Use This Checklist To Select Your CBD Product

Drug Topics JournalDrug Topics November 2020
Volume 165
Issue 11

What pharmacists need to consider before selling CBD in their stores.


Don’t have time to evaluate which of the thousands of cannabidiol (CBD) brands on the market to sell in your pharmacy? How do you make wise choices about which brands and products to carry on your shelves? What criteria should you use to ensure you are offering your patients quality CBD products from reputable manufacturers? CBD is a product that belongs in a pharmacy, and it should be sold with the same care you employ to sell every other OTC medication to your customers.

Packaging and Labeling

The product should be professionally packaged and look like it belongs in a pharmacy. The label should be simple and easy to understand, and it should have the same information you expect on other OTC products. Is it for ingestion or sublingual use? Strength in milligrams of CBD per dose must be clearly printed on the label, not just total milligrams per bottle.

Marketing Claims

The label and any marketing materials cannot include statements that are banned by the FDA, such as ones making therapeutic claims or advertising the product’s use as a food additive. Avoid brands that make claims or insinuate that the product may lead to certain health outcomes.

Manufacturer Credibility

Choose companies owned and/or operated by pharmacists or physicians. There are plenty of them out there.

Types of Delivery Methods

Remain alert for new developments in technology that provide enhanced delivery of CBD to target tissues. These developments are taking place seemingly overnight. Sublingual (SL) oils have been the prominent dosage form since the introduction of CBD on the market, mainly due to its greater absorption profile. Most oral CBD capsules undergo first-pass metabolism, which diminishes blood levels since CBD is not water soluble. However, there are now enhanced biodelivery methods that allow oral CBD to be absorbed at levels well above SL oils and are 10 to 20 times greater than oral dosage forms not utilizing these new technologies. In the near future, we can make CBD as easy for customers to take as vitamins and other supplements.

Product Quality

The CBD must be sourced from hemp that is grown, cultivated, processed, and distributed in the United States. Manufacturers who are concerned about the purity of their products should only use hemp that is produced compliant with FDA and US Department of Agriculture guidelines, as well as sometimes stricter state laws. There are conflicting and inconsistent rules that affect hemp grown overseas, but using hemp sourced in the US ensures that the THC levels, contaminants such as pesticides, and trace heavy metals are regulated by US agencies.

Moreover, are the products independently tested by a third-party laboratory? CBD companies should have the certificate of analysis (CoA) readily available for every product they sell, but that CoA is only meaningful if provided by a reputable laboratory. There are documented instances where unreliable CBD companies have published counterfeit CoAs.

Remember, the products you sell can reflect positively or negatively on you and your business. You should only sell CBD from trusted and reliable companies. As Harry Lattanzio, RPh, president of PRS Pharmacy Services, has said, “It’s the Wild West out there. Make sure you know what is in that bottle you’re handing to patients!”

Tim Gregorius, RPh, is vice president of operations for PRS Pharmacy Services.

Go to to learn everything you need to know about how and why CBD works, and what that means for your patients and pharmacy. is the premier learning center for pharmacists wishing to learn about CBD’s mechanism of action, drug interactions, side effects, dosing, CBD for pets, legal implications, new technologies, product selection, and more.

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