Health stores sell certain types of “pure CBD”. However, there’s no guarantee these products will be of good quality.
CBD can also affect how your liver works, so doctors would need to monitor you regularly.
Very few people in England are likely to get a prescription for medical cannabis.
If you experience any side effects from medical cannabis, report these to your medical team. You can also report them through the Yellow Card Scheme.
What are the side effects?
CBD is a chemical substance found in cannabis that has medical benefits.
But while cannabidiol doesn't have the psychoactive effects of THC, there are four categories of people who are particularly advised to exercise caution with the use of cannabis, she said: those with ongoing chest conditions like asthma, if using an inhaled cannabis product; people who are pregnant; people with ongoing mental health conditions, or the propensity for them; and those with addictions, or the propensity for them.
"The college's stance is the same as the other colleges right cross the country," she said.
CBD or cannabidiol is, like THC, a cannabinoid, which is a naturally occurring compound in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD doesn't make you high, but many people have reported anecdotally that using high-CBD cannabis or CBD extracts has helped them with everything from anxiety to pain relief.
Even if they feel qualified to suggest CBD, doctors must ensure conventional therapies have been tried and assess for addiction risk before authorizing a treatment that lacks clinical backing.
Lack of research so far
"We are cautioning patients and physicians who choose to either authorize use of these products, or patients who choose to use them, to be very, very cautious and careful until the evidence is in of what the short-term and long-term benefits might be for these products, and what the short-term and long-term disadvantages might be."
"That's what we hold our physicians accountable to in the interim until we find out exactly what we're dealing with, and it's what our patients should expect," Inkpen told CBC Radio's On The Go.
Right now, there just isn't enough information on those potential harms and benefits, Inkpen said. Research has been limited on cannabidiol because of the legal issues around the cannabis plant, especially in the U.S.
Lack of medical evidence supporting CBD means doctors aren't going to suggest it, says Dr. Linda Inkpen
Additionally, people who are using over-the-counter products, including cannabis, should make their physician or nurse practitioner aware in case of any potential reactions with prescribed treatments, she said.
CBD is sold via the recreational cannabis market, but those retailers are prohibited by law from making health claims or providing medical advice about cannabis products. Some patients have looked to their physicians and the medical cannabis market, but they are unlikely to have CBD prescribed via that route, Inkpen said.