Many people are now taking CBD to help reach optimum health and wellness. But can your doctor provide you with advice about the benefits and uses of CBD? Let’s explore the reasons your primary care doctor may not be the best source of information on how CBD might benefit you.
Misinformation on CBD
Until very recently, the most well-known compound associated with the cannabis plant was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which is responsible for the “high” or euphoric feeling associated with marijuana use. CBD is one of the many other compounds found in both marijuana and hemp plants, and has no psychoactive effects.
However, CBD still has some stigma with some physicians due to its association with cannabis.
In fact, most CBD used therapeutically is derived from the hemp plant. Though hemp and marijuana both come from the cannabis sativa plant, they are very different. Most mainstream physicians receive no training on the difference between these two plants and may actually have misinformation about their distinction.
In June 2018, the FDA approved the use of CBD to treat two types of epilepsy, stating, “This product approval demonstrates that advancing sound scientific research to investigate ingredients derived from marijuana can lead to important therapies. This new treatment provides new options for patients.”
However, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb pointed out that while this is a significant advancement, the FDA is not approving marijuana or CBD as a treatment for any other ailments or diseases. While dozens of recent peer-reviewed studies demonstrate CBD’s potential to aid with a wide variety of health issues, your doctor may be hesitant to recommend CBD with this still-limited FDA approval.
Legality Still Unclear to Many Doctors
The Drug Enforcement Agency and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have recently mentioned that they may begin cracking down on marijuana and hemp, but federal legislation has continued to protect the marijuana and hemp industries. Still, the legality of marijuana, CBD, and hemp products tends to change rapidly and often varies from state to state, which may leave many doctors wondering whether they are allowed to recommend CBD products to their patients or whether these products are even available in their state.
The legality of CBD depends on whether the CBD is from marijuana or hemp. Hemp-derived CBD contains less than 0.3 percent THC, whereas most marijuana-derived CBD contains above 0.3 percent up to 15-30 percent. There are some producers of CBD products that contain zero percent THC. The US government, which specifies which parts of cannabis plants are prohibited, excludes hemp’s “mature stalks” and “oil or cake made from the seeds” and “sterilized seeds” from its definition of “marihuana.”
The Agricultural Act of 2014 made all products derived from industrial hemp and grown outside the United States legal to purchase and sell, which means CBD oil derived from hemp is legal in all 50 states when it is sold as a dietary supplement. This is why it’s important to understand where your CBD is sourced. We recommend you choose your products from a trusted company with clear information on the source of their CBD.