How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy CBD? – Current Laws 2021

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In terms of natural medicine, there’s really nothing like CBD. Users of all ages and backgrounds can attest to its healing, calming properties. But just who can legally buy it?

According to federal law, you must be over 18 to purchase smokeable products like CBD flower or CBD vaping oils. But all other forms of CBD, like gummies, topicals, oils, or creams, have no age restriction due to their medicinal benefits. With that being said, not all states follow the federal law, and some states may require you to be older than 21. 

Because the restrictions between state and federal laws can be so complicated, we’ve dedicated this article to sussing out exactly how old you have to be to buy CBD, and how to make sure you get it from a reputable source without getting ripped off.

Do you have to be 18 to buy CBD?

The short answer? Sometimes. Unfortunately, there is very little clear federal legislation on the sale of CBD and minimum age requirements. It’s a very loosely regulated industry, especially in the context of legality. Depending on the origin of the CBD, the state it’s being sold in, and the particular store you may be planning to purchase from, you may have to be 18+ or even 21+ to purchase CBD products, or you may not be carded at all.

If the CBD you are purchasing is derived from marijuana instead of hemp, and/or if it has over 0.3% THC content, you may have to be 21 or older to be served. Generally, states that have marijuana legalized treat the sale and purchase of marijuana in the same way as alcohol — you will have to be 21+,  minors may not be able to enter dispensaries, and purchasing on behalf of a minor is illegal. While CBD products that contain more than 0.3% THC content are not the same as weed, they are classified as marijuana products, and are often subject to the same legal jurisdiction.

Beyond that, if your CBD is hemp-derived and contains less than 0.3% THC, 18 year olds and minors should both (technically speaking) be able to purchase and use it. There are no federal laws about the minimum age for sale or use of CBD, so unless your local laws state otherwise, it should be fair game for minors. This is likely due to how young the industry is, since the federal bill that legalized the production of hemp products on a mass scale was only passed in 2018. As more CBD research comes out — and potentially if the use of CBD becomes more politicized — the minimum age could change in the future.

There’s a catch, though: most places that sell CBD, such as smoke shops or dispensaries, will often refuse either service or entry to minors. Oftentimes it’s simply a store policy to avoid getting themselves into trouble, especially if they sell products that are federally age-restricted, but it means that it’s unlikely that a minor will be able to purchase CBD in-person.

Online dispensaries are a similar situation, though it’s quite a bit easier for online CBD shops to be less stringent about their clientele’s age. Most reputable sellers will require that you are over 18 and will likely do age checks in some form or another.

List of State Laws

There are some states where you must be 21 to buy CBD, namely:

  • Alaska
  • South Dakota
  • Illinois
  • Texas
  • Tennessee
  • Maine
  • Mississippi

In all other states, you either must be 18, or there is no age limit. 

Of course, there are some nuances. For example, essentially anyone can buy online, but you typically need to be 21 to buy from an official dispensary. If the product has over .03% THC, or if the CBD is marijuana-derived and not hemp-derived, then you will most likely have to be 21 to purchase.

Benefits of CBD for children and minors

If you’re looking into CBD to help treat a child, you may be happy to know that CBD is a very low-risk substance, and that many parents choose to give their children CBD in order to help them sleep or to soothe their anxiety. As far as the research can tell (though it is still relatively new), CBD presents no special risk to vulnerable populations like children or the elderly. CBD is specifically used in Epidiolex, an epilepsy medication formulated for children. Also, there is promising research into CBD’s efficacy at treating multiple conditions, including: 

Additionally, CBD has been demonstrated to potentially provide long-term health benefits, including boosting heart and brain health.

CBD will not get your child high, so long as the THC content of whatever CBD product you are using is relatively low (less than 0.3%), so there’s no risk of a potential feeling of anxiety that there might be with marijuana.

However…

Keep in mind the fact that CBD is a relatively new substance, and it is not federally regulated, nor is it especially well-researched. While the signs all point to CBD being a very helpful compound for a variety of health conditions, and while it has few-to-no side effects, you should always exercise caution when giving it to a child.

Consider consulting a doctor first before beginning a CBD regimen for a minor. You may also want to make sure to purchase a CBD product with low-to-no THC-content to eliminate their contact with the compound, such as CBD isolate or broad-spectrum or hemp-derived CBD products. CBD can sometimes cause medication interactions, so check to make sure your child’s medications do not come with a grapefruit warning. Additionally, make sure that you or they are purchasing their CBD from a reputable seller.

CBD Facilitator can connect you with a variety of high-quality, reputable CBD vendors who care about your and your child’s health as much as you do. Our directory can help you find whatever product you’re looking for, whether it be CBD topical creams, oils, hemp flower, or isolates.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can kids take CBD?

Yes, children can safely take CBD, but they should be closely monitored. Parents should keep in mind the fact that little is known about CBD’s long-term effects, and its effect on children has not been clearly demonstrated in clinical settings. However, it has been used to treat a variety of conditions in children, including epilepsy and autism, and it has few-to-no negative side effects.

How much CBD oil is safe for a child?

Children can take up to 20 milligrams per kg of body weight without any side effects, though you should start on a smaller dose and work your way up if you are choosing to start a CBD regimen for your child.

Does CBD stunt growth?

The evidence currently does not suggest that CBD stunts growth in children.

What are the side effects of using CBD oil?

CBD may — especially at higher doses — cause side effects, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Feelings of tiredness

Can CBD oil cause panic attacks?

CBD does not cause anxiety attacks, even if it is a CBD product with a relatively high THC content. CBD products are generally too low in THC to get you high. However, in some rare cases, CBD users may not get the anxiety-soothing effects of CBD, and may experience a quickened heart rate and some anxiety.

How do I choose a CBD?

For localized pain like a bruise or inflammation: CBD topicals like a cream or a patch.

For people who take frequent drug tests, or are concerned about THC building up in their system over time: CBD isolate or broad-spectrum (do not contain THC). 

For beginners looking for an easy way to try CBD for anxiety or CBD for sleep: CBD oil or CBD gummies.

For people looking for a high bioavailability to treat serious problems like mental health problems or pain: water-soluble CBD, vaping CBD oil, smoking CBD flower.

With that being said, choosing the right CBD product for you is often a trial-and-error sort of process.

The most important thing is that you get your CBD from a reliable source. Make sure that the brand you’re buying from provides a Certificate of Analysis, which is a certification from a third-party lab testing facility attesting to the ingredients in the product.

Can you buy CBD online legally?

Yes, you can legally buy CBD online (in the United States, specifically). 

The internet is actually a great place to source your products from – you can easily access customer reviews, company information, and all sorts of details about your product before you even purchase it.

Where can I buy real CBD online?

Look no further than our directory for amazing product recommendations, information, and reviews. We take the time necessary to extensively test products, and we only recommend the most trustworthy brands.

Be wary of products and sellers without extensive information. If you don’t know what you’re actually buying, it’s probably not worth your money!

Josh Murdoch

Josh Murdoch

I was born with Cystic Fibrosis, and although it is incurable, CBD and THC have been allowing me to live my life as a healthy adult now for years. For that reason, I’ve dedicated my career to spreading the good news about cannabinoids. Currently, I work for a vertically integrated cannabis company called Unrivaled Brands that operates in California, Oregon, and Nevada. Previously, I worked on two cannabis farms in northern California, one of which was located in the famous Humboldt County. I’ve also managed a medical cannabis delivery service in Marin County, California. I created CBD Facilitator to share what I’ve learned, and to recommend the best products that I have found in this chaotic market.

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