Cannabidiol (CBD)

A Tale of Two Products

Educational Objectives

After participating in this activity, pharmacists will be able to:

  • Discuss cannabidiol and its known pharmacologic profile
  • Identify FDA-approved indications for prescription cannabidiol and other indications in which research is promising
  • Distinguish the FDA-approved canabidiol from various nonprescription products in terms of quality and risk/benefit profile
  • Maximize the pharmacist's role in helping patients who are good candidates for prescription cannabidiol or use nonprescription cannabidiol products either with or without other prescription drug therapies

After participating in this activity pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will be able to:

  • Discuss the basic facts about cannabidiol products
  • Acquire reputable sources for patients who have an interest in cannabidiol to find information
  • Distinguish between nonprescription and prescription cannabidiols
  • Infer when to refer patients to the pharmacist for recommendations or referral

Session Offered

Release Date: May 15, 2019

Expiration Date: June 15, 2021

Course Fee


Session Codes

19YC44-JFK22 Pharmacist

19YC44-XKP36 Pharmacy Technician

Accreditation Hours

2.0 hours of CE


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a highly purified cannabidiol (CBD) product called Epidiolex (hereafter referred to as CBD-Rx) for the treatment of seizure disorders in Dravet's and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes. Patients with epilepsy are sensitive to small changes in antiepileptic drug concentrations. Due to CBD products' tendency to deviate from the dose on the label and the dose actually delivered, use of non-FDA approved CBD products is highly discouraged in people with epilepsy. CBD is well tolerated but like all drugs, poses risks to the consumer. CBD has benefits, adverse events, and drug interactions that the pharmacy team must assess; careful counseling is critical for optimal use. While the lay press and Internet touts CBD to treat or alleviate many ailments, the evidence for benefit is limited. The pharmacy team, with their high accessibility and deep respect in the community, should be an unbiased information source on the possible benefits and risks of CBD for various ailments. Pharmacists should discourage adding CBD to food and drink at this time.

Accreditation Statements

The University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are eligible to participate in this application-based activity and will receive up to 0.2 CEU (2 contact hours) for completing the activity, passing the quiz with a grade of 70% or better, and completing an online evaluation. Statements of credit are available via the CPE Monitor on- line system and your participation will be recorded with CPE Monitor within 72 hours of submission


Grant funding: Greenwich Biosciences

Cost: Free

Initial Release Date: May 15, 2019
Expiration Date: May 15, 2021

To obtain CPE credit, visit the UConn Online CE Center

Use your NABP E-profile ID and the session code 19YC44-JFK22 for pharmacists or 19YC44-XKP36  for pharmacy technicians to access the online quiz and evaluation.

First- time users must pre-register in the Online CE Center. Test results will be displayed immediately and your participation will be recorded with CPE Mon- itor within 72 hours of completing the requirements.

For questions concerning the online CPE activities, email


C. Michael White, Pharm.D., FCP, FCCP; Professor and Chair, Pharmacy Practice, University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, Storrs, CT and Director, HOPES Collaborative Group, University of Connecticut and Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT.

Faculty Disclosure

The author has no actual or potential conflicts of interest associated with this article.

Disclosure of Discussions of Off-label and Investigational Drug Use

This activity may contain discussion of off label/unapproved use of drugs. The content and views presented in this educational program are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent those of the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.



In the United States, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production, a move that has given products derived from hemp—products that contain cannabidiol (CBD)—a boost. A recent news article disucssed CBD’s use by stressed-out parents.1 Various companies market CBD, an extract from hemp and marijuana plants, as able to help patients’ multiple ailments, including anxiety, pain, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and cancer. 2,3 Consumers may be drawn to CBD as it comes in multiple forms (e.g., oils, eye serums, gummies, etc).2,4 Even Willie Nelson has jumped on the CBD bandwagon—in July 2018, he released CBD infused-coffee beans.2


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