When it comes to products other than flowers, the CBD needs to be extracted from the plant matter and processed into a substance that’s clean, potent, and easily measured.
If you’re trying to manufacture a product with a very specific amount of CBD in it – medication for example that would require accuracy down to the milligram – you will need something called CBD Isolate.
CBD Isolate is the purest form of cannabidiol available on the market. As expected, it’s CBD isolated from every other compound, so it’s over 99% pure. The final product is a white, powdery substance that can be added to everything from food, to medications, to cosmetics.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in both hemp and cannabis plants. In cannabis, it’s the second most dominant cannabinoid, next to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In hemp plants, it’s usually the star of the show (although some strains are high in CBG as well).
As mentioned above, CBD can be extracted from both cannabis plants and hemp plants. For reference, cannabis has all the cannabinoids including THC, and is what you will often what you’d find in a medical cannabis dispensaries and recreational stores. Hemp, on the other hand, is classified as having less than 0.3 percent THC content and often used for more industrial purposes. Some hemp plants grow flowers similar to cannabis, but they contain only trace amounts of THC and no other psychoactive compounds.
Numerous studies showing the medical potential of CBD have been making the headlines in recent years. It’s been used to treat chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and more. The FDA has even approved a CBD-based medication called Epidiolex, used to treat 2 rare forms of epilepsy: Lennox–Gastaut syndrome and Draved syndrome.
The reason CBD works for such a diverse range of conditions is because of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a network of receptors that can be found throughout the bodies of all mammals. We naturally create cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) which interact with these receptors to regulate different processes in our bodies and maintain homeostasis. The ECS helps manage things such as immune function, appetite, sleep wake cycles, pain response, and the list goes on.
We can become ‘cannabinoid deficient’, which results in our bodies becoming destabilized and no longer functioning optimally. It’s believed that many illnesses stem from the inability to produce endocannabinoids, although more research is needed on the subject. This is where supplementing with plant-based cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) comes into play.
When talking about CBD extracts, there are a few terms that frequently get thrown around: isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum. Today we’ll focus on Isolate.
What is CBD Isolate?
As the name implies, this CBD Isolate is made by completely isolating the cannabidiol from all the other plant matter and compounds. That means all other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and inactive compounds like plant waxes are stripped from the extract, leaving only CBD. The final product is a fine white powder that has over 99% CBD.
Because it’s odorless, tasteless, and highly concentrated, it’s the preferred extract for use in the manufacture of many medical, wellness, and retail products. Its purity means that 1 milligram of isolate equals exactly 1 milligram of CBD, whereas 1 milligram of less potent extract might have 0.5 milligrams of CBD, 0.3 milligrams of CBG, and 0.2 combination of other terpenes and compounds. This makes isolate very easy to use for specific dosing.
How is it made?
To make isolate, the CBD must be extracted from the plant – and there are numerous ways to do this. The industry gold standard and consumer favorite is CO2 extraction. The equipment is industrial and very pricey, but this method results in a very pure final product. A closed-loop system is used to cool CO2 to -56C, as the pressure inside the chamber is hiked up to 75psi.
The CO2 becomes “supercritical” at this stage as it sits somewhere between a liquid and gaseous state. The CO2 is then passed through the closed chamber and, almost like a solvent, the cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted and remain intact. This process is called Supercritical CO2 Extraction. There’s also Subcritical CO2 Extraction which used cheaper equipment, lower pressure, and results in smaller yields.
A more cost-efficient but equally effective method is with an ethanol extraction system. Ethanol extraction involves applying the solvent ethanol directly to the hemp plant in order to extract the cannabinoids. Ethanol extraction has gotten a bad reputation as being unsafe, but that’s simply incorrect. Ethanol extraction is actually an FDA-approved method of extraction compounds from various plants in order to make food and medicines.
There is one issue with ethanol extraction, however. Certain compounds easily co-extract with ethanol, and the one of concern here is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a molecule that absorbs sunlight and converts it into plant energy. It also gives plants their green color. When using ethanol extraction, the chlorophyll may need to be stripped away in a separate process.
Why is CBD Isolate important?
Isolate can be used to make anything that has CBD in it – edibles, topicals, tinctures, softgels, nasal sprays, various pharmaceuticals, and the list goes on. Anything that requires accurate dosing and very specific measurments will benefit from isolate.
It’s even better if the isolate is manufactured in a GMP-certified facility GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practice and it’s already a requirement in Europe, India, and many other countries/continents that all medications, supplements, and cosmetics must be GMP-certified.
And while the North American market is currently an unregulated free-for-all, this is expected to change over the next few years. GMP is the way of the future when it comes to the medical cannabis and hemp industries.
Where to Get EU GMP CBD Isolate
We have partnered with some leading suppliers of CBD isolate and distillate. Both products are, as you probably guessed, GMP and certified by the EU, listed in the Eudra database, and available for export globally. We offer the best pricing and have the ability to accommodate extremely large orders.
We offer wholesale orders for our subscribers. The pricing for EU GMP CBD Isolate is as follows:
- 1 – 25kg – €1,850
- 25 – 50kg – €1,650
- 50 – 100kg – €1,550
- 100kg+ – €1,450