CBD isolation is performed by many processors to create a THC-free product for their end-user for a variety of reasons. For those who have had the opportunity to isolate CBD using crystallization, it is apparent that the material will readily form crystals, sometimes almost to a fault. Controlling this crystallization becomes quite important when the user is looking to create consistent and repeatable outcomes from their process. This article will focus on a high-level background of crystallization and why specific methods are recommended for isolating CBD.

CBD Isolation Diagram

Thermodynamic Background

Crystallization can occur due to the limited solubility of materials in a solvent. Many factors come into play (including temperature, solubility, concentration, etc.), but ultimately under the right conditions, many organic compounds will begin to form organized lattices, or crystals, which are a lower energy state than when dissolved in a supersaturated solution.

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