CVS to Sell Products in 800 Stores in 8 States: NBC News

March 22, 2019: CVS (Convenience, Value, and Service), is the drive-through pharmacy and online drugstore, is soon coming with an ‘alternative source of relief’ – topical CBD products (cannabidiol)- interspersed sprays, creams, lotions, roll-ons, and salves.

At this point of time, the products are being accessible for purchase only in the selected 8 states like – Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee.

It has been notified clearly by the CEO of CVS, Mr. Larry J. Merlo, that their company is absolutely not going to sell any of the CBD constituting food supplements or food additives.

The CVS health spokesperson, Mike DeAngelis shared that they are going to display on shelf hemp-derived CBD products to be able to meet the growing demand for alternative care products.

He further stated that the company has already partnered with CBD manufacturers. Only those manufacturers who are law abiding. These manufacturers have also been tested for meeting the high-quality standards by the company.

It’s reassuring news that CVS is partnering with a company, which will test and certify the proper and hygienic conditions of the CBD topicals which will be sold over the counter of the 800 selected drug store.

CVS is well known as a quick place to pick your prescription medicines and other meds you may think you need. Now you can purchase from them the CBD products as well, of which some are beauty supplements like creams and lotions for a skin. Others are roll-ons, salves, and sprays to get instant relief from pain and anxiety.

To have a proper insight into the CBD products here are a few details: CBD is just one of the 104 compounds which are called cannabinoids present in the cannabis or marijuana plant. CBD essentially is in the hemp plant, which is said to be a close family member to marijuana. Both Marijuana and CBD constitute varying types of cannabinoids. The psychoactive chemical compound THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is high in Marijuana, whereas, CBD (the non-psychoactive compound of cannabis) is richly found in the hemp plant.

There are companies which are adding this compound to food, beverages and skin care products. Nevertheless, it’s still unlawful as per Food and Drug Administration’s rules and regulations to put in CBD to food and beverages. The reason for this is of a serious nature as the compound is an active ingredient in a drug, Epidiolex.

Slowly and slowly, CBD is becoming a popular ingredient in demand for its potential medicinal advantages. According to the experts, anxiety, pain, inflammation, cancer, etc. conditions are effectively treated by the use of CBD. But still, a little more research needs to be conducted for the effects of CBD on human beings.

As mentioned above about the drug Epidiolex, an oral solution, which is prescribed for treating seizures identified with two acute and uncommon forms of epilepsy.

As cited by Dr. Margaret Haney, Neurobiology Professor, Columbia University Medical Center and Director, Columbia’s Marijuana Research Laboratory, “So it’s showing up in lotions and pretty much any form of product one can use. There’s a lot of different ways one could use CBD, but the ways we have studied CBD is much more limited.”

Here, CVS owns almost 9,800 brick and cement stores all over the USA. Now will display CBD products in the shelves and sell over the counter in more than 800 stores in the announced 8 states.

Of course, the efficiency and effectiveness claims will vary from product to product and from individual to individual. As more researches are yet required to be conducted, the company has decided not to advertise the products as ‘cure-all’ items.

Now the meaning of the statement is clearer, when the CEO of CVS Health, Larry Merlo shared his opinion about the launch of these products, in the interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, “We are going to walk slowly, but this is something we think our customers will be looking for.”

As stated earlier the company is law-abiding, thus will not sell any CBD mixed supplements or food additives. As per Federal, Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, it is not legalized to include drug ingredients such as CBD into the food supplements or dietary supplements.

The FDA Commissioner has clearly warned in December 2018, that the selling of illegal products which are having dubious therapeutic claims is violating the laws. More than a violation, it is risking the patient’s well-being owing to the fact that there is yet no evidence that these products are safe and sound.

Therefore it has been decided by the company to market its creams and salves as over the counter medicinal products which are advertised in an enthusiastic display.

The most challenging aspect as per Dr. Haney, the Neurobiology Professor, is that as most of us have come to the knowledge of CBD. There may be some tough and critical situations where patients will say a capital ‘NO’ to the effective medications so as to use the less proven products such as CBD.

It is possible that the expansion of product line to over the counter CBD products may get the company amidst a lot of questions than wonders (wonder with happiness to get relieved from pain etc.) in the initial few months. For this, the company is fully prepared.

Aptly quoted by the nutritionist and cannabis practitioner Brooke Alpert that this is the only way to reduce the blemishes on the product which in reality doesn’t deserve to be blemished at all. As there are no proper regulations eyebrows are raised to know if people really know what they are buying. Isn’t it possible for inferior products to take advantage of the situations? With pain and desperation they would like to know from where could one get detailed information of these CBD products.

For being rest assured on the above issues, they have partnered with another company Eurofins, a third party laboratory, who is going to test each and every CBD topicals for THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD potency and other harmful contaminants, the CVS health spokesperson, Mike DeAngelis said in a statement to the NBC News.

In addition to it, only those products which pass through the independent tests will be displayed for sale in their stores, is very reassuring and relieving for the nation.

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