CBD isolate (or isolated CBD) is a highly concentrated, highly processed form of CBD. Isolate is also often called “pure” CBD. A substance composed of up to 99% pure cannabidiol (CBD), it looks like sparkling white crystals or powder; it is odorless, tasteless, and utterly devoid of any natural characteristics.
Isolates are made starting with a base oil extraction via ethanol, CO2 or hydrocarbon (butane or propane). From there, the resultant oil undergoes a lengthy process of transformation where it is distilled, refined, winterized, and crystallized before yielding the final 99% pure CBD product- which no longer bears any resemblance to the plant it came from. Throughout this refinement process petrochemicals are often used multiple times to remove plant waxes, minor cannabinoids, and other impurities.
Dubious quality. Since the isolation process strips away any other potentially beneficial compounds in the plant– isolate manufacturers have no reason to source quality hemp in the first place. And that’s a big deal, given hemp’s bioremediating ability, which allows for the uptake of toxins from the soil, and the lack of standardized FDA regulations for contaminant testing and labeling.
Dubious efficacy. Already, preclinical studies have revealed measurable differences in the actions of single-molecule isolate preparations and whole-spectrum preparations on disease models in the lab. On its own, isolated CBD also seems unable to bind as well to our endocannabinoid system, which often can result in folks taking higher doses than necessary.
Questionable long-term effects. Clinical research for all things cannabis and hemp is still severely limited. While the 2018 Farm Bill opened channels for studying hemp, it just hasn’t been researched long enough to know what kinds of long-term side effects isolated CBD may have on humans.
Unknown chemicals used during the processing of isolate. There are a variety of chemicals that can be used when isolating CBD. Given there is no requirement to report the chemicals used this could raise questions about purity, especially concerning someone with a compromised immune system. In addition, there are of course environmental concerns with any use of petrochemicals.
A full-spectrum CBD extract is one that, unlike isolates, retains a range of useful compounds rather than just CBD alone. Also unlike isolates, the long, rich history of herbal medicine and centuries of anecdotes have withstood the test of time.
The Mana approach pays homage to traditional healing modalities while remaining scientific and thoughtful in our hemp formulations.
“The number of potential chemical synergies of medical interest found within the cannabis plant boggles the mind and should keep researchers quite busy for at least the next decade.” – Michael Backes, The Cannabis Pharmacy (2017).
The central hypothesis of researchers in the cannabis space is that compounds within a plant work together, synergistically, to amplify each other’s effects and to minimize the potential for each other’s side effects. This is called the “entourage effect.”
At Mana, we believe that this synergy extends beyond the full-spectrum of compounds in one plant or herb, to the other plants in a preparation. This is why we’ve chosen to bolster our CBD with herbs such as local Hawaiian turmeric and passionflower for their ability to complement the effects of CBD in one’s body.
Shimyrre Britt, our co-founder and Director of Product, grew up with a deep connection to herbal medicine. Bringing a lifetime of wisdom and over fifteen years of professional plant experience to our mission, she’s helped us showcase the power of whole-plant infusions- by “interfering with them the least.”
At Mana, we take great care to preserve the integrity of the plants we use in our formulas. Unlike isolates, our oils retain the full-spectrum of naturally-occurring compounds (minor cannabinoids, fragrant terpenes, and flavonoids) in the hemp, because we extract them with minimal processing: using food-grade organic alcohol (ethanol) or subcritical CO2. The resultant oil is rich and fragrant and is then blended into an infusion alongside local Hawaiian botanicals and quality carriers like organic macadamia and coconut oil.
Plants are complicated, wondrous life forces. They’ve supplied us with nourishment and medicine, beauty, and spiritual expansion for millennia.
Our mission is to preserve nature’s bounty, not to tamper with it. When cultivated organically, processed minimally, and consumed mindfully, you can’t go wrong with “just plants.”
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.