For example, 100mg of isolated CBD may be substantially less effective at alleviating symptoms than 100mg of a whole-plant, cannabis extract that contains CBD. While it may be cheaper and more cost-effective to extract CBD from industrial hemp, users may ultimately experience less benefit due to the absence of clinically significant levels of terpenes and other compounds which are plentiful in cannabis. While high-CBD cultivars of cannabis do contain much higher levels of various cannabinoids and terpenes, there are risks and side effects associated with its use.
Agricultural hemp is much closer to the way the plant would appear naturally in the wild whereas high-CBD cannabis is hybridized and engineered by growers to produce the highest levels of whatever compounds they deem to be most important. There is a significant argument to be made for using a whole-plant product but you will have to weigh the risks and potential side effects for yourself to decide which is best for you.
• What's the dosing? This is a confusing one for many people. "A lot of brands don't do a good job of clearly instructing their consumer on the dosing," says Chris Roth, CEO and co-founder of Highline Wellness. When thinking about dosing, also consider whether your CBD is full-spectrum or isolate: Full-spectrum could include other cannabinoids like cannabidivarin or cannabigerol (this is important, since "there's something called the 'entourage effect' when all together, they're more effective than any one of them alone," Roth explains), while isolate is 100% CBD. "Some people might only need 10 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD, but with isolate, even taking 80 or 100 milligrams might not have the same effect," he says.
In a report published in Pediatric Dermatology in 2018, scientists reported three cases of topical CBD (applied as an oil, cream, and spray) use in children with a rare, blistering skin condition known as epidermolysis bullosa. Applied by their parents, all three people reported faster wound healing, less blisters, and improvement of pain. One person was able to completely wean off oral opioid analgesic pain medication. There were no adverse effects reported.