How to Talk to Your Doctor About CBD Oil
Talking to your doctor about using CBD oil doesn’t have to be difficult—your health is their only concern.
Written by Cathy Rozyczko
Edited by Jason Brett on
September 27, 2021
As cannabis legalization spreads, more and more people are considering cannabis products and wondering how to talk to their doctor about CBD oil.
Early research has shown that cannabidiol (CBD) can be beneficial to a healthy lifestyle when used as a supplement, and even serve as a possible alternative to traditional medications for a range of ailments.
However, talking to your doctor about CBD oil can be an intimidating task for a variety of reasons. What questions should you ask? Is there a stigma attached to using CBD oil instead of traditional medicine? Is it even legal to use in your state?
You know CBD oil might be able to help you, and you’d like to explore using it, but how do you actually talk to your doctor about it?
Here is a short list of dos and don’ts that will help you figure out how to talk to your doctor about using CBD oil.
Do Check the Legal Status of CBD Oil in Your State
It is important to be aware of your rights and responsibilities before you talk to your doctor about CBD oil. This will allow you to understand what your doctor can and cannot help with in terms of giving advice or recommending CBD oil.
While CBD oil is legal in the vast majority of states, there are still some exceptions. If you live in Idaho, Nebraska or South Dakota, you’ll find that CBD oil is illegal and cannot be prescribed. All other states allow the use of CBD oil to some extent but may have restrictions in place regarding its distribution or contents.
To find out the legal status and rules around CBD oil in your state of residence, head over to our guide: Is CBD Oil Legal in My State?
Don’t Worry About the Stigma
If CBD oil could improve your mental or physical well-being, there’s no better time to start using it than now. People have known about the benefits of CBD oil for some time, but are hesitant to discuss CBD with their doctors because of the stigma and misinformation that have surrounded cannabis and cannabis-derived products for years.
The stigma that once surrounded cannabis derivatives is disappearing and using cannabis products for health reasons is no longer taboo in a majority of medical practices. This is particularly true when it comes to the use of CBD oil. Because CBD oil is a non-intoxicating substance, your health care professional should know using cannabinoids like CBD has nothing to do with getting high. In fact, the potential for CBD oil to positively affect one’s health and even help treat certain conditions has opened up an exciting field of medical research that it is releasing fascinating findings on a regular basis.
Remember, your doctor is there to help you. Their main priority is to provide you with advice and direction so you leave their office a happier and healthier patient—their job is not to judge you.
Don’t spend another day suffering in silence when CBD oil may be a treatment option that could help you. As the misinformation around CBD oil continues to disappear, you should feel more confident than ever about talking to your doctor about using CBD oil.
Do Prepare in Advance
In general, physicians are under strict time constraints. They have several patients, each with their own health risks and concerns. Before you speak to your doctor about CBD oil, make sure you know what you are going to ask and say.
Make note of the symptoms you are struggling with and how they impact your daily life. This will help your doctor get an overview of your conditions while highlighting the issues that concern you the most.
Take some time to conduct your own research before arriving at your appointment. This might include reading up on how CBD affects the body and perusing different forums to learn how others have used CBD oil to treat their symptoms. Not only will this show your doctor that you’re taking this decision seriously, but it also will allow you to properly discuss how you think CBD oil might benefit you specifically.
If you have any questions about CBD oil and your particular condition, consider writing them down so you’re prepared to get the answers you need before embarking upon any treatment. Having your questions written down will ensure you leave no stone unturned when discussing CBD oil with your doctor.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for What You Need
If you’re nervous about talking to your doctor about CBD oil, it may also be worthwhile to carefully consider how you will broach the subject. Practice bringing it up and plan what you’ll say. While this may be an unnecessary step for some patients, for others it can start the appointment off on the right foot.
For example, you might start with, “I’m here today to discuss using CBD oil to manage my health condition.” Being clear and to the point will ensure there is no confusion between you and your doctor.
Once the conversation has started, remember the research you did and the symptoms you are most concerned about. It’s incredibly common for patients to defer to their doctors judgement when it comes to their own health, but remember that you are the only person who can decide whether your current treatment plan is working or not. While the advice of medical professionals should always be taken into account, it’s important to be open, honest, and direct about what treatment you feel would benefit you and how you would like to be supported in that.
Because CBD oil is relatively new to Western medicine, it’s unlikely to be your doctor’s first suggestion as a treatment. If you find yourself being persuaded toward pharmaceutical options and that is not your preference, speak up and be clear with your doctor that you are looking for more natural solutions. You might even discuss how the two options could be combined for best effect.
It might feel intimidating to counter your doctor’s opinions and recommendations, but at the end of the day, it’s your body and your health. Only you can decide which treatment option to pursue, and your doctor should be there to support you.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Second Opinion
As with any medical advance, there’s going to be a small proportion of health care professionals who have not kept up to date with the research. If you find your doctor isn’t aware of the benefits of CBD oil that have been published in medical journals, you may find that they are unable to support you in receiving treatment.
If this is the case do not give up, a second opinion may be needed. Another doctor or health care provider may have more knowledge and be able to help. Depending on where you live, you may even find a specialist cannabis doctor. These doctors have a wealth of knowledge and can advise on CBD oil’s possible drug interactions, recommended dosage, and impact on certain medical conditions.
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