While the cannabis market has struggled on over the last decade, one region of production that has literally skyrocketed regardless has been the market for CBD. According to a recent report that was published by the Brightfield Group this month shows that the industry is forecasted to be worth a staggering 23 billion dollars over the next few years.
This is pretty incredible considering that it's a substance that was, up until recently, that it was largely unheard of. Over the last 20 years or so, research into CBD has demonstrated that it has an abundance of health benefits for users.
The research conducted by Brightfield resulted in the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which allowed for the legal buying and selling of CBD oil to the public, so long as it has a THC content of less than 0.3 percent.
It's thanks to this research and bill that broad support for the substance grew dramatically, with new companies providing and selling CBD oil have risen sharply all over the world. The broader public is becoming increasingly aware of the kind of benefits that CBD. America's public is a good example of this, with Gallup surveying that nearly 40 percent believe that CBD oil should be readily available over the counter.
While this is an opinion that is becoming increasingly supported, the situation is not as simple as we would like to think.
CBD Oil – Is it an Over the Counter Product?
CBD oil has emerged dramatically over these decades, and these products appear to be popping up on shelves everywhere. These products range from oil, capsules, edibles as well as topical creams, along with being offered as a supplement for foods and drinks.
While they are increasingly proving popular, the United States' Food and Drug Administration has yet to rubber stamp more than a single CBD product for the moment. This particular product as referred to as Epidiolex, which is a medicine that uses CBD as a treatment and prescription for rare conditions such as Dravet Syndrome as well as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
One of the added disadvantages about this approval from the FDA is that Epidiolex is only available through prescription only, which means that patients will only able to obtain this kind of medicine by prescription. And while there are a number of other CBD products out there that can be purchased without consulting a doctor, they are, as yet not approved by the FDA. As a result, they're not subject to the same kind of regulations.
With a distinct lack of regulation in place for these products, it presents a significant problem in assuring their quality, while also putting users at risk.
It's because of this lack of regulation that these same products may contain more or less CBD than they claim to have in reality. Harmful chemicals have contaminated what makes it all the more risky is the fact that they may have been subject to less than adequate processing techniques, and could.
If there's any advice that is worth giving about those people looking for a good quality CBD oil is that you should look for a reputable brand that provides resources like third-party lab reports on its website. These same reports will allow you to get further validation that the CBD that you're buying is as or near to the kind of quality that you're after.
Over the Counter CBD – Where you can Find it
Before the FDA's approval last year, the only way that you could actually purchase CBD supplements over the counter was through an online store. More recently, however, major drug chains have since joined the party, stocking their own selections of CBD products. These include big companies like Walgreens and CVS.
While these retail companies represent a really positive step forward for those looking for products, they have since shied away from diving into the market whole hog, stopping short of expanding the range of products into the field of oils, edibles along with food and drinks.
Alternatively, these companies opt to provide a range of topical products, which can be marketed in the range of skincare, or beauty products. It's because of this step take by CVS and Walgreens that you won't find other kinds of conventional CBD products on the shelves of these stores.
Instead, what you will find are a wide variety of topical creams, patches along with sprays, lotions and even lip balms. So while they are a positive step forward for CBD availability in the USA, they are not going to take any chances when it comes to getting on the bad side of the FDA.
Over the Counter CBD – Now in Walgreens and CVS
Walgreens and CVS took the move of placing CBD on the shelves of its stores with a great degree of caution, with some stores actually taking the added precaution of not shelving these CBD products at all. According to more recent observations, Walgreens has more than 1,500 stores within nine different states that provide CBD over the counter for consumers.
You can buy CBD over the counter in Walgreens if you live in:
In comparison CVS has since made CBD available in just under 10 percent of its stores (800 out of 9,800 will have it on shelves). If you live in one of the following states, you may be able to get a hold of some CBD over the counter:
According to a press release from the Walgreens team, it goes into detail regarding its decision to provide stock of over the counter CBD for consumers:
“The CBD related items we are planning to carry are non-THC containing topical creams, patches, and sprays. This product offering is in line with our efforts to provide a wider range of accessible health and well being products and services to best meet the needs and preferences of our customers.”
Looking at this press release on a superficial level, it sounds like a pretty optimistic step for the CBD industry in the United States. But is this wholly good news?
Over the Counter CBD – is it a Safe Product?
There is an increasing number of Americans that believe that CBD should be readily available for purchase without the need for a prescription or consultation with a physician. According to the previously mentioned statistics from Gallup, while 40 percent of the American population were in favor of easier access to purchasing of CBD, this same metric increased significantly for those that were familiar with CBD already and the kind of benefits it provides.
Equaling 61 percent of the population surveyed, this same amount regarded the cannabinoid is exceptionally beneficial, with just under half believing that it has some benefits, at the very least.
On the other hand, even with these kinds of benefits, there are some risks associated with it that need to be considered. Apart from the more distinct lack of regulation, there is a further good reason for why offering over the counter CBD may not be as good an idea as it initially appears.
Broadly speaking, CBD is considered to be relatively safe. It is a non-intoxicating substance that rarely causes side-effects in its users. On the other hand, the fact is that this research is still at a young stage, and at this moment in time, there is very little information on the long-term adverse effects.
Some of the research that is out there does demonstrate that a high volume of CBD over a long span of time does up the risks for liver damage. In this same research, it's known to interlace badly with various kinds of medication. Meaning that it can inadvertently impact on their potency without your knowledge.
One of the other dangers comes with the prospect that people may dismiss the application of conventional treatment methods in favor of using CBD substances. On its own, this won't really cause significant problems in those with minor conditions, it can prove far more dangerous if it's used as an alternative for cancer treatment.
It is generally and firmly advised that anyone looking to make use of CBD as part of his or her medical treatment, you should seek out consultation from your physician. These are all critically important, even if you choose to purchase your CBD product of choice over the counter.
Getting CBD Over the Counter Within the UK
In spite of the fact that these over the counter CBD products inhabit something of a murky gray area within the United States, it's a series of products that are pretty widely available both in stores and online within the United Kingdom.
These include big national pharmacy stores such as Boots, which is owned by the US company – Walgreens – interestingly enough, along with the major health food store called Holland and Barrett, which offers a wide range of CBD products.
In contrast with the United States, these stores offer a variety of CBD products like Oils, capsules and lozenges. One of the reasons that the UK has a more accessible range of CBD products, in spite of being subject to the same regulation range as the US, it's because they are generally considered to be beneficial, so long as they don't make medical claims.
This is something of a massive benefit for British shoppers as it offers them a considerable amount of convenience; it's not exactly an advantage when considering some of the aforementioned concerns, medically and regulatorily speaking. As a result of this, there is a growing concern that those that are not as well educated could assume that CBD is some kind of miracle cure.
With the CBD market continuing to grow on a global basis, there is a respectively pressing need for assurances and measures to be in place. So that way the public knows full well, just what kind of risks come with taking CBD, in conjunction with the benefits.
For the benefits of CBD, there appears to be an extensive amount of content on the health benefits of using CBD. On the other hand, there is a lot less information out there about the potential risks and harm that it could do.
Going Over the Counter – A Conclusion
With an increasing number of CBD companies emerging across the world, it doesn't come as much of a shock that big international drug stores and health stores like Walgreens, CVS, Boots, etc have since decided to jump on the proverbial bandwagon. On the other hand, these same stores, while taking a positive step, have decided to (rightfully) play it safe.
For the moment, these companies will only be stocking a range of beauty oriented topical CBD as opposed to anything oral.
If we look across to the United Kingdom, there is a little bit more boldness in what's being sold. In stores like Boots and the health food store Holland and Barrett, there is a little more of a drive to be daring. With both chains offering a range of oral supplements, which are widely available over the counter and without any kind of prescription. All the while, this is what makes it more important for there to be information readily available for consumers to get educated on.
Should you want to seek out and buy some CBD over the counter from one of these stores, it always helps to get the advice of a highly qualified healthcare professional to get their opinion. This is made even more critical a step if you're suffering from some kind medical or mental health condition or take some kind of medication.
One of the important carry aways of this whole article should be that. While it's important to see that there are some considerable benefits of using CBD oil, it is not supposed to be used as a substitute for either professional medical care or medication. Have a direct discussion with a medical professional in order to ascertain whether CBD is right for you or not.