As CBD products become more and more popular amongst patients and healthcare professionals, CBD Isolate remains the most versatile delivery format. CBD Isolate is used in foods, topicals, tinctures, edibles, softgels, and gel caps – with many novel applications and formulations released every day.
While ‘revolution’ is a term that gets overused at times, in this case, it is entirely appropriate. Thanks to the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, CBD has taken flight through the retail sector, with savvy retailers, large and small, cashing in on its popularity.
The floodgates have opened and a product once viewed skeptically is now being embraced en masse. And rightly so. CBD Isolate is a wonderful product for the consumers who claim to benefit from it and the retailers who are enjoying healthy profits.
Wide Range of Products
Retailers and resellers who are relatively new to CBD retailing might find the wide range of products and terminology confusing. The manufacturing processes are complicated and the retail environment is fraught with regulatory uncertainty. Compounding the regulatory uncertainty, there is some confusing terminology. Full-spectrum CBD is mentioned in the same breath as CBD isolate, pure CBD, terpenes and flavonoids, broad-spectrum CBD oil, and many more descriptive but incongruous terms.
Confused? Don’t be. It is all relatively simple. Here, we will take a look at CBD isolate, how it works, why it is different from other types of CBD, and why you might benefit from using CBD isolate for your product range. Let’s start by looking at different CBD types, all of which are found in CBD products commonly sold in brick-and-mortar stores and through online resellers: Full-spectrum CBD Oil, Broad-spectrum CBD Distillate, and CBD Isolate.
The CBD Range
You might be familiar with Broad-spectrum CBD distillate, Full-spectrum CBD oil, and CBD isolate on some level, but wonder how they differentiate from each other. To understand how CBD isolate works, we need to look at all three products together in order to see the full picture. While full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD distillate, and CBD isolate sound similar, they are different products.
CBD products on the retail side range may contain any of these, but full-spectrum CBD oil, broad spectrum CBD Distillate and CBD Isolate powder, are most commonly used in everything from gummies, to tinctures, to cosmetics, and even things like menstrual patches! Products designated as APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) are suited for pharmaceutical applications. At Vantage Hemp we produce CBD Distillate API with our FDA Registered Drug Master File (DMF). Regardless of the type of product – the delivery mechanism being used – they will usually contain one of those three types of CBD.
Knowing the difference between CBD isolate and other variations is important. The benefits of CBD isolate (and all CBD in general) are still being studied, and while many consumers claim certain health benefits, unsupported health claims are in the common narrative relating to CBD. As far as consumers are concerned, CBD comes with different benefits, alleged advantages, and experiences.
The Role of Cannabinoids
The compounds known as cannabinoids are derived from the cannabis sativa plant. There are hundreds of different cannabis plant compounds, but the two most pertinent to CBD consumers are THC and CBD. Other cannabinoids in the plant, such as CBN, might produce different effects and reactions. CBN, and the various other cannabis compounds, such as CBG, are part of the ‘spectrum’ of cannabinoids available.
Industrial hemp is simply cannabis sativa grown from strains that are genetically-selected to produce less than 0.3% THC while being high in CBD or CBG. Cannabis sativa crops that contain more than 0.3% THC are considered Marijuana and may not be used under the Industrial Hemp Regulations.
While there is currently only one United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) monograph for a cannabis-derived product (Dronabinol), there are currently over 900 clinical trials for CBD registered with the National Institute of Health. Studies have demonstrated that different cannabinoids – like CBD and THC – produce different effects. It is widely accepted and scientifically proven, for example, that THC produces psychoactive results. On the other hand, CBD does not produce the ‘high feeling,’ having no psychoactive effects.
Today we are listening to consumers and speaking from our own experience. As manufacturers, we make no claims about health benefits and simply produce CBD isolate (and other CBD products) to fulfill the current demand based on this belief among the consumers who buy CBD products.
The Cannabinoid Spectrum
Let’s quickly reiterate. The cannabis plant produces various compounds, known as cannabinoids, ranging from CBD and THC as the most commonly known compounds through to lesser known cannabinoids such as CBN and CBG – but again, there are hundreds in total. THC is known for having psychoactive effects while CBD does not produce psychoactive effects. Generally speaking, there are three main CBD products, each of which has different cannabinoids and other minor compounds. These products are known as Full-spectrum CBD oil, Broad-spectrum CBD Distillate, and CBD Isolate.
To create CBD isolate products, cannabinoids are drawn from the cannabis sativa plant using various extraction methods. As this process continues, other beneficial compounds are drawn from the plant, such as terpenes and flavonoids. Manufacturers will extract different blends of cannabinoids and terpenes and use them to create the different consumer products available. After the extraction process and before the consumer products are created, manufacturers can further refine the cannabinoids to produce a host of different consumer products, such as a CBD isolate product or various full-spectrum CBD products, where the ‘spectrum’ is all major and minor cannabinoids plus terpenes.
Focusing mostly on CBD isolate, let’s take a look at all three variations in a little more detail.
What Exactly Is CBD Isolate?
CBD isolate products come in two forms: crystalline solids or powder CBD isolate. Both of these contain ~99% pure CBD. The CBD extraction process is based on removing all of the active components from the cannabis plant and then refining these compounds to remove all of the unwanted compounds and plant matter from the CBD isolate.
These compounds include phytocannabinoids (THC being one of them). The end result of this procedure is an isolate containing ~99% pure CBD. In contrast to CBD oil or other broad-spectrum CBD oil products, CBD isolate solely contains cannabidiol (CBD).
How Is CBD Isolate Used?
There are a variety of different products made from CBD isolate. Isolate powders are odorless, flavorless, and soluble in fats, allowing companies to enhance existing manufactured products such as cosmetics and topicals, post-workout supplements, culinary aids, and candy.
CBD Isolate APIs are central to pharmaceutical research and development. Clinicians and new drug developers are studying the CBD molecule intensely, with more than 1400 clinical trials currently registered with clinicaltrials.org.
Due to certain health conditions, or the possibility of drug testing, some people simply cannot afford to have any THC in their systems. Full-spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC (up to 0.3%, as per the official federal regulations). While not enough to produce intoxicating effects, these amounts may still show up on a urine test and have an effect on people who cannot consume tetrahydrocannabinol due to medical reasons.
CBD Isolate is the most versatile and pure form of CBD, allowing it to be added to industrial processes, ingredient formulations, pharmaceutical drug development, cosmetic applications, and more.
What Exactly is Full Spectrum CBD?
Full-spectrum CBD products consist of all (or at least most) cannabinoids inside the cannabis plant. These include CBD, THC, CBG, CBD, CBN, CBC, terpenes, and various other minor cannabinoids. Although there is no conclusive proof, these cannabinoids are cited as working together to enhance the alleged benefits of the separate compounds. The theory is that cannabinoids work seamlessly to produce an optimum therapeutic effect. Again, there is no conclusive proof to support this, only anecdotal evidence among users and supporters alike.
The general belief that cannabinoids work together in full-spectrum CBD products has spawned a new terminology specifically for full-spectrum, known as the entourage effect. Full-spectrum products are generally quite popular with consumers who have no issue with using THC, as full-spectrum CBD contains most cannabinoids extracted from the plant.
What Exactly is Broad Spectrum CBD Distillate?
Broad-spectrum CBD Distillate might best be described as having one foot in both camps of Full-spectrum CBD Oil and CBD Isolate. Similarly to full-spectrum CBD oil, the various other cannabinoids found within the plant are extracted. However, through fractional distillation, targeted cannabinoids may be removed, enhanced, or mitigated to a custom specification. As such, broad-spectrum is most suitable for consumers who share the common belief that CBD is more beneficial when all cannabinoids are used together, but require refinement to eliminate or mitigate unwanted cannabinoids and terpenes.
What Exactly is CBD Distillate?
CBD distillate is usually a thick, golden-hued oil with a dense concentration of CBD that is suitable for drug registration. Distillate products are made by drawing crude CBD oil from the hemp plant and distilling it, then refining it to remove impurities and other plant materials to refined specifications.
As a result, CBD distillate typically contains around 80% CBD, with the balance made up of minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant oils. This makes CBD distillate one of the most potent forms of CBD available.
Which Product Is Right For Consumers?
As you may suspect, there is no correct answer here. For the most part, with the exception of clinically proven treatments for epilepsy and heart inflammation, any evidence that CBD provides other health and wellness benefits is purely anecdotal, based on consumer opinion. This makes it difficult to confirm the alleged pros and cons of each product because, without government-supported clinical trials, we can only speculate the advantages of one product over another.
At the time of this writing, CBD is in a regulatory vortex. It is a legal product that does not have a clear regulatory path into consumer products. Consumers vote through their shopping carts, however, and with CBD enjoying a huge growth spurt, retailers are stocking a wide range of CBD products through broad and full-spectrum oils, CBD isolate and distillates.
While CBD isolate contains pure CBD, it contains fewer cannabinoids which, in the view of many consumers, makes it a less beneficial product than full-spectrum oils or broad-spectrum distillates. While products containing THC are incredibly popular, many people are weary of the potential ‘high’ feeling so commonly associated with THC. Subsequently, there is a large market for pure CBD isolate.
The best retail CBD strategy is to employ a cross-section of CBD products supplied through a manufacturer with an established history of adhering to all regulations, meeting high-quality standards, and following precise extraction methods, not just with CBD isolate but through its entire range of CBD products.
As a pharmaceutical-grade CBD producer, Vantage Hemp is well positioned to help you navigate the various products available and steer you towards the best retail strategy during this incredible growth phase. Through our white-label offering, Vantage Hemp products follow the most stringent pharmaceutical quality standards, including ICH Q7 , WHO GMP, FDA 21 CFR 210/211.
Whether you are an established supplier of CBD products, or venturing into this new and exciting market for the first time, we are happy to help with any questions or concerns relating to this growing space. Feel free to contact us !