Article written by
Shanti RyleContent Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
CBD isolate, the purest form of cannabidiol (CBD) one can buy, contains no tetrahydrocannabinol, other cannabinoids, or plant matter. Extracted from the hemp plant, it’s often the most logical choice for individuals who are sensitive to or need to avoid THC. CBD isolate may help manage anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. However, the isolate form removes any other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids, eliminating the possibility of entourage effect benefits.
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What Is CBD Isolate?
CBD isolate precisely what its name suggests: a pure, isolated form of CBD extracted from a hemp plant or, in legalized states, a cannabis plant. This means it contains no THC, other cannabinoids, active compounds or any other material found in the cannabis plant.
Depending on the extraction process, pure CBD produces a fine powder — similar to a confectioner’s sugar — or large, white crystals. Isolate CBD powder should contain no odor or taste, as all other materials from the plant have been removed. Some batches of CBD isolate powder or isolate products, however, may have a slight residual cherry flavor.
When to Use CBD Isolate
If you’re looking to avoid THC altogether, CBD isolate offers a worry-free way to enjoy its anti-inflammatory and stress-relieving benefits. Broad-spectrum CBD oil also offers this benefit, but the isolated version contains only CBD. Broad-spectrum CBD products still contain other cannabinoids, just no THC, so there are no psychoactive effects like with other cannabis products.
CBD isolate is a versatile and easy-to-dose product for different consumption methods. It can be dissolved into oil or butter and added to food recipes, and it can be mixed with terpenes and vaporized in a dab rig. The powder can integrate into lotions and skincare products.
How CBD Isolate Works
CBD isolate enters your system and operates using the same mechanism as other cannabis remedies. The cannabinoid, once consumed, enters your system and interacts with the endocannabinoid system in various ways. However, CBD does not have an affinity for cannabinoid receptors 1 or 2 (CB1 or CB2). Instead, CBD is a negative allosteric modulator of the CB1 receptor, noncompetitively inhibiting CB1 receptor activation by the endocannabinoid 2-AG. This can increase the level of anandamide in the body, which is one reason CBD can help boost mood. CBD also acts on serotonin receptors, which is another reason why it helps boost mood.
CBD is technically psychoactive, though it doesn’t produce the same euphoria as THC. Because it is pure CBD, without any other active cannabinoids or terpenes, it does not offer the benefits associated with the entourage effect.
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Potential Health Benefits and Uses
While we lack a robust library of evidence regarding the regular use of CBD, dozens of research studies point to the multiple wellness benefits of CBD, with some clinical trials confirming these benefits.
According to completed studies, CBD’s anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties are its chief health benefits. Due to these properties, CBD offers a promising avenue to relieve symptoms arising from the following health concerns:
- Arthritis and other inflammatory health conditions
- Chronic pain or nerve pain
- Appetite issues
- Mood disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Epilepsy or seizures
Emerging research also implicates CBD as a potential neuroprotective and helpful as a preventative or treatment for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s Disease.
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Potential Risks and Side Effects
CBD isolate is widely considered safe, with little risk of adverse side effects. Some people believe CBD isolate is the safest to use, but as it is a highly processed product, be sure to purchase only from reliable manufacturers and check their lab results. Additionally, a 2015 study suggested that people need much higher doses of CBD isolate for pain relief than other forms of CBD, so it may be less cost-beneficial and may increase the chances of adverse side effects. This also suggests that the entourage effect plays a part in CBD’s efficacy.
CBD can also interact with some prescription medicines by prolonging their metabolic time in the body and interfering with their effectiveness. Consult your physician to determine how best to accommodate CBD in your current prescription regimen.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Which form of CBD is most effective?
The best form of CBD depends entirely on the needs and reasons of CBD users. A CBD isolate product is the best choice for avoiding any trace THC, while full-spectrum CBD offers additional benefits thanks to the presence of other cannabinoids and terpenes.
Is CBD isolate stronger?
No one form of CBD is stronger than another, as strength depends on the number of milligrams in an individual product. For example, 10 milligrams of CBD isolate is the same strength as 10 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD because they contain the same amount of cannabinoids. However, as no other cannabinoids and terpenes interact, CBD isolate may have a different effect than a broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD product.