cbd isolate

What is CBD Isolate and How Does It Compare to Full Spectrum CBD Oil? 

July 15, 2020

CBD Isolate represents the ‘I’ in team while Full Spectrum CBD Oil is the team. 

When it comes to choosing the best CBD to suit your needs, the decision is largely individual. Not only does an array of Hemp Extract and CBD Oil Applications exist, but along with it, a varying degree of strengths and benefits. Today, we’ll be getting to know two popular, yet polarising choices on the market and how their respective extraction methods set them apart. Specifically, we’ll be covering CBD Isolate and how it compares to Full Spectrum CBD. 

What is CBD Isolate?

CBD Isolate is exactly what it sounds like, a highly purified, isolated version of the Cannabidiol (CBD) molecule containing 0% THC. That’s right. You aren’t mistaken. So far, it is the only method on the market to offer CBD consumption completely free from Tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis plant. And while in most cases, when it comes to efficacy, purer is better, this might be the exception. CBD Isolate contains 99.9% cannabidiol, 0.1% water and nothing else, omitting other valuable and useful cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids altogether and denying the enaction of the vital Entourage Effect. With this said, its usage will still appeal to some people. 

Who Should Use CBD Isolate?

While CBD Isolate might not appeal to everyone, it might appeal to certain people and here’s who. According to medium.com, the CBD community’s leading digital publication and online knowledge database, CBD Isolate interested parties might include: 

  • Individuals who were recommended to specifically take high doses of CBD 
  • Individuals with sensitivity to THC or other cannabinoids 
  • Individuals who regularly undergo drug screening tests 
  • Individuals who prefer light flavours or no flavour 
  • Individuals living in locations that have strict THC-laws 
  • First-time users that may be hesitant about other cannabinoids 

Even though high-quality Full Spectrum Hemp Extract available in the greater European Market legally contains <0.2% THC, the possibility still exists that it might register on a drug test. For that reason, the individuals mentioned above can still supplement with CBD Isolate and avoid unnecessary penalties. But if the substitute can be made to include taking Full Spectrum Hemp instead, science agrees that the switch is encouraged

three jars of cbd isolate

Does CBD Isolate Show Up on a Drug Test?

The easy response here is no. Because CBD Isolate, through process of isolation and purification, contains 0% THC, you can take this CBD Supplement safely without any risk of tarnishing your drug test results. But technically, a high-quality CBD Tincture or other CBD equivalent, with legally acceptable trace amounts of THC shouldn’t tarnish your results either. The problem lies in quality assurance and being able to trust the CBD brand you turn to.  It’s up to them to consistently provide products within compliancy which can be verified by obtaining a COA (Certificate of Analysis). 

How is CBD Isolate Made?

CBD Isolate is made using Supercritical CO2 Extraction, which is the same way Full Spectrum CBD is made, except that in order to isolate the Cannibidiol (CBD) molecule, it must undergo further processing. Here is where we introduce the terms Winterization and Decarboxylation. Winterization utilises heat over time to remove all lipids and plant waxes from the Hemp Extract while the process of Decarboxylation converts Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA) into CBD. Fractional Distillation then removes all terpenes, chlorophyll and any remaining contaminates. The CBD fraction is further heated and cooled, then concentrated and separated until pure CBD, in crystal form, is then precipitated out of the solution. Through a final stage of purification, the CBD Isolate is placed in a vacuum chamber to remove any solvent remains yielding a white, powder-like substance containing nothing but purified CBD crystals. 

What is the difference between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate?

CBD Isolate differs entirely from Full Spectrum CBD Extract. CBD or Hemp Extract contains full spectrum benefits including a rich compilation of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. These naturally occurring phytonutrients are carefully extracted along with the CBD, their properties then transmitted to you through a synergistic combination allowing for optimal benefit absorption. The inherent cooperation of CBD and phytonutrient compounds, called The Entourage Effect, can be demonstrated entirely by Full Spectrum CBD Hemp Extract only. 

cannabis weed and cbd isolate

What is the Entourage Effect?

According to a scholarly article authored by Ethan B. Russo, two professors in 1998 first considered that “the endocannabinoid system demonstrated an “entourage effect”, postulating a means to why “botanical drugs were often more efficacious than their isolated components.” Russo further concedes that “the concept of botanical synergy has been amply demonstrated (contemporaneously), invoking the pharmacological contributions of “minor cannabinoids” and Cannabis terpenoids to the plant’s overall pharmacological effect.” 

Is CBD Isolate Better than Full Spectrum CBD?

 As far as supplementary benefits go, Full Spectrum CBD Oil undeniably offers a greater package. But if you find yourself curious about taking CBD and simply can’t risk the THC exposure, as miniscule as it is, CBD Isolate might be a better option for you. As a CBD Supplement, Isolate is better for those only seeking to acquire the benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD) and not the remaining other 119 types of phytocannabinoids present in whole-plant form before isolation and extraction. Phytocannabinoids that are, largely, still present and useful in Full Spectrum Hemp Extract. 


CBD Isolate, or single-molecule CBD, is a more cost-effective option for those so inclined but in paying less you are, arguably and equivocally, getting less as it’s a form that lacks the synergistic benefits from The Entourage Effect, a beneficial phenomenon that only occurs in full spectrum extracts. The main appeal of CBD Isolate is its content ratio of 99% Cannabidiol (CBD) and 0% THC, a combination offering less overall benefits but more security in terms of facing prospective drug testing. 

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