How old do you have to be to buy CBD products in the United States? As it stands, the simple answer is 18. However, no law officially prohibits the sale of CBD products to people under 18.
Because no law mandates that people must be 18 or older to purchase CBD, retailers that enforce age restrictions on purchases do so at their own discretion. This is also why some CBD brands and retailers will only sell CBD products to people aged 21-years old or older.
Why Do You Have to Be 18 to Buy CBD?
Why some retailers place age restrictions on CBD sales is simple.
If you are familiar with Cannabidiol, you will already know that CBD is predominantly derived from hemp. This being the case, most CBD therapeutics contain only trace amounts of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. (Legally, CBD products must only ever contain a maximum of 0.03% THC.)
In some cases, CBD products containing less than 0.03% THC can be purchased by anyone of any age. However, in states where cannabis is legal, some CBD therapeutics are made using CBD derived from cannabis, not hemp.
When CBD is derived from cannabis, products will contain higher amounts of THC. Dispensaries and retailers will, therefore, usually restrict sales to people aged 18 – 21 or over, depending on local state laws.
What Age Can You Take CBD?
Despite some retailers imposing age restrictions on CBD product purchases, it is not illegal for minors to use CBD themselves. At least, this is the case with therapeutics containing no more than 0.03% THC. Research also suggests that CBD may be able to help treat conditions like childhood epilepsy.
- Research shows that CBD can help reduce the frequency of seizures in children with Dravet syndrome (a form of epilepsy) by up to 50%.
- At present, GW Pharmaceuticals, the company responsible for the CBD anti-epileptic drug Epidiolex, is conducting trials on a new CBD drug designed to help treat neurodevelopmental conditions like Rett syndrome. (Rett syndrome is similar to autism.)
- Some studies show that CBD may be able to help alleviate seizures that are common in children with autism-related conditions like CDKL5 deficiency disorder.
Like with adults, evidence also suggests that CBD may be able to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain, and inflammation in children. However, it is important to note that parents should always consult a qualified MD before children use CBD therapeutically.
Is it Safe for Children to Use CBD?
For the most part, children seem to tolerate low doses of CBD well. However, in 2019, the FDA warned that as well as having the potential to cause liver toxicity in children and adults, CBD may also inhibit brain development in minors.
It is also the case that no one knows what long-term consequences using CBD might have on children as they reach adulthood. This is why most reputable CBD brands and retailers mandate that anyone purchasing products must be 18 or older.
In each case, follow guidelines given by a certain brand where you intend to buy the product, to comply with their age policy. Never give CBD to children before consulting with a health practitioner.