Survey: Health Practitioners Reluctant to Discuss Use of CBD with Their Patients

Eau Claire, WI: Primary health care providers are hesitant to speak with their patients about the use of CBD products, and many doctors say that they lack adequate knowledge about the products’ use, safety, and efficacy, according to a pair of recently published studies.

In the first study, researchers surveyed the attitudes of 236 health care providers. Respondents acknowledged that their patients “frequently” asked them questions about the use of CBD, but they admitted that they were “generally hesitant” to discuss the issue. Respondents said that they lacked sufficient training about the use of CBD, and most opposed the notion of recommending CBD products to their patients. 

In the second study, researchers surveyed a more limited number of providers. Similar to the results of the prior study, respondents acknowledged “rarely [having] initiated discussions about CBD with their patients and their families and commonly described feeling uncomfortable having these discussions.” Respondents further acknowledged that they lacked “specific data and talking points [about CBD] with which to inform their patients.”

The study’s authors concluded, “Given the rising use of CBD among patients and the potential impacts of this use, strategies to expand training and knowledge dissemination opportunities and facilitate communication are warranted.”

Nursespharmacistsclinicians, and other health care practitioners frequently admit that they are inadequately trained in matters specific to medical cannabis. Survey data published in 2020 reported that fewer than one-in-five patients believe that their primary care providers are sufficiently knowledgeable about cannabis-specific health-related issues.

Survey data compiled by the Grocery Manufacturers Association reports that more than one-third of US adults acknowledge having purchased CBD.

The first study, “Differences in cannabidiol-related attitudes and practice behaviors between US primary care physicians practicing in a single health care system across states with and without marijuana legalization,” appears in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. The second study, “Primary care provider attitudes, experiences and practices about cannabidiol and barriers to patient-provider communication about CBD use: A qualitative study,” appears in the journal PEC Innovation.