How to Talk to Your Doctor About CBD

As medical cannabis use becomes more widespread, many people are wondering how to talk to their doctor about using CBD oil.


Whatever your reason for wanting to try CBD, it’s important that you talk with your doctor about it, especially if you are taking other medications.

More and more, research is showing that cannabidiol (CBD) has potential as a supplement for a healthy lifestyle. Other studies suggest that CBD also shows promise as an alternative to traditional medications for everything from anxiety to cancer. 

The idea of talking to your doctor may feel intimidating. You don’t really know what your doctor thinks about CBD as a supplement or as a medication. It helps to prepare for your appointment.

Know the law and your rights with regard to cannabis products

It’s important to know your rights, and responsibilities, regarding CBD in your state. Knowing what’s legal will help you understand what your doctor can and can’t do with regard to advice or recommendations about CBD oil.

If you live in Nebraska, Idaho, or South Dakota, CBD and cannabis are illegal, and your doctor can’t prescribe it for you. Although legal in all other states, there may be restrictions on distribution or contents.

There’s no need for shame.

Many people still associate anything cannabis-related with the “reefer madness” propaganda of the 20th century. The good news is that the bias against CBD and other cannabis-derived products is quickly passing.

If CBD oil could improve your physical or mental health, now is the time to begin trying it. Throughout history, back to ancient times, cannabis has been used in treating a variety of health conditions. More recently, anecdotal and scientific evidence supports the benefits of CBD. However, there is still a lot of misinformation, even stigma, attached to CBD and cannabis-based products.

 Many medical practitioners are at least open to discussing alternative treatment with hemp or cannabis-based products—especially when it comes to CBD. Because CBD isn’t an intoxicant, your health care professional should realize CBD has nothing to do with being high. More to the point, recent medical research is discovering the potential benefits for CBD.

Be prepared when you head out to see the doctor.

Remember, your physician is busy, not only with you but also with other patients in their practice. Be conscious of your time with your doctor and know what you’re going to say.

It’s crucial that you clearly understand your condition, its symptoms, and the impact they have on your daily life. Present your health care provider with an overview and highlight the issues that impact you the most.

Be sure to do your homework before your appointment. Study CBD’s effects on your condition and learn from the experience of others with the same condition. This will demonstrate your seriousness about exploring alternative treatment with CBD oil. If you’re prepared to discuss the issue seriously, you’ll impress the doctor and increase the chances of a real discussion of CBD on the merits.

Find some of the many studies and trials that support your request. Check your sources!

Research has shown that CBD is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. For example, the Journal of Experimental Medicine published a study showing that CBD significantly helps reduce chronic inflammation and pain.

Other research shows that CBD has benefits for heart health, reducing arterial blockage and decreased cholesterol levels, as well as having implications for stress-induced blood pressure spikes. Take applicable case studies with you to the doctor to support your position.

Ask yourself the following questions and prepare your answers.

  • Why do you want to try CBD?
  • Do you experience side effects on your current medication? If so, how can CBD help?
  • What are the symptoms you’re experiencing? What does research show about how CBD affects those symptoms?

Similarly, if you have questions, write them down. It’s all too easy to forget in the moment what it was that you wanted to ask. If you write them down, you can be sure you’ll remember to ask the doctor.

It’s natural to be nervous about discussing changes to your health care regimen with your doctor. After all, they are the professional. A little rehearsal can help calm your nerves and get the conversation off to the right start.

Start with a statement: “I want to talk to you about using CBD oil to help with my condition.” There’s nothing illegal about having a conversation about CBD with your doctor.

CBD and potential drug interactions

Expect that your doctor will have concerns about any possible interaction with your current prescriptions. It’s important to remember that CBD, while considered safe, may still interact with some medications.

CBD inhibits cytochrome P450, an enzyme that metabolizes about 60% of the compounds in your body. When CBD slows the enzyme’s activity, the enzyme takes longer to metabolize some drugs. That means CBD’s effects could possibly increase the drug levels in your system and extend the time it takes to process it.

Keep talking to your doctor.

Now that you and your physician have a plan to taper off or adjust your medications and begin a CBD regimen, you’ll need to keep up the conversation. No doubt, the doctor will want to follow up at regular intervals to monitor your progress.

Keep track of any symptoms and report them to the doctor. Blood tests may also be required, depending on your circumstances. Keep your follow-up appointments, as that will help reassure your doctor that you are a responsible partner in treatment for your condition.

When you need a second doctor’s opinion about CBD

If it turns out that your doctor hasn’t kept up to date on CBD research, or they hold a more conservative view of the value of CBD oil, it’s likely that the doctor won’t support you in your decision to try CBD.

You may want a second opinion, and you’re entitled to seek one. Another health care professional may have kept up to date on the research into CBD and be open to considering a change to accommodate alternative treatments like CBD.

You can also look for a doctor who specializes in alternative medicine and has more knowledge about CBD as an alternative for your current medications. They’ll be more qualified to discuss potential drug interactions, dosage levels, and CBD’s effects on your medical condition.

Remember, it’s your right to discuss CBD as an alternative to your current medications. Talk to your doctor.

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Jack Studebaker

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