CBD products are relatively new to the market. And the laws surrounding the growing, processing, transporting, marketing, selling, buying, possessing, and using cannabis are literally and figuratively all over the map. In this post, we’ll focus on hemp-derived CBD.
The answer is a rather unsatisfying “Yes” and “No,” and “Maybe.” This is because there are federal, state, local, and tribal (for sovereign reservations) CBD laws that factor in. Joy.
We’ll break it down for you, though, so you don’t need a law degree or $pendy lawyer to make sense of it.
This is the easier part of the CBD legal tableau. It’s thankfully sort of clear-cut.
In a nutshell, the US government passed the 2018 Farm Bill, which federally-legalized hemp and its byproducts. To be lawful, this crop and the goods made from it — including CBD — must contain 0.3% or less THC.
Because hemp CBD is federally-OK, it’s legal to ship it anywhere in the US. And, in Uncle Sam’s eyes, it’s perfectly legitimate to commercialize, carry, and consume CBD.
The FDA is charged with overseeing the national regulations related to CBD. With a few notable exceptions, it delegated most of the CBD lawmaking to the states. However, here are the CBD rules that FDA has specifically articulated:
One of the things the FDA did not stipulate — with one exception, which we’ll come back to — was age requirements for purchasing or using CBD. This was either left for open interpretation or for the states to decide.
Speaking of the states….
It’d be too simple for all the legislative territories below the national level to adopt the same laws as the federal government or each other. Heck — they can’t even agree on a single official definition of CBD (or industrial hemp or marijuana, for that matter)! Instead, each jurisdiction seems to have taken its own legal path.
So much so, you might think CBD really stands for Confusing Baffling Divergent or Confounding Bewildering Different — you get the gist.
At any rate, the key thing to understand is that every state’s CBD laws are unique. Statutory cannabidiol unicorns.
And you can bet that there are states that’re somewhere in between. It really runs the gamut!
Adding to this soup of state CBD laws:
Recommended: If you want to dig into the specific laws of your state, check out our library ofstate CBD law posts. So. Much. To. Learn. But, you’ll be a much savvier consumer once you know the regs in your state.
All that background info was necessary to give you context for the answer to your original question: How old do you have to be to buy CBD?
Like we said, the federal government didn’t specify any minimum age for CBD.
The only exemption from this truism is for Epidiolex. Because this CBD product is classified as an Rx drug, it’s regulated differently than other CBD consumer goods. For proper, on-label use of Epidiolex, the consumer of the drug must be at least one year old.
Scuttlebutt in the CBD industry expects that — at some point — the US government will step in and create some sensible laws around CBD. So don’t be surprised if prohibiting the sale of CBD to minors becomes a thing codified in federal statutes.
As with all the other state, municipal, and reservation laws, these jurisdictions went different ways with CBD age requirements. In regards to buying CBD, some states:
State medical cannabis and marijuana laws can also play a role here and may impact age requirements in certain cases.
However, don’t get too excited about those first two bullets. It’s super common for CBD retailers to also have their own rules, which may be more restrictive than the law (or lack of law).
For example, you might be in a locale that has no age restriction for CBD. But your corner dispensary won’t sell to you because its policy dictates that customers must be over 21. This goes for online shops as well.
Remember how we mentioned a few times that CBD laws are like a legislative crazy quilt? (Can’t underscore that sentiment enough!)
Would it surprise you, then, to learn that the age requirement can differ based on the CBD products themselves?
Yup. Many states have carved out specific laws for certain categories of CBD goods. As an example, our research found that several states have special restrictions for smokable or vapable CBD formulations.
On a related note, many states have medical cannabis programs. Some of these programs have given the green light for participants to use CBD products even if they’d otherwise not be allowed to. For instance, a minor would be permitted to use CBD even if the state’s regulations said only those over 18 years old were eligible.
There’s no one set age requirement to be able to buy CBD. This is the age/legality landscape you have to navigate:
We recommend you learn the particular age requirements for your state. It’s the best way to determine how old one needs to be to buy CBD in each location.
We’re not legal professionals or otherwise qualified to offer legal advice. So, while we do our very best to be thorough, up-to-date, and 100% correct, the content above is for informational purposes only. Please also note that the laws surrounding CBD are subject to change. We recommend checking our source(s) to see if the information or legal status have been revised since our content was published.
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