Can – or should – cannabidiol (CBD) be used to treat depression? Is it safe to use? These are just a couple of the many questions your patients may have asked about CBD.

According to a recent Gallup poll, 1 in 7 American adults say they use CBD products. With its popularity apparent, we wanted to uncover if and how the phytocannabinoid is affecting your practice. To find out, we surveyed hundreds of healthcare practitioners (HCPs) across a variety of specialties including psychiatry, primary care, pain management, and neurology. Here are 6 things we learned.

1. Patients are asking about CBD.

More than 90% of HCPs received mentions or questions about CBD from their patients in the past month. Most clinicians (70%) received between 1 and 10 enquires, 18.1% received 11 to 20, and 5.2% received more than 20.

2. Patients are using CBD to treat medical conditions.

The vast majority (91.6%) of clinicians said a patient has mentioned using CBD to treat a medical condition in the past month. When asked how frequently this occurs, 73.4% of respondents answered between 1 and 10 times a month, and nearly 20% answered at least 11 times.

3. Patients are primarily concerned with whether or not CBD works.

Approximately two-thirds of responding HCPs said that patients most often ask about efficacy of CBD, followed by safety (19.3%) and legality (8.3%).

4. Clinicians feel they’re lacking critical information on the subject.

More than 75% of respondents answered “no” when asked if they feel equipped to answer their patients’ questions about CBD. An even greater percentage (86.2%) feel ill-equipped to speak about side effects and drug interactions.

5. Lack of clinical studies is a barrier.

An overwhelming majority of respondents (95.8%) say there is not enough evidence-based research on CBD available to them.

6. HCPs want to learn more, particularly about efficacy.

Nearly all responding clinicians expressed interest in receiving additional resources – such as similarities and differences to marijuana – to provide to their patients. Most (66.6%) respondents are first and foremost interested in learning about efficacy of CBD for specific disease states, followed by drug interactions (18.8%), dosage (9.2%), delivery formulations (3.5%), and concentrations (1.8%).

Takeaway

Clinicians want more information on CBD so they can better inform their patients. At Psychiatry Advisor and across the Haymarket Medical Network, we strive to provide current and comprehensive coverage of this important topic. The following represents a sampling of recent articles on CBD.  Stay tuned for more content that matters to your practice. 

Reference

Brenan M. 14% of Americans say they use CBD products. Gallup. August 7, 2019. Accessed October 31, 2019.