in ,

CBD Isolate vs. CBD Distillate – What’s the Difference?

a man wearing a hat

The use of cannabidiol (CBD) has skyrocketed over the last few years. You can now find various CBD products in different strengths and forms. However, one category of product that keeps confusing CBD users is the CBD distillate and CBD isolate. Both have high concentrations of the cannabinoid, so cannabis users usually mistake them for each other. So how are they different?

In this article, we will discuss the differences between CBD isolate and CBD distillate, considering their chemical composition and effects on the human body.

Let’s get started.

Categories of CBD Products

To fully understand CBD isolate and distillate, lte’s start from the different categories of CBD products.

CBD products have a chemical composition comprising cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant materials in varying amounts. CBD and THC make up the cannabinoids part. On the other hand, terpenes are chemical compounds that produce the unique aromas, flavors, and appearance of the cannabis plant. Common examples of terpenes include myrcene, limonene, and pinene.

The products can be split into two main categories based on their composition: full spectrum and broad spectrum.

  • Full-spectrum CBD contains a wide range of naturally occurring materials in cannabis plants. This includes CBD, terpenes, and minor amounts of THC.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum. However, it has one significant difference. It contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant materials – but not THC. It undergoes distillation processes, which removes the THC.

Now, let's delve into CBD distillate and CBD isolate. 

a close up of a green plant

CBD Distillate

CBD distillate contains all parts of the cannabis plant apart from THC. It comprises different cannabinoids, including CBD, CBN, CBG, terpenes, and other plant materials. However, it does not contain THC. The THC component has been removed through advanced distillate techniques, hence the name "distillate." In some way, we can see that it is a form of broad-spectrum product. 

Although the distillate contains other materials and is not pure CBD, it still has about 80 percent of CBD. This makes it one of the most refined amounts of the cannabinoid.

CBD Isolate

From the name "isolate," you can probably guess it means an isolated form of CBD. It is what remains when other cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant materials have been removed from the plant, except CBD. This makes it the purest and most concentrated form of CBD. CBD isolate products have up to 99 percent of the cannabinoid.

Key Difference Between CBD Isolate and CBD Distillate

Understanding their differences can help you choose the exact one you need for your specific needs and preferences. Here are the differences between CBD isolate and CBD distillate.

a close up of a clock


While CBD isolate and distillate do not have THC, they have different chemical composition. CBD distillate includes other cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant materials. So, it is not purely CBD. In contrast, CBD isolate has only CBD.

Entourage Effect

The entourage effect is a combined effect of all the components in the cannabis plant. All features, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant materials, work together synergistically to enhance the overall therapeutic abilities of the plant. A 2020 study demonstrated that the entourage effect can improve the anti-anxiety properties of the plant.

In CBD distillate, the cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients contribute to its overall therapeutic effect on the body. Whereas CBD isolate is purely CBD, so there is no entourage effect.

Flavor and Aroma

The presence of terpenes and plant animals in CBD distillate makes it retain some of the natural flavors and aromas of the hemp plants. As CBD isolate is pure CBD, it has no taste or smell. This makes it a good option for people who want to avoid the natural flavors and aromas of cannabis.

CBD Isolate vs. CBD Distillate: Which is Better for You?

There is no straight answer to which is better, as the answer depends on your individual needs and preferences. For instance, if you want precise dosing of only CBD, the isolate may be the better option. CBD isolate is better for people who are sensitive to the smell and taste of cannabis. 

On the other hand, if you want the synergistic therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids, you should opt for CBD distillate for a more complete cannabis experience.