Can You Buy CBD At The Pharmacy?
You may have heard of CBD, which is a relatively new health phenomenon that has been promoted as being beneficial for a wide range of health conditions.
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?
At Sunny Skies CBD, we are committed to:
1) making high-quality products
2) operating in an open and transparent manner
3) building an independently-owned and operated family business