Questions to Ask Your Doctor About CBD

By Harris Wheless
Girl With Red Hat, Unsplash

The potential therapeutic benefit of CBD, or cannabidiol, has led many people to use hemp extracts as a way to alleviate symptoms or manage specific ailments. But when it comes to CBD, it’s important to be cautious about how much you take if using it alongside an existing medication. For those with more serious medical conditions, it may be helpful to reach out to your physician before taking CBD as a wellness supplement.

The majority of the benefits of CBD come from personal accounts and anecdotal evidence. Because of this, CBD is not as well understood within the medical community considering the lack of clinical research on the subject. This may mean that your doctor can only offer general suggestions rather than a full explanation, but it never hurts to get a professional opinion from someone who understands your medical history.

Here are some questions you can ask your doctor about CBD, as well as our answers so you can go into the conversation with a more informed perspective.

1. What is CBD good for?

There’s been a lot of talk recently about CBD as an effective natural remedy for certain ailments. CBD products may offer relief from symptoms such as anxiety, inflammation, joint pain, and insomnia. Keep in mind that CBD has not been approved by the FDA to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It just has the potential to make you feel a little better.

2. Will CBD interact with any current medications?

In general, CBD when taken by itself has minimal side effects, with the most common being a bit of drowsiness after taking too large a dose. However, if taken alongside an existing medication, other side effects may occur. This can be prevented by discussing potential drug interactions with your doctor, which can help you ensure that you’re finding ways to alleviate your symptoms in the safest way.

3. Have you heard anything about the use of CBD for my condition?

If the physician you’re consulting has had another patient with your symptoms who’s tried CBD or has researched the subject, he or she might be able to give you an idea of what you may experience when taking it. Of course, that patient’s experience with CBD certainly won’t determine your own. Every person’s body reacts differently, so it’s a good idea for you and your doctor to discuss your individual needs and how they can be met.

4. Is there a dosage that you would recommend?

Most CBD products have a number on the front measured in milligrams. This is the amount of CBD in the product, otherwise known as the concentration. There might also be a suggested dose—for instance, CBD oil is often taken as one milliliter. But every person’s body won’t react the same way. Your dosage and concentration should be determined by your condition, as well as other factors like age, weight, and metabolism. If you have a chronic or more serious medical condition, you might need a higher dosage, whereas someone with anxiety might take small doses consistently throughout the day. And with dosage, it’s better to start small and work your way up until you hit your individual sweet spot.

5. What’s the best way to use CBD?

CBD products come in many forms, and can be taken into the body using a variety of methods. Types of products include vapes, gummies, capsules, balm, and oil, which take effect at various speeds and last different lengths of time. As far as application methods go, inhalation is the fastest, then sublingual, which takes a few minutes longer. Ingestibles like edibles or capsules work more slowly because they have to go through the digestive tract. So, if you have chronic pain and need immediate relief, a vape or an oil might be the right product for you.

6. Which is better: CBD isolate or full-spectrum?

As you may know, CBD products can be classified based on what compounds are present in them. CBD isolate only contains CBD, whereas full-spectrum products consist of several other compounds that exist in hemp, including a range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and trace amounts of THC. Broad-spectrum products have all the compounds that full-spectrum products do, without the THC. Some experts believe that the “entourage effect” allows multiple plant compounds to work together and yield better symptomatic relief. Because of this, full-spectrum might be the way to go if whole plant therapy appeals to you. However, because full-spectrum products contain THC, those concerned about drug screenings may want to give isolate or broad-spectrum products a try instead.

7. Should I use CBD daily or once every so often?

Like your dosage, the number of times you take CBD in a day depends on the symptoms you’re seeking relief from, as well as your body’s response to the product. For those with chronic pain who want something to work instantaneously, it could be beneficial to take CBD whenever you’re feeling pain. If you’re taking it for insomnia, you might just take a dose before bed, and if you’ve got anxiety, you might want to take consistent doses throughout the day.

Why Should I Ask My Doctor?

There is no shortage of questions to be had about CBD and how it interacts with the human body. And it’s great to ask those questions and begin building a perspective on how CBD might work for you. If you’ve done the proper research, you’ll be able to have a smart, open dialogue with your doctor concerning the ways CBD may help you. Keep these questions in mind if you go in for a visit, and don’t be discouraged if your doctor isn’t able to give you the comprehensive guidance you may be looking for. You can always consult multiple people, and you may be able to find a medical professional with expertise on CBD who can give you more concrete advice. It’s always a good idea to ask questions of yourself and others, consider all your options, and proceed with caution so that you’re able to have a positive experience with CBD.

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