THC Free: The Pros and Cons of CBD Isolate

April 15, 2021

The CBD industry has a long list of oft-changing buzzwords.


There’s terms like full spectrum, hemp oil, hemp extract…and then there’s the phrase CBD isolate.


It seems to stand out from among the rest — and it doesn’t help that many companies juxtapose CBD isolate against full spectrum extracts in their articles and sales pitches. CBD isolate = bad, and full spectrum = good, they might say.


But the truth is not so simple. Let’s start off by looking at some definitions.


Full Spectrum CBD: a hemp/cannabis extract which contains the fullness of hemp’s active ingredients, often in this order: CBD, THC, terpenes, flavonoids.


CBD isolate: a hemp/cannabis extract which contains only CBD, in isolation from hemp’s other active ingredients.


A Lot in Common

The truth is that full spectrum CBD and isolated CBD have a lot in common!


Put them both on a Venn diagram and there’d be a lot of overlap in the middle — courtesy of their shared CBD content, of course.


The difference between the two comes in the form of trace compounds; full spectrum CBD has them, while CBD isolate does not. Sometimes this difference is only as small as a few percentage points, in terms of the actual quantities of said trace compounds.


And while some people (particularly those with serious diseases and/or chronic pain) may require the entourage effect that full spectrum hemp facilitates, many people (especially those with anxiety) do great with CBD isolate alone. As always, hemp is pretty individualized…YMMV!


In Favor of Isolate

But you couldn’t be blamed for wondering why anyone would take CBD isolate if full spectrum extracts are sometimes more efficient.


Well, we’ve spoken in favor of full spectrum CBD in the past…so let’s now take some time to highlight the stronger points of CBD isolate.

The Flavor

First there’s the issue of flavor. CBD itself is odorless and flavorless, so high quality isolates will be, too! In fact, an isolate product using MCT oil as its carrier may even taste ever-so-slightly sweet. And it’s easy for brands to add flavor to CBD isolate because it takes less flavor to overcome any hempy aftertastes.


The Freedom

Another strong point? CBD isolate is also fully free from THC. That may reduce the risk of false-positive drug tests, for those of you who take them for medical reasons or work. And its complete lack of THC may eliminate the mental blocks some people have towards cannabis in general. A step back to take two steps forward, right?


It’s refined…

Because it lacks THC and other psychotropic compounds (like some of the terpenes), some people find CBD isolate to be more refined than other hemp extracts. In other words, its effects can be more focused. You probably won’t experience any drowsiness or tangible bliss. CBD isolate’s effects can also be more narrow — it might work just enough to reduce certain negatives without pushing its user back up to their flipside.


If you have anxiety, for example, CBD isolate might make you feel far less anxious. But it probably won’t make you feel the opposite of anxious.


And it’s affordable.

CBD isolate can be good for your wallet, too. From the supply chain side, it can often be bought in huge volumes and easily placed into oil form. Because of these potentially lower production costs, it’s common for CBD isolate products to be very reasonably priced.


Things get even more affordable for those adventurous enough to try making CBD oil for themselves. How does that work? Many brands are now offering undiluted crystalline CBD isolate to their customers. Usually these concentrates come by the gram for like 30 bucks.


Do the math: that’s only $30 for a homemade, high-strength 1,000 milligram CBD oil. And all you need to make it is a carrier oil and a tincture bottle Buy your isolate in bulk and the pricing gets even better. You could even start a home business and provide affordable CBD to family and friends!


To Sum Things Up…

Interested in trying CBD isolate for yourself? Here’s a longer but more condensed list of its benefits:


  • No taste / better taste
  • No THC
  • More refined
  • More affordable
  • Better researched
  • Less allergy risk
  • More standardized

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to deciding what type of CBD is right for you. But that’s the beauty of choice, right? With great freedom comes great responsibility. And if you still need some guidance, we’re here to help. Check out our complete Buyer’s Guide here, or our Review section here. Happy CBD hunting!

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