Can I Get a Prescription for CBD?

Demand for CBD products is high, but medical evidence backing the use of CBD is thought by many to be seriously lacking. For healthcare professionals these days, it seems like just about every patient and customer at the pharmacy counter has questions about the same thing: CBD. As with any other medication, doctors are required to have expertise and experience to authorize the use of CBD for patients. So what does this mean for getting a prescription for CBD?

If you suffer from a chronic medical condition and haven’t found adequate relief from pain or other symptoms using traditional medication, you may be considering the use of medical cannabis, or more specifically CBD, as part of your treatment strategy.

An increasing number of states (currently 31 states and the District of Columbia) have approved the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes to treat an array of chronic and serious medical needs from nerve pain to anxiety and nausea. Keep in mind that the conditions which qualify for cannabis use vary from state to state.

If you’re wondering whether you can get a prescription for CBD, there are a number of different factors in place. The two key factors are; the state that you reside in, as well as the condition you suffer from. Let’s take a closer look.

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Is CBD Legal in Your State?

An increasing number of states are starting to legalize medical or recreational marijuana, but laws differ from state to state. Specific legislation relating to hemp, marijuana, and CBD, is in constant flux.

As of December 2018, CBD has been legalized nationwide, on a federal level. While this seems straightforward enough, the legality of CBD in your state is likely to be a lot more complex. It depends on the state you live in and whether the CBD is sourced from marijuana or industrial hemp. Only hemp-derived CBD is legal.

While many CBD products are sourced from hemp, they are also often sourced from marijuana, which contains THC. Currently, recreational marijuana is only legal in ten states, plus Washington, D.C. Unless you live in one of those states, you will need to get a prescription for CBD that is sourced from marijuana, or rather, a physician’s recommendation.

Can I Get a Prescription for CBD?

You don’t need – and in fact, cannot get – a prescription for CBD, but you will require a physician’s recommendation if you would like to purchase marijuana-derived CBD in states where recreational marijuana is not legal.

If you are an appropriate candidate for medical cannabis (or CBD) treatment, your physician can provide a medical marijuana recommendation that can be used in your state. Since cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug, doctors cannot formally prescribe it. Rather, they can recommend usage.

A physician’s recommendation is required to purchase CBD at medical marijuana dispensaries. You may also want to use that recommendation to apply for a formal medical marijuana card. This will allow you to be a registered medical marijuana user in your state. In many states the card is optional, but you will need to check up on the laws in your specific state.

One of the key benefits of having a medical marijuana card is to offer protection in the event that you need to prove to law enforcement that you qualify for the medical use of marijuana. Law enforcement may ignore the physician’s letter, but the card is an official state document that can help you to avoid unnecessary hassle.

Cannabis and CBD Laws Vary from State to State

As we have already mentioned, the question of whether you can get a prescription for CBD, or rather a recommendation, is not that straight forward. Different states have different laws in place and different qualifying conditions, and this will determine your ability to get a prescription for CBD.

As of 2019, there are ten U.S states where cannabis (including hemp and marijuana) and therefore CBD, is legal for both medicinal and recreational use. This means that in most cases it probably wouldn’t even be worth the effort of getting a prescription for CBD – since you can use it legally recreationally anyway.

A total of 47 states have legalized marijuana-derived CBD for medicinal purposes only. The qualifying conditions may vary from state to state. Some states are fairly liberal about the medical use of CBD while others permit its use only under highly specific circumstances – like an approved medical diagnosis.

There are three states that have taken a strong stance against marijuana-derived CBD. These are: Nebraska, Idaho, and South Dakota. In these states, even hemp-derived CBD is in a legal grey-area. Unfortunately, if you live in one of these states, there is no chance of you getting a prescription for CBD.

What if Your Doctor Doesn’t Recommend Medical Marijuana for You?

If your doctor doesn’t recommend medical marijuana (and thus CBD)/offer a prescription, it’s still possible to find another doctor who specialized in this treatment.

If your condition qualifies you to use medical marijuana in your state and there are no contradictions that make use risky, but your primary doctor isn’t comfortable making a CBD recommendation, ask them for a referral to another clinician.

You can also track down medical marijuana practitioners online through resources such as the Medical Marijuana Association.

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Final Thoughts on Getting a Prescription for CBD

Medical marijuana, and thus marijuana-derived CBD, is only legally available in states that have established medical marijuana programs. In these states, you are required to get a physician’s recommendation, which is kind of like a prescription for CBD, to access medical marijuana.

The conditions and ailments that are approved for medical marijuana treatment vary, which means that you will need to determine whether your condition is included on your state’s list of qualifying conditions. Essentially, yes you are able to get a prescription for CBD, or rather a recommendation for CBD, in certain states and if you suffer from a specific medical condition.

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