5 Top Tips To Help Your Doctor Prescribe CBD Oil in NZ

Many of our patients tell us they have had their doctor refuse outright to prescribe CBD oil, stating that medicinal cannabis does not work. In this article, I want to show you how to ask for a CBD oil prescription from your doctor to give you the best chance of success. And, what to do if they refuse to prescribe.

Can My Doctor Prescribe CBD Oil?

Yes, your doctor can prescribe CBD oil in New Zealand.

In fact, any registered doctor in New Zealand can prescribe CBD oil for you. The difficult part is finding someone knowledgable and experienced enough to help you get the right product (at the right price), and adjust your dosing and treatment plan as required.

In my experience, getting a prescription is only half the problem solved. Quite commonly, we have patients who previously have had the wrong products prescribed and at the wrong doses. Then people wonder why it isn’t working!

NZ has a small range of products currently that have been quality approved by the Ministry of Health. When it comes to understanding CBD oil, there are many types you may find online – such as full spectrum oils, broad spectrum products, isolates, inhaled products and even gummies and creams. Which one will work best for you? It is important that you only use medical grade products for your health requirements.

Our experienced doctors can help with any questions you might have. You can make a booking here.

doctors who prescribe cbd oil nz
Book a consultation with one of our specialist medical practitioners at the Cannabis Clinic.

How Should I Approach Talking With My Doctor About CBD Oil?

Speaking to your doctor is a great idea. However, in our experience, their response could go either way!

For your GP appointment, I recommend that you follow my five tips below to help. Remember, your doctor is short on time and any help you can provide beforehand will make their job much easier.

1. Email your GP first

Yes, you can give your doctor a heads up before your appointment. I always find it very helpful to know what an appointment is about beforehand. It gives time to prepare and gather thoughts.

I suggest you email your GP beforehand and tell them that your intentions. This will give them a chance to make up their mind about it. Otherwise, if you put them on the spot, they will be naturally more inclined to refuse.

At the end of the day, you are asking them to make a legal prescription which they are legally liable.

If your GP is outright against it, at least you will know beforehand, before wasting your time and money in the consultation.

2. Book a double appointment

The most challenging part of your doctor’s job is time management. Help them help you by paying a little bit extra to make the appointment twice as long. This will make your doctor more relaxed and less rushed in the consultation. Being more relaxed will help them consider the topic in greater detail.

They will also likely not know much about CBD oil and medicinal cannabis in general so will need to invest some time reading up about it, as well as finding out about the legal situation in New Zealand.

3. Bring written information to support your request

If you are the only source of information about CBD oil, your doctor will likely struggle to issue you a prescription. Bring written material from reputable sources to support your case. There are many resources available online.

The Cannabis Clinic has it’s own version of a medicinal cannabis pack you can take to your GP. This is our favourite means as it is written specifically for doctors in New Zealand. It tells them exactly what they need to know about prescribing CBD oil to you. It describes the interactions and important medical information your GP will be looking for.

How to Ask Your Doctor For CBD Oil - CBD Prescription Guide
Download, print, and take our free GP pack to your consultation

You can also check the Bpac guide to Medicinal Cannabis oil. It is useful, but unfortunately, it is outdated and lacks sufficient detail.

4. Understand that CBD oil is an unapproved medicine

One issue which may concern your GP about prescribing CBD oil for you is that it is an unapproved medicine. This basically means that, whilst legal, there is no proven research yet which confirms that CBD oil is a treatment for any particular health condition.

To give you an example of an approved medicine, it is well known that the medicine called Cilazapril is used to lower blood pressure. It is approved for that condition.

This is relevant to you because it means that, to make your prescription fully legal, you need to sign an informed consent form stating that you are aware of this.

Make sure you take a copy of the informed consent form here when you have your consultation.

5. Help your doctor

Even if your doctor is happy to prescribe CBD oil for you, they may not know about the products and or what to write on the prescription.

My suggestion is bring the information with you to your appointment. Alternatively, you can get them to contact us.

My GP Refuses to Prescribe CBD Oil. What Should I Do?

I know how frustrating that can be! You know CBD oil may possibly offer you some health benefit and relief but your doctor just refuses, saying it is not proven, or that he/she is uncomfortable with it.

Unfortunately, this is a question we get asked too often. You may find that your doctor or specialist has a strong stance against CBD oil in general. If you have done the above steps, there is not much you can do. But you still have options.

Try the following steps:

1. Talk to your specialist

If your condition involves hospital-based specialists, email them to ask if they would consider prescribing you CBD oil. You may find you get a totally different opinion or response! Every doctor’s opinion and perception are different, and while some aren’t doctors that prescribe CBD oil, others are would be happy to!

2. Consult a second GP

If your clinic has multiple GP’s, ask if you can talk to the other doctors to see if they would have a different opinion about it. You may be surprised and find a doctor who prescribes CBD oil in NZ.

3. Change GPs

This is not an ideal situation for you but if you are desperate to try cannabis oil then changing to a GP who you know beforehand is open minded about it may be a sensible solution.

If you plan to do that, I strongly encourage you to inform your GP so that they are aware. This alone may change their mind about prescribing CBD to you when they see how determined you are on finding a doctor who would prescribe CBD oil.

4. Consult with the Cannabis Clinic

We exist to help those patients who have chronic and debilitating conditions, and whose previous treatments have not been effective. You are always welcome to consult with one of our doctors at the clinic to get advice about medicinal cannabis and find out if using such products may be suitable for you.

Our prices start at $99 sand there is no need to pay for double appointments when you can get it all done under one roof.

We employ open minded and experienced CBD doctors who can consider to prescribe CBD oil and can help you through such a decision. So no matter where in NZ you live, simply book your appointment at a suitable time for you.

Why Is My GP Reluctant to Prescribe CBD Oil?

That is a very good question and there are many reasons why that is.

Lack of education

For most doctors, they are simply not experienced in the field and have not had the right training. With CBD oil and medicinal cannabis being prescription medication, it puts a legal commitment that the prescriber must know what he or she is giving their patient.

Medicinal cannabis is a new and emerging field of medicine and training through medical schools is not yet established. A recent survey of doctors found that only 10% of GP’s prescribed CBD oil when asked.

Lack of evidence

Many doctors refer to a lack of evidence as a reason for not prescribing CBD oil.

The research behind CBD oil is again an emerging field. While it is not conclusive, it does show signs towards the right direction.

This alone should not be a reason in my opinion to stop a doctor prescribing a very safe and well tolerated medicine. If CBD oil is not going to harm a persons health, what is the harm in trying it? It might just give you the health benefit you are looking for!

Discomfort with plant based medicines

As doctors we are trained to prescribe pharmaceutical medications without any training in the importance and use of plant based medications.

CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant and is therefore natural. Plant medicines have unique dosing regimes and should be used in a different approach to pharmaceutical medications.

For example, while traditional medications are dosed in very specific milligram doses, CBD oil has a very large dosing window. Some people can take as little as 5-10mg while others are taking 200mg or more!

Then there are individual differences. A plant medicine (or in this case CBD oil) works for one person at a specific ratio or dose or time of day but it does not for another person. This is why individual treatment plans are important.

My passion for plant based medicines led me to start the Cannabis Clinic!

Conclusion

For a lot of people, finding a trustworthy doctor who would consider to prescribe them CBD oil is a difficult and daunting process. But it does not have to be! With the above steps, you will be a lot more empowered to get a positive and supportive response. I have written this article from my own personal GP experience of dealing with medicinal cannabis and other natural treatments.

If you have a prescription for CBD oil already, we can provide you with a free supporting phone call and ongoing email support.

If you would like to speak to a trained specialist, consider speaking with one of our medicinal cannabis specialists.

Share with us your thoughts and story. How easily have you been able to talk to your GP about CBD oil?

Disclaimer – medicinal cannabis and CBD oil are unapproved medicines in NZ which means that there is no conclusive evidence for their effect, apart from Sativex. Many doctors do not routinely prescribe cannabis medicines. The above article was written for general educational purposes and does not intend to suggest that medicinal cannabis can be used to treat any health condition. Please consult with your healthcare provider. 

MBChB (Otago), BSc (Auckland) - As our tele-medicine doctor and author, Dr. Waseem keeps busy educating both patients and doctors about medicinal cannabis. He also consults with people from all over New Zealand, offering a listening ear and giving the most relevant advice.

51 thoughts on “5 Top Tips To Help Your Doctor Prescribe CBD Oil in NZ

  1. Nannette says:

    Can Cannabis oils be taken With Warfarin? I am on Warfarin for life. This is my main worry. I had a double Pulmonary Embolism.

    Can it be taken with Candesartan, Venlafaxine also Betaloc?

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Nannette thanks for asking. Yes it can be taken with Warfarin but it would be important to check the INR more regularly than normal to ensure the INR is not affected. But it is not a reason not to use medicinal cannabis. The other medications are absolutely fine. Take care if using THC with a history of recent heart issues. Hope that helps.

  2. Shanayd Duncan says:

    Hi there, I’m looking at asking my gp for cbd oil as I have a high functioning asd,pdas,adhd,odd and extreme anxiety 10 year old.that hasnt attended school in 8 months and I’m now running out of options.What is the likelihood in this happening. I am living in Hamilton and am so scared that our gp will say he is to young.

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Shanayd thanks for the message. We would be very open to discussing with you about your son and moving ahead with CBD oil as a start and trial. Chances are your GP will probably say as you suggested. We have consulted with children with similar situation / conditions and have had some good results. Let me know if I can be of further help.

  3. Kat says:

    Hi, I was considering using CBD oil during a prednisone taper, trying to get off the drug completely. I have read a report of an interaction between the two drugs which can cause side effects from prednisone withdrawal. Is this accurate? I have SLE.

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Kat, thanks for asking. Unfortunately there is a lot of misunderstanding and wrong advice about medicinal cannabis online. You are very safe to use CBD oil during tapering of prednisone for SLE. We have done this for some of our patients. Hope this helps!

  4. Doreen Clayton says:

    Hi there I have a rotator cuff injury is cannabis oil something to think about.
    I have had it for five months now & know it can take some time to heal but at times the pain is very bad.
    Thanking you
    Doreen

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Doreen
      Thanks for the comment, sorry to hear about the injury. Yes medicinal cannabis could be a great option. We have a hemp rub which we sell and some of our patients have had really good results. Apart from that, we can prescribe drops which can help with the pain. Obviously seeing an orthopaedic surgeon is also important as surgical repair may be an option, especially if it is under ACC. Hope this helps.

  5. Bonn says:

    Hi, I suffer from inflammation due to a reflux problem for which I take daily ibuprofen, could CBD help me?

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Bonn, thanks for the question. Please ensure your use of Ibuprofen is correct as that by itself makes reflux worse and sometimes causes stomach ulcers. You should instead use Omeprazole (or similar) along with an anti acid type of drink. CBD oil could be an option to try also on top of the above. Hope this helps 🙂

  6. Jill Cooper says:

    Hi. I am in need of a hip replacement. I had one done about 6 years ago and now the other one needs doing. My doctor (a new one as I have recently relocated) said I have to “play the game” and wait before I can go on the list. I am in constant pain and he gave me paracetamol, which is worse than useless. A friend suggested I tried CBD. However, after reading some comments, I wonder whether I can take it as I am on blood pressure medication.. PERINDOPRIL and AMLODIPINE, the latter saying to avoid grapefruit. Your advice would be welcome. I also use Ventolin and Flexitide for asthma.

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Jill, thanks for sharing this with us, sorry to hear about the difficulty you are facing. It is quite challenging being in your situation. My best advise is to keep your GP informed and always ask if they can write to the hospital to update them of your progress, that can usually speed up the process for you (it has for my patients, insisting works!). Yes CBD oil would be very safe and suitable to try with your medications. However, I suspect we may need to also use a little bit of THC if the CBD oil alone is not producing satisfactory results. Hope this helps.

  7. Tonia Dight says:

    Hi I have neuropathy from chemo in my hands and feet, my feet are the worst. I was investigating natural remedies and CBD oil came up. I have been put on amitriptyline previously but it did nothing so I stopped taking it.
    Do you think that CBD oil would be beneficial for me?

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Tonia, thanks for asking. Yes absolutely, it can be a very good option. Also using our balm on the sensitive areas may be helpful. Sometimes for pain we need to combine the CBD oil with THC, so will need to start your treatment plan to work out what will work best for you. Hope this helps.

  8. Nicole says:

    I have scoliosis an have a lot of chronic back pain muscle soreness and arthritis in my back(degenerative disc),I take a few pain meds,norflex,celebrex tramadol and Panadol but want to come off some as I don’t like putting all that in my body every day,do you think a combination of CBD and THC would help me

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Nicole, yes I absolutely think so. We generally encourage a short trial of CBD oil first to see as sometimes that itself does the trick. But it sounds like your pain is significant so yes the Tilray 10:10 would be an excellent option here. We can submit special approvals to gain you access to these products. Hope this helps.

      • Kelly says:

        Hi. I am looking to use CBD oil as a sleep aid as I suffer from insomnia. Are your consultations able to be claimed back on insurance as for z regular GP? Cheers.

        • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

          Hi Kelly. CBD oil can help with sleep by promoting a deeper more restful sleep. When that it is not enough, we add some THC drops and that definitely helps. We have had great results helping people sleep.

  9. Dianne Winter says:

    I have sleep apnea and need to take Amitriptiline to get to sleep with the mask etc on my face. I also have arthritis and now experiencing pain in thumb, fingers ceasing up, pain in hips and real pain in knee. Have seen a specialist for this. How can I relieve this pain? Would CBD help? I have well controlled high blood pressure, on 2 meds for that and an under active thyroid. Getting old ain’t for sissies! Am 73 years old, work part time.

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Dianne , thanks for the question. CBD may prove quite useful with the pain and sleep. But it may not, especially if the pain is keeping you up. In that case some THC would be quite good. So overall, yes we should be able to make getting old a lot more enjoyable but a trial on CBD oil first is a good idea. If you fill out the consultation form, it will show you exactly what products we have and the prices and process. Hope this helps 🙂

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi James, the cost varies depending on the product chosen. Usually CBD oil costs $5-$10 per day on average. Hope this helps.

  10. Anita says:

    Hi there, could CBD oil be effective on neuropathic pain? I’m 42 and have CMT Type 1a. Over the last few years as the disease has progressed, the burning pain in my feet has worsened. It can be unbearable. I often have to cook my boys dinner on my knees as it’s too painful to stand. I’ve been on lyrics, gabape tin and many others over the years but can’t tolerate all the side effects‍♀️ I take escitalopram 20mgs in the morning and mirtazapine at night for generalized anxiety and sleep.

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Anita, thanks for your comment. It can certainly prove to be quite helpful. We could give CBD oil a go and add in some THC for using as extra. I encourage you to give it a go, especially the CBD oil. We have some people suffering with neuropathic pain that have benefited hugely.

  11. Christopher says:

    Hi there.
    I have psroatic arthritis, could CBD oil or THC help with my joint pain and inflamation in my body and would it be safe to take with methotrexate my current medication for psroatic arthritis?

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Christopher, yes indeed CBD oil or a combination of CBD and THC can be quite helpful for psoriatic arthritis. We would probably recommend you start with CBD oil for 2-4 weeks and then add in THC if that is not producing the desired results. There is no interaction with methotrexate. Hope this helps.

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Helene, we have had some experience with other condition(s) which have similarities with good success. It is quite hard to tell if CBD oil can help in PMDD but I encourage you to give it a try. We do have low cost CBD oil options which are great for people who want to try it like yourself without having to commit a lot of money on it. If it works, you can continue taking it further. Hope this helps.

  12. Nandy says:

    Hi what are the side effects, is there a dependence , how long have you had prescribing this and how do you decide who needs how much?

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Nandy, the side effects depend on what we are prescribing. CBD oil is generally a very safe medication and really well tolerated. It has no long term side effects. Sometimes the oil can cause a stomach upset in sensitive people. We have been prescribing for 2 years now. We decide on the right treatment plan based on the symptoms, age and body weight. It is also dependent on which medications you use and how severe the symptoms are. I hope this helps 🙂

    • Alma Lane says:

      My husband suffers with lots of joint pain in his hips his knees lower back all arthritis related. He is on heart medication. He dosnt seem to have high pressure or cholesterol issues etc. Just lots of pain in joints. He is 72 and finds himself very limited as to what he can do actively. He heard about CBD oil and how its helped others with similar conditions and bought a lot of relief. What would you suggest please and can he deal directly with you? Regards.

      • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

        Hi Alma, thanks for sharing your experience with your husband with us. Pain indeed can be very limiting, for the person but also quite draining for the person who is assisting or the caregiver. Yes we can absolutely try your husband on CBD oil and maybe even some cannabis based creams for his joints and tweak his treatment plan as we go along to improve it as everyone has a slightly different response. I hope this helps.

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Lisa, thanks for asking. It could help and I would encourage you to give it a go. I cannot guarantee that it will help but it certainly has for some of our patients and they have not looked back since.

  13. Marina says:

    5 years ago I was diagnosed with COPD would CBD oil help?
    Also my mokopuna (grandchild)has seizures, the medicine she takes has bad side effects, and she still has seizures. Would CBD oil help?

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Marina, thanks for asking. Difficult to say with the COPD, unlikely to, but could be worth a trial. For your mokopuna we have had good results using CBD oil with seizures, it depends on the form of seizures and condition. We are happy to consult for a variety of reasons and keep an open mind.

  14. Simon says:

    Hi there my mother is 87 years old with terminal lung cancer, diagnosed in January and had radiation treatment March and after that her health dramatically deteriorated. Currently she takes 2 doses of morphine pills and 2 doses of morphines sulphate, 8 panadols, a sleeping pill, 2 laxatives. All in one day. My question to is would cbd oil be a better alternative, my concern is because of the amount of drugs she’s taking her appetite is severely effected, her weight loss has been dramatic also she can’t think as clearly and she also consistently goes to the toilet often. If she were to take cbd oil would her appetite return and would it be a better alternative to all the drugs she’s taking now.

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Simon, thanks for the question. Sorry to hear about mum. I suggest you contact us immediately so we can set up a consultation for mum. She will benefit from a combination of both CBD and THC. The 2 together can help improve appetite and reduce nausea and pain, we have had great results with it. Hope this helps. Best wishes.

  15. Cathy Cleaver says:

    Hi. I’m having hip replacement surgery in 10 days and have been told to stop taking all painkillers except paracetamol to reduce risk. Would it be safe to use cbd before surgery?

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Cathy, wishing you luck for your surgery! Yes, we have had several of our patients using CBD oil prior to surgery without any issues. Just let your surgeon know beforehand to be safe. But it does not interact with any of the sedating medicines used or post operative care that you will receive. Hope this helps.

  16. Regan says:

    Hi. I live in Christchurch. I have spoken to my doctor regarding medicinal cannabis for multiple medical conditions. She wouldnt prescribe as she doesnt know enough about it. She has since retired. I want to see a doctor who knows the benefits and can assess my medical conditions and prescribe what may be the best product for me. I stopped taking Tramadol 2 capsules x3 daily (under my doctors guidance over 9 months). I had cortisone injections in my knees a month ago. I’m still having pain (Fibromyalgia/Arthritis & injuries) & like the idea of a more natural pain relief. I also have diabetes & dysthymia. Where do I start in terms of finding a knowledgable and experienced doctor?

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Regan , thanks for your question. Sorry to hear about the difficulty you are facing in getting an open minded and good doctor. They are hard to come by. I don’t suggest going by opinion on medicinal cannabis to be the decision maker, there are other important qualities to look for in a GP. One of the most important is willingness to listen and be wholistic. We would love to consult with you ourself on the cannabis part of it as that is what we do everyday all day. We have a large dispensary as well which gives you the advantage of a range of products. Hope this helps.

  17. Cameron Bretherton says:

    Please help. I dislocated my neck a few years ago and am in continuing to pain, how can I get my doc to prescribe cbd oil

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Cameron, thanks for asking. The best starting point is to have an open discussion with your GP about it. If they are against it or do not know, give us a heads up and we will be glad to help. Take care.

  18. Lola says:

    Hi, can cbd oil help with night terror condition, happens about once-twice a week for the last few years, ended up in ER already twice with cuts from broken windows as a result. Can you help? Already visited Sleep well clinic in Chch, the specialist couldn’t help at all.

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Lola, thanks for the question. Sorry to hear about the situation you are going through. Tricky question and I think given the frequency of how often this occurs, we should seriously consider giving it a good try. I would say probably a moderate to high CBD dose with a low night time THC dose to help promote sleep is the best way to go here. I would like to know how you get on. I do know we have treated this condition before but I cannot the specific outcome. Hope this helps.

  19. SR says:

    Hi there, is CBD oil a permanent supplement or can it be used for a while to fix the endocannabanoid system and then stopped? Thanks

  20. Linda says:

    Hi, I suffer with trigeminal neuralgia, myofascial pain syndrome, osteoarthritis and sciatica. I have been told I need a new knee, but I am too young (54yrs) to have the operation as yet and may need to wait a good 8-10 years. The pain is horrendous and nothing I take works. I dread the thought of standing up as the bone on bone pain in my knee is unbearable. I was taking Prednisone for almost 2 years, and although it helped with the pain the side effects were dramatic to say the least. Would CBD help me get through to the time when I am “old enough” for a knee replacement?

  21. Nigel B says:

    Hi, I am a life long eczema sufferer for over 40 years. It effects my life a lot of the time and is a daily battle. I find smoking pot can give a relief to my scratching but I do not like what it does to my lungs. What products might you suggest for this, and would they just be for getting a better sleep or a daily dose for daytime results as well?. I am thinking of approaching my GP for a script. In Auckland.

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Nigel, thanks for the question. Yes eczema although very common can sometimes be quite bad and prove quite difficult to treat! Smoking cannabis means you are using THC and that is something that we can provide you, your GP unfortunately cannot. However, I would encourage some topical or direct to skin application of cannabis oils to help soothe your skin. Either way, we should be able to help you. Please reach out if you need any more support.

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