Just weeks after leading drug store chain CVS announced it would begin selling CBD-infused products in several states, rival chain Walgreens has announced it will step into the booming cannabis market as well.
Similar to CVS, Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens will sell CBD creams, patches, and sprays in nearly 1,500 stores in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana.
“This product offering is in line with our efforts to provide a wider range of accessible health and wellbeing products and services to best meet the needs and preferences of our customers,” Walgreens spokesman Brian Faith told CNBC.
CBD - cannabidiol -- is a nonpsychoactive compound found in both hemp and marijuana plants. It's been shown to have benefits in treating chronic pain and inflammation. It's also revered for its ability to improve sleep and mood and reduce the incidence of anxiety in users.
But its most notable benefit may come for more serious conditions, such as epileptic seizures and those related to Dravet syndrome. The Colorado-based Stanley Brothers jettisoned to fame after its CBD products were effective in reducing the number of daily seizures for a young girl with Dravet. That strain is now marketed and sold as "Charlotte's Web" by the brand.
Consumer interest in CBD is at an all-time high. High-end stores like Barneys are now selling CBD products and lifestyle icon Martha Stewart will be releasing a line of CBD products for pets.
Regulations on CBD are still being defined as the FDA is working to get a handle on the products. The recent 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD (and hemp plants), but the agency is still defining its use in edible food products. Since CBD can come from both hemp and THC-containing marijuana plants -- the stuff that does get people high -- defining rules for uses is proving to be a challenge. The agency says it is coordinating a new expert-led task force to help define the category and the most effective legislation.
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