Can You Buy CBD Gummies At A Pharmacy

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CBD products are legal at the federal level; however, different states have different rules on whether you can purchase it. Is CBD available over the counter? The answer isn't as simple as you think. If you're wondering where to buy CBD oil, we run you past your options.

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:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington

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.

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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

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.

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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.

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.

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