CVS Health Corporation, the largest pharmaceutical retail chain in the U.S., last week began selling cannabidiol (CBD) products in eight states and will “walk slowly” due to the controversy surrounding this chemical derived from the marijuana plant and hemp.

“These products include topicals such as creams, sprays, roll-ons, lotions and salves. We are not selling any CBD-containing supplements or food additives,” said CVS in a statement. “We have partnered with CBD product manufacturers that are complying with applicable laws and that meet CVS’s high standards for quality.”

More than 800 stores in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee will now offer CBD products sourced from Canadian marijuana company Curaleaf Holdings Inc., as part of a distribution deal.

“Anecdotally, we’ve heard from our customers that have used those products that, gee, it’s helped with pain relief for arthritis and other ailments,” said CVS CEO Larry Merlo. “So we’re gonna walk slowly, but we think this is something that customers are going to be looking for as part of the health offering.”

CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical present in both marijuana and hemp. Doctors say CBD does not trigger a high in its users, and has been used for medical purposes for decades.

Normally sold as an oil product, CBD has been successfully used to mitigate inflammation, pain and nausea. It’s also been used to ease anxiety, bipolar disorder, a muscle disorder called dystonia, seizures, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. Demand for CBD oil in the U.S. has exploded because of these alleged advantages.

CVS joined high-end retailer Barneys New York as one of the few high-profile retail firms that have dared to go the cannabis route.

Barneys today (March 21) opened its very own legal and luxury cannabis lifestyle and wellness concept shop at its Beverly Hills flagship store. Barneys has named its luxe head shop, The High End.

With the launch of The High End, Barneys New York becomes the first major retailer to introduce a cannabis lifestyle shop. Select products featured in The High End will also be available on starting March 29.

"Many of our customers are incorporating cannabis into their lifestyle, and The High End meets this new need in a way that only Barneys New York can," said Daniella Vitale, Chief Executive Officer & President, Barneys New York.

"We are thrilled for customers to visit The High End and its extraordinary selection of products. It's an experience they can't get anywhere else."

CVS A CVS corner drugstore Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The High End features an exclusive partnership with upscale cannabis company Beboe. It also sells an extensive selection of accessories and lifestyle products.

These include a range of elevated wellness products and rare items across home, jewelry, beauty and more. Barneys said guests as The High End will be able to experience a selection of custom blown glass pipes, luxury rolling papers, one-of-a-kind vintage ashtrays, accessories including sterling silver grinders, and CBD-infused beauty.