Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about CBD isolation

CBD is just one out of hundreds of cannabis molecules. Nowadays, modern chemistry allows us to isolate it from all other molecules, creating a powder called CBD concentrate. But how does it work? And what is CBD isolate used for? Keep reading to find out.

What is CBD isolation?

CBD isolation is a process that isolates the molecule CBD from all other molecules found in hemp. This means that CBD isolate doesn’t contain any other cannabinoids or terpenes, as opposed to broad or full-spectrum CBD extract.

CBD isolation is a complex process that takes a lot of technological equipment. First, hemp oil has to be extracted from the buds, stalks, and leaves of the cannabis plant. This process discards all of the fiber of hemp to isolate its cannabinoids and terpenes.

Next, CBD has to be extracted from this extract. This is usually done through CO2-extraction, a process that uses supercritical carbon dioxide to separate and develop CBD molecules. CBD extract can also be obtained with solvents, but this extraction method is considered inferior as it can leave a solvent taste in the final product. 

To create CBD powder out of CBD oil, there’s a lot of purification and filtration that takes place. This is done with technological filters that have the ability to separate CBD from other cannabinoids like THC or CBG, and from other terpenes. 

Finally, CBD goes through a process called “winterization” which turns the thick oil into a clean, white powder.

Sometimes, manufacturers then turn that powder into crystals. CBD crystals and CBD isolate have the same properties for your body, but they’re used in slightly different ways to create CBD products. 

Can you create CBD isolate at home? 

To create CBD isolate at home, you would need a pretty well-equipped home laboratory! Extracting CBD hemp is already a big enterprise, as it requires expensive, technologically advanced instruments. The other processes involved are also delicate and require good knowledge of chemistry. 

So while we won’t say it’s completely impossible to create CBD isolate at home, it’s inaccessible for most people.

What you can do at home is to create CBD products from ready-made CBD oil or CBD isolate. Since this usually only involves mixing ingredients and heating them up, it can usually be done with normal kitchen utensils and ingredients.

What are CBD isolates used for? 

CBD isolates are used in a wide range of products, including CBD edibles, CBD drinks, and topical CBD products. 

As CBD is becoming more and more popular, there has been some controversy regarding the question of whether or not CBD can make you fail a drug test. While it’s unlikely that you’ll test positive for THC simply by taking CBD oil, it’s not completely impossible.

For that reason, people who have to pass drug tests usually favor CBD isolate, which is at least 98% CBD and essentially THC-free. 

Is CBD isolate better than broad-spectrum CBD extract? 

In some regards, broad-spectrum CBD extract is better than CBD isolate. For example, the broad-spectrum extract contains terpenes, non-psychoactive molecules with interesting properties. Some terpenes are known to relieve pain, others can give a mood boost, others still are great for nausea or itching. What’s more, terpenes are also known to make the effects of CBD stronger thanks to the “entourage effect”. So when you’re taking broad-spectrum CBD extract, you may actually need fewer milligrams to feel the same kinds of effects.

That being said, CBD isolates still has a few advantages overbroad or full-spectrum CBD extract. The first is that it’s guaranteed THC-free. This makes it useful for anyone who wants to pass a drug test. CBD isolate is also very useful for scientists. If you were to use broad-spectrum CBD extract on patients, it would be difficult to know if CBD is really creating the effects you observe, or if it’s another terpene or cannabinoid. CBD isolate allows you to see exactly what CBD does to the body. Finally, CBD isolate is water-soluble and can be mixed with almost anything to create simple CBD edibles, CBD creams, or CBD beverages. 

how to isolate cbd

Homemade lemonade using CBD isolate

CBD lemonade recipe

Unlike CBD oil, CBD powder is actually water-soluble. This means that when you add it to water, it will be dissolved and suspended rather than simply sit at the top. This allows you to make water-based CBD juices, sodas, and even tea. Here’s a simple recipe for homemade CBD lemonade:


  • 1 and ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 and ½ cups lemon juice
  • 8 cups water
  • CBD powder (choose your own potency)


Start by mixing the sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan. Cook until the sugar is fully dissolved. Leave the sugary liquid to rest for a few hours until cool.

Meanwhile, squeeze your lemons, making sure no pips get in. Add the lemon juice to a large pitcher, together with the remaining water, and a few milligrams of CBD powder. This recipe serves about 8 people, so calculate how many milligrams of CBD you want each person to get. We recommend starting out with a dose of 40 to 100 milligrams (about 5 to 12 mg/person) 

Finally, add the cooled sugar syrup and mix well. Serve chilled with ice cubes. 




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