Hemp water leaves with the text "What is Pure CBD?"

While searching the internet for information about how to discern high-quality CBD products from the rest, you may have come across a few articles referring to “pure CBD.”Well, what does that mean? Does it mean whole-plant hemp? Does “pure CBD” refer to the cannabidiol molecule itself?  

In this piece, we’re going to 

  • Explain what “pure CBD” really means. 
  • Review the advantages and disadvantages of “pure CBD.”
  • Hopefully, help you make a more informed decision when considering different CBD products.

Pure CBD Is CBD Isolate

“Pure CBD” refers to CBD isolate which is exactly what it sounds like— cannabidiol (C₂₁H₃₀O₂) isolated from all of the other cannabinoids found in hemp. 

By itself, pure CBD isolate looks a lot like frosted quartz, and when it’s ground up, kosher salt. In this form, even “pure CBD” isn’t technically pure. Most CBD isolates on the market are between 97-99% CBD. Complete conversion of CBD just isn’t possible. 

The Disadvantages of Using Pure CBD Isolate

While there are a good many benefits of using CBD isolate (we’ll get into those shortly,) there are a few disadvantages, too. 

Disadvantage: Not Full-Spectrum 

Pure CBD isolate is, as we’ve said, just the CBD cannabinoid; meaning that products made with isolate contain none of the other 100+ cannabinoids present in hemp plants. 

Full-spectrum CBD refers to products that contain all of said cannabinoids, (including trace amounts of THC.) Some users believe that using full-spectrum products is a more effective way of fully realizing their CBD’s effects. 

Disadvantage: Additional Processing

Because isolate needs to be processed more heavily than full-spectrum CBD, it means more time and money from a manufacturing standpoint. For some, it may mean investing in more specialized extraction equipment. 

For this reason, a lot of companies pass on the opportunity to make pure CBD isolate and instead choose to make full-spectrum products. 

The Advantages of Using Pure CBD Isolate

Advantage: THC-Free

The biggest advantage of using pure CBD isolate when manufacturing is that you can be sure whatever you’re making will be THC-free. This is a big deal for people who are still subjected to drug testing for employment and healthcare reasons. 

Having products that are THC-free ensures that those people can still enjoy the benefits of CBD without the fear of testing positive. 

Advantage: Easy To Use

Remember how we said that pure CBD isolate when ground up looks like salt? It’s just as easy to store and use, too. Just keep it relatively dry in a dark, cool room and you’re golden. 

The same can’t be said for full-spectrum CBD extract which looks and handles like molasses, only much stickier. 

Advantage: Consistency 

Making CBD-infused products is relatively easy. Making CBD-infused products that are a certain strength and doing it consistently is more difficult. 

Another overlooked benefit of using pure CBD isolate is that making consistent products is as easy as solving a few simple math problems and weighing out a correct dosage. 

Advantage: Taste

CBD isolate has a slightly bitter taste which manufacturers can mask with acidic flavors like citrus and berries. Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD extracts have a much more overpowering bitter plant taste that manufacturers sometimes have trouble masking properly. As a result, it’s much easier to make marketable isolate-based CBD edibles than it is full-spectrum edibles.

How Sunset Lake CBD Uses CBD Isolate 

We use isolate derived from hemp plants that we grew ourselves up in northern Vermont. It gives us and our customers peace of mind that our CBD, from seed to product, is of the highest quality and free of unwanted adulterants like pesticides and harmful solvents. 

We use CBD isolate in a few of our products like our Sour Bear CBD Gummies and our CBD Recovery Body Lotion