to be certain vaping liquids, for example, some manufacturers may choose CBD isolate with added terpenes in order to impart the desired flavor and aroma in their merchandise.

Is it Safe?

High-tech cannabidiol extraction from the hemp plant results in up to 99.9% pure CBD isolate. Traces of other chemicals still present in CBD isolate amount to much less than 1%. And when it comes to THC, the psychoactive substance responsible for the proverbial “cannabis high”, the CBD isolate products offered by Essentia Pura principally adhere to the 0.2% threshold that is allowed in most countries without breaking narcotics laws.

Accordingly, using our CBD isolate in the manufacture of consumer products therefore makes it virtually impossible to induce the effects of THC – unless the product is grossly overdosed (and it really would have to be a lot).

Our CBD isolate is entirely safe for industrial (but also individual) use and we guarantee the highest achievable purity of all our CBD isolates, whether in powder or crystal form. Having said that, it is understood that CBD isolate – or any cannabis-derived substance for that – must be strictly kept out of children’s reach.

Is it Water-soluble?

In its principal form, CBD isolate (as all cannabinoids) cannot be dissolved in water but is only fat-soluble.

That poses an obstacle for industrially manufactured products containing the substance. It can be relatively easily overcome, though, by simply adding some food-grade fat or oil to the ingredient list.

On the other hand, there also are CBD isolate powders available no, in which one or several fatty agents have already been incorporated – at the cost that the actual cannabidiol concentration is being somewhat lower, of course.

And then there are also water-soluble CBD powders available nowadays, which completely negate the necessity to add fats or oils to the product recipe.

Production of CBD Isolate

Just like with other CBD products (for example CBD oil, CBD extract or CBD distillate), the cannabidiol contained in CBD isolate is obtained through a technology known as supercritical CO2 extraction.

As its name implies, carbon dioxide (CO2) is used for target-specific extraction of the cannabidiol content in the hemp plant. Supercritical CO2 extraction equipment is normally only used in a lab setting to obtain small quantities of the targeted substance.

However, at Essentia Pura, we operate several supercritical CO2 extraction lines, which when linked up to one another in a sort of “extraction chain” are able to produce CBD isolate of the highest achievable purity on an industrial scale.

We, therefore, are able to offer CBD isolate in bulk and wholesale quantities at any time. In another blog, we shall describe the process of supercritical CO2 extraction in greater detail.

CBD Isolate in Wholesale and Bulk Quantities

While Essentia Pura is glad to fulfill smaller orders of CBD isolate or any other CBD products for home use, our true focus is on supplying various industries.

Due to our scaled-up production capacity, we constantly have sufficient quantities of CBD isolate in stock, enabling us to fulfill orders reliably and with short lead times.

Depending on their intended use, we even are capable of manufacturing CBD isolate and other CBD product batches according to the customer’s specifications. Our customer service representatives will be happy to assist you with all inquiries.

Industrial Use of CBD Isolate

With laws in many countries becoming increasingly relaxed, CBD isolate is used in a growing number of industrial products. At the top of the list would be pharmaceuticals, of course, with CBD isolate being an active ingredient in anything from analgesic creams and gels to pills and capsules.

Certain cosmetics likewise use CBD isolate in smaller concentrations, such as found in various skin creams, for example. Up and coming also are food and beverage products that contain legal amounts of cannabidiol.

Last but not least, a quite trending product segment would be nutraceuticals, more commonly known as food or nutritional supplements.

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