How old do you have to be to buy CBD, and what benefit does this product have to those who are exploring its many applications? Since cannabidiol’s legalization in 2018, the United States has become more familiar with this natural medical breakthrough, with many proponents using cannabidiol (CBD) to treat physical pain and other ailments, from inflammation to headaches. Others may use CBD to balance dopamine levels and reduce stress and anxiety without the psychedelic effects of its notorious cousin, marijuana.
Below, The Other Path breaks down everything you need to know about age limitations on CBD by location and other relevant factors.
Industrial Hemp vs. Marijuana
Before delving into each state’s age restrictions for purchasing CBD, it helps to understand why some states have a minimum age for these transactions. Hemp and marijuana are both in the Cannabis family, but there is still an ongoing debate on the species variations and gray areas between. There are also regulatory inconsistencies that dubious suppliers can manipulate to bring in low-quality products or make inaccurate claims about the source.
For example, hemp and marijuana products could both come from the Cannabis Sativa variety. These plant sources differ only by classification according to the percentage of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) each contains. THC is the notorious compound that emits psychedelic effects or hallucinations and creates the feeling of being high, and the stigma around marijuana is still strong in the United States.
A marijuana-classified Cannabis Sativa plant would only be different from the hemp version by the percentage of THC present in the sample. The THC compound alters the senses considerably, and many assume CBD to have these same effects by association. However, marijuana-based extracts contain between 50% to 90% of THC, whereas hemp-derived CBD contains only 0.3% or less (CBD will not get you high).
What Can CBD Do?
Research continues to evolve, but many report that it helps with several conditions by targeting the endocannabinoid system and the neuron responses in the brain. The binding process produces serotonin, which:
- controls body temperature
- improves digestion
- regulates blood flow
- improves attention span
This naturally occurring compound also plays a role in producing dopamine, which potentially:
- reduces depression, encouraging the release of a pleasurable feeling
- diminishes anxiety and feelings of stress
- regulates chronic pain, including headaches
- alleviates imbalances between antioxidants and free radicals, which reverses oxidative damage
As a bonus, hemp-derived CBD does not have enough THC to intoxicate humans or animals. It is safe for all ages, and many who use it will happily attest to its ongoing health benefits.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy CBD According to the Federal Government?
Surprisingly, federal laws widely encourage the use of hemp-derived CBD since this does not have the psychedelic properties of THC-rich marijuana extracts. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration does not currently exact age restrictions on CBD. On a federal level, people in the United States can purchase CBD at any age.
However, the federal government has enacted some restrictions on products that customers ingest via smoking or vaping. According to FDA’s CBD regulations, “smokable flower or vaping oils should be sold only to legal adults (18+).” Their reasoning is the harm associated with smoke inhalation
Other CBD products are available to everyone, including:
- CBD powders to mix into food or drinks
- Tinctures, sprays, or CBD oil for sublingual use (under the tongue)
- Edibles, like gummies, brownies, and cookies
- Oral capsules for longer-lasting effects
- Gels and creams (topicals) for spot treatment on the body
The FDA demands clear labeling with proper percentages representing the CBD and THC compounds in the product. Federal laws restrict products with greater than 0.3% THC, and customers must be 21 years or older to purchase any authorized marijuana-derived CBD in the United States (because of the high THC content).
Do State Laws Differ from Federal Laws?
Federal laws make it easy to purchase CBD for medical purposes, but several states do not agree with these guidelines. Some states like California, Colorado, and Hawaii implement age limitations because:
- the state considers CBD an unsafe adulterant
- the state is stricter on THC levels due to the dramatic effects it can cause
- the state considers CBD on par with alcohol or gambling, only available to those 21 and older
States That Set Age Restrictions on CBD Products
How old do you have to be to buy CBD in the states below? Keep reading to find out.
21 Years or Older
- Alaska. People do not need a license to purchase CBD products in Alaska, but they must be 21 or older. They cannot buy CBD online since the product needs Alaska’s endorsement, and there are very few registered CBD shops.
- Idaho. CBD products require a “no THC” sticker to make it onto Idaho’s shelves. Customers could be 18 in some cases, but most instances call for 21 and over because of medical dispensaries’ extra restrictions.
- Illinois. Marijuana-derived and hemp-derived CBD are legal in Illinois for residents 21 or older.
- Indiana. Recreational CBD is illegal, but medical hemp-derived CBD is available for medical purposes to those 21 and over, thanks to the Farm Bill. The lack of medical marijuana programs limits availability, though.
- Maine. Hemp-derived products are available to all Maine residents over the age of 21.
Other states that require purchasers to be at least 21 years of age include:
- Rhode Island
18 Years or Older
- California. Any Californian can grow and purchase hemp or Cannabidiol products over the age of 18 (in-store and online). The state is on the verge of fully legalizing all CBD products. In the meantime, California-based shops like The Other Path are a great start.
- Colorado. The Colorado legislation has made hemp and CBD products legal for all residents 18 and older. However, they are strict on the definition of hemp (any CBD product with 0.3% or higher delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC, or THCA is illegal).
- Connecticut. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture requires a license for anyone growing or testing hemp flower or CBD products (and they must be at least 18 years old). The Department of Consumer Protection requires a separate license to sell products.
- Delaware. Due to Delaware’s medical marijuana act, marijuana and hemp are legal to buy and sell over the age of 18. The limitation is on industrial hemp (use for recreational purposes only). Both hemp-based and marijuana-based CBD products are allowed for medical practices.
- Florida. In Florida, you must be 18 years old to buy, cultivate, or sell hemp flower and CBD products. The state also requires a seller’s license.
- Georgia. Unfortunately, Georgia bans most CBD products outright. However, some medical circumstances allow for marijuana and hemp to those 18 and older.
- Hawaii. Anyone can legally buy and sell CBD in Hawaii at the age of 18, but stores that contain other age-restricted items or events such as drinking or gambling may require their patrons to be 21 and over.
- Kansas. Like Idaho, Kansas requires the removal of all traces of THC in each CBD product before anyone 18 or over can purchase the items.
- Kentucky. With a doctor’s recommendation, Kentucky’s residents that are 18 and older can purchase hemp-based CBD.
- Louisiana. Anyone 18 years of age can purchase hemp-based CBD with or without a doctor’s recommendation in Louisiana.
- Massachusetts. Whether you’re looking for marijuana or hemp-based CBD, you can purchase it at the age of 18 in Massachusetts.
- Michigan. CBD is fully legal in all forms in Michigan for residents 18 and over.
- Minnesota. The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy made all hemp-derived CBD should be accessible to those 18 or older after January 1, 2020.
- Mississippi. You must be 18 to purchase CBD in Mississippi, but you can provide it to a minor in your care who is part of a medical program.
Other states require you to be at least 18 years or older to buy CBD, including:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
States Without Age Restrictions On CBD
How old do you have to be to buy CBD? The states mentioned below do not warrant an answer. There are no age restrictions on the federal or local level in:
- West Virginia
Age Should Not Matter—Take the Other Path
So, how old do you have to be to buy CBD in your current location or start buying CBD online? The lists above should help you figure out the details surrounding these natural products. The next important step is to ensure that you have a reliable source, like The Other Path.