A small glass bottle of crystals next to a bunch of hemp leaves and a mini chalkboard that says "CBD Crystals Isolate"

What is CBD Isolate and How to Use CBD Isolate Powder

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of two main cannabinoids found in the hemp and marijuana varieties of the cannabis plant. Interestingly, there are well over 100 other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. CBD products have been exploding into popularity as of late because consumers are seeking out more natural ways of supporting their general health and wellbeing. But before we can get into what CBD isolate is, it will help to have a general understanding of what CBD is. 

In order to obtain CBD, an extraction process is used on the cannabis plant. What results are extracts that are packed with terpenes, cannabinoids, and phytonutrients. There are three main CBD product varieties: full-spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. Full- and broad spectrum options have all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients of the hemp plant. Broad spectrum products, however, have had all of the THC filtered out of them. CBD isolate products contain only 99% pure CBD because a special process was used to remove all of the other components of the hemp plant. 

What Defines a CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate is a pure form of extract of cannabidiol, or CBD. As we stated above, CBD isolate products contain 99% pure CBD in them as all of the terpenes, cannabinoids, and phytonutrients of the hemp plant have been filtered out. 

CBD isolate products are a great way for people who are new to CBD to get their feet wet, so to speak. Isolate products are also a nice option for those consumers who have concerns over THC, or who have had a less than positive experience while taking broad and/or full-spectrum products. While your body won’t be able to take advantage of the entourage effect because of the lack of multiple cannabinoids in CBD isolate products, the CBD will still positively interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system to help influence various body systems and bodily functions. 

What’s the Process for Making CBD Isolate?

A close-up of the edge of a hemp leaf, with a crystal on top of it.

Because there isn’t a specific extraction method for obtaining CBD isolates, most respected and trusted brands use the CO2 extraction process for acquiring all of their extracts, while others use ethanol extraction. 

Even though both processes are fairly straightforward and relatively simple, it still takes skill and highly advanced equipment in order to create a product that’s 100% pure. 

Lastly, before a product can truly be called a CBD isolate, the cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients need to be completely removed from it through a process called winterization. 

The CO2 Extraction Method

The CO2 extraction method is currently the industry standard for obtaining CBD extracts because it’s efficient and yields extracts that are both pure and potent. 

During this process, highly pressurized CO2 is used to extract terpenes, cannabinoids, and phytonutrients from raw hemp flower. The CO2 is pushed through a specialized machine that contains the raw hemp flower. This results in a liquid that’s rich in all of the hemp plant’s components. 

Next, the extra liquid is further evaporated so that only pure CBD, or cannabinoid extract, remains in oil form. This is now a full-spectrum oil. 

Ethanol Extraction

During ethanol extraction, pure alcohol is used to extract the phytonutrients, cannabinoids, and terpenes from the hemp flower. As the plant parts are suspended in the alcohol, the hemp releases its components. 

After all of the plant material is strained off, what remains is a liquid that’s infused with cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds. Next, any excess alcohol is evaporated. This leaves behind a full-spectrum residual cannabinoid oil. 


In winterization, the extracts that were obtained through either CO2 or ethanol extraction are separated from the other cannabinoids in the oil. Since these methods yield full-spectrum extracts, it has to next go through a special process in order for the oil to be transformed into CBD isolate. 

This special process is called winterization. 

During winterization, the full-spectrum oil that’s been obtained through CO2 or ethanol extraction is suspended in a solvent. Next, that solvent is frozen into a pure CBD isolate powder that’s devoid of all other cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients. Once the powder or crystals are collected, any remaining extraction is done away with. 

This pure isolate powder can now be turned into oil, gummies, capsules, copicals, or kept in its raw form for use as a supplement. 

What are the Effects of CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate products are some of the most pure CBD products available because they don’t contain additional terpenes, cannabinoids, or flavonoids. And even though they won’t produce an entourage effect because there aren’t any other cannabinoids for it to work with, it still works with the body’s endocannabinoid system. 

CBD isolate products help to influence the receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This can help positively influence many bodily functions and systems. Scientists believe that CBD can bind to at least 12 receptor action sites in the brain that help to activate those “feel good” feelings.

What’s the Difference Between Full-Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and CBD Isolate Products?

A man holding a jar of CBD gummies and holding one in his hand.

The differences between full-spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate products are quite simple. While full- and broad spectrum products contain a wealth of cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients, CBD isolate products contain only 99% pure CBD. Additionally, hemp-based full-spectrum CBD also contains less than 0.3% THC. Broad spectrum and CBD isolate products do not contain any THC in them at all 

Full-spectrum and broad spectrum products can evoke the entourage effect because the cannabinoids work with each other to boost each other’s positive properties while dampening any negative ones. Because isolate products only contain pure CBD, there aren’t any other cannabinoids for the compound to work with. 

The good news is that all CBD varieties work with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help bring the body back into a state of balance. 

How to Use CBD Isolate

A hemp leaf lying on a dark surface with soft gels arranged around the top of it

CBD isolate can be used in a number of different ways. 

  • CBD Isolate Oil: This is one of the best ways that you can take CBD isolate. When you drop the CBD oil under your tongue and hold it there for 60-seconds, you’re giving the CBD a chance to enter into your bloodstream through the thin membranes under your tongue. You should also swish the oil around in your mouth before swallowing, as the CBD can also get into your blood via the membranes in your mouth.
  • Topicals: Massaging a topical CBD isolate into your tired joints and muscles can help to calm them down if they feel overworked and angry. Creams and salves are excellent options if you have localized areas of discomfort on your body.
  • Softgels, Gummies, and Capsules: CBD isolate products that you swallow like softgels, gummies, and capsules work great if you’re looking to have more of a control over your dosage. Each gummy, capsule, and softgel is accurately pre-dosed with an exact amount of CBD. These types of products are nice if you’re looking for either a fun and tasty way (gummies), or a completely tasteless way (capsules and softgels) of getting in your daily dose of CBD each day. These types of products are easy to take and extremely portable. Keep in mind that it may take you a little longer to feel the effects of the CBD isolate because softgels, capsules, and gummies do have to travel through your digestive system to be broken down and absorbed by the body.
  • Inhalation: CBD isolate that is vaped is one of the most effective ways to consume your CBD because it’s directly absorbed into the lung tissue when it is inhaled. Lots of reputable brands, however, are shying away from making vape products because of legislation that is making it tougher for them to ship disposable vape pens throughout the United States.

What are the Side Effects of CBD Isolates?

Just like other varieties of CBD, isolates also have very few and mild side effects linked to them. 

Some of the most common side effects include: 

  • Weight fluctuations
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Sleepiness
  • Nausea

How Do You Shop for CBD Isolates?

Typically, you can shop for CBD isolates at any brick and mortar location throughout the United States. However, there are drawbacks to doing this. For one, you won’t have all of the time that you need to deeply look into any brands and products that interest you. Secondly, do not assume that the store employees will be able to help you or answer your questions in as thorough a manner as you’re looking for. 

When you shop for CBD isolate gummies online from the comfort of your home, you can research different brands and products until you find one that best suits your goals and needs. Moreover, you’ll be able to have your order shipped directly to your doorstep. When you shop online, you can also take advantage of any discount clubs, savings programs, and coupon codes that the brand has to offer. 

If you’re just beginning your research, you should read third-party lab reports, verified customer reviews, product labels, and you should know where the brand sources its hemp from and what extraction process was used to obtain the extracts used in its products. Spending time now to do your research will spare you a lot of frustration and disappointment down the road.

Closing Thoughts on CBD Isolate

CBD isolate, while still effective, may not be as effective as full-or broad spectrum product varieties. However, isolates are an excellent option for people who want to try CBD but have concerns with THC, or for people who may have had a negative reaction to broad or full-spectrum products. 

Even though CBD isolate does not evoke an entourage effect, it still works with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Therefore, the good news is that you’ll still be able to take advantage of the good stuff that the hemp plant has to offer. Lastly, if you’re interested in buying CBD isolate products, it’s best to shop for them online where you can buy high-quality products from a reputable and trusted brand.