How Old Do You Have to be to Buy CBD?

By Josh Hall

While it’s true that age is just a number, some ages come with added pomp and circumstance — and privileges. In most states, kids that are 15 can apply and receive a learner’s permit and a driver’s license a year later at 16. One year after that, and you’re allowed to purchase a ticket to an R-rated movie without an adult present. One year after that is a major milestone — the big 1-8 — which grants you the right to do everything from enlist in the military to gamble at a casino. And, of course, you can legally drink alcohol in the United States at the age of 21.

Can you guess what wasn’t included in that rundown? The legal age to buy cannabidiol (CBD). If you’re here, you’re probably wondering how old do you have to be to buy CBD? Like most regulations involving this wonderous compound, the answer rests squarely in a bit of a gray area.

Why would age matter when buying CBD?

Depending on who you ask, you’re bound to get a variety of responses on why age would matter when buying CBD, but the most popular is because CBD is a compound derived from the cannabis plant. Yes, that cannabis plant, the same one where THC comes from. Though CBD and THC are both cannabinoids and share the same molecular formula, there’s one big difference between the two: CBD does not induce a euphoric high like THC does.

The other reason why age could be a consideration when it comes to consumers is that the CBD industry is unregulated. Unlike other substances that fall under the food and drug label, there’s no federal authority overseeing the production and distribution of CBD products. Despite that lack of governance, there are ways to protect yourself when making a CBD purchase. You should only buy products that come with a Certificate of Analysis (COA) from a third-party accredited lab. These reports provide details on each specific product, including the levels of infused CBD and other cannabinoids. A COA is the only real way to ensure you’re getting the product you think you are.

Is CBD legal to buy?

Before we talk about the minimum age needed to buy CBD, we should provide some context around its legality. Despite the fact that the 2018 Farm Bill made CBD legal on a federal level, individual states can enact their own laws — and some have — which outweigh the federal regulations. If you do some digging into if CBD is legal, you’ll find that there are 10 states (plus the District of Columbia) that allow for the use of cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes. And that, of course, includes CBD. Additionally, there are 37 other states that are generally OK with the use of CBD, providing it has less than 0.3% THC. That leaves Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota as the three states with specific wording in place or legislation open to interpretation that deems CBD illegal.

How old do you have to be to buy CBD?

Assuming you live in one of the 47 states where it’s kosher to purchase CBD products, there is generally no age minimum. That is because CBD is nonintoxicating, meaning it does not give you a high, nor does it require a prescription from a physician. It’s important to also mention that CBD is often portrayed as a useful product for pets and that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has approved the use of a plant-based formulation of CBD for patients as young as 2-years-old with certain forms of epilepsy. 

However, there are some instances where a minimum age could come into play. Smoke shops that sell CBD may require their customers to be 18 to either enter or purchase products from the store. Some CBD companies with online storefronts might also request that customers verify they are 18 years of age or older before purchase.

In any event, it’s in your best interest to check with your local authorities before making a purchase if you think your age could be a legal concern.

Benefits of CBD

Now that we’ve shed some light on how old you have to be to buy CBD, we thought it’d be a good time to remind you about the benefits of using the compound. Among the list of top 10 CBD oil benefits, you’ll find that it relieves pain and inflammation, reduces anxiety, improves mood, promotes heart health, and can aid in the treatment of cancer. With few side effects and a safe rating from the World Health Organization, CBD has proven to be the answer for people (and pets) of a variety of ages.

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