How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the main cannabinoids in cannabis, mainly derived from the (male) hemp cannabis plant. CBD is used therapeutically and is non-psychotropic, which means that it doesn’t get you high. It is federally legal to purchase, however individual states have put their own restrictions on buying CBD products. 

Hemp, CBD, and the 2018 Farm Bill

Hemp is the name of the male cannabis plant. It contains 0.3 percent or less of the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC. In 2018, the United States government passed the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill. Things changed in the world of hemp agriculture, processing and sales. The Farm Bill removed hemp off the list of controlled substances, as long as the material used for production does not contain more than 0.3 percent THC. This allowed for legal sales of all hemp-derived products. 

Well, it’s complicated. CBD is considered legal on a federal level. Technically, people of any age can buy CBD in the USA, as no age restrictions have been set on a federal level for non-inhalable CBD products. However, there are still some states that impose state-wide age restrictions or outlaw the sale of cannabinoids altogether. 

There are no age restrictions for buying non-inhalable CBD in the following states: 

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

In the following states, you must be 18 years old to buy non-inhalable CBD products:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

In these states, you must be 21 years of age to buy non-inhalable CBD products:

  • Alaska
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Utah

Different Laws for Different CBD Products

The 2018 Farm Bill allows people of any age to buy most CBD products, as long as they contain less than 0.3 percent THC. However, minors cannot buy inhalable or smokable CBD products. Most dispensaries do not sell hemp-derived CBD products to minors, and online dispensaries require an age verification (age gate) before entering the site. To purchase CBD derived from female cannabis plants, states that have legalized cannabis still require the customer to be 21 or older.

There is a way for minors to access therapeutic CBD products with higher THC levels. Different states have a medical marijuana program and the minor’s legal guardian can enroll the youth in the program. There is a list of medical conditions that can qualify a minor patient to receive a medical cannabis card. Qualification is determined after the minor is assessed by a certified medical professional.  

The Farm Bill states that children are technically allowed access to hemp-derived CBD products, with the exception of any inhalable products such as bud or vape products. Many epileptic children have received significant benefits from taking CBD. Studies have shown that it is safe for a child to take up to 20mg of CBD when treating epilepsy or other seizure disorders. 

Cannabis is extremely effective at treating seizure disorders, A multitude of families from all around the world have uprooted their lives to relocate to places like Colorado, Oregon and California, where cannabis is legal, so that they can lawfully treat their children suffering from severe seizures and other neurological disorders. These families have been nicknamed “expots” and “international medical marijuana refugees.” This article highlights some stories of children undergoing life-changing health improvements upon arriving in the USA and accessing cannabis products for treatment. One mother, Yvonne, traveled 4000 miles from Ireland to Oregon, with her son Tristan, who suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy. Her son was suffering from up to 20 seizures a day. After receiving treatment with medical marijuana, he was able to go months without any seizures. For Yvonne and Tristan, being able to legally access life-changing medical marijuana treatment was worth overhauling their entire lives to relocate. 

Parents and guardians of children using CBD products should be aware of the potential side-effects. It’s important to closely monitor any child while they are using CBD products. The side-effects include but are not limited to:

  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Interaction with medications

It is illegal to sell any vape or tobacco products to a minor, including CBD vape products. Just like at liquor stores, retailers of vape products must perform an I.D. check on anyone wishing to purchase the products. 

Epidiolex – CBD hits the pharmacies

Epidiolex is the only FDA-approved pharmaceutical drug containing CBD. It is effective in treating seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome and tuberous sclerosis complex (TCS). Epidiolex is approved by the FDA to treat children one year and older. 


How old do you have to be to buy inhalable CBD products?

The legal age in the USA to buy cbd products varies from state to state. Many states pose no age restrictions, while many require the consumer to be 18 years of age. Some states set the age restriction to 21 years. 

What is the legal amount of THC that can be present in a CBD product?

All legal CBD products can only have 0.3 milligrams of THC or under. 

What is the 2018 Farm Bill?

The Agricultural Improvement Act, a.k.a. The 2018 Farm Bill is a bill passed by the US government in 2018 that removed hemp from the federal list of controlled substances as long as it contained 0.3 milligrams of THC or less.

Age restrictions for Delta-8 and hemp-derived THC products

Again, here things get a little complicated. Most states require consumers to be 18 years of age to buy Delta-8 and other hemp-derived products. Some states lifted the requirement to age 21. Some states don’t differentiate between Delta-8 products and CBD products when it comes to age requirements. The law is not always decided at a state or federal level, and most distributors of delta-8 set the age level to 21. Learn more about Delta-8 here.

Purchasing CBD in Canada

In 2017, Canada passed the Cannabis Act, becoming the second country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis on a federal level, after Uruguay.  Just like in the USA, the laws regarding CBD differ from province to province. Most provinces and territories require the purchaser to be 19 years of age to buy, possess and consume CBD products. In Alberta and Quebec, you must be 18. Also, CBD manufacturers must go through a rigorous and expensive application process to operate. This makes CBD products more expensive and limits the number of companies offering the products. An entirely different application process is necessary to be able to sell CBD products, and this is why many US companies don’t bother shipping products to Canada. 

Education is key

As always, it’s imperative to educate yourself as much as possible before trying cannabis products or administering cannabis therapeutics to children. The friendly team at The Green Dragon CBD are always available to answer any questions regarding cannabis and cannabis products. Contact the team here.

Plus, read the Top 5 Things To Look For When Buying CBD here.


Jennifer Olson is a copywriter  with a deep knowledge of the cannabis industry. She was born and raised on an island in BC, Canada and currently resides in the Slocan Valley, BC. She is passionate about science and research and could potentially bore you with talk of mycelium, neurochemicals, you name it. Connect with her on Instagram or read other posts by Jen.

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