CBD Crystals - Benefits & Best Alternatives
The pure form of CBD is called cannabidiol crystals or CBD isolate. Each of these is a compound from the cannabis plant. The cannabis plants have other compounds too, of course, the most noteworthy being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most abundant one and the one that causes the ‘high’ for marijuana users. CBD is the second-most abundant compound in the plant, and is thought by many to have beneficial effects in lessening the symptoms of various health conditions.
This research is in its infancy and more is needed.
What is a CBD crystal?
CBD crystals (also known as CBD isolate) are the crystals formed when all other compounds have been removed from the cannabis plant extract, making them the purest form of CBD. Sometimes these are sold in powdered form, though the compound is chemically unchanged from the crystal form.
CBD crystals are therefore an isolate, and can be differentiated from the other categories of CBD products, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum, by the fact that the isolate contains only the one compound, CBD. The other two forms contain other compounds, including small amounts of THC, the compound that can produce a high in sufficient amounts, and can trigger positive results on drug tests. They also contain terpenes, which tend to have strong and distinct scents.
CBD isolate crystals do not have a taste or smell, unlike the other types of CBD which do have that strong, musky smell and taste associated with marijuana and hemp.
CBD crystals contain no THC, while the other types may contain up to 0.3% of THC (the cannabis-derived products which produce a ‘high’ from THC contain more).
Read next: How long does CBD take to work?
Lack of Crystal Specific Evidence
Research on CBD crystals is still in its early stages. Most research on cannabis-related products have focussed on THC-containing versions and are therefore inconclusive when it comes to the CBD isolate.
Early indications and anecdotal evidence, however, seem to indicate that CBD use influences cannabinoid receptors (and possibly non-cannabinoid receptors) in the body and can have some health benefits. Claimed or potential benefits and effects include anti-anxiety, anti-inflammation, anti-seizure, immune boosting, suppression of nausea and vomiting, neuroprotection, prevention of tumour formation, and pain relief.
A study in 2015, however, indicated that CBD in its isolate form may have a weaker effect than both full- and broad-spectrum types. It is thought that other compounds work in concert to produce more benefit than any one of them might produce on its own. This grouping of effects is called the ‘entourage effect.’ Further research is needed to determine the truth of this and the degree of benefit the entourage effect may have.
There is currently not enough research to definitively link CBD with any health benefits.
Related reading: What is the strongest CBD oil?
How To Take CBD Crystals
It is important to read labels carefully, to purchase products from reputable sellers, and to ensure you have a third-party lab test to verify the contents of the product you buy. This is because trace amounts of THC are often found in products that are labelled as isolates. The industry’s use of these terms is not well regulated, and some producers and sellers use the terms isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum interchangeably.
Using a true CBD isolate have some advantages over the other forms. For one thing, there is no chance of THC building up in the system and producing a positive result on a drug test. Secondly, there is little risk of taking the wrong dose.
CBD crystals are taken in a variety of ways. The three main ones are to add them to baked goods or other foods, such as candy; adding them as an ingredient of DIY skin care recipes; and dissolving them into an oil of some kind – called a ‘carrier oil’ – and using them orally or topically. Carrier oils can be olive oil, butter, etc., and are often then added to foods for consumption.
There are products available in which CBD has already been added to a consumable form of product.
One of the downsides of CBD isolate is that it's harder to dose.
Do CBD Crystals get you high?
No CBD crystals or isolate will not get you high, as they have had all of the psychoactive THC content removed.
Usually people choose CBD crystals to avoid any trace amounts of THC, so broad spectrum CBD oil from CBD Puroil is a great alternative, as it's third party lab tested to be 0% THC.
You can learn more about the benefits of broad spectrum CBD here.
Related post: Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD
CBD crystals are a very refined form of CBD, containing no other compounds.
CBD crystals do not contain any THC – but you should rely on a third-party lab test to ensure this.
CBD crystals may have a lesser effect than CBD products containing other compounds, but all research on CBD is in its infancy and claims have not been proven.
Read next: CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum