CVS and Walgreens to sell CBD products by the end of 2019

Published Apr 24, 2019 11:25 a.m. ET
Canadian Press, Patrick Doyle

With cannabis still illegal in most of the United States, many are shocked with such massive, professional, and well-respected local franchises announcements which included a long list of CBD products that will be hitting the shelves by the end of this year in select locations. The first one came from CVS who released an introduction to the future topical CBD products that will be available to customers right across the country. Why are CBD based items suddenly being carried in America, and how is it legal? Well, the answer comes with a simple explanation that just might surprise you.

The assumption

Since CBD products have never been carried in stores like this, a lot of people are wondering about the legalities surrounding these sorts of items. The main reason for this question is a significant lack of understanding surrounding the reasons why it wasn’t available in the first place. Most people assume that CBD products contain the cannabinoid cannabidiol that has been extracted from cannabis plant’s and condensed into a liquid ingredient.

The truth

The reality is very different from the widespread myth, as CBD, or as it’s properly called cannabidiol is typically extracted from hemp plants instead. This is because cannabis doesn’t normally produce large amounts of the cannabinoid and contains the psychoactive ingredient THC which is nearly impossible to remove entirely from an extracted solution. The reason that CBD products were not a product widely available in America before now is due to the country’s regulations that until recently, prohibited the cultivation or manufacturing of any hemp plant.

Effects of CBD products

Since so many people are under the impression that the CBD oil that is used in the making of these items is derived from cannabis, there is a common fear of the products and their effects on those who use them. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychoactive element found in most marijuana strains that will result in a euphoric high that can be long lasting and adversely affect a person’s level of impairment. CBD is only produced in very low doses in cannabis plants and is most bountiful in industrial hemp strains. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a primary nonreactive element that provides health-based benefits when used on its own. It will not get you high and has almost no immediately felt effects. CBD is beneficial as an anti-inflammatory making it an excellent alternative choice for many different topical applications to treat swelling and a variety of skin conditions.

CVS - CBD product line  

CVS is an American pharmacy and healthcare retail company that has just under 10 000 across the United States. Unfortunately, not every location will have this line on hand to start, as only 810 stores have been chosen to be part of the introduction and survey of public response, and eight states including Indiana, Alabama, Maryland, Tennessee, Colorado, California, Illinois, and Kentucky. So far CBD products that have been confirmed by the company include sprays, roll ons, and creams that will be marketed as an alternative treatment to common conditions.

Walgreens - CBD product line

Walgreens is the second largest chain pharmacy store franchise in the country and has 9500 stores scattered across all 50 states. This company’s latest announcement included a sneak peek at a few guaranteed to be available CBD products, along with a list of the eight states that will be participating in the roll-out including South Carolina, Illinois, New Mexico, Vermont, Indiana, Colorado, Oregon, Kentucky, Tennessee. CBD products like patches, ointments, creams, and sprays have so far been confirmed.

CBD products you won’t see any time soon in America

Despite the rules and regulations surrounding the production of hemp and hemp derived products slowly relaxing over the last few years, so far there are no products that have been approved by the food and drug administration for sale outside of topical options. CBD products like capsules, edibles, drinks, tinctures, and oils will not be made immediately available, and are expected to take at least two years to gain government approval for sales in the United States.

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