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Breaking it Down: CBD Distillates

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the different parts of the hemp and CBD world, especially when you’re just starting out getting into using CBD wellness products. From Full Spectrum to Distillates, all the different terms and uses can be overwhelming. But that’s where I come in. I’m going to break down everything you need to know to make an informed decision about what will work best for you and why. We’ve already gone over Isolates, now it’s time to talk about CBD distillates.

What is a CBD Distillate? 

The base ingredient of most edibles, distillates typically have no natural taste or scent. It is desirable due to its potency and versatility due to the fact there is no natural taste. Some also consider distillates to be the most refined and safest forms of CBD due to its lack of impurities. In most cases, CBD distillates can contain up to 80-90 percent pure CBD, the other 10 percent consist of other hemp plant compounds. Because of it’s high concentration, distillates come in a thick liquid state - the same density as honey! You also won’t need a lot of a distillate to get the desired effects. 

Manufacturers make CBD distillates by extracting it from hemp or cannabis plants. Many prefer hemp because hemp plants typically have a higher concentration of CBD and less THC. During the manufacturers distillation process, parts of the plant such as terpenes, plant waxes, cannabinoids and flavonoids are separated. Terpenes are organic aromatic compounds which are responsible for the scent of plants, and though research is still going on - researchers are led to believe that terpenes may attribute to the potential health benefits of CBD. 

Plant waxes and lipids are hydrocarbons that add to the typical bitter taste of plants. The extraction of these compounds is essential to create a pure CBD distillate. We all know cannabinoids and their potential benefits, and those cannabinoids being extracted in addition to the plant waxes and lipids. The cannabinoids are then separated to give manufacturers the chance to recombine them with terpenes to give specific ratios of each component. Combining other hemp compounds with cannabinoids potentially creates what’s called the “entourage effect”, which is an interaction between a compound and your body that boosts the effects of each compound involved. There is still research being done regarding the validity of the entourage effect.

CBD oils and THC oils are the most common distillates on the market right now, but because of the versatility of distillates,  there are many other potential uses for distillates. Because distillates are extremely potent and lack any bitter taste that comes from the original plant source - whether it be cannabis or hemp - they work well in edibles and can even be taken sublingually but buyer beware as they are typically very potent. 

Distillates vs. Isolates

We discussed some of the differences between distillates and isolates in our isolates blog post, but let’s go into further details. First off, their textures. Distillates have the same texture as honey. Runny and translucent and they are in a liquid state. Isolates come out of the refining process as a white powder. While some manufacturers consider distillates “the pure”, Isolates are the purest form of CBD oil. 

In fact, isolates are so pure that some manufacturers will make broad spectrum CBD by creating the isolate first, then later adding other compounds fortifying the isolate. Their refining processes are almost identical, however isolates are processed much longer than distillates, which gives isolates the benefits of having an almost 100% CBD content, compared to a distillate’s 80-90% purity level. 

Isolates are odorless and tasteless just like distillates, however, due to the absence of other hemp compounds - before  additions - there is no “entourage effect” that could affect the user. 

What’s the Best Option?

The short answer to this question is: it’s up to you! CBD affects everyone differently, so we cannot tell you if one or the other is perfect for any given situation. Many of their positives are also shared: because of their purity statuses, both distillates and isolates have high concentrations of CBD, so you only need a small dose, which means you won’t have to refill as quickly as other products. However, keep in mind that CBD oils tend to only absorb 5-20% of the cannabinoid content, unless they are carried in a delivery system like RESET Bioscience offers, which allows you to absorb up to 80% of the cannabinoid content. 

But then you have to consider that hemp terpenes have been showing potential health benefits during scientific studies, and both these products lack in terpenes because of the refining process. Distillates could have some terpenes, but isolates are close to 100% CBD and contain no other compounds from the hemp plant. 

Distillates could still have up to 20% other compounds, which means you run the risk of there being THC in the product you’re buying. Which is definitely something to consider especially if you are in an area where THC is illegal. Isolates, when made properly, do not run that risk. Take for example RESET Bioscience products which are made from hemp plants to create our water-based isolates. All of our products are double tested with less than 0.001% THC. 

Remember, isolates are only as good as the manufacturer that makes them and we work with the best. Santé Laboratories’ pharmaceutical delivery system powers our products to make sure you can take less to feel more. Shop our CBD isolate product, RESET Balance CBD in Fresh Mint and Unflavored to see how isolates may work for you!