A shopper browses the fresh meat case at a Kroger-owned store in Orland Park, Illinois. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images photo)

CINCINNATI (Heartland Newsfeed) — CBD oil will soon be sold in nearly 1,000 stores of the U.S. largest grocery retailer.

A Kroger spokeswoman announced Tuesday that they will sell CBD topical products such as creams, balms and oils derived from hemp in 945 stores across 17 states, joining a growing list of national retailers including Walgreens, CVS, Vitamin Shoppe and GNC.

“Like many retailers, we are starting to offer our customers a highly-curated selection of topical products like lotions, balms, oils and creams that are infused with hemp-derived CBD,” the Kroger spokeswoman said.

Curiosity has increased among consumers about CBD, a non-intoxicating compound based on the cannabis plant, which promises to relieve problems like anxiety and chronic pain, while there is criticism — especially from the U.S. government — stating there is hardly any scientific evidence backing up such claims.

While hemp-derived CBD was made legal, thanks to Congress passing the new farm bill last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not given companies the green light to add CBD to food or sell it as a dietary supplement

The retail sale of CBD-infused beauty and skin care products brought forth less legal risks, which explains why retailers like Kroger are stocking these products first. While the FDA is making considerations about the application of CBD to food and dietary supplements, a recent hearing, according to CNBC, revealed that there is much more for regulators to learn and they have yet to determine how much more evidence they need to see before making any decisions.

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The addition of CBD products marks one of many changes over the past few years for the grocery giant as an attempt to re-position its business to ward off Walmart and Amazon as part of their three-year investment plan, Restock Kroger, which poured money into digital retail sales and delivery services to meet shifting consumer shopping habits. This plan, unfortunately, has eaten into their earnings.

Kroger will sell CBD products in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming, according to the Kroger spokeswoman.

Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network and a contributing writer for My Sports Vote, Ambush Sports and Midwest Sports Network. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dogs Sparky and Buster.

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