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CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the buzziest new wellness trends that continues to rise in popularity. On top of being touted as a potential treatment for pain management, anxiety, and more, the cannabis compound has been cropping up in everything from wine, coffee, and cosmetics, to sex and period products. That's why it comes as no surprise that both CVS and Walgreens will start selling CBD-infused products at select locations this year.
Between the two chains, 2,300 stores will clear shelves to introduce CBD-infused creams, lotions, patches, and sprays, nationwide, according to Forbes. For now, the launch is limited to the nine states that have legalized marijuana sales, which include Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Vermont.
If you're a CBD rookie, know that the stuff doesn't get you high. It's derived from cannabinoids in cannabis and then mixed with a carrier oil, like MCT (a form of coconut oil), and it has little to no negative side effects, according to the World Health Organization. CBD even has a gold star from the FDA when it comes to treating seizures: Last January, the agency approved Epidiolex, a CBD oral solution, as a treatment for two of the most severe forms of epilepsy. (Here's everything you need to know about the difference between CBD, THC, cannabis, marijuana, and hemp.)
Right now, neither Walgreens nor CVS have shared exactly what CBD brands they will be adding to their line-up. But the fact that such nationally recognized brands are putting their weight behind these products is great news for CBD lovers everywhere—especially when it comes to buying products you can trust.
Since CBD is still pretty new to the wellness market, it's not regulated by the FDA. In other words, the agency doesn't rigorously monitor the creation and distribution of CBD, so producers aren't under strict scrutiny when it comes to how they concoct, label, and sell their cannabis creations. This lack of regulation potentially leaves the door open for sellers who are just trying to make money off of these trendy products through false and/or deceptive advertising.
In fact, a study by the FDA found that about 26 percent of CBD products on the market contain significantly less CBD per milliliter than the labels suggest. And with little to no regulations, it's tough for CBD consumers to trust or know what they're really buying.
But now that CVS and Walgreens are making CBD products even more accessible, there's likely to be a bigger push for a new regulatory framework. A new and refined structure will hopefully provide more concrete guidance for what CBD brands can—and more importantly—can't do before putting their products on the market. In reality, we still have a long way to go, but this news definitely brings us one step closer to making the purchase of CBD a bit safer and more reliable for everyone.