Therapeutic potential for hemp is undeniable
The therapeutic potential for CBD and other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant is undeniable. Consumer demand for and usage of CBD products to support a variety of health concerns is skyrocketing and projected to keep growing.1
In tandem with increasing interest from patients, clinicians across a range of health professions are incorporating CBD products into their overall treatment programs. More and more are participating as they see the power of hemp to improve health outcomes of their patients.
Key questions that will lead you to the best results
As you include hemp products in your overall health care approach, ask yourself these six key questions to ensure you are well prepared to effectively meet patient needs:
1. Do I have background knowledge?
With less than 13% of medical schools teaching the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), there is a knowledge gap in the health professional community. Set yourself apart by increasing your understanding of the ECS and clinical applications of CBD products. Look to a trusted professional CBD brand that is dedicated to health care practitioners and provides practitioner education and ongoing guidance.
2. Am I recommending CBD products that were properly vetted for quality and safety?
Ensure that the products you are using are from a reputable source. With potency, purity and inaccurate labeling issues exposed in mass market brand hemp extracts [view JAMA Research Letter] and more recently in [FDA Report to Congress], it’s critical to select carefully and know and trust your supplier.
Very few CBD suppliers are actually manufacturing their own products – the marketplace is filled with middlemen. A reputable company will gladly provide documentation on their facility. Many claim that they “follow good manufacturing procedures (GMPs),” but the best will show you that they’ve actually been audited and certified for following GMPs.
3. Are the products I offer pure and free of contaminants? Are the CBD topical products I offer free of harmful ingredients?
Did you know that the hemp plant has been used as a phyto-remediator to leach contaminants from the soil? In fact, it was used following the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl to remove radioactive strontium and cesium. It’s very important that you know the products you recommend have been tested for a full range of potential contaminants. Ask to see this on third-party lab testing to ensure content levels that are well below the accepted safe limits.
It can also be surprising to learn that many cosmetics and other products in the market include known endocrine disruptors like phthalates and parabens along with other harmful ingredients. Part of responsibly recommending products to enhance your patients’ health is making sure they are “clean” and don’t contain unhealthy ingredients.
When choosing topical products, also consider that the skin’s protective barrier can make it challenging for the CBD to reach endocannabinoid system receptors in the deeper layers of the skin. Seek out topicals that provide natural penetration enhancers to help overcome this obstacle and improve effectiveness. For example, Squalane from sugarcane has been studied to significantly increase penetration of CBD.2
4. Am I recommending therapeutic, efficacious potencies?
Approximately 32% of people who’ve used CBD reported not finding it effective1. Many products in the market have potencies that are too low to provide the benefits patients seek. Add to that the vague product labeling that makes it challenging to understand how much CBD or other cannabinoids are actually in the product. Look for labels that are transparent, with full disclosure, and also verify potency claims on third-party lab testing. You want to offer your patients products in therapeutic potencies that maximize effectiveness and produce results.
5. Are my suppliers competing with me?
After you’ve taken the time to carefully research CBD products and counsel your patients, isn’t it frustrating when patients re-order from online sellers or buy in a retail store? Look for a CBD line that provides health practitioner exclusivity and loyalty so you can benefit from the repeat purchases.
6. Am I getting the support I need?
Does your supplier offer resources to help educate you and your patients, answer your questions and support your business? Look for a partner who provides a knowledgeable liaison, literature, samples, ongoing education, and even an online dispensary to help support and grow your practice.
As the demand for CBD products continues to grow, set yourself up with the knowledge, quality products and the support system to make a positive effect on the health of your patients as well as your practice.
- The 2020 CBD survey, SingleCare
- Penetration Study of CBD in in-vitro Skin Model