Understanding Full-Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate for Cannabis Extraction

Understanding Full-Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate for Cannabis Extraction

As CBD distillate products become commonplace household items in countries throughout the world, new descriptors are emerging that the average consumer may not be familiar with. One such example is a classifier for CBD distillate products that distinguishes them between being a “CBD isolate” or “full-spectrum CBD distillate”. You may be asking yourself what the difference is, and what products are right for you.

What is Full-Spectrum CBD Distillate?

Full-spectrum CBD distillate contains high concentrations of CBD, but also contains other terpenes and cannabinoids. These distillates may contain up to 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (depending on where you are located), which is not enough THC to cause real inebriation or psychoactive effects, but enough to allow for the benefits of the “entourage effect”.

The entourage effect is the popular anecdotal opinion that the sum of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds found in cannabis plants produces an effect that is greater than each of the individual compounds can achieve on its own (learn more about the entourage effect here). The other cannabinoids and terpenes found in full-spectrum CBD distillates have been shown to work in conjunction with one another to offer broader health benefits than fully isolated CBD. This is why some people prefer full-spectrum CBD distillate over CBD isolate.

What is CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate is the pure form of cannabidiol (CBD) without any other terpenes or cannabinoids. Usually distilled from hemp plants (learn more about the difference between hemp and cannabis), it is so refined that it has no taste or odor or any compounds other than CBD.

CBD isolates can be useful for people who want to explore the proposed health benefits of CBD, without worrying about the psychoactive effects usually associated with cannabis use. While CBD isolate is great for this purpose, research has suggested that isolated CBD is less effective when compared to full-spectrum distillates because CBD may require the presence of other cannabinoids and terpenes for it to be absorbed fully into the body’s endocannabinoid system.

How does CBD isolation effect the cannabis extraction process?

If you want to create CBD isolate, you will need a much more refined distillate product that goes through additional processing than if you were creating a full-spectrum CBD distillate. To isolate the CBD compound and remove all other cannabinoids and terpenes requires further separation and remediation processes after the hemp biomass has been processed into CBD distillate.

It’s easiest to think about this process in a series of steps. The first step is to turn your hemp into CBD distillate. This distillate could likely be used in full-spectrum CBD products, or it could be further refined to remove all other compounds, isolating just the CBD. Both types of products offer differing health benefits, and it is recommended that you consult a professional and be conservative in your dosing when trying these products for the first time.

If you’re a hemp or cannabis cultivator, processor, or product formulator hoping to produce full-spectrum CBD distillate, we walk to talk! Our turnkey mobile labs arrive at your facility within 4-6 months and require a $0 lab CAPEX, and are capable of producing THC-free CBD isolate. Please contact us to learn about becoming an extractX partner.

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