The term “cannabinoids” refers to the group of naturally occurring compounds derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. The cannabis plant contains over 480 distinct compounds, 66 of which are classified as cannabinoids. In living organisms, such as humans, their interactions with specialized cannabinoid receptors on the surface of cells affect various bodily functions, such as memory, cognition, and sensory inputs.
Cannabinoids encompass a variety of substances, each of which produce different effects depending on the receptors to which they bind. Some of the main subclasses are:
- Cannabichromene (CBC)
- Cannabicyclol (CBL)
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
- Cannabielsoin (CBE)
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
- Cannabinodiol (CBDL)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Cannabitriol (CBT)
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
The following article focuses on CBD, CBG, and CBN isolates, providing an overview of what they are, how they’re made, and what benefits they offer.
What Is CBD Isolate?
CBD isolate is a pure form of cannabidiol (CBD), which is one of the compounds present in the resinous flower of the cannabis plant. In contrast to full-spectrum CBD products, it does not contain any of the psychoactive compound of cannabis—i.e., THC.
The extraction and purification methods used to produce CBD isolate remove all other cannabinoids as well as plant impurities. Depending on which methods are employed, the product can take the form of a crystalline solid or a very fine powder. While both forms may exhibit a mild residual cherry or earthy taste, neither should have a strong taste or odor.
Similar to all other cannabinoids, CBD exerts its effects by engaging with specific cannabinoid receptors located throughout the brain and body. These receptors are present because the human body generates its own version of cannabinoids, which are thought to regulate a variety of bodily functions, such as:
What Is CBG Isolate?
Like CBD, cannabigerol (CBG) is a phytocannabinoid—i.e., a compound synthesized from cannabis plants—with no psychoactive properties. It is considered a minor cannabinoid because of its fairly low presence (less than 1%) within the plant.
Despite its relatively low abundance in the plant, the compound has recently gathered interest in the cannabis product market for its promising pharmacological properties. While the research is still in its infancy, the coming years will likely reveal numerous uses for CBG isolate. The few studies available suggest that it may have analgesic, antibacterial, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory effects. The latter quality is considered highly beneficial for the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis.
What Is CBN Isolate?
CBN (cannabinol) is another minor cannabinoid being researched for its potential therapeutic benefits. It was the first cannabinoid compound to be successfully isolated and purified back in 1896. As an isolate, it is not currently known to produce any intoxicating effects, but it has yet to be comprehensively studied in human subjects.
CBN is mostly found in older cannabis since it is created as a byproduct of the THC aging process. Given adequate time and oxygen exposure, the THC compound gradually decomposes into CBN. Consequently, younger and actively growing cannabis plants generally do not contain it.
How Are They Made?
How CBD Isolate Is Made
Similar to other CBD extracts, CBD isolate is produced through an extraction and purification process that strips away all other components of the plant until only the CBD remains. First, the CBD compound is extracted from cannabis. Then, the concentrate is purified to filter out the extraction chemicals. Finally, the purified concentrate undergoes winterization, which removes any remaining plant particles from the oil. The resulting product is a pure CBD powder with a 99% purity level and no THC.
How CBG Isolate Is Made
The first step in isolating CBG is removing it from the plant using one of many extraction methods. The industry gold-standard and consumer-preferred method is the CO2 extraction process. The equipment required to perform this process is highly specialized and often expensive, but the resulting product is an ultra-pure with no residual toxic solvents.
The CO2 extraction process employs a closed-loop system to reduce the temperature of CO2 to -56° C while simultaneously raising the chamber’s pressure to 75 psi. This operation occurs until the CO2 reaches the “supercritical” stage, meaning the compound is between its liquid and gaseous phases. At this point, the CO2 passes through the closed chamber, where it is used as a solvent to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes without damaging them.
How CBN Isolate Is Made
As with CBG extraction and isolation operations, the preferred method for achieving a high-quality CBN isolate is CO2 extraction. Following the same procedure described above, supercritical CO2 is used as a solvent to extract cannabinoids and terpenes while avoiding the removal of chlorophyll. Despite being more expensive than other methods, it is often used by mid to high-end cannabis product manufacturers for its ability to produce high-purity CBN isolate consistently.
Benefits of CBD, CBG, and CBN
The human body’s endocannabinoid system regulates a wide range of physiological and cognitive processes. As each phytocannabinoid interacts differently with the endocannabinoid cell receptors, each produces a distinct effect. For example, THC produces intoxicating effects by activating CB1 receptors in the brain, while CBD—which binds to CB2 receptors in the immune system—does not have psychoactive properties. Below we outline some of the potential health benefits of CBD, CBG, and CBN.
Benefits of CBD
CBD is a highly researched cannabinoid with purported effects on a wide range of physiological processes. As it does not contain THC, it can be ingested for various medicinal purposes without triggering the characteristic “high” associated with marijuana use. Some of the conditions which CBD is thought to treat are:
- ADD and ADHD
- Anxiety and depression
- Nicotine addiction
Benefits of CBG
While CBG is less commonly used than CBD, its popularity as a non-intoxicating cannabinoid has grown significantly in recent years. Current CBG research suggests the compound may have the following medicinal benefits:
- Treats glaucoma and relieves intraocular pressure (potentially)
- Exhibits antibacterial properties, particularly against MRSA
- Contributes to GABA reuptake inhibition
- Relieves inflammatory bowel disease and colitis (potentially)
- Exhibits neuroprotective properties that may be beneficial in treating Huntington’s disease
- Fights the spread of cancer (potentially)
- Treats inflammation, particularly of the skin (potentially)
Benefits of CBN
While research on the effects of CBN is somewhat sparse, current evidence suggests that it may be suitable for use as the following medicinal compounds:
- Antibacterial agents
- Anti-inflammatory agents
- Appetite stimulators
- Glaucoma treatment compounds
By binding to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids have numerous effects on the human body. Each cannabinoid affects the body in a distinct way through its unique interactions with these receptors. By extracting these compounds in the form of isolates, cannabinoids can be used actively to elicit specific effects on mood, coordination, and other bodily processes.
At Loud Associates, we are a seed-to-sale purchasing and distribution company specializing in phytocannabinoids. One of our core product offerings is CBD and other minor cannabinoid isolates and distillates. All of our products are sourced from certified and trusted laboratories that use high-quality ingredients and rigorous testing protocols. Our partnerships with high-end producers and farms enable us to offer competitive pricing for wholesale CBD sold by the kilogram.
To learn more about our CBD and minor cannabinoid product selection, contact us today.