CBD isolate is present as a white crystalline powder which is comprised of CBD with a purity of over 99 %. The isolate powder gives the end user flexibility in every use case scenario, as the user can tailor their dosing experience to their needs. CBD isolate powder can be mixed with a variety of solvents called “carriers” as they “transport” the CBD in the created tincture, cream, or other formulation. Carriers (solvents) can be various oils like olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil etc. or even alcohols. Our favourite carrier is an award-winning organically grown hemp oil from Britanny in France with a fine natural taste.
The creation of CBD isolate requires separating the CBD from the hemp oil that is extracted from the hemp plant. The oil contains a variety of compounds such as vitamins, phospholipids, ketides, steroids and aromatics which all need to be removed so that the final product, the isolate, only contains CBD and no other compounds. The purity of the isolate makes all the additional effort and equipment needed for purification worth it.
Step 1: Extraction
Step 2: Winterization
Step 3: Filtration
Step 4: Decarboxylation
Step 5: Distillation
The distillation process now further refines the extract, selecting only the compounds above or below certain boiling points. The distillation process is repeated twice. Once to remove the compounds that have greater boiling points than CBD and the desired terpenes and once to remove some small molecules that have a much lower boiling point.
There are two methods; rotary evaporation and wiped film distillation. Both use the principle of maximising the surface area, so that the CBD and the accompanying terpenes can evaporate as fast as possible. The evaporated compounds then condense on a cooled coil where they are then collected.
Step 6: Crystallization
To obtain not only a CBD extract oil but the 99% pure isolate the CBD is recrystalized from solution twice. First the distillate from the previous step is mixed with a solvent till homogenous. Then the mixture is cooled down slowly, this allows for crystals of CBD to form as the amount of CBD that can be held in solution decreases as the temperature decreases thus depositing the CBD in crystals. After waiting for the crystals to have fully formed the liquid solution is removed leaving only CBD crystals. The process is then repeated with a pentane as solvent to remove impurities included in the formation of the first crystals. The final step is then to remove the remaining pentane by heating the CBD crystals to just slightly over pentanes boiling point.
The final product are pure crystals of CBD which can be sold as such, ground up to a powder for other applications or dissolved in a carrier of choice.