The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has launched a new resource for pharmacists looking to understand and purchase reliable cannabidiol (CBD) products, called the NCPA CBD Source.

The online resource features CBD products that have been tested for concentrations of all cannabinoids, including CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), by an independent, third-party lab. The site also features experts that pharmacists can contact with questions regarding buying, selling, and marketing. In addition, pharmacists will be able to evaluate each company included in the resource, as well as see each company’s products.

CBD products have exploded in recent months following the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which removed hemp from the list of Schedule I controlled substances. According to a statement from NCPA, the United States CBD industry grew by nearly 40% in 2017, and is expected to reach $22 billion by 2024.

CBD can help relieve pain and inflammation resulting from chronic illnesses, as well as boost the immune system, and these effects have led to a flood of patient interest.

“Many pharmacies are deciding to sell CBD products because of the patient demand and because, as the medication expert, they can serve as the source of truth,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA.

Carter High, PharmD, of Best Value Rhome Pharmacy, said he plans on using the service to bolster the knowledge and products that he already trusts. CBD products are new to the pharmacy wheelhouse, High said, and he gets many phone calls with sales pitches from various CBD companies.

“It gets a little confusing as to whether or not they’re just talking a really good sales pitch, or if they really do have a genuine product,” High said.

High said it’s important for pharmacists to make sure they understand the uses and mechanisms of CBD products, but that this can be challenging given the crowded marketplace.

“Understanding just how CBD affects the body is a very good avenue for a pharmacist to delineate themselves as a knowledge expert on a new upcoming way of how to help patients out,” High said. “A marketplace such as [NCPA CBD Source] fills a very big gap that was missing, and helps from an efficiency standpoint at the store level.”

While he is excited to use the resources provided, High did emphasize that it doesn’t relieve pharmacists of the responsibility to ensure that the products are reliable, safe, and right for each patient. It does, however, help reassure pharmacists that the decisions they are making are the right ones, he added.
 
Do you recommend CBD products to your patients? How do you educate yourself about CBD options? We want to hear about your experiences! Tag us on social media or comment on our Facebook post, and let us know how you handle CBD in your pharmacy.

REFERENCE

NCPA, PRS Launch First-of-its-Kind “CBD Source” Tool for Pharmacists [news release]. Alexandria, VA; Oct. 28, 2019. NCPA website. https://www.ncpanet.org/newsroom/news-releases/2019/10/29/ncpa-prs-launch-first-of-its-kind-cbd-source-tool-for-pharmacists. Accessed Nov. 6, 2019.