The word “isolate,” in its many variations, carries with it a number of negative connotations. A violent criminal or a person with an infectious disease might have to be isolated in order to protect the health and safety of others. In another context, someone who feels isolated might be lonely and depressed.
In terms of chemistry, though, an isolate is a good thing: a substance in its most pure state.
CBD (cannabidiol), which has become wildly popular in recent years as a health and wellness supplement as well as an ingredient in body care products, is available as oils, tinctures, capsules, gummies, sprays, topical lotions and creams, and, yes, as an isolate.
While most versions of CBD are instantly recognizable to people, CBD isolate remains a mystery to some. After all, it sounds so…scientific. Not as approachable or as accessible as peppermint-flavored drops or lavender-scented topical cream.
The fact that the white, odorless CBD isolate bears a resemblance to cocaine and crack cocaine is also a reason some consumers shy away from trying this intriguing but puzzling way of ingesting their favorite new ingredient.
Unlike those illicit drugs – which are also sold as a white powder or white crystals – CBD isolate is not illegal and won’t interfere with your central nervous system or those all-important autonomic functions, like breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate.
So What Does CBD Isolate Do?
Research into the usefulness of all forms of CBD is still in its fledgling stage, but users of CBD isolate report that it helps them reduce anxiety, depression, and inflammation, overcome insomnia and have a general feeling of relaxation and well-being.
Some cancer patients use it to moderate nausea they experience due to chemotherapy treatments. Other people say it is helpful in managing diabetes and smoking cessation.
For most users, the effects of CBD isolate last for two to six hours.
What, Exactly, is CBD Isolate?
CBD isolate is what remains after the CBD has been extracted from the industrial hemp plant and isolated from all of the other cannabinoids.
Everything else – including plant parts – gets filtered out. It is CBD in its purest, most potent form (99+% pure, in fact).
The process involves several steps and results in crystals, which are the default form of the isolate. Some manufacturers then grind the crystals down to powder form for customers who prefer it that way.
Because the isolate has been stripped of terpenes – the strong-smelling compounds found in the essential oils of plants – it has no aroma. (Some people buy CBD isolate and add terpenes back in, to give it a scent.)
How is CBD Isolate Different from CBD Oil?
CBD isolate’s lack of flavor makes it very versatile. You can mix it with things like tea, juice, or even water and it won’t affect the taste. This could be considered both a pro and a con since many people enjoy the flavors (like lemon-lime, raspberry, and strawberry) that manufacturers add to their CBD products.
It’s easier to figure out the dosage with CBD isolate because you are getting nothing but CBD. Other CBD products contain additional ingredients, which you need to factor in when calculating your total dosage amount.
You should take your weight and specific health conditions into account when considering how closely to follow the manufacturer’s dosage recommendations. It is advisable, to begin with, no more than 10mg of isolate and sees how your body reacts to it before increasing the dosage amount.
CBD derived from hemp contains very little THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical responsible for producing a “high” in marijuana users. CBD isolate contains no THC at all. This could be an important distinction for people who are required to take a drug test for employment purposes or for some other reason.
It is unlikely that ingesting CBD oil could result in someone failing a drug test because the amount of THC allowed in CBD products under federal law is very small: 0.3% However, if the product contained more THC than was legal and the amount listed on the label was inaccurate, a full-spectrum CBD product could be the cause of a positive test result. That is not possible with CBD isolate.
How do you use CBD Isolate?
CBD isolate can be ingested or inhaled in the same ways that full-spectrum CBD can. You can add the powder to foods and beverages in order to eat or drink it; smoke it; vape it; dab it (inhale a small quantity) or rub it on your skin.
The fastest results are achieved when the powder is taken sublingually (placed under the tongue for a minimum of 60 seconds). This method gets the CBD into the bloodstream more quickly than swallowing it and avoids having it spend time being processed by the digestive system.
Isolate powder is especially appealing to do-it-yourselfers, who add it to their favorite skin lotions and creams, cook with it or fill their own capsules with it. Some people even make their own CBD oil by adding the isolate to olive or coconut oil.
Isolate crystals can also be ingested sublingually (they will dissolve under your tongue), by vaping or as additions to edibles or creams.
Is there a Disadvantage to CBD Isolate?
Isolating CBD down to its most basic form means getting rid of a whole host of cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and other chemicals known to have therapeutic benefits. (Flavonoids, for instance, are antioxidants.) When these natural chemicals are ingested together, they are thought to amplify each other’s therapeutic values in something called the entourage effect.
People who use a CBD isolate, which is only one cannabinoid, may be missing out on the entourage effect. However, opting for a pure form of CBD is certainly a valid choice. The fact that CBD isolate is marketed alongside CBD tinctures, gummies, and creams is a clear indication of the range of options demanded by modern consumers.
If you desire a very pure, very potent form of CBD, the isolate form may be your best bet.