Sep 16

CBD Isolate vs. CBD Distillate – What’s the Difference?


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Disclaimer: Medical decisions should not be made based on advertising. Consult a physician on the benefits and risks of particular hemp-derived products.

CBD is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid found in the cannabis/hemp plant. It has been shown to have numerous therapeutic benefits, such as relieving pain and inflammation. There are two main types of CBD products: CBD distillate and CBD isolate.

Both are made using a natural extraction process to remove the desired compound (CBD) from the hemp plant. The difference between these two types of products comes down to what you want out of your CBD product – ease or potency?

In order to effectively assist in the decision-making process with customers, it’s best to break down and fully understand the differences between these two CBD products.

What is CBD Distillate?

A distillate is a highly refined natural extract that has undergone the distillation process. With levels of CBD typically 75% or higher, CBD distillate is highly concentrated. Other plant substances, such as flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids (including THC), make up the remainder of the CBD distillate. It is regarded as one of the cleanest and purest extracts on the market, just below CBD isolate in terms of purity.

Due to the presence of additional cannabinoids and plant-based components, CBD distillate has the potential to produce the entourage effect, which many think is essential for maximizing the health advantages of CBD. The entourage effect hypothesizes that many advantageous effects are generated by cannabis compounds’ interactions with our endocannabinoid systems and with one another.

Distillation is the process of purifying a liquid by evaporation. After removing the ethanol solvent used to extract the CBD from the hemp plant, we use wipe-film distillation to separate CBD from other compounds in the crude oil by differences in boiling point. We then collect the CBD condensate and the terpenes in different condensers.



What is CBD Isolate?

Isolate is a chemical term used to specify the only component is the specified material. The isolate, in this case, would be cannabidiol or CBD. This creates CBD isolate, the purest form of CBD containing none of the other compounds found in the hemp plant.

CBD isolate is created using a natural extraction process that uses CBD distillate and eliminates all the components that give hemp its flavor and aroma. As a result, CBD isolate won’t taste or smell.

CBD isolate is a crystalline solid that, in its natural state, resembles stunning, milky crystals straight out of a winter fairytale. This isolate crystal is subsequently processed into a white powder using a straightforward grinding procedure.



How CBD Distillate is Used to Make CBD Isolate

After purifying the distillate, the CBD oil undergoes a process called recrystallization. This technique is used to purify chemicals. The desired compound is isolated so impurities can be removed from the solution. To perform recrystallization, a solvent, a chemical used to dissolve other substances, is added to a mixture (in our case, CBD distillate) and heated until all of the distillate dissolves in the solution. After the CBD distillate dissolves, the mixture’s temperature is significantly lowered. This is also called “crashing.”

As the mixture is allowed to cool, the CBD molecules within the mixture reassemble into a crystalline structure, separating themselves from the rest of the mixture. This manipulation of temperature is a well-known technique used in organic chemistry laboratories. Isolate is tested using advanced chemistry instrumentation to determine and certify the composition is purely CBD with no detectable amounts of other cannabinoids, such as THC.

Differences Between CBD Distillate and Isolate

CBD distillate is a golden oil, whereas CBD isolate is a white powder or refined crystal.

Not only does the physical appearance of isolate and distillate differ, but so does the composition of each hemp extract. As mentioned before, isolate is cannabidiol in its purest form while distillate is an extract that not only contains around 75-85% cannabidiol as well as other cannabinoids such as cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Terpenes are also present in distillate, which is what gives the hemp plant a distinguished taste and smell depending on the strain of Cannabis Sativa used to begin the extraction process. However, terpenes are not present in CBD isolate. Therefore, it should not smell or taste like cannabis.

Which is Better: CBD Isolate or CBD Distillate?

You must decide if CBD isolate or CBD distillate is best for you as you search for the ideal CBD product, and if you’re working in the cannabis industry, it’s good to know which one will suit your customers’ needs best.

CBD has numerous advantages. It has been demonstrated in certain studies that CBD helps people sleep better, manage their pain more effectively, and relax more readily. People who want the benefits that CBD has to offer without the psychoactive effects of other cannabinoids, such as THC, may consider using a CBD isolate product.

Contrarily, CBD distillate also includes other components obtained from cannabis in addition to CBD. However, it won’t include any extraneous or dangerous elements like solvents, heavy metals, or fungus. Cannabis consumers would prefer a CBD distillate over an isolate if they wanted to take advantage of all the cannabis plant’s advantages and experience the entourage effect.

Bottom Line: The Answer to Which is Better Lies in The User

Some users find that CBD isolate fits the bill for treatment, perhaps for treating anxiety or enhancing the cognitive ability of those with neurological disorders. Although CBD isolate does not offer the benefits of the entourage effect, there is no risk of psychoactive effects, no taste or smell, or risk of failing a urinalysis test. CBD isolate is recommended for those seeking the most concentrated form of CBD or needing a bigger dose for the desired effect. If you are new to cannabinoids, CBD isolate-derived products are the best place to start.




Hemp and natural extraction are our bread and butter at Abundant Labs. We have in-house analytical equipment to ensure consistency, and we use standard and proprietary distillation methods to ensure that every product is of the highest standard. Visit our website today for more information on natural extraction, and cannabis/hemp extracts, or to view our range of safe, reliable cannabis/hemp products.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.