From driving a car to gaining the right to vote, we have a variety of cherished coming-of-age ceremonies in our society. As CBD becomes a more mainstream component of contemporary life, gaining access to this non-intoxicating substance is something that many young people look forward to.
What age do you need to be to buy CBD? The answer depends on where you live, the type of CBD you’re buying, and where you intend to buy CBD.
Why does it matter how old you are when buying CBD?
Throughout our country’s history, the powers-that-be have determined that certain acts and consumer items should be restricted to individuals who have reached a certain age. It’s argued that younger people aren’t experienced enough to make responsible decisions, so aspects of society that are risky or dangerous are prohibited for individuals who are under the age of 18, 21, or some other point of maturation.
At Secret Nature, we would make the argument that CBD is not inherently risky. This cannabinoid is non-intoxicating, and all of the available evidence indicates that CBD does not have any significant side effects.
However, CBD continues to be associated with marijuana, a relatively dangerous substance that certainly merits age restrictions. Also, CBD has yet to be categorized by the FDA, surrounding this natural hemp constituent with an aura of confusion or even suspicion.
For all these reasons and more, certain states, counties, or municipalities have put age-based CBD restrictions in place. Out of respect for these regulations and based on our belief that age restrictions on inhalable CBD products most likely make sense, we’ve decided that you must be 18 years of age or older to purchase Secret Nature products.
CBD from hemp vs. CBD from marijuana
Before we go on, it’s important to make a clear distinction between CBD derived from hemp and CBD derived from marijuana. Hemp-derived CBD can only contain up to 0.3% THC, but marijuana-derived CBD can contain any amount of THC.
The 2018 Farm Bill firmly separated hemp-derived CBD products from marijuana. While hemp-derived CBD with less than 0.3% THC is now sold throughout the United States, marijuana-derived CBD with more than 0.3% THC can only be sold in state-run medical or recreational marijuana dispensaries.
If medical or recreational marijuana is legal in your state, you will either need to be over 21 or have valid medical marijuana authorization to purchase CBD products that also contain high concentrations of THC. CBD derived from industrial hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC, however, is subject to an entirely separate set of regulations.
The latest on CBD regulation
The current state of CBD regulations will ultimately determine the age at which it’s legal to purchase CBD where you live. Depending on your location, federal, state, or even local regulations might apply.
On the federal level
Many sources state that the 2018 Farm Bill “legalized” CBD. That’s a remarkably simplistic interpretation that doesn’t come close to fully explaining the impact that the 2018 Farm Bill has had on the CBD industry.
The 2018 Farm Bill essentially changed federal CBD laws in two ways:
- It removed CBD from the definition of “marijuana” under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)
- It put the groundwork in place for a CBD-rich hemp cultivation industry in the United States
Here are some things the 2018 Farm Bill did not do:
- Make every type of CBD product legal in your local area regardless of state or local regulations
- Provide FDA guidance regarding which type of product CBD would be regulated as
- Set nationwide age restrictions for purchasing CBD
Prior to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD had existed in a regulatory gray area. No one truly knew whether CBD was marijuana or not. While the 2018 Farm Bill, passed by Congress and signed by the President, firmly declared that CBD is not marijuana, it did not explain what CBD is. That’s up to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an agency within the executive branch.
The FDA’s job is to decide which consumable products are safe and how to regulate them. To this end, the FDA primarily separates consumable products into three categories:
So far, the FDA has not decided how to regulate CBD. Therefore, this cannabinoid remains in a regulatory “gray zone,” allowing individual states to pass their own CBD laws.
On the state level
A variety of states have preempted the FDA’s inevitable decision on CBD by passing their own CBD laws. In some cases, these regulations are components of the state’s recreational or medical marijuana laws. Many states have, however, passed laws that only pertain to CBD.
Some states have passed laws allowing CBD to be sold to individuals who are 18 or older. Other states have raised this age to 21. Still other states have not set any specific age restrictions for CBD sales. To find out how old you need to be to buy CBD in your state, you’ll need to consult your particular state’s CBD laws.
On the local level
Certain counties and municipalities have set their own age restrictions for CBD purchases. These regulations may be in accordance with state law, or they may not. Contact your local city or county government to learn the specifics of CBD law in your local area.
So, how old do I have to be to buy CBD?
To sum things up:
- Unlike the case with tobacco and alcohol, there are currently no federal age restrictions for purchasing CBD
- In some states, you need to be either 18 or 21 to purchase CBD products
- Certain local governments have put their own CBD age restrictions in place
Individual CBD brands put varying age requirements in place. Some brands may, for instance, require their customers to be over 18 or 21, and if you buy CBD in person, you might be required to provide photo identification proving your age.
In the absence of federal regulation, however, CBD age restrictions aren’t very strictly enforced. If CBD becomes regulated as a supplement, however, age requirements for buying CBD may become much more stringent.
If you want to buy CBD but you aren’t old enough, consider asking a parent or guardian for help.
The future of CBD age restrictions
Given the direction that state laws have taken, it’s likely that the federal government will end up setting an age restriction on CBD sales. This event will probably take place once the FDA regulates CBD, and this federal agency will likely regulate CBD as a dietary supplement.
The federal drinking age is 21, and the federal tobacco age was recently raised to 21. As a result, it’s likely that the federal government will restrict CBD sales to individuals who are 21 or over.
Do you think that it makes sense to place age restrictions on CBD sales? Drop us a line or connect with us on social media to share your thoughts. Secret Nature will be here regardless of how the CBD industry might change.