People who use cannabidiol (CBD) products typically buy them online or through brick-and-mortar retailers. Both means are legal, but you should be judicious about where you purchase CBD oil. A pop-up street retailer or side-shop is more likely to sell an unvetted or tainted product compared to a drugstore chain with a national presence or a licensed dispensary.
CBD, which is classified as a drug ingredient by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is regulated differently as CBD oil than when included in a CBD cream, salve, spray, lotion, or roll-on product. The regulations about cosmetics are currently much clearer, which is why they are appearing first in some national drugstores.
Who is providing CBD oil?
Buying CBD Oil in Drugstores
A few traditional retailers like Walgreens and CVS have debuted or announced the eventual introduction of CBD products since the 2018 Farm Act clarified the federal legality of CBD.
Bartell Drugs in Seattle, Washington is an example of an early regional advocate of CBD products. This chain features products from CBD brands like Charlotte’s Web, PlusCBD, Shikai, and Medterra, but only a few offerings specific to oils (PlusCBD, Charlotte’s Web).
Bartell Drugs is a specific case of a local drugstore that offers CBD-only oil products, in a state where cannabis is legal for recreational use. National chains have dipped their toes into the waters more slowly: CVS, for instance, offers products in a select number of states, and no tinctures are currently listed among those offerings.
The assortment of products that are available in national drugstore chains will likely differ by state. CVS lists the following brands and products on their website:
|Brand||Products in-store and online||CVS (Excludes Oil)||CBD Oil Available from Manufacturer (Online)|
|Charlotte’s Web||Balm, Cream||✔||✔|
|Strength of Hope||Roll-on oil||✔||✔|
|Select CBD (“Social CBD”)||Muscle Rub||✔||✔|
Walgreens has announced that it intends to carry CBD sprays, patches, and creams soon. It does not currently list any brands or shipping plans.
CBD Oil From Dispensaries
Some licensed medical cannabis dispensaries that serve individuals with prescriptions for THC products can also serve CBD products. In Maryland, for example, several companies have applied for special licenses to produce and offer THCA and CBD oils throughout the state’s health districts.
These types of permits are difficult to obtain and are specifically meant to serve patients with serious medical illnesses for which CBD is prescribed as part of treatment. Many of the dispensaries applying for CBD permits already produce and distribute medical marijuana in places where it is legal, and a patient or caregiver needs to have a registration card indicating a need for cannabidiol to use this service.
In states where CBD products are more available over the counter, a healthy adult can try CBD oil as a wellness supplement or alternative treatment for things like minor aches and pains. CBD doesn’t have some of the side-effects of traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen.
Buying CBD Oil Online
CBD oil products can be purchased online from manufacturers that have physical locations. These manufacturers may have their own farms and manage production from seed to bottle, or they may source their core product from a local farm and process it in a different place.
Either way, the same rules apply: manufacturers need to abide by proper local laws, have to be careful about the claims they make about their products, and should always provide thorough content analyses of what they’re offering so that consumers can make informed decisions.
Reviews of CBD Oil and CBD Cream Products Purchased Online
Every person’s use case and situational comfort with trying a CBD product will be different. For people new to CBD, CBDReviewer provides independent brand and CBD product reviews as a starting point in this research process. Our internal team has reviewed several CBD oil and cream products purchased online. You can read more about their experiences below.
Purchasing CBD Oil – What to Watch Out For
The regulatory space surrounding CBD and other hemp products is in flux. Customers should be cautious, even when buying from a brick-and-mortar retailer they might otherwise trust. The Associated Press recently commissioned testing of several brands users flagged as suspect, many of which came from smoke and vape shops, and found several of them to contain synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids can be psychoactive and cause harm if ingested.
- Always ask for a certificate of analysis. If the product packaging doesn’t make it easy to find that information, or a retailer can’t provide it, don’t buy it.
- The ingredients of what you are consuming should be clearly labeled on the packaging.
- The brand should have an online portal that you can visit to learn more information about its processing, hemp sourcing, and testing policies.
- State map original data: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/27/walgreens-to-sell-cbd-products-in-some-stores.html