CBD Oil: Pharmacy or Online Shop?

Whether oils, drops, sprays, capsules, creams or food - products containing the non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD) from the hemp plant are extremely popular. But those who deal with CBD products have many questions: What CBD products are available? What should be paid attention to when buying? And should the products be bought in the pharmacy, online pharmacy or online stores? The following article aims to answer these questions.

CBD products: Quality can vary depending on the supplier
Which products are available?
CBD oil: differences in quality depending on the manufacturer
CBD oil from the pharmacy: what are the advantages and disadvantages?
CBD oil from online stores: What are the advantages and disadvantages?
CBD oil from the pharmacy or online store: How does the price differ?
Overview: Buy CBD oil from the pharmacy or online store?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid from the hemp plant. The hemp can produce over 100 different cannabinoids, whereby the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with its intoxicating effect is probably best known. In contrast, however, CBD does not produce any intoxicating effects.

While research around the therapeutic properties of THC is well advanced, research around cannabidiol (CBD) is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, this is already promising. Among other things, CBD is said to have anti-epileptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and sedative effects. In addition, CBD is said to be able to influence the sensation of pain.

When scientists investigate the effects of THC and CBD, they use standardized, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis extracts or synthetic cannabinoids. Especially in studies, it is important to always use the same active ingredient in order to be able to compare the results and to be able to deduce the possible therapeutic potential.

CBD products: Quality may vary depending on the supplier

In the freely available products, the CBD is extracted from the hemp, or more precisely from the commercial hemp, and not from THC-rich cannabis varieties. The commercial hemp forms only very small amounts of THC and a slightly higher proportion of CBD.

Due to the fact that there is no standardized process to produce CBD products such as CBD oils, nor do manufacturers have to grow the hemp under strictly controlled conditions, the quality of the products can vary significantly.

Which kind of products are available?

  • The range of CBD products and their dosage form is continuously expanding. Among others, the following products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are available:
  • CBD extract dissolved in a carrier oil, such as hemp oil, sunflower seed oil or MCT oil - i.e. the typical CBD oil.
  • CBD isolate (crystalline, pure CBD without other cannabinoids or other ingredients from hemp)
  • CBD capsules with CBD isolate or CBD oil
  • CBD drops (water soluble)
  • CBD spray
  • CBD cosmetics (e.g. creams, serums or massage oil)
  • Food with CBD (e.g. CBD chewing gums or CBD gummy bears)

CBD oil: differences in quality depending on the manufacturer

Not all CBD oil is created equal. Whether a product is high quality depends on different factors, such as:

  • Starting material: manufacturers are required to grow a variety of hemp that comes from the EU Variety Catalogue so that THC limits are met. However, since the cultivation of hemp is not strictly regulated, there are also manufacturers who use fertilizers or pesticides, for example. Therefore, it is generally recommended to choose a product from a manufacturer where the hemp comes from organic cultivation.
  • Extraction process: The most expensive, but at the same time the most gentle method is CO2 extraction. However, some manufacturers extract the CBD from the hemp plant with a solvent such as alcohol. Here, there is a risk that solvent residues remain in the CBD oil. A reputable  manufacturer who attaches great importance to quality, therefore provides its customers:inside laboratory analysis from an independent laboratory. 

For more information on the topic, see the article "How can I recognise good CBD oil".

CBD oil from the pharmacy: What are the pros and cons?

Some pharmacies have now included CBD products in their range. It should be noted that CBD oil is not a medicine. Accordingly, it can be purchased at the pharmacy without a prescription.
However, it is unclear according to which criteria the pharmacy selects a product and offers it to its customers:inside. This means that just because a CBD product is available in a pharmacy, it does not automatically have to be of good quality.

Expertise is not automatically given in pharmacies

Another problem is that most pharmacy employees are not familiar with cannabidiol (CBD) or CBD products and only pass on the information they receive from the manufacturer. Due to the fact that CBD and its therapeutic properties have not been sufficiently researched, many pharmacies refrain from offering CBD products.

So, the question arises as to what actually speaks in favor of buying from a pharmacy. Provided that a pharmacy carries high-quality CBD products and is familiar with the topic, a personal consultation is certainly always an advantage. Other advantages could be the good availability of products and the elimination of long delivery times and shipping costs.

CBD oil from online stores: What are advantages and disadvantages?

On the Internet, the offer is much larger than in pharmacies. If people are looking for CBD products such as CBD oil, CBD capsules, CBD drops or CBD cosmetics here, they will come across countless suppliers. When buying CBD products in online stores, it is therefore recommended to first deal with the manufacturer/provider itself and check them out based on the following questions:

  • Basic things should always be checked with online stores: Is there an imprint? Does the company really exist? What are the general terms and conditions (GTC)? Are there contact options (e.g. hotline or e-mail)?
    Are there different payment methods available?
  • How comprehensive is the information on the website? Do companies introduce themselves personally and provide information about the origin and processing of the hemp?
  • Is it actually a CBD product or hemp oil? (Hemp oil is made from the seeds of the hemp plant and does not contain cannabinoids like CBD).
  • Do the products comply with the THC limits (Switzerland: max. 1 percent THC; Germany: max. 0.2 percent, Austria: max. 0.3 percent)?
  • Are certificates of analysis from independent laboratories provided?
Orders for CBD products in online stores should therefore be well considered. But with the help of such a questionnaire, reputable manufacturers or online stores can be quickly filtered out.

CBD oil from the pharmacy or online store: How does the price differ?

Everything has its price. This also applies to the purchase of CBD oil, CBD drops, CBD capsules and other CBD products. In this regard, the price of CBD oils depends mainly on the following:

  • Origin of the raw material (e.g., own organic cultivation).
  • Manufacturing process
  • CBD content
  • Package size (10 ml, 30 ml or 100 ml)

Pricing at ALPINOLS

ALPINOLS' premium products are in the upper-middle price segment, as the company wants to make CBD oils available to everyone. The price of CBD oils is designed like this:




Price Switzerland

Price EU

CBD Oil (Full Spectrum)

5 %


10 ml

from CHF 37

from EUR 34

CBD Oil (Full Spectrum)

10 % (1000mg)

10 ml

from CHF 57

from EUR 51

CBD Oil (Full Spectrum)

15 % (1500mg)

10 ml

from CHF 75

from EUR 69

CBD Oil (Full Spectrum)

20 % (2000mg)

10 ml

from CHF 98

from EUR 98

CBD Oil (Full Spectrum)

25 % (2500mg)

10 ml

from CHF 139

from EUR 129

Whether the prices for CBD oils are now lower or higher in the pharmacy or in online stores, can not be said in general terms. Therefore, it is more important to pay attention to the quality criteria listed above than to the price.

Overview: Buy CBD oil in the pharmacy or online store?

When looking for a high-quality CBD oil, it is not easy to decide whether the purchase should be made in pharmacies or online stores. Therefore, here once again follow all the important points at a glance:









varies (please note the quality standards)

mostly in stock

not applicable

Online Shops



varies (please note the quality standards)

mostly in stock, please note delivery time

Shipping costs may increase the price 


What CBD oil can I get at the pharmacy?

Not all pharmacies carry CBD products such as CBD oils, CBD drops or CBD capsules. Buying CBD oil is complicated by the fact that it is not known what quality criteria pharmacies use to select products. After all, just because a CBD oil is available in pharmacies does not mean that it is automatically a high-quality and good product. In this respect, the recommendation is to select a CBD oil according to certain quality criteria (e.g. origin of the source material, cultivation methods, extraction process, etc.).

How much does cannabis oil from the pharmacy cost?

Cannabis oil is not CBD oil. This is because cannabis oil hides medicinal cannabis. Pharmacies produce an oily liquid for ingestion from medicinal flowers on prescription (narcotic prescription), which has a high THC content. CBD oil contains CBD extract from commercial hemp (low-THC hemp), so it can be purchased from pharmacies without a prescription. Thereby, the prices for CBD oils and CBD drops can vary considerably. Basically, a high quality CBD oil may well cost more than a product that was produced with a low-cost process.

Is it possible to buy CBD oil in the pharmacy?

In principle, it is possible to buy CBD oil or other CBD products (e.g. CBD drops or CBD capsules) in pharmacies. However, not every pharmacy carries CBD products. A much larger selection can be found in online stores of manufacturers, and the choice should be made based on various quality criteria. Since there are no standardized procedures for the production of CBD products, the quality can vary significantly.

How expensive is CBD oil in the pharmacy?

The prices for CBD oils vary both in pharmacies and online stores. It cannot be said across the board, CBD products in the pharmacy are more expensive or cheaper than in online stores. This is because prices depend on different factors, such as the origin of the hemp, the processing method or the CBD content. A CBD oil (10 ml with 500 mg CBD) in good quality (full spectrum extract) is usually available from 30 euros.