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Not All CBD is the Same: What is the Difference Between CBD Crude, Distillate and Isolate

Not All CBD is the Same:  What is the Difference Between CBD Crude, Distillate and Isolate

There are a lot of misperceptions about CBD.  Some of our favorites that we have heard are: “CBD comes from the male plant, while THC comes from the female plant” and “more milligrams must mean that brand of CBD is better” and “CBD Isolate is the best.”   It is certainly understandable, considering the clouded and vague history surrounding hemp and cannabis.   CBD was actually “discovered” in 1940 by Dr. Roger Adams at the University of Illinois, more than 20 years before even THC was “discovered”.  But nearly 80 years later, we are just scratching the surface of this amazingly helpful phytochemical.

While CBD was discoverd a long time ago, it has not been allowed to be studied because for the longest time, it was lumped in with marijuana and THC, the other very prevalent cannabinoid in cannabis, and was wrongfully classified as a Schedule 1 substance, which is defined as having no medicinal use with a high potential for abuse (along with heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.  Imagine that!).  I feel confident in saying that the world at large, including the World Health Organization, the Department and Health and Human Services and now the United States Federal Government, who officially removed hemp and hemp derived CBD from Schedule 1, has begun to come to their senses and in doing so, has opened up the pathway to clarity, science and truth about CBD and it’s healing potential.

Unlike THC, CBD does not create a “high” that we have seen in Cheech and Chong movies and maybe experienced ourselves?  What it does do (and this was patented by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2003, patent # 6,630,507) is provide a highly antioxidant and neuroprotective effect to the body, seen to help a myriad of issues, such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, Parkinson’s Disease, Auto Immune Disorders, anxiety, depression, inflammation and pain.

But not all CBD is the same and it is important to understand the basics of CBD and the forms that it comes in.  CBD is classified as a cannabinoid and it is an oil.  If you are wondering why CBD has been expensive, it is because it takes a lot of plant and a lot of processing to get a bit of oil.  Right now, there are currently three types of CBD oil that we use in our products at CBD Fountain.  Those are full spectrum CBD oil, also known as crude or RSO, CBD Distillate and CBD Isolate. 

Full Spectrum/RSO/CBD Crude is the first extraction that we get.  It is dark and sticky and dense and has not just CBD oil but other cannabinoids in that oil as well, including CBG, CBN, and up to .3% by volume of THC that is naturally occurring in industrial hemp.  These other cannabinoids actually work in conjunction with the CBD to create, what we believe, seems to be a better healing potential.  This is what we use in all of our topicals.  However, crude does not taste very good when eaten.  Sticking to CBD Fountain’s commitment to make products that taste and smell amazing, we use CBD distillate for all of our edibles.

CBD Distillate is the next stage of distilling up from Full Spectrum.  It is more fluid and is a golden colored oil.  The distillation enables us to take out excess plant material and create a higher ratio of CBD, thereby creating a more mild tasting oil that when added to our tincture, allows you to taste the organic flavor oils and not the CBD.

CBD Isolate is the next step up in refining the oil and for a while, many companies were only using isolate.  Why?  Because THC has a certain stigma and when you isolate CBD from other cannabinoids (THC being one of them), you eliminate the stigma and any risk associated with THC.   While isolate is great (it is ideal for food and drinks, because it has virtually no taste), has its purpose (we use it in our sleep and muscle and joint capsules), isolated CBD isn’t necessarily better than the other forms.  Americans love to think more is better so if it is pure isolated CBD, it must be better!  This is not necessarily true.  It looks like a white powder, like a sticky flour, and when CBD is by itself, it creates a crystal.  From our research and experience, those other cannabinoids found in full spectrum and distillate are complimentary to the way the body absorbs and utilizes CBD (not to mention the individual benefits they provide).  If you are drug screened for work, CBD isolate is the only way to go and it does a great job.  Just remember, it is not always the best form for everyone.

We hope that this blog has shed some light on some of the mystery surrounding the forms of CBD.  We at CBD Fountain are always available to answer any questions you may have about our products at