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CBD at Pharmacies: What You Need to Know (and Why You Might Want to Look Elsewhere)

Written By Ellese Symons May 3rd 2024
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The CBD products lining retailer shelves generate a considerable amount of curiosity. Many people initially hesitant to try hemp-derived CBD appear to respond favorably to finding a selection of products in local pharmacies. While that's great for our industry in general, consumers may be at risk of purchasing products selected by the procurement teams of large corporations overestimating their ability to ensure product quality. It happens. 

Take large drugstore chains, for example. Although their corporate execs claim partnerships with manufacturers meeting their high standards,1 you need to remain vigilant – approach every potential purchase with a healthy dose of skepticism. Once you understand the value of manufacturer transparency, you might want to look elsewhere. 

Why Competing Pharmacies Added Hemp-Derived CBD Products to Their Inventories  

Hemp-derived CBD has considerable health and wellness potential. The cannabinoid is generally well-tolerated, safe for most adults, and poses an impressively low risk of side effects. Once our government took hemp off the list of federally regulated substances, the number of companies adding CBD to their inventories skyrocketed. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most abundant of more than 113 potentially beneficial cannabinoids in full spectrum hemp extract. Although the active plant element is shown to interact with multiple molecular targets, cannabis researchers credit CBD's influence on the ECS receptors for its impressive list of possible benefits.3 According to a 2019 CBDistillery® survey of 1,900 customers, most CBD users report positive results for relaxation, better sleep, mild or temporary anxiety, and the relief of mild pain, stiffness, and inflammation after physical activity within 7-14 days of consistent daily use.   

Local Availability: The Disadvantage of Shopping for CBD at Pharmacies 

The purity and potency of hemp-derived CBD products can have a significant impact on the overall consumer experience. Although major pharmacy brands make it easy for people in select locations to indulge their curiosity, many shoppers looking for specific product types may not find what they're looking for. While browsing their websites, you'll discover why consumers intending to purchase CBD might leave empty-handed. 

Limited Product Selection  

Most of the CBD brands sold at major pharmacies use the oil extracted from industrial hemp as an ingredient in a wide range of products, CBD oil tinctures, topicals, softgels, gummies, and more. But the pharmacies offer only a limited number of products intended for external application. Their inventory is limited to muscle rubs and skincare products. Of course, high-quality CBD-infused topicals are ideal for consumers looking for fast-acting relief of temporary discomfort after physical activity, but customers looking for alternatives need to shop elsewhere. 

The Case for Purchasing CBD Products from Industry Specialists  

We're not here to suggest that major pharmacies are intentionally misleading unsuspecting consumers. That clearly isn't the case. But even experienced CBD users picking up the occasional topical at their preferred pharmacy need to proceed with caution. Relatively few CBD brands gracing pharmacy shelves provide enough information about their products to ensure consumers can access the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions – the details teams negotiating supplier contracts may not know to look for. 

We do, however, believe consumers purchasing CBD from industry specialists are less likely to choose products of questionable quality. Respected industry leaders understand the importance of maintaining an atmosphere of complete transparency. Their claims of purity and potency are backed by verifiable documentation, and most have an unwavering commitment to consumer education, providing customer support, and keeping pace with emerging trends as consumer interests evolve, priorities best illustrated by the following details. 

A Wider Range of Product Options  

The fact that high-quality hemp flower extract can be used to make an impressive number of products is an important part of its appeal. Instead of limiting consumer options, top-tier CBD brands have well-developed product lines to ensure every customer can find just the right options for their needs, preferences, and lifestyle, whether those needs are best met by topical application or system-wide ECS support.   

The Expertise of Experienced Botanists  

Expert botanists play a crucial role in ensuring product quality and consumer satisfaction. In addition to monitoring soil health and selecting the ideal strains for maintaining consistent cannabinoid profiles, they're moving our industry forward with unique product formulations, including full spectrum CBD oil tinctures and gummies enhanced with precise amounts of hemp's most intriguing minor cannabinoids selected to enhance specific attributes: CBG, CBN, CBDA, and naturally occurring Delta-9 THC. 

Rigorous Product Testing  

Hemp is a hyperaccumulator known for absorbing heavy metals, pesticides, and other potentially harmful contaminants from the soil,7 some extraction methods leave solvent residue behind, and cross-contamination could occur at any stage of production. That's why top-tier brands insist on natural farming, gold-standard C02 extraction,8 and cGMP regulatory compliance through every phase of production. Rigorous product testing backed by a certificate of analysis helps ensure customers can shop with confidence. 

Discover the Advantages of Choosing CBDistillery® Hemp-Derived CBD Products  

CBDistillery® was founded by a group of Colorado natives who believe in providing high-quality, reasonably priced, US-grown hemp-derived CBD. Today, CBDistillery® is a respected industry leader with more than 2 million satisfied customers and over 43,000 verified reviews. In an industry still plagued by fake celebrity endorsements and unverified claims of third-party testing, our customers know they can count on us for rigorously tested, quality-assured products backed by a certificate of analysis and our hassle-free 60-day satisfaction guarantee.   

To learn more, visit CBDistillery® for a crash course on hemp-derived cannabinoids, to find answers to frequently asked questions, or browse our blog. While you're there, take a few minutes to explore our selection of CBD, CBDA, CBG, CBN, and Delta-9 THC-infused products. If you're not quite sure where to begin, consider scheduling a personal consultation


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  1. Kindelan K. (2019) Walgreens to Sell CBD Products in Stores: What to Know the Buzzy Wellness Trend. Good Morning America.com. 

  1. Marzo, V, Piscetelli F. (2015) The Endocannabinoid System and Its Modulation by Phytocannabinoids. 12, Neurotherapeutics 692-98. 

  1. CVS Requires Third-Party Testing, Learn More CVS.com/shop/personal Care/CBD 

  1. Harrington A. (2021) 25% of CBD Products Are Not Tested for Purity. Forbes. 

  1. Oleinik G. (2024) Irwin Naturals CBD Review: Why I Avoid This Brand (2024). CBDThinker. 

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