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Research has shown that when taken together, cannabinoids CBD, CBDa, CBDV, CBG, CBN and CBC create an entourage effect, generating a formula where 1+1 = 3. With the entourage effect, phytochemicals (cannabinoids and terpenes in particular) in cannabis and hemp work better together. They have a synergistic relationship where they help one another and work together to provide a stronger therapeutic effects than working alone. However, there are certain instances where CBD isolate could be a better option.

What is CBD isolate?

CBD (cannabidiol) isolate is a pure form of naturally occurring CBD. It contains up to 99% CBD and is often called CBD crystal because its solid form resembles a diamond. CBD isolate can be extracted from both hemp and cannabis plants. Once isolated, the solid CBD is crushed and ground into a find powder.

CBD isolate and terpenes

Terpenes (also called terpenoids) are fragrant and flavorful oils found in hemp and cannabis plants. More specifically, terpenes are oils secreted by the hairs found on floral leaves and flowers of female plants. They help the plant deter insects and animal predators. Their flavor and smell identify the particular strain as well as their health effects.

Terpenes interact with the endocannabinoid system in a similar way to cannabinoids. When inhaled or ingest, they help cannabinoids penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Terpenes can also influence dopamine, seratonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. To enhance the healing effects of CBD isolate, terpenes are often added to CBD isolate oils, salves, and lotions.

If you are interested in terpenes, keep in mind that each state has its own requirements for testing products. Also, the chemical composition in plant can change each season and each harvest. The best way to be confident with a product is by looking at the lab results.

The most common terpenes and their health benefits are:

  • A-pinene
    • sharp, sweet, and piney-smelling
    • anti-inflammatory
    • dilates bronchial tubes (tubes in the lungs)
    • crosses the blood-brain barrier easily
    • anti-septic
    • helps increase memory function
    • anti-bacterial
    • sometimes used as an insect repellant
    • boiling point = 311°F
    • also found in pine needles, pine cones, conifers, rosemary, and sage
  • Linalool
    • anti-inflammatory
    • anti-convulsant
    • analgesic
    • anti-anxiety
    • sedative
    • pain reliever
    • activates immune cells and boosts the immune system
    • responsible for the soothing smell of lavender
    • boiling point = 388°F
    • also found in citrus, laurel, birch, and rosewood
  • Beta caryophyllene
    • anti-inflammatory
    • analgesic
    • antioxidant
    • anti-septic
    • relieves muscle spasms
    • protects cells lining the digestive track
    • it is the only terpene known to directly activate the cannabinoid receptors (CB2)
    • boiling point = 320°F
    • also found in black pepper, hops, cloves, basil, and oregano
  • Myrcene
    • the most common terpene produced by cannabis
    • offers synergistic effects by changing the blood-brain barrier for itself and other compounds
    • contributes to the strong sedative effect of strong indica cannabis
    • sleep aid
    • muscle relaxant
    • musky and citrusy scent
    • boiling point = 344°F
    • also found in mango, thyme, lemongrass, and bay leaves
  • Nerolidol
    • adds a woody aroma and flavor to cannabis
    • sedative properties
    • aids skin penetration for transdermal delivery of medicine
    • anti-fungal
    • anti-parasitic
  • Humulene
    • adds a woody and earthy aroma and flavor to cannabis
    • suppresses appetite
    • anti-inflammatory
    • anti-bacterial
    • pain relief
    • boiling point = 388°F
    • also found in hops and coriander
  • Terpineol
    • reduces pain
    • anti-inflammatory
    • anti-bacterial
    • best know for its ability to attack tumors
    • might help protect stomach from ulcers
    • often used in soaps and perfumes
    • also found in lilac
  • Ocimene
    • anti-fungal
    • anti-anxiety
    • acts as a part of a plant’s defense
    • often added to perfume
  • Limonene
    • helps combat acid reflux
    • anti-anxiety
    • antidepressant
    • aids in the digestion of other terpenes through the skin and into body tissue
    • fights carcinogens (cancer causing agents in living tissue)
    • boiling point = 349°F
    • also found in citrus, juniper, and peppermint

Health benefits of CBD isolate?

Recent studies show the health benefits of CBD isolate are numerous and include:

  • pain relief
  • lowers levels of inflammation
  • helps lower the severity of autism
  • combats opioid addiction
  • helps control epileptic seizure activity
  • slows growth of bacteria
  • helps decrease anxiety levels
  • reduces risk of nerve damage
  • eases nausea and vomiting

If you are skeptical about a CBD isolate, ask to see their lab results. Lab results should give a detailed analysis of the accuracy, percentage of CBD, and pesticide levels. Reputable companies will display their lab results on their website

Health test screenings required to apply for medical benefits

Military veterans might find pain and trauma relief with high doses of CBD isolate. United States military veterans are often required to take urine tests when they can enroll in a Veteran Health Insurance policy. Testing positive for THC can stall or halt the application process. Veterans who receive counseling for PTSD are often required to take a drug test. This complicates the treatment process because many veterans and groups like Veterans for Cannabis and the Veterans Cannabis Project support medicinal cannabis as a treatment option, especially for Veterans who have PSTD associated with combat injuries.

Employer requires a urine analysis

Individuals interested in working for companies in transportation, safety, defense, transit, and aviation industries might be subject to a pre-employment drug test. Many companies in these industries are required to test  certain applicants and employees for drug use

Employers like Walmart, Ford, and Microsoft often require new hires to take a drug test. If a product contains only CBD and has had the THC removed, then an individual being tested should not test positive for marijuana or marijuana metabolite.

Athletes who must take random drug tests

Athletes who are subject to drug tests might find CBD isolate a viable treatment option. Most professional and collegiate sports teams require their athletes to take drug tests. Typically, the purpose of the tests are to deter athletes from using performance-enhancing drugs. However, mosts programs also test for marijuana.

You have Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS)

If CHS is caused by a specific cannabinoid and not triggered by CBD, an isolate product might be a better option. A small percentage of CBD is converted to THC when digested, so this is also something to consider.

Hyperemesis Cannabinoid Syndrome, also called CHS is a condition characterized by repeated and severe bouts of vomiting after exposure to cannabinoids. It is often occurs after long-term use of cannabis.

Some of the most common symptoms are: severe vomiting after using cannabis, dehydration (from vomiting), and unexplained stomach pain. Symptoms typically go away within 48 hours of stopping cannabis use. Symptoms will return if the individual continues using cannabis.

Not sure whether CBD isolate is a good option? Download the document below and record your results.

Before you add CBD to your treatment options, first consult with your doctor. A small percentage of CBD can transform into THC when digested which can cause a false positive drug test.

MamasHealth acknowledges that research on CBD and the effects of CBD on the endocannabinoid system are rapidly evolving and the range of possible findings remains wide. MamasHealth makes no claims that CBD products are intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and recommends all individuals consult with their health care professionals prior to using CBD.