The retail giant will sell certain products CBD in nearly 1,500 Walgreens stores. You may have begun to notice that CBD use is becoming increasingly common. In fact, you may even be part of the rapidly growing number of people who are improving their lives through CBD oil. Although it is still being tested and has yet to be approved by the FDA, select states are now even selling CBD products in larg If we had any money, we would definitely be investing it in CBD products right now. CBD stands for cannabidiol, a compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD does not make a person feel intoxicated. Proponents say it has therapeutic effects for both physical and mental conditions. Inching us ever-closer to…
Walgreens to sell CBD products in stores: What to know about the buzzy wellness trend
Products containing CBD — the buzzy cannabinoid used in everything from lotions to gumdrops — will soon be showing up on the shelves of Walgreens stores across the country.
The retail chain announced Thursday it will begin offering certain products containing CBD, cannabidiol, in nearly 1,500 Walgreens stores in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana.
The CBD-related items offered in Walgreens stores will be topical creams, patches and sprays. The products will be “non-THC containing,” according to the company.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant that causes the “high” associated with marijuana. CBD does not.
“This product offering is in line with our efforts to provide a wider range of accessible health and wellbeing products and services to best meet the needs and preferences of our customers,” Walgreens said in a statement.
Another retail giant, CVS, announced last week that it also will begin slowly rolling out CBD products in some of its stores.
“Anecdotally, we’ve heard from our customers that have used those products that, gee, it’s helped with pain relief for arthritis and other ailments,” CVS CEO Larry Merlo said in a CNBC interview. “We’re going to walk slowly, but we think this is something customers are going to be looking for as part of the health offering.”
With CBD becoming more easily available on the marketplace — Soul Cycle is now selling it too — and consumers have questions.
Here is what to know about CBD, from the health benefits to whether it’s legal to use.
What is a Cannabinoid?
There are three types of cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids, which are produced naturally in the body; man-made cannabinoids, which can be really dangerous; and the most popular, cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, which come from the marijuana plant.
All three kinds of cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body. CB1 receptors, located primarily in the brain, are believed to control mood, memory, sleep, appetite and pain. CB2 receptors are located in parts of the body that produce blood cells, such as the spleen, and are believed to affect inflammation.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it’s one chemical compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant — in both marijuana and hemp. CBD differs from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) because it doesn’t cause the intoxicating, euphoric “high” associated with marijuana.
What are the health benefits?
Though there are claims of health benefits wherever you go, the science isn’t quite there yet — most of the research that has found benefits was done on animals. That’s because researching marijuana legally is difficult. Marijuana is a schedule I controlled substance, defined as having “no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
Still, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence.
In June 2018, the FDA approved a CBD-containing seizure medication called Epidiolex, which can be used for the uncontrollable seizures caused by diseases such as Dravet Syndrome, a seizure disorder that can be uncontrollable with typical medications.
One of the most common uses of the drug, which is in a form called Dronabinol, is FDA-approved for chemo related nausea and vomiting. It is also used to help with appetite stimulation, especially in the cancer or AIDS population.
CBD is also widely used to treat pain and anxiety. Scientists are quick to say they are still unsure of the way this works, but they believe it may be due to CBD altering some brain pathways linked to these symptoms.
In skin care, CBD has been reported to treat itchiness, acne and allergic dermatitis — a skin reaction to allergies. While the mechanisms here are also unknown, scientists think it may be due to cannabinoid receptors in the skin which, when activated, work to reduce inflammation and arthritis.
As states move to legalize these compounds to the public, all of these claims will need to be studied.
How do people use CBD?
Many CBD products are sold as oils or balms, but they are also available in lotions, facial serums, lozenges or as part of cocktails. Although manufacturers claim there is an appropriate dose for the products they make, that is up for debate. The nutrition and supplement business, in general, is highly unregulated and this includes CBD products, even in states with legal marijuana.
What are the risks?
Both the benefits and risks of CBD lack substantiated research. As with any supplement, there is always a risk for unintended drug interaction. A small number of studies on animals indicate that CBD could potentially affect cell health and the breakdown of drugs in the liver. In humans, a study that investigated CBD’s effect on seizures noted side effects including diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue and increased sleepiness.
Why is it popular now?
In a word: marketing.
Similar to vitamin C and kale, CBD is undergoing a rise to fame just similar to the way that kale has been labeled a “superfood,” which is a non-medical buzzword. And with celebrities publicizing anecdotal benefits, there’s been easing tension surrounding CBD’s stigma.
But most importantly, as mentioned, it’s being marketed as a fix for various ailments.
Is it legal to use CBD?
Not Exactly. As mentioned, marijuana is still a schedule I substance, and that includes CBD.
The issue of legality comes down to how the CBD is obtained. The THC portions of the cannabis plant include the flowering tops (buds), the leaves and the resin of the plant. The remainder — the stalks and sterilized seeds — is where most CBD comes from. However, producers can also obtain it from the THC portions in which case it might yield a mixture of THC and CBD.
According to Katherine Pfaff, a spokesperson for the DEA, “If the product does cause THC to enter the human body and/or contains greater than 0.3 percent of THC, it is an illegal substance that may not be manufactured, sold or consumed in the United States. If, however, the product does not cause THC to enter the human body and contains less than 0.3 percent THC, it is a non-controlled substance that may lawfully be sold.”
The National Institutes of Health lists over 150 studies involving CBD as a treatment for various diseases. The World Health Organization concluded in a press release that CBD is not harmful. And in the sports world, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed it from its prohibited substances list.
To top this off, CBD is widely available online as well as in countless bars and coffee shops nationwide. This legal ambiguity undoubtedly confuses consumers, and it won’t change until further research trickles in.
The bottom line is there are countless claims regarding CBD’s ability to cure common ailments and there are also many places to buy CBD over the counter. But while there are many people willing to answer for CBD, the reality is there are still many questions that the industry itself needs to answer.
Dr. Sumir Shah, an emergency medicine physician in New York City, and former member of the ABC News Medical Unit, contributed to this report.
Which CBD Products Are Sold at Walgreens?
You may have begun to notice that CBD use is becoming increasingly common. In fact, you may even be part of the rapidly growing number of people who are improving their lives through CBD oil. Although it is still being tested and has yet to be approved by the FDA, select states are now even selling CBD products in large retail stores like Walgreens.
Without the FDA’s approval, the legalities and definitions surrounding CBD oil remain murky and are subject to change. For this reason, only topical CBD products can currently be found at most drugstores. However, the variety of topical oils is expansive and remains a significant step towards normalizing CBD and making it readily available to everyone.
In 2019, Walgreens followed the lead of competitor CVS and began selling topical CBD products in select states, including the following:
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
As the CBD market continues to evolve, there may be some confusion about the various types of products available and what their different labels mean. We’ve put together this guide to help you understand exactly what products are currently being sold at Walgreens stores across the country.
About the CBD Products Sold at Walgreens
The difference between topical and oral CBD lies in how they are absorbed by the body. Oral CBD products have a high bioavailability, meaning they can easily be absorbed into the bloodstream. This is the same form of absorption as occurs with food, drink, and medication, and should for that reason be regulated by the FDA.
Topical CBD, on the other hand, has a much lower bioavailability and thus has much less of a risk of negatively reacting with other food or medication. Topical CBD is also great for targeting specific parts of the body.
Topical CBD products available at Walgreens include:
Creams, Balms, and Salves
Creams are a great option for anyone who wants to be able to apply the benefits of CBD to various parts of the body. Creams can generally be used as needed and offer the added benefit of moisturizing. Some creams are also specially formulated with other natural oils and extracts to offer additional forms of support.
The Medterra Topical CBD Cooling Cream that is sold at Walgreens combines CBD oil with arnica, menthol, and an assortment of other essential oils to create a cooling sensation to support muscles and joints.
The biggest difference between creams and balms is in their consistency. While creams are water based and made to easily soak into the skin, balms use oil and wax to create a more greasy and resistant consistency that will stay on skin longer and soak in more slowly.
CBD Unlimited Topical Balm-X is an extra strength balm that can be found at Walgreens stores. With 1000 mg of CBD oil, this powerful balm can be applied up to four times per day for maximum results.
Similar to balms, salves are oil based and are made from a combination of natural oils and extracts. The Cool Relief CBD Salve by 36 Bushels combines 1000 mg of CBD oil with eucalyptus and menthol to provide soothing support as needed.
Ointments are made to offer deep and long lasting benefits to muscles. They are an oily, yet dense consistency that is made to penetrate deep into muscle tissue without being easily rubbed or washed away.
The Back & Neck CBD Pain Relief Ointment by CBDMedic is specially made to target muscles in the neck, back, and shoulder region. Simply rub the ointment into the desired areas up to four times a day for all-day support for sore muscles.
Roll-ons are a great way to take the relief of CBD with you wherever you go. They are portable and easy to use, and are a great option for anyone who wants wellness support at their fingertips.
Walgreens carries several options of roll-on CBD oil products. The Cool Relief CBD Roll-on Gel by 36 Bushels is a unique option because it is a lightweight gel rather than an oil. This soaks into the skin more easily, something that may be desirable for anyone who wants rapid relief or a less greasy feel.
Sprays are similar to roll-ons in that they are easy to take with you on the go. They offer targeted support to desired areas and can be used several times throughout the day whenever and wherever you need it.
The CBD Unlimited Topical Mist-X Spray is made with 500 mg of CBD oil and other natural ingredients. Simply spray this oil on the desired areas anytime you’d like.
Patches are great for anyone who is busy and on the go. With a patch, you apply and forget about it for the day. Patches release a steady stream of CBD throughout the course of an entire day so that you can go about your life in comfort without any added worry or stress.
Patches currently available at Walgreens stores include the Social CBD Transdermal Patch. This product can be applied in 30 seconds and releases 20 mg of CBD over the course of 24 hours. Although patches are desirable for their ease of use, they are on the more expensive end of products and don’t offer moisturizing benefits like other topicals.
Walgreens has joined other major retailers in embracing the future of CBD by making topical CBD oil products readily available to consumers. With nearly 3,860 stores across the United States now selling a variety of CBD oil products, including those highlighted above, it’s not hard to understand why CBD has become a popular choice for natural wellness support.
Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.
CBD products will soon be available at 1,500 Walgreens stores
If we had any money, we would definitely be investing it in CBD products right now. CBD stands for cannabidiol, a compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD does not make a person feel intoxicated. Proponents say it has therapeutic effects for both physical and mental conditions. Inching us ever-closer to our mellow future, Walgreens announces today that it will sell “CBD creams, patches and sprays in nearly 1,500 stores in select states,” including Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana, says CNBC.
Walgreens is hot on the heels of CVS, which recently added “CBD-containing topicals, including creams and salves, to stores in eight states.”
Thanks to a farm bill Congress passed last year, CBD derived from hemp is legal, even though “ the FDA says companies still can’t add CBD to food or sell it as a dietary supplement.” However, some companies and establishments are still going ahead with CBD options regardless; for example, Protein Bar & Kitchen in Chicago now offers a CBD oil “boost” for shakes and coffee, according to the Chicago Sun-Times .
So while more mainstream edibles might still be a ways off, look for new products, such as CBD-infused pain relief cream, or hemp-enhanced hair conditioner, in the health and beauty aisles next to lip balm and toothpaste.