A week after CVS, the nation's biggest drugstore chain, revealed they were already selling CBD in their stores across eight states—a significant coup for the CBD industry—Walgreens, the second largest drugstore chain in the country, announced they would begin stocking CBD products in their stores, too.
Walgreens told CNBC on Wednesday they will sell CBD-based creams, patches, and sprays at over 1,500 locations in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana. They declined to name the brands they would carry or when CBD would hit store shelves.
"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," Walgreens spokesman Brian Faith said to CNBC.
Walgreens explored the potential benefits of CBD in a corporate blog post on medical marijuana, authored by Dahlia Sultan, PharmD, a pharmacist with the company and the University of Chicago.
“The healing properties of marijuana are due to its high cannabidiol (CBD) content (the non-psychoactive component of cannabis that may be beneficial in treating pain, epileptic seizures, and possibly psychoses),” she wrote.
Ms. Sultan continued: “Cannabinoids attach like a key to a lock to your body’s naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors, which make up the endocannabinoid (EC) system. Both the therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor. Because the EC system is found in many parts of your brain and cannabinoid receptors are all over your body—in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, and immune system—the effects of THC and CBD are wide-ranging.
“Research on the health benefits of marijuana is ongoing, but current studies have proven that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in many body processes, including metabolic regulation, cravings, pain, anxiety, bone growth, and immune function.
“...research has also shown marijuana provides pain relief in ways traditional pain medicines don’t. Medical marijuana can improve appetite and relieve nausea in those who have cancer, and it may help relieve symptoms such as muscle stiffness in people who have multiple sclerosis.”
The potential medical benefits of cannabis and CBD, and of course the growing mainstream acceptance and the fact that their biggest competitor is already stocking it, are all likely reasons why Walgreens has chosen to follow suit.