CBD is taking root in America. A 2023 survey of over 7,600 American adults found that 25% of Americans are using CBD products or interested in trying CBD.
This statistic may make you think CBD is fully legal in the United States. But the picture is very complicated, especially when comparing federal and state laws.
How old do you have to be to buy CBD? Here’s what you should know about restrictions on CBD use in all 50 states.
Related: What Is CBD?
The Farm Bill regulates CBD, cannabis, and hemp production in various ways, including limitations on how much THC CBD products can have. However, the bill does not impose an age requirement on CBD products, regardless of what they are or what other ingredients they contain.
The Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of federally controlled substances, meaning that hemp-derived CBD is essentially legal on the federal level. The bill does not directly say that CBD is legal, so it is possible to face federal persecution for CBD possession, even if your state legalized it.
The FDA has approved one medication with hemp-derived CBD: Epidiolex, a medicine for seizure disorders. The FDA does not currently regulate any other CBD products, including CBD gummies and salves, so you must rely on state regulators and third-party laboratories to assess the quality and legality of your CBD.
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State regulations on CBD are tricky because each state regulates CBD differently. A few states have tight restrictions on CBD, including what type of CBD you can buy and how many products you can purchase simultaneously. Other states are freer and let you buy CBD with very few restrictions. Most states have contradictory regulations, making it hard to tell if you can buy CBD at all within the state.
Remember that state regulations on CBD, cannabis, and hemp are prone to change. Many states are making their laws freer for CBD users, but a few are considering restrictions on CBD use. Follow your local news and talk to local legislators to know what CBD laws are in your state.
Here is each state’s policy on age restrictions for CBD.
States With Tight Restrictions
Idaho allows only people over 18 to purchase CBD topicals and gummies. However, the CBD must contain 0% THC, meaning that full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products are illegal in the state. Idaho Code § 37-2701(t) requires CBD to be grown from the mature stalks of cannabis or hemp plants and no other parts of the plant, so you must check if your CBD isolate comes from stalks or fiber from the stalks.
Kansas has similar regulations to Idaho, banning any CBD product that contains THC, even in trace amounts. You can only purchase CBD isolates, but the state has no restrictions on age. Most Kansas retailers sell isolates to people over 18, while others sell only to people over 21.
Nebraska considers all CBD oils Substance I controlled substances, including CBD isolate tinctures. The state passed a law in 2019 allowing the production of hemp plants within the state, but it has not removed CBD oil from its controlled substances list. CBD oil is technically illegal for everyone in Nebraska, so you should avoid ordering it.
South Dakota and Vermont also consider all CBD oils controlled substances, so you cannot buy CBD products in these states. Epidiolex is available if you have a doctor’s prescription and go to an over-the-counter pharmacy.
Related: How Does CBD Work?
States Where You Must Be 18 and Hold a License or Doctor’s Prescription
Many states allow you to purchase CBD with less than 0.3% THC once you turn 18. However, a few states require you to apply for a license or doctor’s prescription and use CBD products for medical reasons, like post-traumatic stress disorder or arthritis. These states include:
Your personal physician can give you a prescription for CBD after conducting a medical examination and talking with you. Once you have a license, you can buy any product you want for any amount you want.
Even if your state doesn’t require a prescription, you may want to get one to avoid any legal problems. You should also talk to your doctor so they know you are taking it and can give you other treatments that won’t interact with CBD.
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States Where You Must Be 18
Some states allow you to purchase any CBD product with less than 0.3% THC you want once you turn 18, even without a prescription. These states include:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
States Where You Must Be 21
These states let you purchase CBD products once you turn 21 without a prescription. They include:
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Some of these states let you purchase hemp-based CBD when you’re 18 and then marijuana-based CBD when you’re 21. Other states prohibit marijuana-based CBD, even if your CBD has no THC in it.
States With No Formal Age Restrictions
These states do not have formal age restrictions on CBD purchases. This means that minors could buy CBD products, or adults can buy products for their children to use. Many stores enforce their own restrictions to avoid legal issues, with most requiring buyers to show photo IDs and be over 18. States without formal restrictions include:
- New Jersey
- South Carolina
How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy CBD?
How old do you have to be to buy CBD? You must be at least 18 in most states, and some states require you to be 21. You can buy CBD products without a medical license or prescription, provided that the product contains less than 0.3% THC. However, obtaining a license or prescription can help you avoid legal problems and adapt to changing regulations.
Related: How to Use CBD for Pain