Should You Tell Your Doctor About CBD Use?

Forget apples, a drop (or maybe a few drops) of CBD a day can keep the doctor away. At least that’s what users of CBD say when they take cannabinoid to treat symptoms of inflammation, chronic pain, anxiety and many other ailments. 


Sometimes, however, medical treatment is needed, but a recent survey conducted by americanmarijuana.org showed that 31% of CBD users did not tell their doctors that they used the products. Despite the fact that many doctors now support the use of CBD to treat many types of conditions, many patients are hesitant to tell their doctor they have used CBD. Why?


The answer to that question is both simple and complex: the stigma. Because some CBD products are derived from the same plants that produce psychoactive marijuana containing THC, some patients are cautious about telling their medical providers about their CBD use because they are afraid of getting judged. Many in both the medical field as well as the cannabis industry are working hard to normalize the use of CBD products. 


Despite the fact that a stigma, or at least a fear of a stigma, still exists among the medical community regarding the use of over the counter CBD products, one fact remains indisputable: any CBD usage should be disclosed to your physician. The use of any product to treat either an acute or chronic medical condition should always be disclosed to your doctor. In addition, whether or not your provider condones CBD usage, there are a few important reasons why you should tell them of any cannabinoid product consumption. 

Your doctor should be made aware of any substances you are using


First, you may need much lower doses of prescription opioids to treat pain if you are using CBD products. In a survey conducted by AmericanMarijuana.org, as many as 97% of CBD users said that they were able to use fewer opioids to treat their pain. Because opioids have been proven to be highly addictive and somewhat dangerous to patients prescribed higher doses, it is important to let your doctor know if any pain can be managed with a lower dose of the medication.

 

Another reason you should absolutely let your physician know if you are self medicating with CBD is because you don’t want them to prescribe a medication that may be dangerous if used with cannabinoids. Many medications, both prescription and over the counter, can be dangerous when taken in unison. While it is rare for CBD to lead to adverse reactions in conjunction with other medicines, it is possible. Making your doctor aware of use of completely legal CBD products can allow them to make a fully informed decision about whether or not to prescribe a specific prescription drug.


The third reason consumers of CBD should notify their doctor about their usage is to help normalize consumption and in turn break the stigma that exists around many cannabis based products. If you are open with your doctor, and let them know the myriad of ways in which CBD has improved your health, they may better understand the positive results that can be achieved with use of CBD. Though CBD is legal, and marijuana is now legal in several states, many doctors still view it as a dangerous chemical. By helping your doctor to learn about the positive effects CBD has had on your health, without side effects, you may begin to change their mind about the effectiveness and safeness of the products and relieve some of the stigma that surrounds CBD within the medical community.


If you haven’t yet tried CBD, but are considering starting, you should certainly discuss that with your doctor prior to moving forward. While it is unlikely that you will have adverse health effects from CBD (as documented cases of negative health effects do not exist), it is still smart to consult your doctor before any changes to your health or wellness plan. In addition, your doctor may be able to help you determine the correct dosage of CBD which may be best to help with our specific health problems and body conditions (height, weight, muscle mass, etc.). 


The bottom line is that while the use of CBD has been shown to lead to improvements in symptoms related to inflammation, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, IBS, depression, anxiety and many more, it is essential that anyone interested in using CBD work with their physician. By combining CBD products with traditional medicine, chronic conditions can be alleviated, but only under the guidance of a doctor. Working together to formulate the best combination of treatments will ultimately lead to the best physical results.

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