You might say that CBD distillate is preferable because it contains an array of compounds found naturally in the hemp plant. Or you could argue that CBD isolate is cannabidiol in its purest, most predictable form. Both are true.

What’s best for your brand? Find out how distillate differs from isolate and why one may be better suited to your intention than the other.

What Is CBD Distillate?

CBD distillate is rich in refined CBD, accompanied by minor cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids to produce a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.” Popularized by Dr. Ethan Russo, the entourage effect suggests a synergistic relationship between CBD and other compounds found naturally in the cannabis plant.

Orchestrate this synergy to suit your intended purpose. In broad-spectrum CBD distillates, companion cannabinoids from the hemp plant are intentionally retained — except for the psychoactive phytocannabinoid THC. Full-spectrum CBD distillates feature trace amounts of THC. Both are likely to contain the minor cannabinoids CBC (cannabichromene) and CBG (cannabigerol). Work with your producer to specify which compounds to include, in what amounts.

What Is CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate excludes all other compounds besides cannabidiol derived from the hemp flower. Manufacturers use various processes to separate CBD from other compounds, including solvent extraction, in which butane, propane or ethanol are used, or carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction and refinement, which may include chromatography. In the end CBD is crystallized into a clean white powder.

CBD Isolate vs. Distillate

When you’re looking for the naturally earthy profile of hemp-derived cannabinoids, choose a CBD distillate. With THC reduced to undetectable levels, broad-spectrum CBD retains an array of botanical accents. Full-spectrum CBD will include trace amounts of THC, within legal limits. Distillates offer a well-rounded bouquet of hemp-derived compounds in a viscous amber liquid.

In order to capitalize on the potential of CBD while avoiding any risk associated with THC, select CBD isolate. Though CBD isolate won’t provide any benefits from the entourage effect, research suggests that CBD alone presents its own advantages. With just a hint of hemp aroma, CBD isolate lends itself to formulations with novelty tastes, scents and sensations. And many end-users are attracted to the purity of isolate.

So, Which is Better For You, Isolate or Distillate?

It depends on a variety of factors including the temperature at which your product is processed, the nature of other ingredients involved, the intended use of your product, the brand ethos of your target consumer, and the desired taste, scent or texture.

Define these parameters before you decide between isolate and distillate. Expect both CBD isolate and CBD distillate to be free of pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents and other impurities. Demand precise specifications for the compounds you’d like to include—or exclude—and check the test results to confirm those specifications are met.

This is standard operating procedure at GenCanna. Tell us about your ideas for CBD in your product line, and together we’ll define specifications that precisely suit your needs. Create products engineered for your market, and profit opportunities will be realized.

U.S. Hemp Authority – Program Standard 3.0
Science Direct – Extraction of Cannabinoids From Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Using High Pressure Solvents: An Overview of Different Processing Options
National Library of Medicine – Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-Terpenoid Entourage Effects