CBD products are only growing in popularity and demand. Should you stock them in your pharmacy? Learn more by reading this article. CBD products are legal at the federal level; however, different states have different rules on whether you can purchase it.
CBD & Your Pharmacy: Should You Stock CBD Products?
Has a patient ever asked if you carry CBD products? We’re willing to bet they have — or they’ve at least thought about it. Since 2018, CBD has been on the rise, showing up everywhere from retail pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens to specialty stores and even gas stations.
There are a lot of questions around CBD products. How well regulated are they? What is their relation to marijuana? Sure, it’s legal to sell them, but is it really legal to sell them? Since CBD has only been on the market for a couple years, there are still a lot of unknowns. But this is a question that comes up a lot with independent and community pharmacies, so we wanted to look at the information that’s out there.
Let’s start with some knowledge.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is an active ingredient of cannabis that has been isolated for medicinal and other uses. It is derived from hemp, a version of cannabis with less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical found in cannabis that can create the euphoric feeling commonly associated with the illegal version of cannabis, often referred to by the now-outdated term marijuana. CBD oil and other products derived from hemp are completely legal.
CBD products became legal with the passage of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. Their regulation became tied to their THC content; any cannabis with 0.3% THC or lower was defined as hemp and therefore no longer classified as a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Cannabis with THC content higher than 0.3% is still illegal.
CBD is most often sold as oils, though other forms are available. CBD retailer cbdmd.com features oils, gummies, capsules, topical creams, and even bath bombs.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Products?
CBD products have been shown to reduce anxiety, convulsions, and even nausea. Many patients use them for chronic inflammation, joint pain, and insomnia. They can also be used as adjunctive therapy for patients on opioids, and to reduce withdrawal symptoms for narcotic users. CBD has even been shown to reduce seizures in children with epilepsy. However, it should be noted that the FDA has not approved CBD products for any of these uses, since these types of claims are not permitted for dietary supplements, food, or cosmetics.
Selling CBD products could also be beneficial for your pharmacy. The National Community Pharmacists Association claims that many pharmacies are making six figures a year on CBD sales at 50% margins. That’s hard to ignore. CBD is a high-demand product, and everyone staying home and stressing during the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased that demand.
Are CBD Products Right for Your Pharmacy?
Ultimately, what you sell in your store is completely up to you. However, there is no legal reason not to stock CBD products, and they could be beneficial both to your patients and your business.
“Many pharmacies are deciding to sell CBD products because of patient demand and because, as the medication expert, they can serve as the source of truth,” said B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, CEO of the NCPA.
Be prepared to look at possible drug interactions with your patients’ existing medications. If they’re going to use CBD products, it would be safest for them to buy them from your pharmacy where you can counsel them on how best to use them.
Can You Buy CBD Gummies At A Pharmacy
You may have also heard that CBD originates from the cannabis plant. Because of the association with marijuana and the psychoactive properties of the plant, many people are wary of CBD and its uses.
So, is it legal to walk into your local Walgreens or CVS and buy CBD products?
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural substance found in the cannabis plant. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in CBD as a health product. CBD has been linked to pain relief, improved cognitive function, and management of anxiety and depression. It has also been found to aid in the management of a number of health conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease and cancer ( 1 ).
Since CBD has been reported as a potentially positive health supplement, it is starting to fill the shelves at pharmacies and supermarkets. There is a wide range of CBD supplement forms, including edibles, salves, and drops. There are also many doses and potencies, depending on the extraction and distillation process.
CBD is a promising health product, but can you just walk into a pharmacy and buy it off the shelf?
Does CBD Make You High?
A common misconception with CBD is that it makes you high. Although CBD comes from the cannabis plant, it does not contain THC, the psychoactive substance responsible for producing a high ( 2 ). If THC is absent, or present in very low levels, as with CBD, you cannot get high. Therefore, CBD can produce all the benefits without the psychoactive properties.
Is It Legal to Buy CBD at the Pharmacy?
In short, it depends on where you live. In order for it to be legal to buy, it needs to be legal on both the federal and state level.
The Federal Level
In 2018, the federal government passed The Farm Bill. This piece of legislation legalized the production and sales of hemp products, with a number of restrictions. The key restriction revolves around the psychoactive nature of certain cannabis-based products.
The law states that CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC in order to be considered non-psychoactive ( 3 ). This has allowed for the sale of CBD products in pharmacies as health supplements, provided they remain under this amount. However, in order to actually reach the shelves, it needs to be legal at the state level too.
The State Level
Different states have different laws in regards to whether it is legal to sell over the counter ( 4 ). Walgreens and CVS have started stocking CBD products in certain states across the country; however, it is still illegal to stock any form of CBD, regardless of the THC content in a number of states. This is because there are still groups that associate any hemp-related products with the psychoactive properties of THC.
There are a handful of states where hemp products are legal for both recreational and medicinal use. These include:
The remaining states have restrictions on the sales and use of CBD or hemp-based products. These states have specific rules around who has access to the products and for what reasons. This usually involves use only if you are diagnosed with a specific approved medical condition.
If CBD is something you are interested in adding to your health routine, it is important to understand the rules in your state.
Will I Get in Trouble if I Buy CBD at the Pharmacy?
As long as you know the rules in your state, you will not get in trouble for purchasing CBD at the pharmacy. Additionally, if your local pharmacy stocks CBD products, you can trust that they know the rules and legislation surrounding the sale of these products. Remember, companies do not want to get in trouble either.
How Does the US Compare to Canada?
In 2018, CBD was made legal for medicinal and recreational uses in Canada. The Canadian Government states, “Adults are legally able to purchase fresh and dried cannabis, cannabis oils, and seeds or plants for cultivation from authorized retailers” ( 5 ).
In 2019, CBD edibles and topicals became available for sale both online and in stores. However, like the USA, the rules vary depending on the province or territory. This includes the minimum legal age, where you can buy it, where you can use it, and how much you are allowed to possess.
There are strict regulations for the purchasing of cannabis under the Canadian Government. It must be sold through an authorized retailer, and cannabis products containing less than 0.3% THC are legal, as in most states in the USA.
In addition to this, products can still be legal if they exceed this threshold. Such products are required to have a stamp on the packaging proving that they are a legal product. Legal products also have to outline health warnings on the packaging ( 6 ).
In a similar way to the USA, provinces or territories define the legalities and practicalities of purchasing CBD. Canada does appear to have looser restrictions on the kinds of products that can be purchased.
The Bottom Line
CBD is a cannabis plant product that contains little to no levels of THC and does not cause the high associated with cannabis products. It has also been linked to a wide range of health benefits.
At the federal level, if there is less than 0.3% THC, CBD is legal. However, states also have their own laws as to whether CBD products can be sold. It is important to understand the rules where you live in order to determine if it is legal for you to buy CBD at your local pharmacy.
**Standard Disclaimer: CBD is not FDA-approved. We make no such claims that using our products will guarantee relief. Moreover, research regarding CBD is still ongoing and in the early stages.**
Why Choose Sunny Skies For Your CBD Needs?
1) making high-quality products
2) operating in an open and transparent manner
3) building an independently-owned and operated family business