Types of CBD: Isolate, Distillate and Full-Spectrum

GVB Biopharma

Posted April 2, 2020


CBD and CBD products are relatively new to the health market; for years, the potential benefits have been known by a smaller number of users. However, recent press and media coverage has vastly increased consumer awareness of CBD, and it’s related compounds. CBD is a big topic, at first, it can be confusing, but with a little bit of help and research, users can quickly get a grasp of the subject area. 

CBD in its raw form is available in various formats; these occur due to the desires of the producer and the production method utilised to extract the CBD compound from the hemp plant. 

Cannabidiol is shortened to CBD, CBD is a compound naturally found in the cannabis plant often referred to as marijuana or hemp. In the UK, CBD is a legal product if there is less than 0.2% of THC. The reason behind this is that THC is the controlled substance, THC is a psychoactive compound that affects the user’s mental state and is, therefore, falls under the Misuse of drugs act 1971. CBD, on the other hand, has no psychoactive qualities and remains legal for use in the UK.

While not currently medically, at least openly, supported, it is believed that CBD has many various potential health benefits. Those that suffer from conditions such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, nausea and many other neurological conditions are known to benefit from CBD. Its uses are not limited to the above conditions, CBD has been shown to have positive effects on pain as well a possibly helping with some cancer treatment. Unlike many traditional therapies for these conditions and illnesses, CBD is not addictive and has little to no side effects. Please note we would always recommend speaking to your GP before taking CBD. 

As referenced, several different types of CBD can be utilised in product creation. 

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is a common form of CBD, because of how it is produced it contains the least amount of impurities or other compounds meaning that it is a flexible type of CBD for use in CBD products. Using Supercritical C02 extraction; extremely cold high-pressure C02 is passed through the hemp to separate the compounds, while an expensive method of production, the purest form of CBD is produced. Tests show that the CBD Isolate is 99% or higher pure, the process results in CBD crystals, these are crushed down to create a powder allowing for ease of blending with carrier products (creams or oils for example). 

 Isolate products don’t usually contain any terpenes though some brands add flavours to enhance the consumer experience without this, isolate has little to no taste or smell. 

CBD Distillate 

CBD distillate contains various other cannabinoids, terpenes (the natural flavourings), vitamins and fatty acids. Small amounts of THC does remain in the distillate, but again the levels remain legal for use in the UK. The other compounds left within the distillate are believed to have other health benefits. These other cannabinoids are:

Cannabichromene (CBC)

CBC has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-proliferative (anti-cancer) and pain-relieving properties. This compound is useful for cancer treatment, pain caused by osteoarthritis and even acne. CBC, while relatively unknown, they work well when combined with other cannabinoids.

Cannabinol (CBN)

CBN is a non-psychoactive, it usually occurs when THC ages, specifically when THC oxidises. It is therefore closely associated with THC but can be extracted separately from THC. CBN has been found to be a strong antibacterial agent, as well as helping those with conditions like ALS. Studies have also found that it can be used as an appetite stimulator.


Terpenes are the natural oils that give plants their unique smell and flavours. Just like the aroma and smell found in many herbs, these are chemicals can have many benefits in aiding to heal the body, this knowledge isn’t something new, herbal remedies have been around for many hundreds of years. There are different types of terpenes within the hemp plant. A great example is Linalool. This particular terpene has the aroma of lavender which helps regulate sleeping patterns and the sense of calm.

Full-spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD houses all the compounds contained in the whole hemp plant just with the THC removed. This product isn’t quite as pure as CBD isolate or distillate. This is because it contains nearly every attribute of the cannabis plant, including; all cannabinoids, terpenes, plant materials and small amounts of THC (remaining legal in the UK). Everything found in full-spectrum CBD is believed to be beneficial, with it containing all the compounds found in hemp it’s not always useful for all product types.