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CBD Isolate vs CBD Distillate: Why Should You Care

When you start shopping for a full spectrum or broad spectrum product, one of the first choices you will have to make is between a CBD isolate and a distillate. Until recently, the only CBD distillate you could find was whole-plant distillate. Now, there are new options available as well.

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What Is CBD Isolate?

If you buy a CBD isolate, you are only getting a compound known as cannabidiol (CBD). CBD isolate is deliberately manufactured so that it will only contain CBD. The extraction process removes everything that is not CBD. This means that CBD isolate does not contain any terpenes or other cannabinoids.

You can find CBD isolate in a variety of different products. There are CBD gummies and oils made with CBD isolate. Depending on who you buy your isolate from, it will be 99 percent pure or higher. If you are buying from a reputable supplier, your isolate should not include any additives, heavy metals or contaminants.

If you are worried about taking a drug test, a CBD isolate may be a good choice. Because CBD is isolated from other cannabinoids, there is no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the product. As long as the isolate is actually pure, it should not get you high or cause a failed drug test.

Pure isolate should not have any taste or smell. Because it does not include any taste or smell, isolate is a popular additive for CBD edibles and oils. If you dislike the taste of hemp in your edibles, isolate is a good choice.

What Is CBD Distillate?

Meanwhile, a CBD distillate contains the benefits of the entire hemp plant. The only thing removed is the THC. This means that CBD distillate contains a full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, fatty acids and vitamins. Even though it contains more of the cannabis plant, a CBD distillate will not get you high and is completely legal to have. It undergoes an added processing step to remove any THC that remains from the plant.

CBD distillate is an incredibly popular option because of its many healing benefits. Because it contains a spectrum of cannabinoids and plant-based compounds, it offers more benefits for users. Some scientists believe that the different cannabinoids and terpenes in hemp can play off of each other to produce an entourage effect. In essence, they believe that the sum of hemp’s parts produces an effect that is greater than each compound can achieve on its own.

Different cannabinoids are present in cannabis in different amounts. The following cannabinoids are popular because of their potential healing benefits.

Cannabinol (CBN)

Like most cannabinoids, scientists are still working to learn more about CBN. Currently, they believe that it can help people with insomnia. It has sedative effects that make it ideal for someone who needs a sleep aid. Currently, scientific research seems to indicate that CBN is the cannabinoid responsible for the hemp plant’s relaxing and calming effects.

Cannabigerol (CBG)

CBG is a non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant. It is a precursor to several other cannabinoids like THC and CBD. According to the current research we have on hemp, CBG seems to help with health problems like muscle cramps, depression, pain and anxiety.

Cannabichromene (CBC)

In the future, you may start seeing headlines that tout the benefits of CBC. While many people focus on THC and CBD, CBC has remarkable properties and a number of health benefits. It has some anti-proliferative qualities, which means that it could be used an anti-cancer drug. This compound also contains anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antimicrobial and pain-relieving benefits. Some studies even show that it can help with migraines, anxiety and depression.

These compounds are only three of hemp’s many cannabinoids. At the moment, researchers have found at least 113 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Hemp also contains terpenes that give the plant its distinctive odor. Other than providing a unique scent, terpenes may have other benefits. For example, linalool is thought to help with sleep quality, which may explain why the linalool in lavender is so popular in sleep aids.

Using CBD Distillate Versus CBD Isolate

As you look for the right CBD product, you will need to consider if CBD isolate or CBD distillate is right for you. The main difference is that an isolate contains just a single chemical that is known as CBD. Meanwhile, distillates contain the whole plant and use the entourage effect.

Until recently, the only distillate you could buy was made with the whole plant. With this option, you would get a product that had all of the benefits of the whole plant, and the quality of the plant determined the quality of the oil. Unfortunately, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has responded harshly to high-quality, balanced products like this. If cola buds have higher than 0.3 percent THC in their laboratory tests, they are considered illegal according to the Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines.

Thankfully, this process has gradually started to change. Now, THC can be extracted from a full spectrum oil. This allows manufacturers to create a broad spectrum oil instead.

While having only CBD is not harmful and contains some benefits, it is definitely not the way that nature intended these products to work. Hemp plants have developed over thousands and thousands of years to work a certain way. Today, scientists know that many of the compounds in hemp work together to create an entourage effect.

On Real Tested CBD, you can see which products are just CBD isolates because they only appear in the results for CBD and nothing else. In comparison, you can often find high levels of CBC in plants that have both low and high levels of THC. While the price of CBD isolate is as cheap as $0.04 or $0.05 per milligram, distillates sell for a minimum of $0.10 to $0.20 per milligram. The price is directly related to the product’s quality, so you really get what you pay for. In general, broad spectrum products will be the most expensive because they have to go through an additional step in the manufacturing process.

The product you choose depends on your personal needs. While the price is a factor, it is better to look at factors like which product will actually achieve the results that you want. Most people buy a distillate because they believe it has stronger effects. Distillates are able to use the entourage effect, but a CBD isolate cannot. If you are purely looking for a product with less THC because you need to take a drug test, you may want a CBD isolate instead. By doing your research and trying different products, you can find an option that works well for your needs.

Dr. Igor Bussel, M.D., M.S., M.H.A

Dr. Igor Bussel, M.D., M.S., M.H.A is a clinician-scientist and ophthalmic surgeon. Before attending Chicago Medical School, he worked as a Research Scientist in a Healthspan Pharmacology Laboratory at University of California, Irvine focused on investigating the impact of botanical extracts and dietary supplements that can slow the aging process and add healthy years to human life. He has served as a clinical/scientific consultant to multiple stage companies focused on developing interventions for age-related diseases.

Dr. Igor started to learn about CBD through his research as well as from patient experiences and has since become an advocate for their efficacy. He teamed up with long-time activist Richard Cowan to co-create CBD Seniors in 2020.

CBD Isolate vs CBD Distillate: Why Should You Care When you start shopping for a full spectrum or broad spectrum product, one of the first choices you will have to make is between a CBD isolate

Are hemp oil and CBD oil the same thing?

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  1. Are hemp oil and Hemp seed oil the same?
  2. What type of CBD oil is best?

Consumers looking to explore the potential benefits that cannabidiol (CBD) promises are often confronted with some confusion when it comes to terminology.

Often housed in 1-ounce glass bottles, CBD oil products can list a variety of names on the label. Hemp-derived CBD oil, full-spectrum hemp extract, and CBD isolate are just a few examples. Then there’s the issue of the ubiquitous “hemp oil,” which may not mean what you think. Shoppers walking through their local health food store may encounter yet another label ingredient – hemp seed oil.

There are two main sources of CBD oil – hemp and marijuana plants. Molecularly, it makes no difference if the CBD is extracted from hemp or marijuana. However, it’s not that simple.

Are hemp oil and Hemp seed oil the same?

No. At the center of the confusion is the definition of hemp oil. The term “hemp oil” often is used to refer to the CBD-rich product extracted from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant – which is CBD oil. But it is also used to refer to hemp seed oil, which contains no active CBD. While CBD oil is derived from marijuana or hemp plants and can be consumed in tincture or capsule form for medicinal purposes, hemp seed oil is derived specifically from hemp seeds and can be used in food for its high nutritional value. Hemp seeds contain protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and a mix of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp seed oil can be part of a meal, such as in salad dressing, and is often found next to flaxseed and fish oils in health food stores. Hemp seeds can also be consumed in cereals and smoothies.

There are two main sources of CBD oil – hemp and marijuana plants. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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In addition, hemp seed oil production requires cold-pressing of the seeds to obtain the oil. CBD oil is extracted from parts of the hemp plant other than the seeds. Though hemp seed oil may contain a tiny amount of CBD, it is so insignificant that it’s considered virtually non-existent in the product.

Whether hemp oil and CBD oil are the same thing is dependent on whether the oil was derived from the hemp plant or from the hemp seeds. Oil from the hemp seed is not CBD oil, but the hemp plant’s leaves and flowers are one source of CBD oil.

Hemp vs. marijuana plants

CBD oil is derived from both hemp and marijuana plants. Both hemp and marijuana are cannabis plants – they are just different varieties. For thousands of years, hemp plants have been used for their fiber, seeds, oil, leaves, and flowers to make paper, textiles, building materials, and food and dietary supplements. In the United States, industrial hemp – as hemp is often called – refers to a variety of the plant Cannabis sativa L. that contains a THC concentration of no more than 0.3%; marijuana is legally defined as cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC.

Other countries define hemp differently. The European Union sets the limit at 0.2% THC content. Though many U.S. states have decriminalized marijuana use, it is still listed as a Schedule I drug under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, which has stalled research on cannabis in general.

Another difference between hemp and marijuana is the resin content. Because marijuana generally contains much more resin than hemp, marijuana plants potentially provide more CBD than hemp.

What are the types of CBD oil?

Whether it’s derived from hemp or marijuana, CBD oil is available in full-spectrum (whole plant), THC-free distillate, and CBD isolate varieties, according to Katie Stem, CEO of Peak Extracts, a cannabis extraction company in Oregon.

She said CBD extract can be made using ethanol; hydrocarbons such as butane, propane, or hexane; or supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2). In unrefined form, they all will contain some amount of THC.

“Despite the Farm Bill legalizing hemp and its derivatives, many states still consider even minute amounts of THC to be completely illegal, regardless of source,” Stem said. “Therefore there has been a great demand for THC-free distillate and CBD isolate.”

CBD oil is available in full-spectrum (whole plant), THC-free distillate, and CBD isolate varieties. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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THC-free distillate is made by distilling unrefined extract under high heat and vacuum pressure to capture the CBD and leave the other components behind, Stem said. Isolate goes one step further: It is refined using pentane, causing the CBD to crystallize. It is then filtered and dried, and creates a product that is up to 99.9% pure CBD, she said.

What type of CBD oil is best?

“From a quality perspective, I personally prefer non-refined extracts,” Stem said. “This whole plant extract contains minor phytocannabinoids – like CBG, THC, CBC, etc. – and a range of terpenes, many of which have established effects in their own right, and contribute to what is called the entourage effect.

The “entourage effect” is the notion that the cannabinoids and terpenes in whole-plant extracts work together to provide a superior result over an isolate.

But, Stem added, if the hemp is of poor quality, or improperly stored, the only way to avoid rancidity is by purification through a refining process.

“In addition, to ensure safety from legal repercussions in unfriendly states, you must stick with a product made from THC-free distillate or CBD isolate,” she said.

Farmers are growing so-called craft hemp often on a small scale, with high-CBD strains to better reap the compound’s therapeutic potential. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Pesticide contamination and poor-quality sourcing can be an issue with any CBD product. Following the adoption of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is enjoying a renaissance. Farmers are growing high-CBD strain of so-called craft hemp, often on a small scale, to better reap the compound’s therapeutic potential.

Ideally, all CBD oil products are tested by a third-party lab to ensure quality and purity. Quality products should have a thorough product label though dosing is, unfortunately, still up to the consumer since government regulations have stunted research that might determine suggested doses. Remember to shop specifically for CBD oil, not hemp seed oil. Don’t let the popular term “hemp oil” fool you.

Are hemp oil and CBD oil the same thing? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents Are hemp oil and Hemp seed oil the same? What type of CBD oil is