When many people are deciding to try CBD or not for the first time, they are unsure about whether they should involve their doctor. They are maybe uneasy about discussing something that is broadly related to marijuana, embarrassed for bringing up a non-conventional treatment suggestion, or they just don’t know what to say.
We think it’s a great idea to include your doctor in any discussions concerning your general health or specific health issues. At the end of the day, their job is to help you make the best health decisions possible, not dictate courses of action that you have to take. You should feel comfortable bringing up any health topic with them, including consuming CBD products. Whether they have a lot of knowledge about CBD or not, or whether they are receptive to the idea of you taking it or not, will vary from doctor to doctor.
Here are some things you should remember when discussing CBD with your doctor.
CBD Has No Known Serious Side Effects
The most important thing to remember when you’re thinking about trying CBD is that it does not have any known serious side effects. It is not intoxicating, and no negative long term effects have been observed so far. CBD works subtly. Instead of numbing your body to the feelings of pain, inflammation, stress, or anxiety, it stimulates changes that bring your bodily systems back into balance. In other words, it works by solving the root of the problem, not covering it up, meaning it has less immediate effect on your body than opioids or stimulants.
For some people, potential short term side effects of CBD may include:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Light headedness
If they do occur, most of the mild side effects listed above are simply the result of incorrect dosage. You should always keep in mind when trying CBD for the first time or when trying out a new product or consumption method that it is best to “start low and go slow”. CBD dosage is highly personalized, and what works for someone else may not work for you.
You can always ask your doctor to see if they have any input on CBD dosage, but keep in mind that they may not be familiar with CBD products or how much you should take.
Your Doctor May Not Know Much about CBD
Although it’s advancing rapidly in popularity and clinical study, CBD is still not quite a conventional form of healthcare treatment. For that reason, your doctor may not be well versed in its uses, effects, or history, or in the endocannabinoid system itself. So when you go to your doctor to ask them about trying CBD, you should be prepared for them either saying they aren’t sure, or even them being hesitant because they don’t want to recommend something they are not very familiar with.
The best thing you can do is ask your doctor what they think and see what they say. With the growing use of CBD products, you may be surprised that they are more knowledgeable and positive about you trying it than you may have thought.
Do Your Research and Know Your Stuff
I know most doctors probably don’t enjoy their patients coming in and spouting off a bunch of medical information that they found on the internet. With that said however, it will help your conversation with your doctor if you have put in some work to understand CBD, how it works, and what you want to use it for.
For example, if you want to try CBD to relieve chronic joint pain, then have some specific information ready for that conversation. Start with telling your doctor about your condition, and possibly why conventional medications aren’t producing the results you want. Prescription opioids and anti-inflammatory drugs can be pretty harsh on the body and produce some serious side effects. Tell them you’re interested in trying something else and have looked into CBD as a possible alternative.
Do enough research to understand how CBD may help your condition and write down any questions you have for your doctor beforehand. Doing so will show them that you are serious about giving CBD a try and they will take it more seriously as a result. You don’t need to throw a bunch of studies or research in their face; just tell them you’ve looked into CBD for your condition and wanted to hear their thoughts on it.
Don’t Hesitate to Find a Second Opinion
Liked we’ve mentioned, many doctors are not the most knowledgeable about CBD products or their benefits and effects. If you feel your doctor does not know enough about it to give a useful recommendation, then try getting a second opinion. Do some more research to find a doctor that is known for recommending CBD or at least known for having knowledge about it.
You want someone who can look at your body and health needs and give you an honest, informed opinion as to whether CBD is the best thing for you. If a doctor’s recommendation is important to you, then you shouldn’t stop until you get that.
Your Health Is Ultimately Your Responsibility
At the end of the day, what you do for your health is up to you. Doctors are extremely knowledgeable about the human body and what it needs, and your personal doctor should be very knowledgeable about your specific situation. However, they aren’t you. They don’t live in your body and they don’t know absolutely everything about what you need. It’s your responsibility to take the necessary actions that make you feel better, energized, and heathy.
Is it good to have a doctor behind you on your CBD journey? Yes. It is great to have a professional that can monitor your health conditions as you take CBD to track any changes, help you determine dosage, and let you know if it may interact with any other medications you’re consuming. But if you can’t find a doctor that will work with you and take the journey with you, then that shouldn’t deter you from trying CBD.
CBD and Blood Thinners
If you're on certain blood thinning medications, then it is especially important that you talk to your doctor before trying CBD. Taking CBD could increase the amount of these medications available in the blood stream, meaning that the prescribed dosage may need to be altered if you're consuming cannabidiol.
Here is more information on what we know about CBD and blood thinners.
Be Smart with CBD
Whether you have your doctor helping you or not, if you decide to move forward with CBD, then it’s important to do it right. You should only consume products that are tested and verified to be high quality. Use products that are rigorously tested by third parties.
At Urban Roots for example, our products are tested multiple times. We have an initial test by the extraction supplier, raw CBD tested by us, and a final test on individual products by a third party lab. Every lab has an acceptable %error, typically +/- 5%, which gives them a 10% accuracy window. This 10% accuracy window is taken in account when we make our products, however this can cause a difficulty in perfect dosing. The reason we get products tested again after they are made is to ensure we fall within appropriate range.
Put simply, if you think CBD may help your health, then do your research and ask your doctor about it. If your doctor isn’t well informed, then take further steps to inform yourself, whether through additional research or a second opinion. Once you decide CBD is right for you, find a reputable company that uses third party lab testing. Then start with a low dosage, monitor how you feel, and slowly increase it if necessary.
If you have any questions about CBD or our products, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Urban Roots Hemp Co. team!