CBD, or Cannabidiol, is becoming widely regarded as an effective and viable alternative to many pharmaceuticals on the market today. Studies on its benefits for a litany of conditions are surfacing, and the FDA has even approved a CBD isolate medication called Epidiolex. But what exactly is CBD isolate?
At this point in the year 2018, you may be relatively familiar with CBD, and you probably know at least one person who is using the therapeutic cannabinoid. CBD is one of the many components found in cannabis and has been shown to target many health concerns including pain, inflammation, sleep disorders, anxiety, and digestive issues, to name a few. CBD has also shown substantial promise in the treatment and management of epilepsy and seizure disorders, making it a safer option when compared to other pharmaceutical drugs used for these illnesses.
CBD is currently available in an array of delivery methods, like oils, capsules, concentrates, vape products, and even topical lotions and ointments. The CBD used in these products is present in a few different forms, however, and their differences can be slightly confusing for the average consumer.
Some CBD products utilize what is called Full Spectrum extract, sometimes referred to as Whole Plant or Full Plant extract, which is extract without any of its compounds removed. These extracts include all plant material including terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, oils, and waxes. These products also contain the trace amounts of THC found in the plants they are sourced from, which will never create a high, but can build in your system over time and potentially cause a THC positive drug screen.
Other CBD products use what is referred to as Broad Spectrum extract, which is the same extract with one or more of its components removed. In the majority of cases, the molecule removed is THC. This allows for the benefits of a full plant extract without the potential for concern.
Lastly, some CBD products use what is called CBD Isolate, which is (obviously) the isolation of only the CBD molecule from the plant extract. Typically the full plant extract is put through a separate and usually proprietary method of removing pure CBD. The result is a powdery white substance with potency levels reaching 99%.
Pros and Cons of CBD Isolate
While opinions vary, there are some clear positives and negatives to the use of CBD isolate.
First, CBD isolate is incredibly potent, making it much more like a medication. This is evident by the FDA approving Epidiolex, which is a pharmaceutical made with the isolated CBD molecule. This medication is available in very high doses and is approved for intractable epilepsy. CBD is very safe and has no overdose potential, which makes this drug more appealing to patients. However, its $32,500 a year price tag keeps it level with most other epilepsy treatments on the market today.
CBD isolate is also incredibly versatile and, due to its consistency, can be utilized in many ways. It plays well with others and can be mixed into topical products, oils, drinks, and even cooked with. Isolate on its own can also be vaporized for the fastest delivery method possible. (When cooking or vaping, its best to keep temperatures below 300 degrees Fahrenheit, in order to maintain maximum potency.)
All that being said, there is one major hindrance. The entourage effect, when used in reference to cannabis or hemp, is defined as a proposed method by which the individual compounds present in cannabis modulate the overall effects of the entire plant itself. This phenomenon is incredibly important to keep in mind when discussing CBD isolate.
When all compounds of the cannabis plant are allowed to work together, including terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids, they become more efficient as a result. Therefore, isolating the CBD molecule may give you a potent product, but you may not experience the same outcome as you would from utilizing all the beneficial parts of its natural source.
CBD isolate has undoubtedly changed the way we view natural medicine. While science is still exploring all the pros and cons that lie within the cannabis plant, we can find reassurance in the broader acceptance of these miraculous cannabinoids today. Whether you prefer your CBD straight up, or you like the cocktail of components that cannabis offers, we want to hear from you. What is your favorite form of CBD?