People of all ages suffer from conditions like anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and inflammation. And more and more adults are flocking to cannabidiol (CBD) for relief from their issues. However, not everyone can purchase CBD products.
There are age restrictions for CBD products, but how old you must be hinges on a few factors. In this article, we will discuss the somewhat hazy legality of CBD, and how old you have to be to buy it.
Legality of CBD
The buying and selling of CBD products became legal on the federal level with the passing of the Farm Bill of 2018. This legislation allowed industrial hemp plants to be grown legally in the U.S.
Legalizing hemp also meant its derivatives were legalized, such as cannabinoids like CBD, cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN). The Farm Bill also removed CBD from the overarching definition of “marijuana” under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Previously, CBD had existed in a regulatory gray area, and its identity and effects weren’t well known. While the Farm Bill declared CBD is not marijuana, it didn’t explain what it is.
So what is CBD technically by law? It is important to understand the differences between CBD and THC, the still federally illegal cannabinoid:
Cannabidiol (CBD): CBD is the most common cannabinoid in hemp, a variety of cannabis plants. Hemp has low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. CBD does not cause a high. CBD is considered safe overall in regards to its minimal side effects.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): THC is the most common cannabinoid in marijuana, a variety of the cannabis plant. Marijuana is high in THC, and the amount of CBD varies. THC causes a psychoactive high within cannabis and can trigger paranoia, anxiety, and even schizophrenia in those predisposed.
The Farm Bill legislated that there must be 0.3% THC or less within a CBD product to be considered legal. And while the Farm Bill made hemp-derived CBD legal under such circumstances, it is important to understand the specifications of what it did not do:
It did not make every CBD product legal in your local area regardless of the state or local laws.
It did not declare what type of product CBD would be regulated as.
It did not set age restrictions at a federal level for the purchase of CBD.
As you can see, while CBD once existed in a regulatory gray area, there is still confusion surrounding its regulations to this day. Let’s break down the existing gray area regarding age restrictions.
Age Restrictions for CBD
Ever since the passing of the Farm Bill of 2018, CBD oil has been flying off the shelves. But who can buy these products? Since there is an age restriction on things like alcohol and cigarettes, it seems natural that there should be an age limit on cannabis products.
However, as we’ve mentioned, federal law did not mention age restrictions for the purchase of hemp products. This allowed states to come up with their own rules and regulations regarding CBD.
So, how old do you have to be to buy CBD products? The answer is, it depends.
Even though CBD is legal federally, this does not mean it is legal state-to-state. Each state has its own rules, as well as age restrictions. So whether the age restriction is 18, 21, or no age limit depends on these factors:
What state you’re in
The form of CBD you’re buying
What store you buy from
States regulations can vary, and are typically dependent on the status of marijuana legalization in that area. In states that have legalized CBD, brick-and-mortar stores typically require a minimum age of 18.
Recreational marijuana dispensaries or smoke shops typically require purchasers of CBD to be 21. This is because states where marijuana products are legal require purchasers to be 21.
In contrast, medical marijuana dispensaries may have some additional requirements. In the states where medical marijuana is legal, anyone can purchase CBD products for recreational use.
However, this is dependent on parent or guardian approval. When researching the CBD laws in your area, check the following:
The state level: Many states have passed their own CBD laws. Some of these regulations coincide with the recreational or medical marijuana laws. But some states have passed laws that single out CBD. Depending on the state, the age restriction is either 18 or 21. Some states haven’t even set a legal age for CBD purchase.
The local level: Some counties and municipalities didn’t just leave these restrictions to the state governments. Some local areas have generated their own regulations, sometimes not in accordance with state law. That is why it is imperative to check out the rules in your city or county government to research the specifics on CBD.
States pay special attention to products that are higher in THC content, strictly regulating the ages to purchase. Here are the common forms of CBD:
Full-spectrum CBD: Full-spectrum CBD is the most powerful form of CBD due to the entourage effect of cannabinoids and terpenes. Most importantly, full-spectrum hemp oil contains THC. As mentioned earlier, the THC level must be 0.3% or below. Because of its THC content, states are more likely to restrict the purchase of these kinds of products.
Broad-spectrum CBD: A little less potent hemp extract is broad-spectrum. This includes all the same cannabinoids and terpenes, but without THC. The restrictions of this kind of product are less likely to be enforced.
CBD isolate: CBD that has been stripped of all other cannabinoids and terpenes is known as CBD isolate. This is CBD in its purest form but is not as potent as the other forms. It is much less likely to be enforced by its suppliers.
It is the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) job to consider which CBD products are safe and how to regulate them. There are three categories of consumable products:
Prescription drugs: These are the drugs that would be prescribed by an authorized medical professional. So far the FDA has only approved one prescription drug: Epidiolex. This is a medication can be prescribed to children with two rare forms of epilepsy. Despite this passing of approval, this does not mean that FDA approves CBD as a general substance.
Over-the-counter (OTC) drug: OTC drugs do not require a prescription and therefore less regulated than prescription drugs. However, the FDA has not yet regulated CBD as an OTC drug and none have been yet approved.
Supplements: Nearly all of the CBD products on the market today fall under the category of “supplements.” These are the least-controlled types of consumable products that are regulated by the FDA.
Right now, CBD remains mostly unregulated. CBD will likely be regulated as a dietary supplement in future days, but as of right now the FDA has not decided how to regulate CBD.
This means that CBD is still in a regulatory “gray zone” for the time being, which allows individual states to pass their laws regarding CBD.So when it comes down to it, you must research the laws in your area. Look into the regulations on both the state and local levels.
If you decide to purchase on the World Wide Web, the online store you buy from should be a reputable CBD retailer. They should ask your age before you purchase the product. Nearly all reputable CBD online companies maintain an age limit of 18 years of age.
If you buy CBD in person, you may be required to provide a photo ID to prove your age. As we’ve mentioned earlier, depending on the state laws where the store is located, the age requirement will be either 18 or 21. Some retailers are more strict than others.
Why Are There Age Restrictions for CBD Products?
So if federally legal CBD products do not produce a high, why are there age restrictions? There are a variety of reasons for this.
Contains THC: Full-spectrum CBD products do contain low levels of THC. And because THC is still considered federally illegal, this requires producers to keep a close eye on those who purchase this product. THC has been shown to have more long-term effects on adolescent brains than adult ones.
Protection from bad-quality products: Due to the CBD boom, there are a lot of products on the market that are cheap and not good quality. Oftentimes the producers of these products do not use third-party testing. Lab tests can detect harmful contaminants like pesticides, herbicides, and solvents that can be detrimental to consumers. They also test the potency of the product so you know what you are getting, and can dose accordingly.
Possible negative effects from smoking or vaping: Right now, there is no differentiation between smokable CBD flower and vaping cartridges and other benign types of CBD wellness products like cremes, oils, lotions, tinctures, and edibles like CBD gummies. Since the CBD industry is so new, it is not regulated by the FDA. Smoking CBD flower may damage the lungs. Vaping is still relatively new, and sometimes CBD vape cartridges can contain harsh additives like vitamin E acetate, which can also cause harm.
Not enough clinical research: As of right now, there are simply not enough studies done on the use of CBD and its effects on children. There is no evidence that the CBD products on the market are safe or effective for children. Though the outlook is good, further research is needed.
But, if minors require the benefits of CBD, is it possible for them to use it?
Minors with Medical Conditions
The only cases in which these age restrictions don't apply is when the minor has a qualifying medical condition. This means they have been authorized by their physician to use a CBD product. Here are some common conditions in which children under the legal age can become CBD users:
Epidiolex: Children who have epilepsy can use the FDA-approved Epidiolex to prevent seizures. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this medication after lengthy medical trials proving its efficacy as an anti-epileptic drug.
Chemo treatment: Doctors may administer CBD to minors that are undergoing chemotherapy. It is said to manage their pain, as well as reduce nausea.
Autism: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder may use CBD to help with symptoms.
Minors with these conditions must be prescribed CBD as a treatment by a licensed healthcare professional. Always consult a doctor before trying a new regimen involving cannabis products, especially for children.
The Future of CBD Regulation
Because CBD is yet unregulated, the age restrictions for purchases haven’t been very strictly enforced. In the future however, CBD will most likely become regulated as a dietary supplement. At that time, it can be surmised that the age requirements will be closely monitored.
The federal drinking age is 21. The federal regulations regarding age restriction for tobacco sales was recently raised to 21. It can be implied that the federal government will probably restrict the sale of CBD products to adults that are 21 or over.
If you are not currently old enough to buy CBD in your area, talk it over with a parent. He or she may have other suggestions, or they may give consent for a CBD purchase. But make sure you buy from a trusted brand that does third-party testing and that you dose according to your doctor’s recommendations.
To sum it all up, at the current time you must be either 18 or 21 years old to buy CBD. In states where cannabis is legal, you must at least have parental approval. Check your local and state laws to figure out the regulations in your area.
Juna World Requires 18 to Buy
Juna World’s products are not for use by or sale to persons under the age of 18. We encourage only the responsible use of our products amongst informed adults.
If you are a mom interested in purchasing CBD for your child, we encourage you to talk to your doctor first. Keep yourself up-to-date on the cannabis laws in your area as they shift and change in the ephemeral gray area.
Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only. It is not provided to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment. It should not constitute legal advice to displace the advice of your lawyer. It should not be interpreted as instruction or medical advice to displace the advice of your doctor or other medical professionals. We recommend talking to your doctor to prepare a treatment plan for any disease or ailments.