By Cathy J Leer, PT, MBA
First and foremost, don’t be afraid! In most states, the use of CBD (cannabidiol) is legal, so you aren’t doing anything wrong. Second, if you are thinking of using CBD and you are currently on prescription medications, it is vital that you talk to your medical provider about possible drug interactions. Finally, your medical professional is there to help you make informed choices for your healthcare. They aren’t there to judge you, so if this is the case, don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion.
So where do you begin? It’s important to be as knowledgeable as possible when entering into the conversation. Make a list of your symptoms. Identify the most crucial one(s) that you are interested in dealing with. There are numerous articles on the effect of CBD on particular symptoms and ailments, so do your own research in advance based upon your priorities.
Remember that appointments are limited in duration, so write down your questions and concerns so that you are clear in your objectives and don’t run out of time. When talking with your medical professional be open and honest. Don’t be afraid to ask them how knowledgeable they are on the subject, and if they aren’t, perhaps someone else in the practice is. If they are, then tell them what your primary symptoms and concerns are, and how the symptoms are affecting your daily life. If they know what your goals are and why it is important for you to address them then they can be your advocate and advisor.
Because the industry has grown so rapidly, the regulations that are currently in place are not good. This is another reason for being open and honest, especially when you are thinking of CBD as a possible supplement to your current healthcare regimen, or as an alternative to your current traditional medical care. This is especially important when you are taking prescription medications.
Although CBD is a natural substance, there are a number of drugs that have unsafe interactions when used in combination with CBD. If you are afraid to talk with your primary care provider (PCP), you may be putting yourself at risk. Further, if you are considering the use of CBD in place of a current pharmaceutical, you need to know the safest means of stopping that prescription medication. In some instances, stopping cold turkey may result in unwanted side effects and you may need to be on a tapered dose over a period of time. Your primary care provider (PCP) is the best person to help you with this.
The bottom line is that you want an open and trusting relationship with your medical providers. If they aren’t aware of your symptoms and concerns, or what other supplements or alternative medicine techniques or products are that you may be using, they are at a distinct disadvantage. They can’t help you navigate your healthcare needs in the safest and most effective means possible without knowing the full details. So, go on out there and start a conversation. CBD is legal, non-intoxicating, and not addictive, BUT it can interact with some medications, so be careful, be informed, and trust your medical provider to help you along the way.