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As people have begun to look for more natural remedies and treatments for various health conditions, the body of research on CBD has begun to show more and more conditions it could be helpful in treating—and CBD’s popularity has skyrocketed because of it.
Yet, while hemp is legal to grow and consume in the United States, cannabis still isn’t legal in all states, and the stigma around cannabis and medical marijuana remains somewhat intact. Considering that CBD and marijuana are closely linked in the public eye, the stigma can affect people looking for either option. So for some, it may feel like an uncomfortable or slightly nerve-racking prospect to broach the topic with their doc if they want to try out CBD. However, it’s very important to consult with your doctor before adding CBD into your daily regimen—and especially so if you’re already taking other medications for known conditions.
To help you out, here are a few tips on how to ask your doctor about CBD, including which questions you should be sure to ask.
Do your research beforehand.
And that means researching lots of different things…
- How CBD helps or affects your specific condition
CBD has been found to be helpful in treating and reducing symptoms of a variety of health conditions, including pain and inflammation, arthritis, anxiety, epilepsy, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, and plenty more. But each of those conditions affect people differently and present different symptoms. Be sure to read up on how CBD has been found to help your specific condition. Look up reports from scientific and medical studies. Research if there have been clinical trials. You can find a wealth of information from numerous scientific journals and publications online, so you can easily find resources for yourself, and perhaps even provide some to your doctor, if need be.
- What your state’s laws are
As of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp cultivation and consumption is legal across the United States, but the laws around cannabis cultivation and consumption vary from state to state. A large percentage of CBD products available in the U.S. are made from hemp-derived CBD. Some companies, though, use cannabis-derived CBD, so you’ll want to be aware of how your state’s laws will affect what’s available to you and what’s legal for you to purchase and consume.
Whether or not cannabis and/or medical marijuana are legal in your state might also affect how your doctor perceives CBD. Rest assured that hemp-derived CBD is legal no matter where you are, so you’re doing nothing wrong by bringing it up. However, doctors in states where medical marijuana is not legal may not be keeping medical CBD news front of mind, so it’s possible they might not be equipped with the latest research. It’s also possible in those states in particular that they are less comfortable encouraging CBD’s use. Again, you asking about it is 100 percent okay. But if you know the laws in your state, you’ll be more prepared if your doctor is or is not quite on the bandwagon.
- The different kinds of CBD and how they affect people differently
There are several different aspects when it comes to CBD strains, types, and forms of consumption that you should know ahead of your doctor’s visit. As we mentioned above, there is hemp-derived CBD and cannabis-derived CBD. The products themselves have some differences, as do the laws around them. It will be helpful to know both when going in to talk with your doctor.
With both hemp- and cannabis-derived CBD, there are three different forms of CBD: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate. The differences between the three have to do with how much other stuff is in the CBD extract, if you will. We explain it further in this post, but essentially, full spectrum CBD includes up to 0.3 percent THC along with terpenes and other beneficial cannabinoids. Broad spectrum gives you CBD and the other cannabinoids and terpenes, but excludes THC. And isolate is pure CBD without any of the other things.
- The various types of products and consumption methods
Along with the different forms commercial CBD takes, you have different products and consumption methods, including oils and tinctures, topicals and creams, capsules and edibles, and inhalants, among others. Each of these ways to consume CBD allows for different methods of absorption in the body. Inhalants are absorbed directly into the lungs, creating a near-immediate effect. Capsules and edibles, on the other hand, need to be digested, so the effects of those products take slightly longer to take hold in the body. Which type of product you should use might be determined by what kind of condition you’re trying to help treat, depending on which method of absorption more directly affects the areas of the body your condition is localized in. If you’re experiencing pain and inflammation, for instance, topicals and creams might be the best way to go, since the CBD can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream around the affected area. Your doctor’s knowledge of your condition(s) will allow them to best help you choose which type of product will be most useful.
Treat the conversation seriously. Be honest and clear.
Nerves can lead some people to want to make jokes, or to try to downplay their interest or concerns. But this conversation is about your health and you wanting to make the best decisions for your health. It’s serious and valid, and it’s very worth exploring all the best options out there. Let your doctor in, tell them what you’ve learned from your research, and why you think CBD might be a great thing for you and your doctor to consider for your treatment.
Listen to your doctor’s concerns, if they have them.
Doctors know a lot about the body. (Duh.) Your doctor, specifically, also knows a lot about your body and your conditions. You may have done a lot of research, but they have years of schooling and experience. They know more about drug interactions and previous trials than you do, too. There’s a reason consulting a doctor is important, and that is to hear what their concerns may be and what they recommend.
Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.
That being said, second opinions never hurt. Especially if your doctor is not open to looking into more natural options like CBD or medical marijuana, or even if they have very valid points against your use of CBD for other reasons, getting a second opinion will help inform a fuller picture for yourself of your options. There are numerous CBD-friendly doctors, and their thoughts on the topic are as valid as those who are less friendly to the compound.
Ask these questions.
After you’ve done your research and readied yourself to ask your doctor, be sure you cover the following topics in your discussion. Not only will these questions ensure that you have the answers you need to assess whether or not CBD is a good treatment option for you, but they will also equip you with all the information you will need to make an informed product purchase. Lastly, having all of these questions ready shows your doctor that you too have done your research and are treating the matter with caution and curiosity.
- Are any of my current medications likely to interact negatively with CBD?
- Would I benefit from the entourage effect? Which of full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate CBD would be best for me and my condition(s)?
- Which type of CBD product or form of consumption do you recommend to best help treat my condition(s)?
- How should I add CBD into my routine? What dosage or dosage scale should I use?
- Are there side effects that I should be aware of and watch for?
- Are there specific CBD brands you recommend?
As always, be especially sure to only buy from reputable CBD brands who abide by the highest production standards, have third-party lab testing, and provide certificates of analysis for each and every product. If a product is cheap in cost, it’s also cheap in quality, and when it’s your health on the line, quality should never be compromised.
Good luck in your conversations, and let us know if these tips and questions help.