Cannabidiol, popularly referred to as CBD, is one of dozens of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBD has become quite popular in the health and wellness industry because, besides its numerous perceived health benefits, it does not lead to psychoactive effects and does not make users feel high. There is a wide range of CBD products available in the market, ranging from CBD oils, tinctures, vapes, skincare products, and more. CBD can even be infused into food and drinks.
Epidiolex, used in the treatment of epilepsy, remains the only CBD-infused drug that has been approved for use in treatment. In an industry that is still not well regulated, it is very important to first consult your doctor before using CBD products, especially for medicinal purposes.
Why You Should Talk to Your Doctor About Using CBD Products
Many CBD product manufacturers and vendors market their products as being able to help alleviate numerous health issues. How true are these claims? Health researchers are still investigating how CBD could be beneficial to human beings and how it can possibly be used in the treatment of various conditions. However, there is no conclusive evidence on these perceived benefits yet.
In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that CBD was generally safe for use. Their report noted that the cannabinoid was quite well-tolerated by the human body, and as such there was minimal risk of abuse or physical dependence. So why should you talk to your doctor before using CBD products? Following are a few of the most important reasons:
1. Possibility of Side Effects
The declaration by WHO that CBD is generally safe for human consumption was based on a general scope. When you use CBD for certain conditions, there is a chance you could experience certain side effects. Even if the side effects are not dire, they can result in discomfort and worsen your condition. When using CBD for medicinal purposes, you should be closely monitored. The interaction of the compound with your body should be carefully observed so that any problem can be dealt with before it becomes serious. CBD is not guaranteed to be a perfect fit for everyone or every medical condition.
Some of the most common side effects that have been reported in certain users include:
- Feelings of tiredness
- Change in appetite
- Change in weight
Further, the U.S. FDA has released information relating to potential side effects that one should consider before beginning a CBD regimen.
2. Interaction with Medications
If you already take pharmaceutical medication for the treatment of a given condition, consulting with your doctor before consuming CBD products is something you are strongly encouraged to do. CBD can affect the effectiveness of these drugs in your body, and can make them less effective by interfering with your metabolism. This is especially true for drugs that are metabolized by CYP450 enzymes. Some of the medications that CBD could potentially interact with include:
- Cancer medications
- Blood pressure medications
- Pain medications
- Blood thinners
- Blood pressure medications
3. Potential Allergies
Some people are allergic to certain plants, others to a particular food, and some even to various medications. Therefore, it wouldn’t be surprising to find out you are allergic to CBD. Instead of waiting to deal with an allergic reaction from CBD (which can be serious depending on your immune system), it is better to take proactive steps to find out if you are allergic to it by first engaging your doctor. They may have to test you for CBD allergies.
Even if you are not allergic to CBD itself, it is often infused into other products that you may be allergic to. For example, you may not have a reaction to CBD oil tinctures but might find yourself having an allergic reaction after using CBD lotion because of other ingredients it contains.
4. Determining the Dosage
The CBD industry is not yet well-regulated when compared to other industries that have existed for a longer period of time. As such, there is no established CBD dosage for various conditions. It has been difficult for regulatory bodies to determine standard CBD dosages without any conclusive data. This means that if you are planning to use CBD products for medicinal purposes, your doctor is in the best position to determine the right dose based on your condition. The doctor will also be able to advise on the best method of consuming your CBD dose. Different methods of CBD consumption affect the bioavailability of the compound in your body. Some methods of consumption may, therefore, require higher dosage than others.
5. Variation in Purity among CBD Products
CBD products often have varying degrees of purity and may even contain lesser amounts of CBD than indicated. Some CBD products have been known to contain contaminants that can be harmful when ingested. Talking to your doctor would help you to understand the potential health implications of ingesting the ingredients used in the CBD product you intend to consume. These impurities can also affect the dosage needed for any effect to be felt.
While CBD is being touted by some as a natural potential alternative to pharmaceutical medicine, it is important to remember that it is still a chemical. As such, it will influence your body and mind in certain ways. If you want to enjoy the full benefits of CBD, then it is advisable to first seek the opinion of a qualified medical professional.
How to Talk to Your Doctor About Using CBD Products
A visit to the doctor can cause nervousness. If you compound it with the fact that CBD is still considered a taboo in certain circles, it can even be more overwhelming. However, as far as your health is concerned, talking to your doctor before using CBD products could be one of the best decisions you will ever make. Here are a few tips to make your session easier.
1. Let the stigma surrounding CBD be the least of your worries.
Despite CBD having been legalized in most states, it still carries a stigma to some, and this can affect how open you are to talking about it with someone else. However, it is important to remember that your well-being is at stake, and social stigma should be the least of your worries. The doctor also has your best interest at heart, and it is unlikely they will judge you.
2. Know the legal status of CBD in your area.
Certain states such as Nebraska, Idaho, and South Dakota have not yet legalized CBD products. Other states have restrictions regarding its distribution. You don’t have to worry about your doctor reporting you to the authorities, as you are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality. However, there is the possibility your doctor won’t be able to prescribe certain products for you if you live in such states.
3. Be prepared for the visit.
Doing a little research on CBD products before heading over to your doctor won’t hurt. Have a clear mind on what you need to know and what you will ask them regarding using CBD products for your condition. Write your questions down in advance; it will help in make the consultation easier and more productive and save the doctor some time.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for information.
It is okay to be nervous about your session with the doctor. Remember that it is your health at stake, so you need all the information you can get about the use of CBD for your condition. The use of CBD for medicinal purposes is relatively new and it is okay to not know about it. That’s why you scheduled an appointment with your doctor in the first place.
5. Be open to seeking a second opinion.
If you feel that your doctor did not provide you with satisfactory answers about CBD products, don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion.
Since there is not strict regulation of CBD products, we recommend consulting your doctor to help you safely use CBD products.
Definitive claims concerning potential health benefits of CBD products are purely a marketing gimmick to promote sales. Research has yet to present any conclusive evidence about many of these claims. As such, do not blindly use CBD products simply because the label said it may help with your condition. Until more research is completed, and the medicinal use of CBD products become well-regulated, always consult your doctor first.