Isolating CBD
Image by Julia Teichmann from Pixabay

Isolating CBD: How full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate are differentiated

Of course, CBD needs to be extracted from cannabis or hemp to make the products we are making. But how are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate extracted to create a differentiated CBD product? 

Want to know more about CBD extraction? Learn more about the different extraction methods here. 

First, let’s define the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate before talking about how they are isolated during the CBD extraction process. 

CBD Isolate

As the name states, CBD isolate is the most isolated CBD product. It typically comes in a white crystal powder. It contains 99% CBD and no other cannabinoids

Because it’s in a crystal form, there is no flavour. While there are numerous benefits associated with the other components in cannabis, there are cases where CBD isolate is the preferred choice.  

Full Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD contains many components of the cannabis plant, including other cannabinoids and potentially trace amounts of THC. It provides the full spectrum of benefits from all the cannabis components. 

The potential downside is that the trace amounts of THC may be enough for the consumer to experience slight intoxication in higher doses. 

Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD exists between the two. It contains all the other components of cannabis, such as terpenes, but all THC has been removed. 

Broad-spectrum CBD is excellent for folks looking for larger doses of CBD without any impacts associated with THC. 

Image by subcom810 from Pixabay

What Happens After CBD Extraction? Isolating CBD

Winterization is potentially the last step in CBD extraction. It removes impurities and unwanted elements (sometimes small impurities make it through extraction due to high temperatures). Some of these impurities may include; fats, lipids, and waxes. 

The process is called winterization because it’s the cooling of the product. The product is mixed with ethanol and then frozen – the impurities are solidified and filtered out. Of course, in the end, the ethanol is removed. 

How Do We Get Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and CBD Isolate?

In some cases, companies may further refine their CBD product using short-path distillation to create the purest possible CBD. 

Because Full-spectrum CBD contains additional cannabinoids and compounds that are considered helpful and trace amounts of THC is deemed to be acceptable, no further refinement is necessary following winterization. Here is where you will experience the most benefits from the entourage effect. 

For broad-spectrum CBD, any remaining THC is removed through liquid chromatography, which selectively binds to the THC, while the remaining cannabinoids, terpenes, and amino acids remain intact. 

Finally, CBD isolate is cooled further to create a white crystal powder product. 

Which is your favourite CBD? Or do you use different CBD for different things? Let us know in the comments.