How Do You Make CBD Isolate?

Reading time - 8 minutes - October 21, 2022

Over the last few years, CBD has become a major health and wellness ingredient, in addition to being an exciting medicinal product for a number of conditions. This common cannabinoid can now be found in a huge array of products from gummies and other edibles to vape products and even topicals. Thanks to this popularity and availability, people from every walk of life are now experiencing the extensive wellness benefits of CBD. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD extracts can come in a number of different forms – including CBD Isolate. But where exactly does this compound come from – and how is it processed?

What is CBD?

CBD is one of the most common compounds produced by the Cannabis Sativa plant. The category of compounds to which CBD belongs is known as “cannabinoids”. CBD is just one of over a hundred such compounds – many of which are also being researched for their medicinal and therapeutic potential. Nonetheless, none of these other compounds have captured the imagination of the wellness and medical industries quite as effectively as CBD. 

The majority of CBD extracts – including CBD Isolate, full-, and broad-spectrum products – are derived from hemp plants. Hemp is a class of the Cannabis Sativa species that contains low levels of THC. THC – or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, if you prefer a technical term – is the most common cannabinoid and the main source of the intoxication experienced with cannabis consumption. In contrast, CBD doesn’t cause a ‘high’ – a quality that has helped to boost the popularity of the compound. 

What are the Benefits of CBD?

In recent years, extensive research has aimed to answer precisely this question. The answers that this research – along with countless anecdotal reports – has come up with is extremely encouraging. It appears that CBD could be a useful wellness and therapeutic ingredient in a number of settings. For example, some studies have found that CBD may be an effective anti-anxiety compound. CBD has also demonstrated significant potential as an anti-convulsant leading to its use as a therapy for rare forms of epilepsy. Medicinal CBD products can also be prescribed in the UK for a number of other conditions, including Multiple Sclerosis, Insomnia, and chronic pain.

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Many of the properties that have made CBD increasingly common in the medicinal world have also led to the compound’s popularity in the wellness sector. A huge number of people are now looking to benefit from the compound’s potential anxiety-relieving qualities. Many more report that adding CBD to their wellness routine has helped them to improve their sleep and even reduce pain and inflammation.

What is a CBD Extract?

To be effectively added to products such as CBD Gummies, CBD Topicals and CBD E-Liquids, the compound first needs to be extracted from the hemp plant. CBD Extracts can come in one of three forms: CBD Isolates, Full-Spectrum CBD Extracts, or Broad-Spectrum CBD extracts. So, what is a CBD Extract and what is the difference between these three forms?

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

The primary difference between these kinds of CBD extracts lies their ingredients list. To explain in more detail, each of these extracts contains a varying profile of cannabis compounds – including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Full-Spectrum CBD products contain the highest number of cannabis compounds, in addition to CBD. Namely, full-spectrum products can contain other cannabinoids, such as CBG, CBN, and even small amounts of THC. 

Broad-Spectrum CBD also contain a number of other cannabis compounds in addition to CBD. In contrast to Full-Spectrum extracts, however, these kinds of extracts typically have THC filtered out. So, what about CBD Isolates? Well, as their name suggests, these are the purest CBD extracts available. In fact, CBD Isolates contain around 99% pure CBD, thanks to extensive extraction processes. This purity has made CBD Isolates a popular option for consumers looking for a more authentic CBD experience.

How Do You Make CBD Isolate?

CBD Isolate is the purest form of CBD. It typically comes in a powder or crystal form as opposed to oils. This means that the extract can be effectively mixed into other products or consumed as it is. This form of CBD tends to be popular among users who are just starting out with CBD or those who want to be sure that they are consuming the purest CBD. It is also a good option for consumers who want to experiment with making their own CBD products. But how do you make CBD Isolate?

The purity needed for CBD Isolate products means that more steps are needed in the manufacturing process. When compared to making CBD oils, for example, more extraction methods are used in order to remove other compounds and achieve the powder isolate consistency. So, if you want to know how to make CBD Isolate, you will need to be aware of six separate steps:

  1. Extraction

The first step of making CBD Isolate is the same as with any CBD or hemp/cannabis extract. There are a number of ways to effectively achieve this first step. The most popular extraction methods include the use of either a hydrocarbon solvent, like butane or propane, or ethanol solvent. For the extraction of CBD Isolate extracts, ethanol solvent is a particularly popular option. CO2 extraction is also an extremely effective and common method.

  1. Winterisation

The next step focuses on the removal of waxes, lipids, and proteins from the crude oil that was extracted in step one. This is achieved by cooling down the oil mixture to sub-zero temperatures with the help of a solvent. When these freezing temperatures are maintained, the lipids, waxes, and other unwanted components will begin to separate from the mixture. The solution will then move on to the next step.

  1. Filtration

Once the fats and waxes have separated from the solution – now referred to as the “miscella” – the filtration process removes them completely. This is achieved using a filter press and vacuum pump to pull the two mixtures into separate containers. The miscella then moves on to the decarboxylation step.

  1. Decarboxylation

The next step – decarboxylation – is necessary to achieve optimal CBD content in the final isolate product. The process itself removes carboxylic acid and CO2 from the cannabinoids remaining in the solution. Crucially, decarboxylation triggers the conversion of cannabidiolic acid (CBDa) to cannabidiol (CBD). This is achieved by applying heat in a reactionary vessel.

  1. Distillation

The penultimate step in this thorough process is Distillation. The remaining extract solution is placed under vacuum conditions and loaded into a feed tank. From here, it passes over a rotating heated plate to increase the temperature of the extract and exported into a secondary vessel. As the extract begins to evaporate, it is then cooled by a condensing coil in the middle of the vessel. 

This converts the solution back into a liquid while separating the CBD from remaining terpenes, volatiles, and other cannabinoids that have a high boiling point. 

  1. Crystallisation

The previous step has now left you with a CBD Isolate preparation; however, the solution remains in a liquid form. The next step changes the structure of the isolate into a crystalised powder. This is achieved by continuously stirring the solution while increasing, then decreasing the temperature. This triggers nucleation – the initial stages of crystallisation. Finally, the formed crystals are rinsed with another solvent to remove any impurities, leaving behind a CBD Isolate powder of up to 99.9% purity.

Now that you know how to make CBD Isolate, the finished product can now be used to manufacture a wide range of products. In this crystalised powder form, CBD Isolate is used to create CBD-infused topicals, drinks and edibles, and much more!

What are the Different Types of CBD Extracts?

CBD Isolate is just one of the many forms of cannabis and CBD extracts. Many of these solutions are known as cannabis concentrate as they contain concentrated quantities of the most desirable cannabis compounds – including CBD and THC. While cannabis concentrates, such as CBD Wax and CBD Shatter, contain high concentrations of CBD, these products can also contain various other cannabinoids and terpenes. 

What is CBD Wax?

CBD Wax is a kind of CBD concentrate that is extracted directly from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. These products have been distilled down to their most desirable compounds – in this case, CBD – by have maintained their waxy texture. Due to the extraction and distillation processed involved in their production, cannabis concentrates like CBD Wax and CBD Shatter are usually much more potent than the plant they are derived from. For this reason, CBD concentrates are usually sold in much smaller quantities, as significantly less product is required to achieve the desired effects. Check out our recent blog, ‘How to Use CBD Wax’ to learn more about this popular concentrate.

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CBD concentrates may also be referred to as extracts, as they are essentially products that have been extracted from the cannabis plant. Many concentrates, are yellow-amber in colour and come in a variety of consistencies, from harder shatters to mid-textured products like wax and rosin to ‘sauce’ and oils. CBD Isolate is also a concentrated form of cannabis extract, linking it to these other forms of cannabis concentrates.

How Can CBD Isolates Be Used?

As we mentioned earlier, CBD Isolates are now routinely used in the production of a huge selection of CBD products. When converted into a crystallised form, these concentrates are water-soluble and as such can easily be dissolved into drinks and edible recipes, skincare and topical products, and CBD E-Liquids. This versatility allows you to choose between purchasing these products that have already been made using CBD Isolate or, alternatively, to make your very own bespoke CBD Isolate products. 

Why not try adding our Nectar CBD Isolate to your favourite drink for a tasty CBD boost. You can even add to your favourite skincare product to start experiencing the vast skincare benefits of CBD. No matter how you choose to use it, CBD Isolate provides you with a pure, authentic CBD experience.

Can I Make CBD Isolate at Home?

The purity of CBD Isolate is not achieved easily – as the multiple steps laid out above highlight all too well. Unfortunately, this means that making CBD Isolate at home is probably not an option. But that isn’t to say you can’t make any CBD concentrates at home. In fact, making CBD concentrates like wax and rosin has never been easier – especially with a Nectar Rosin Press. 

A Rosin Press works by using two heated plates to apply both heat and pressure to cannabis plant matter. These plates apply consistent heat and pressure to ensure you end up with a high-quality concentrate. Thanks to the addition of micron filtration bags, your final product will be pure and concentrated, leaving you with a potent CBD product.  If you don’t fancy getting your hands dirty and attempting your own CBD Isolate extraction – and we don’t blame you – take the easy option and browse our range of CBD concentrates. Whether you are looking for a CBD Isolate powder, a CBD Wax, or a CBD Shatter, Nectar has got you covered. Many of our high-quality CBD concentrates can be effectively and enjoyably used alongside our Nectar Platinum Vaporizer. So, what are you waiting for? Start enjoying the benefits of CBD today.

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