March 22 (UPI) -- CVS Pharmacy will start selling hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD, products in eight states.
The products will be sold in 800 CVS stores across Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Tennessee.
It will be sold as a cream, spray, roll-on, lotions and salves.
"We are carrying hemp-derived CBD products in select states to help meet consumer demand for alternative care options," CVS Health spokesperson Mike DeAngelis said.
Hemp plants are a close relative to marijuana, as both contain cannabinoids. Hemp does not contain significant amounts of THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. It does, however, include components with medicinal benefits.
"Societies have jumped far far ahead of science," said Dr. Margaret Haney, a professor of neurobiology at Columbia University Medical Center and director of 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."
U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations won't allow CVS to market the product as "cure all." They also can't be sold as a food, dietary supplement or drug to be ingested.
"We're going to walk slowly, but this is something we think our customers will be looking for," CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo told CNBC.
"Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is not only a violation of the law, but also can put patients at risk, as these products have not been proven to be safe or effective," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement in December.