Cbd oil for sale at drug stores

OTC CBD Products Currently Available in Pharmacies

With recent surges in popularity, FDA guidance, and state legislation within the landscape of cannabis-derived compounds, pharmacies are increasingly supplying cannabidiol (CBD) products.

Of note, CBD is only 1 of the compounds found within the cannabis plant and has no psychoactive effects; delta-9-tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) is a different compound that does produce psychoactive effects, and marijuana is a type of cannabis plant that possesses multiple naturally occurring compounds, including CBD and THC. 1

Study investigators Leticia Shea, PharmD, BCACP, Anna Carnazzo, PharmD candidate, and Janelle Matura, PharmD candidate, from the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, documented the OTC products currently being offered by pharmacies across Colorado. The findings were presented in a poster during the Association of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) 2020 Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition.

Although there are myriad CBD products marketed and sold with medical claims, there is currently only 1 CBD product that has been evaluated and approved by the FDA for safety and efficacy. 1

As the CBD sphere of influence expands, pharmacists should “recognize the discrepancy between these CBD products and CBD approved by the FDA,” the researchers wrote. Importantly, pharmacists should also be prepared to effectively counsel patients on the use of untested CBD products that are available in their stores. 2

Of the 35 pharmacies included in the study, 18 (51%) sold at least 1 CBD product. Investigators took inventory of the CBD products at the 18 chain and independent pharmacies across the state of Colorado, located in both urban and rural regions. A total of 60 CBD products were recorded.

The majority of products took the form of oral drops/pumps, balms/salves, or creams/ointments. Other CBD product forms included topical oils, bath products, gummies, lotions, patches, and pet salves and balms.

Depending on the product form – oral, topicals, or transdermal – concentrations of compounds varied. In oral products, CBD concentrations varied from 10 to 60 mg/mL, with 13 (87%) labeled as “full spectrum” and therefore likely contained active cannabinoids other than CBD. In topical products, concentration ranged from 30 mg CBD/15 mL to 1000 mg CBD. Most topical products also contained other ingredients; among these products, 32% contained menthol, 17% contained camphor, 10% willow bark extract, and 10% contained peppermint, among other ingredients. The single transdermal product offered a 20mg CBD/24h dose, according to researchers.

Researchers reported that additional studies are needed to determine the safety and efficacy of these products in regard to the formulations themselves, as well as dosing.

“The impact of drug-interactions for topically applied CBD is currently unknown as no studies have evaluated [only CBD] topical formulations in humans,” investigators wrote. “The OTC CBD market is growing, and will be important for pharmacists to be cognizant of the variety of products being sold.”

Over the Counter CBD: Walgreens, CVS, and More…

Over the past few years, the CBD market has exploded. A recent report conducted by the Brightfield Group estimates that the industry will be worth an incredible 23 billion dollars by 2023. Not bad for a substance that was, until recently, largely unheard of. Over the past few decades, research into CBD has revealed that it possesses a wealth of potential benefits.

This research led to the 2018 Farm Bill, which ensured that hemp-derived CBD with a THC content of less than 0.3% can now be legally bought and sold.

Since then, support for the substance has continued to grow exponentially, and new CBD companies are springing up left, right, and center. The public is also becoming more aware of CBD, and a recent Gallup survey found that 39% of Americans believe that it should be available over the counter. However, the situation is not as straightforward as you might think.

Is CBD Available Over the Counter?

CBD products seem to be appearing everywhere. The cannabinoid is available as an oil, capsules, edibles, topicals, and is even being infused into food and beverages. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved a single CBD product to date. This product is called Epidiolex, a CBD-based medicine which is currently licensed to treat two rare forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

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Epidiolex is prescription only, meaning that patients cannot access this medicine over the counter. Although many other CBD products can be bought without seeing a physician, these are not approved by the FDA and, therefore, are not subject to such strict regulations.

This lack of regulation poses a significant problem as a lot of the products on offer are of inferior quality.

They may contain more or less CBD than they claim to, as well as potentially being contaminated by pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Our best advice to anyone wanting to buy CBD without a prescription is to find a reputable brand which publishes third-party lab reports on its website. These lab reports will enable you to be sure that your CBD contains exactly what it says it does and nothing more.

Check out our article on the 10 Best CBD Oil Brands to find out more.

Where Can I Buy Over the Counter CBD?

In the past, if you wanted to buy over the counter CBD, you had little choice but to do so online. But, recently, major drug stores such as Walgreens and CVS have joined the party and started stocking CBD in selected stores.

However, these retailers are playing it safe when it comes to the products that they are providing. To better comply with FDA regulations, they have shied away from stocking oral CBD products such as oils, edibles, and infused food and drinks. Instead, they have opted for a range of topical products which can be marketed as skincare or beauty items rather than supplements.

Therefore, you won’t find traditional CBD oil on the shelves of your local Walgreens or CVS.

What you will find is a range of creams, patches, sprays, roll-ons, lotions, and even lip balms. Although these stores are clearly keen to jump on the CBD bandwagon, they are not going to risk upsetting the FDA, a choice that we have to respect.

Over the Counter CBD in Walgreens and CVS

Walgreens and CVS are not taking their decision to stock CBD lightly, and some stores will not be carrying any CBD products at all. At the time of writing, Walgreens has over the counter CBD available in around 1500 stores across nine different states.

You can buy CBD over the counter in Walgreens if you live in:

  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Oregon
  • New Mexico
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont

CVS is stocking CBD in just 800 of its 9800 stores. You might be able to find over the counter CBD if you live in one of the following states:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Tennessee

In a press release regarding its decision to start stocking over the counter CBD, a spokesperson from Walgreens said:

“The CBD related items we are planning to carry are non-THC containing topical creams, patches, and sprays. This product offering is in line with our efforts to provide a wider range of accessible health and well being products and services to best meet the needs and preferences of our customers.”

On the surface, this seems like a real plus for the CBD industry. But is it as positive as it seems?

Is CBD Over the Counter Safe?

A large proportion of Americans believe that CBD should be available without a prescription. While almost 40% of the general population are in favor, this figure rose to 61% for people who were familiar with CBD and its uses.

A third of people who are familiar with CBD think that the cannabinoid is very beneficial, and just under half believe it has at least some benefits.

However, there are some risks to consider, too. Apart from the lack of regulation, there is another good reason why over the counter CBD might not be as good an idea as it seems.

CBD is widely regarded as safe. It is non-intoxicating and rarely causes serious side effects. However, the fact is that CBD research is still in its relative infancy, and as it stands, we know very little about its long-term effects.

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Some research suggests that using high doses of CBD over long periods could cause liver damage. It is also known to interact with various other medications, meaning that it could make them more potent without you realizing.

Another risk of using CBD involves people shunning conventional treatments in its favor. While in some cases, this is not likely to cause any significant problems, when it comes to life-threatening illnesses, it obviously becomes far riskier.

We strongly advise anybody wanting to use CBD to treat a specific medical condition to speak to their physician first. Doing this is still important, even if you intend to buy your CBD over the counter.

Over the Counter CBD in the UK

Despite over the counter CBD being something of a gray area in the US, it is far more widely available in the UK. Major pharmacy chain Boots (which is, incidentally, owned by Walgreens) and leading health-food store Holland and Barrett are now both stocking several CBD products. Unlike their American counterparts, these stores are also carrying oral CBD, including oils, capsules, and lozenges.

Although the market is no better regulated in the UK than the US, these products can be sold in the UK, providing they do not make any medicinal claims.

While this is great for British shoppers in terms of convenience, it is perhaps less advantageous when you consider the safety concerns listed above. There is a genuine danger that uneducated people could assume that because CBD is available over the counter, it is safe to use in any situation.

As the CBD market continues to grow, there is a greater need than ever to ensure that the public knows the potential risks of taking CBD, as well as the benefits. Although much has been written about the numerous health benefits of taking CBD, there is far less information available about the possible harms.

Read our article on the Side Effects of CBD to learn more.

Over the Counter CBD: Final Thoughts

As more and more CBD companies are emerging, it is no surprise that major drug stores such as Walgreens and CVS have decided to get onboard. However, these stores are playing it safe as far as their product lines go. They will only be stocking topical CBD products, for the time being at least.

Across the Atlantic, retailers have been a little bolder, and it is possible to buy oral CBD over the counter in high street stores such as Boots and Holland and Barrett. Since customers now have the option to simply walk into a shop and purchase CBD, it is more important than ever that the general public is educated about its effects.

If you want to buy CBD over the counter, it is wise to speak to a qualified healthcare professional first. This is even more important if you suffer from a chronic medical condition or take any other medication. It is essential to realize that while CBD has many benefits, it is not a substitute for proper medical care. Have a frank discussion with your physician to determine whether CBD is safe for you.

CVS to sell CBD products in 800 stores in 8 states

CBD-infused sprays, roll-ons, creams and salves will be offered as an ‘alternative source of relief’.

CVS to sell CBD-infused products

CVS Pharmacy announced Wednesday that it will begin selling hemp-derived CBD products in eight states. The national drug store chain will be marketing the topical cannabidiol products, such as creams, sprays and roll-ons, as “an alternative source of relief,” CVS said in a statement to NBC News. CVS will also be partnering with a company to test and verify the quality of the CBD topicals sold in its drug stores.

“We are carrying hemp-derived CBD products in select states to help meet consumer demand for alternative care options,” said CVS Health Spokesperson, Mike DeAngelis.

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The items will be sold in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Tennessee.

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CBD, or cannabidiol, comes from the hemp plant, a close relative to another member of the cannabis family, marijuana. Both plants contain abundant types of cannabinoids, but marijuana is high in the psychoactive chemical THC, while hemp is rich in CBD, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis that has generated quite a buzz for its potential medicinal benefits.

CBD has been touted as a treatment for a wide range of conditions — including anxiety, pain, inflammation and even cancer — but little reliable research has been done on CBD’s effects on humans, experts say. The only FDA-approved CBD oil is Epidiolex, an oral solution prescribed for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare, severe forms of epilepsy.

“Societies have jumped far far ahead of science,” said Dr. Margaret Haney, a professor of neurobiology at Columbia University Medical Center and director of Columbia’s Marijuana Research Laboratory. “So it’s showing up in lotions and pretty much any form of product one can use. There’s a lot of different ways one could use CBD, but the ways we have studied CBD is much more limited.”

CVS has at least 9,800 stores nationwide and will soon roll out the CBD products in over 800 stores in the eight states. The health care chain says that effectiveness claims will vary from product-to-product, but that the company does not plan to market any of the items as a ‘cure-all’ product.

“We’re going to walk slowly, but this is something we think our customers will be looking for,” CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo said in an interview Wednesday with CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

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The company noted that they would not be selling any CBD-based supplements or food additives. Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, it is illegal to introduce drug ingredients like CBD into the food supply or to market them as dietary supplements.

“Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is not only a violation of the law, but also can put patients at risk, as these products have not been proven to be safe or effective,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement in December.

For this reason, CVS will market the creams and salves as over-the-counter medicinal products, merchandised in a dedicated display.

There have been more dangerous situations where people turn down effective medications to use unproven products, like CBD.

To assure accurate labeling and safety for customers, CVS has partnered with Eurofins, a third party laboratory, to test all CBD topicals for THC, CBD content, and other contaminants, DeAngelis said in the statement to NBC News.

“We are working only with CBD product manufacturers that are complying with applicable laws and that meet CVS’s high standards for quality. Only products passing these independent tests are offered for sale in our stores,” the statement said.

Some experts believe the move by CVS to sell CBD over-the-counter may provide more questions than answers, at least initially.

“It’s a way to reduce the stigma for a product that really doesn’t deserve to be stigmatized,” said nutritionist and cannabis practitioner Brooke Alpert. “On the other hand, because of the lack of regulation it raises questions like: do people really know what they’re getting; can other brands get away with selling inferior products; and where can people find more information about these products?”

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Another big concern for experts is that patients will avoid proven medications in favor of CBD.

“There have been more dangerous situations where people turn down effective medications to use unproven products, like CBD,” said Haney.

Dr. Shamard Charles is a physician-journalist for NBC News and Today, reporting on health policy, public health initiatives, diversity in medicine, and new developments in health care research and medical treatments.