If you're reading this article, you've no doubt heard about CBD. This product derived from the hemp plant is touted as a miracle oil that can relieve symptoms of pain, anxiety, and so much more.
But before you go buy CBD, you should speak with a physician first. It can be a tough subject to bring up, but with these tips, you can have an easy conversation with your doctor and get all the answers you need.
1. Find a Doctor Who's Educated on CBD
You would think that all physicians would dedicate time to learning about the latest and greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine, including CBD. However, that's not always the case. Many physicians become complacent in their positions and don't always keep up on their education. In fact, many don't even know the difference between CBD and hemp oil.
Furthermore, some may have been fed long-held misconceptions about CBD that prevent them from giving you accurate advice. That's why it's important to find an open-minded physician who has studied CBD and its effects before. This might mean going to a doctor that's different than your primary care physician.
If you live inside a state where cannabis products are legal, it's pretty easy to find a physician who knows CBD. But for the rest of the U.S., it can be challenging. Try asking anyone you know how uses CBD where they sought medical advice. There may be online physicians willing to give you a consult as well.
If necessary, you can visit a neurologist, a homeopathic physician, or another professional who will have studied the impact of CBD on the brain.
2. Ask About CBD vs. THC
Most CBD does not contain THC. THC is the chemical component found in marijuana that's responsible for making you high. It also has a few health benefits separate from CBD and marijuana, but it can only be used in states where cannabis products are legal.
It's a good idea to ask your doctor about the differences in these two hemp components. Ask them to explain the dangers of THC and how to find CBD that does not contain illegal amounts of THC.
In some cases, your doctor may need to prescribe you THC for medicinal purposes only. Be sure to do your research on this thoroughly and get all the facts before diving in.
3. Watch for Moral Bias
As mentioned previously, some physicians will abide by misconceptions about CBD. Many oppose its use on a moral basis because it was seen as a drug in the same class as marijuana for so many years.
However, CBD is not marijuana and it does not have any of the psychoactive properties of the drug. This is why everyone from pro-athletes to children with ADHD can use CBD. You need to speak with a physician who will give you an objective, fact-based assessment of CBD and not a moral opinion.
4. Check for Medication Reactions
Listing all your current medications when talking to your doctor about CBD is essential. Don't leave anything out just in case. When mixed, some medications and CBD oil can cause you to have a negative reaction. So far, no one has died from these interactions, but it's still something you want to avoid.
An educated physician should have a list of medications that can interact with CBD oil, but some classes of sleeping pills, sedatives, anti-seizure medications, and chemotherapy drugs can cause a bad reaction. This is the biggest reason that talking with a doctor before trying CBD is so important.
5. Don't Be Embarrassed
While you're preparing for all the questions you need to ask, remember that there's nothing to be embarrassed about. Many people avoid talking to the doctor because they feel like they'll be judged or even reported for asking about CBD. Neither will occur. The only thing that can come of a discussion with your doctor is further information.
It's much better to overcome your pride and broach the subject than it is to try CBD without a physician's guidance and experience nasty side effects because of medication interactions or a dosing problem.
6. Advocate for Your Needs
This is generally good advice any time you speak with a physician about a medical problem: Stand up for what you need. Don't be bullied by doctors and nurses who think they know everything. If you feel like your request and needs aren't being heard, push harder or go to another doctor.
Also, be specific about what you need. If you want to try CBD to treat your anxiety because you feel your medication isn't working properly, explain that to the doctor. They may start firing off suggestions before you finish saying what you need to say, but don't be afraid to make corrections and get an answer to your questions.
7. Know Your Stuff
You will be far more successful getting the answers you need and understand your doctor's direction if you research CBD ahead of time. You don't need to memorize the book, but you should research products, common uses, a few studies published in empirical journals, and stories from others.
Try to verify the sources you use. Anyone can publish content on the internet. Compare your findings with fact-based studies to help you get a more holistic picture of how CBD can help.
8. Get a Second Opinion
While you should carefully consider the advice of any physician, it's okay to get a second opinion. Another doctor may be more informed on the subject and be better able to answer your questions.
Remember that you can always get another opinion, but you can't alter fact. For example, if your primary care physician tells you that CBD will cause an adverse reaction with your current medication and she uses documentation to back it up, that's not going to change with another doctor.
But if her answer doesn't sit well with you, you can always seek another opinion. You may get the same answer, but hopefully, you can eliminate concerns of bias and be satisfied with the response you got.