CBD Products: The Difference Between Distillate and Isolate 

cbd-products-the-difference-between-distillate-and-isolate

The world of CBD products has exploded in size and popularity all over the world in just the last few years. There is now a plethora of CBD products all of which have different benefits and uses that consumers can take for a variety of reasons. But, what makes each product different from the next? We’ll explain the difference between these products and why they matter to you.

But first, in case you’re brand new to the exciting world of CBD, let’s quickly go over what this cannabis compound is and why it’s become so popular. 

You’ve likely heard of CBD, but maybe not what it stands for. CBD stands for cannabidiol, a compound found in the hemp plant that has some effects on the endocannabinoid system, but does not produce a “high” like the most commonly known cannabinoid, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). 

While studies are still being conducted, personal testimonies and research has shown that the CBD cannabinoid may be helpful for those dealing with anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia, and other ailments. 

So, now that we’ve cleared up the basics, what exactly makes one CBD product different from the next? The answer is simple: CBD distillate, and CBD isolate. 

What’s CBD Distillate? 

CBD distillate is a hemp oil that can contain a number of plant terpenes and cannabinoids including CBD, CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (Cannabinol) and even THC depending on jurisdictions in a particular state or country. These products are often called “broad spectrum” or  “full spectrum” depending on the amount of cannabinoids in the final product.

The reason for creating a CBD product that contains multiple cannabinoids and terpenes is because those compounds have been shown to work together to increase the therapeutic effects commonly referred to as the Entourage Effect.

Depending on the legality of CBD products in certain areas of the world, especially those containing minute quantities of THC, distillate products may be either unavailable, or simply a bad choice for a consumer. However, where these products are legal, the benefits of many cannabis compounds working together may be incredibly beneficial in helping health issues like anxiety, depression, inflammation, pain and so much more.

What’s CBD Isolate?

Unlike distillate products, isolate is an extremely pure, crystalline form of almost entirely CBD. These products contain more than 99% of CBD with the other remaining percentages being plant products and terpenes. You’ll often see these products labeled “THC-Free.” Though the Entourage Effect does not play a role in isolate products, consumers will still benefit from the CBD compound on its own. 

Because products made with CBD isolate contain almost no other compounds, they may be more beneficial for those who need to avoid other cannabinoids for health or legal reasons. The other benefit to isolate is its outstanding purity. Because it is one cannabis compound that is intentionally purified and isolated into a crystalline form, these products will contain a near 100% purity, making the CBD benefits very effective.

Which Should You Choose?

While CBD products are increasing in availability worldwide, there are several factors to consider when choosing between CBD products:

  1. Legality: Some countries have full legalization of all cannabis products. In other countries, not even CBD is legal. And, others still are in a grey area. Therefore, it is very important to review the laws where you live. You may find that CBD full-spectrum distillate products are perfectly legal where you live. Or, you may find that THC in any form is illegal and would be safest taking CBD isolate products.
  2. Health: If you have the legal option to choose full-spectrum distillate or THC-free CBD isolate, you may find that one works better for you. You may find that full-spectrum distillate products have undesired effects when you take it, or you may find that THC-free isolate products don’t address the issues as well as full-spectrum. In either case, do some research, and try these products first hand to see which will be best for you
  3. Occupation: You may also have to consider your occupation when choosing between these products. While full-spectrum distillate products will not get you “high” like marijuana, the minor amounts of THC can produce a false negative on a drug test. If this could be a potential risk at your workplace, but you still want the benefits of CBD, it may be best to choose a THC-Free CBD isolate product.

Hopefully this information will help you to choose the right CBD product for your everyday life. Continued research and personal testimonies continue to support the benefits of CBD, but it’s important to know that not all products are the same. Do your research and consult your physician to decide if either distillate or isolate CBD is the right choice for you.

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Jon Thompson

Jon Thompson

Jon Thompson, PhD, is a separations scientist and CEO of extraktLAB, an accredited engineering company for the CBD, hemp and cannabis industries. 

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