Written by: Dr. Diana Rangaves, Google Scholar, holds a Doctorate from the University of California, specializes in pharmacotherapy management, and founded ClinicalConsultantServices.com and DianaRangaves.com
Whether it’s in the form of capsules, edibles, tinctures, or topicals, many people are now looking towards CBD. It’s common to see numerous reviews from CBD users on social media; however, this may not the best or only avenue to rely on getting your CBD information.
Yes, their glowing skin, healthy looks, and inspirational stories might encourage us to click that order button right away, but it’s important to be mindful of the fact that this is still something that we’re putting inside our bodies. Consulting with a doctor before taking the plunge is a wise step and is always recommended if you are interested in introducing a new supplement to your regimen.
Do you know what questions to ask your doctor if you are curious about CBD use? Let’s take a look at some of the important topics to discuss.
How much CBD should I take?
One of the first questions you should ask your doctor is about the right dosage for you. There’s research to show that CBD might have therapeutic benefits, but scientists aren’t yet certain how much is needed to take to get the desired effects.
It’s evident that different people likely need different amounts of CBD to gain benefit from it. Speaking with your doctor who is familiar with your health status and family health history will be best equipped to provide some guidance.
As with most medications or supplements, it is always recommended to start off with a low dose and gradually increase over time, if needed, and if there is no presence of harmful side effects. Slowly increasing your dose is the best way to gauge how CBD is affecting your body. Some people may find that a small daily dose works well for their needs, while others may find that they need a larger amount.
What types of CBD should I try?
Another discussion to have with your doctor is about the type of CBD to try out. We’ve already mentioned that CBD comes in various forms: tinctures, oils, creams, capsules, but you can also find topicals, gummies, isolate powders, and several other ways to incorporate CBD into your daily routine. But do you know which one is best for you? How do you choose?
Again, your doctors’ answer will probably depend upon your individual needs. If you’re already taking a certain amount or type of prescription medication, your doctor might recommend a low dosage method. Or maybe you are someone who is not the biggest fan of swallowing pills, so a CBD gummy might be a better option.
Your doctor can guide you through using various forms of CBD depending on your goals. Are you struggling with feeling tired? Are you looking to provide direct relief your joints and muscles after strenuous daily activity? Understanding and verbalizing your goals will help your doctor provide the best recommendation for CBD use.
Can CBD replace my current medication?
There are a lot of opinions on the internet, and many folks even claim that the use of CBD has eliminated their need for any other prescription medication. But CBD is not a one size fits all supplement and may or may not be right for you.
Are you interested in CBD as a natural supplement to a medication you are already currently taking? Does your doctor see the potential benefits of switching to, or incorporating, CBD as a supplemental avenue for your current needs? Your doctor is there to help clarify any confusion you may have, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk through your options. Don't forget to ask about any possible drug interactions with current medications.
What conditions can CBD help me with?
If you are interested in CBD as a natural remedy, ask your doctor regarding your specific condition. CBD may not be an option for certain health issues and it’s best to consult with your medical professional before you decide to make any changes on your own.
One of the most popular reasons people turn to CBD is for reducing stress levels. We experience stress almost every single day. It could be due to a hectic routine at home, a demanding workplace, energetic young kids, or personal relationships issues. Historically, patients have been prescribed certain medications to help them take the edge off, which vary as both daily dose prescription drugs, such as Zoloft or Prozac, and specific use-case drugs, like Xanax or Valium. The side effects that may come along with the use of these medications can be harsh, and people are now more interested in ways to naturally find relief.
Other uses to ask about may include anti-aging effects, skin condition treatments, or gut health. Some say that CBD creams and serums might relieve acne, smooth wrinkles, and even regenerate damaged skin. Be prepared, as you might have to visit a dermatologist for these questions about CBD and skincare.
Finally, your gut health issues may also have an answer in CBD. Ask your regular doctor whether that insistent bloating, poor digestion, leaky gut, or other problems might eventually cease with the use of a more natural method.
What if CBD doesn’t work for me?
As much as we would love for there to be a "one size fits all" wellness regimen, the fact is that people are effected by medications and supplements differently. If you have started using CBD, but have not experienced the desired effects right away, there are a few things you may need to consider.
Double check the product's COA to ensure quality and potency. A study surveyed many CBD products and found that only 31% of them contained the advertised amount.
CBD takes to time to take effect. It is recommended to start with low doses and increase over time to find your optimal dose strength. Still not working after a few months? Maybe you need to talk to your doctor about changing your method of delivery. For example, switching from a gummy or capsule to an oil, allowing for increased bioavailability.
Maybe CBD just isn't right for you. Again, not everyone is effected by supplements the same way. Your absorption and reaction can vary based on your metabolism, genetics or biochemistry.
Shake those nerves, ask the questions
Many folks get nervous before they visit a doctor in any case. If you’re going to them to ask about CBD, you may also fear being judged. More often than not, though, people are afraid of consulting their doctor due to the fear of the unknown.
You can try overcoming your hesitation by researching CBD before the consultation day arrives. This will relax your mind and also equip you to ask better questions. Book that appointment now and get ready to ask away!