Cannabis legalization is fairly young in its own right, and new regulations take time to wind their way through the legislative process. With the demand for CBD gummies, CBD oil, and other cannabis products surging, there are some specific age requirements that it’s important to know about.
What are the federal requirements I need to know about?
Federally, the regulations regarding the sale of CBD products come from the 2018 Farm Bill. This legislation saw the removal of hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, which, as a result, paved the way for the legal cultivation, sale, possession, and distribution of hemp-derived CBD products. The only stipulation is that CBD products must contain less than 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive substance in marijuana.
When we’re talking about the specific age restrictions governing the purchase of CBD, the Farm Bill offers little clarity. When it comes down to it, the legal age to buy CBD products has been left up to the individual state laws to determine and oversee.
Do you have to be 21 to buy CBD, or can you buy CBD at 18?
One thing’s for sure: You must be 21 to buy any cannabis products with more than 0.3% THC content, including CBD oils called THC:CBD ratio products that come from marijuana plants. These substances are psychoactive, bringing with them potential risks due to their mind-altering effects.
THC:CBD ratio oils, vapes, and other marijuana products are considered illegal in some states, medically restricted in others, and legal in a small but growing few. Some adults between the ages of 18 and 21 may be applicable for a legal exception in states where medical marijuana legislation exists.
Over-the-counter hemp CBD is regulated differently than marijuana products, and this is where it can get a little confusing trying to decipher CBD age restrictions. On the state level, for example, CBD oil, CBD drinks, CBD cigarettes, and CBD vapes may have different age criteria altogether. So it may be legal to buy CBD oil and edibles at 18, but you must be 21 to buy CBD drinks, vapes, or cigarettes.
Age verification processes — even though they suck if you’re still in the minors — are the mark of a reputable establishment and signal that it’s selling authentic cannabis-derived medicines. If you’re under 18 and you’re really gungho about adding CBD to your wellness plan, talk to your parents or your healthcare professional.
How old do you have to be to buy CBD according to U.S. state requirements?
Federal regulations do not explicitly set a mandatory CBD age limit for over-the-counter products with less than 0.3% total THC dry weight. As a result, individual states have passed legislation to set their own minimum age restrictions for hemp-derived CBD products.
In addition to oils, gummies, and edibles, there’s a growing interest in other forms of cannabis medicine, such as CBD joints or cigarettes. These, too, will be covered under varying age restrictions from state to state.
This is where it becomes very important to not only know your local legislation but to understand that with ever-changing political and public health landscapes, these laws may be updated or revised at any time.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the current CBD laws by individual state in 2024:
The Lonestar state has no age restrictions for anyone buying CBD oil or related products. Take note that certain sellers might require customers to be a minimum of 18 years old.
You must be at least 21 years of age before you can purchase CBD products in the Golden State.
In New York, the age limit for the purchase of CBD is set to 18 from licensed local retailers or online within the state.
Florida residents must be at least 18 years old before they can buy edible CBD products, like CBD oil tinctures, softgels, gummies, and CBD topicals like balms, salves, and moisturizers. When it comes to the purchase of hemp for inhalation by smoking or vaporizing (e.g., CBD extracts, waxes, vape cartridges, or hemp flower), however, more restrictive requirements take effect, and CBD users must be aged 21 and over.
This Midwestern state has somewhat more restrictive requirements than many states when it comes to age limits. According to Illinois law, CBD users must be at least 21 before they can purchase any products containing the active ingredient Cannabidiol (CBD).
Residents of North Carolina aged 18 years or older can legally and safely use hemp-derived CBD products without worry.
There’s no mandated age limit for the purchase of CBD in Ohio. However, individual vendors are able to set their own age requirements at their discretion. Some may necessitate buyers to be a minimum age of 21 years old.
In the Garden State, hemp-derived CBD oil is legal without any age restrictions. However, CBD derived from marijuana can only be purchased by those 21 and older.
Following the New Jersey trend, in Michigan, hemp-derived CBD oil is legal for individuals of any age. However, CBD products derived from marijuana are restricted to those 21 years and older.
Pennsylvania’s specific age requirement for purchasing CBD is 18. However, certain retail stores might set their age limit at 21.
In the state of Georgia, you must be 21 years or older to buy CBD products.
CBD laws are subject to change
Remember that CBD laws are constantly evolving, and these age restrictions are subject to change after publication of this article. Potential CBD buyers should thoroughly research the laws of their individual states to ensure they are legally allowed to possess cannabis products.
This CBD age limit fact sheet is simply a snapshot for informational purposes only. You should not use this information as legal advice.
READ MORE: Federal hemp laws in the United States
Ready? Set? Go!
Now you can stop wondering, “How old do you have to be to buy CBD?” and start discovering the many CBD product options you have to choose from.
Whether you’re exploring CBD oil, hemp oil, CBD gummies, or the many other awesome cannabis creations you have to choose from, it’s important to stay up to date with legality, age restrictions, and best practices — especially when traveling between states if you are under 21. In addition, always refer to product labels to ensure responsible use and best results.
The final word on CBD age limits
One last thing for our jet setter zoomers out there: always check the local laws when traveling to international destinations before bringing your hemp products in tow. CBD and other cannabis plant derivatives are prohibited in many countries around the world, so mind your P’s and Q’s and have a blast!