You may have seen CBD crystals or powder (or CBD Isolate) for sale or seen it mentioned online. But what is it? And how do you use it?
What is CBD Isolate?
CBD isolate is “pure” crystalline isolated CBD. It can be found in a variety of purities, with 99.99+% pure being one of the most common. Found in both powder or slab form, it resembles a fine sugar and is usually a brilliant white color. Some report that it tastes like nothing while others claim it has a hint of a cherry.
Isolate is typically sold in grams, such as 0.5 gram and 1 gram amounts. Bigger quantities are also often available, usually at a discount.
Direct Use of CBD Isolate
One of the ways to use CBD isolate is by applying it directly under the tongue. This is best done with the crystalline powder form, instead of slab form. Some people choose to dip their finger in the powder, which they then dab under their tongue. Others prefer to get more accurate with their dose by using a scale and weighing out an exact amount.
Due to the sensitive nature of the mucous membranes under the tongue, and the crystalline structure of CBD isolate, some people report that the feeling can be uncomfortable. Additionally, CBD tends to work best orally or sublingually when it is in a carrier containing fats. These factors combined lead to direct use being a less popular method.
Topical Use of CBD Isolate
For those who already have a lotion or body oil they really enjoy, topical use is a great option. Instead of formulating your own CBD topical, you take an existing lotion or body oil and add in the crystalline CBD isolate.
If it’s a body oil, you may want to gently warm the oil as you dissolve the isolate into it. This can be achieved by using a hot water bath.
If the lotion you’re considering as the base is medicated, double check that the ingredients don’t have any interactions with CBD. It’s unlikely, but better to be safe than sorry.
As a reminder, topicals are different than transdermals, so don’t expect topicals to work for internal conditions. Instead, reserve them for skin conditions, joint issues or sore muscles.
Wax Pens, Concentrate Vapes
Looking for an alternative to e-liquids with “unhealthy” carriers or wanting something more potent? Vaping concentrates are a great alternative.
CBD isolate is considered a concentrate and can be vaped in both powder or slab form. Slab tends to be easier to work with in a concentrate vape or wax pen, while powder can be a bit messy. Some users choose to reserve the powder for dry herb vaping and will sprinkle powder isolate on top of their flower/buds.
Unlike regular vape pens that usually have a holding tank for the vape liquid, wax pens or concentrate vapes use buckets or direct coils to melt down the solid substance. Once it’s melted down and heated to the right temp, it is vaporized and you inhale it.
With concentrates, you can get significantly higher doses of CBD compared to e-liquids that tend to be very diluted. Additionally, concentrates tend to be cheaper than their e-liquid counterparts, more portable and more diverse in options.
For more information on how to vape CBD concentrates, read our article “Vaping CBD – What are Concentrates.”
DIY Products (Sublingual Oils, Vape Juice, Edibles)
CBD isolate is CBD in its “pure” form before it’s been processed into an end product. So it’s great for using at home to make your own CBD products.
One of the most popular do-it-yourself projects is dissolving CBD isolate into a carrier oil, such as coconut or MCT oil. This method essentially lets you create your own isolate sublingual oil for about half the cost of pre-made ones. Additionally, you can get creative by adding in extra things, such as your own flavoring or terpenes.
Other DIY projects include making your own vape liquids (with PG/VG bases) or adding it into food. Chocolate bars, gummies, and capsules are common. In fact, we have two easy DIY tutorials that you might find interesting!
Crystalline CBD isolate is great for those who like to make their own products and those looking for more bang for their buck.
Looking to get started with it? Here’s our list of recommended brands for CBD isolate.