If you’ve recently started taking CBD oil or are considering it, talking to your doctor about it is a good idea. This is especially true if you’re already taking blood thinners or other prescription medications that may interact with cannabis.
We also highly recommend talking to your doctor about CBD oil before taking it if you’re subject to drug testing by your doctor of if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Having an open and honest discussion with your doctor about CBD oil can help you best incorporate it into your current treatment plan and avoid any potential drug interactions. Getting your doctor on board with your decision to use CBD oil can also give you more confidence and peace of mind as you begin your CBD journey.
Different Doctor Attitudes Towards CBD Oil
We recently asked the members of our CBD Oil Users Group on Facebook about their experiences talking to their doctor about CBD oil. The reactions from doctors generally fell into 3 categories:
(1) Favorable. The majority of those who talked to their doctor about CBD oil said that their doctor was supportive, especially if it was already working for the patient. Several people even said that their doctor was the person who first recommended CBD oil to them.
(2) Neutral. Some members said their doctor offered no opinion either because they didn’t have enough knowledge about CBD oil or citing the limited amount of medical research to date.
(3) Unfavorable. In a few cases, members said their doctor discouraged the use of CBD oil products.
It’s normal to have some anxiety about having this discussion with your doctor, especially if you’re not sure what their reaction will be. But you may be happily surprised. Here are some tips for having a discussion with your doctor about CBD oil.
Tips for Preparing to Discuss CBD Oil With Your Doctor
Do your own research about CBD oil before having the discussion. Our educational articles answer many frequently asked questions for beginners and will give you a good base of knowledge. You may find out that you know more about CBD oil than your doctor.
Make a list of the points that you’d like to make and the questions that you want to ask your doctor. This will help ensure that you get the information that you’re looking for and get all of your questions answered by your doctor.
If you’ve already been using CBD oil products, make a list of the benefits and other effects based on your experiences. Your doctor will likely ask you about your experiences so far and this will help you fully explain that to him or her.
How to Start the Conversation with Your Doctor About CBD Oil
If you are unsure about what your doctor’s reaction will be, you can start the conversation with something along the lines of, I’ve been hearing success stories about CBD oil for conditions similar to mine…are you familiar with these products?
Your doctor’s response to that question will probably give you an idea right away about their openness to the discussion. If they have a favorable reaction, the conversation should flow easily from there. If neutral, it may be a good opportunity to tell the doctor about your experience. They may want to do some research of their own and talk about it with you during a future visit.
If the reaction is unfavorable, you’ll need to consider your next steps appropriately. Not many doctors are educated about CBD oil and some are understandably concerned about the lack of FDA regulation and the legal ambiguity in many states.
Hopefully your doctor will at least be open to hearing about your experiences and may come around to the idea after doing their own research.
Other Tips for Talking About CBD Oil with Your Doctor
Be open and honest. There can be some interactions with other medications and other potential implications of using CBD oil. So it’s important to pass along all pertinent information to your medical professional.
Start the conversation early. Talk to your doctor before you start using CBD oil products if possible, especially if you are under a pain management contract. There’s some risk of testing positive on a drug test with any CBD product, so this is an important conversation to have early.
Assure your doctor that you’ve done your homework and will only use CBD oil products from reputable brands that provide third party lab reports. Knowing that you’ve taken steps to ensure that you will use safe products may help your doctor warm up to the idea.
Understand that many doctors are just learning about CBD oil too. The medical community seems to be warming up to it but it’s still very much a work in progress. The American Medical Association has approved Alternate Health videos to inform doctors about CBD oil and the endocannabinoid system, which was discovered only a few decades ago, after many physicians had already received their licenses to practice.
If you have tried to discuss taking CBD oil with your doctor in the past and got a negative reaction, you can bring it up again. As laws change and organizations rethink previous policies, doctors may be much more willing to discuss its use.
Your doctor may ask you for good resources where they can learn more. A good resource for them is the World Health Organization’s 2017 report on cannabidiol. This report explains the science behind CBD and the endocannabinoid system and states clearly that it is completely safe. On page 17, it lists all the health problems that CBD can be effective in treating.
Talking to your doctor about CBD oil can be a scary proposition but it doesn’t have to be. Many people are surprised to learn that their doctor is interested in hearing about their experiences and supportive of a natural alternative to prescription medications.
Doing your own research beforehand and being open and honest during the discussion can help ensure that the conversation is productive and gets all of your questions answered.