There has been a great degree of growth in the CBD industry over the past few years. However, the legal status of CBD remains an ongoing debate. Yes, you can legally buy CBD in every state. But who exactly can make this purchase? Who can use CBD for its benefits? It’s best to simplify these questions, as they are not that easy to answer.
2018 Farm Bill
Farmers were permitted to grow hemp under the Farm Bill of 2018, so manufacturers were able to process it and sell to consumers. This allowed the CBD industry to take off. Although CBD and THC are related, they are governed by different laws, seeing as CBD is legal nationwide. The question of who can purchase CBD is dependent on what it’s indicated for. For instance, only one CBD containing prescription medicine has been approved by the FDA; Epidiolex. Epidiolex is used with children (above 2 years of age) suffering from any of the two seizure syndromes; Lennox-Gestait or Draver syndrome.
For other non-prescription CBD products such as oils, skin care products, edible gummies and creams, there remains a disparity in the FDA policies regarding the age limits placed on its consumption. The FDA releases a report in November 2019 (updated in 2020), which disclosed that a lot is still being learnt about the safety and effectiveness of CBD, without mentioning anything about the age restrictions. Evidently, the answer to who can legally use CBD is still unclear.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy CBD?
CBD products do not cause a “high” sensation when consumed, and unlike cigarettes or cigars, they’re free from toxic ingredients. So, in actuality, there shouldn’t be any age restrictions on its consumption. Most outlets that sell CBD allow consumers below 21 years of age, and many stores are starting to stock CBD in their pharmacies. Still, online stores require consumers to be above 18 years of age when purchasing CBD.
Where Does CBD Come From?
It’s always good to understand what exactly you’re paying for, so you can get quality product and be sure of what it’s for. For instance, CBD products may be used for migraines, nerve pain or chronic pain.
1. Extracted from Cannabis Plant
Cannabis plants with 0.3% or less THC content are called hemp, while those with more than 0.3% are called marijuana. Although, due to the racist history of the word “marijuana”, “cannabis” is preferred. THC is the psychoactive ingredient responsible for causing a “high” after consuming cannabis. Both hemp and cannabis are related plants, and for this reason, CBD can be found in some cannabis products and THC traces in hemp-derived CBD.
2. Extracted from Hemp Plant
Hempseed oil is an extract of the seeds of the hemp plant. Unlike CBD which recently became legal in 2018, hempseed oil has been used for decades as cooking oil and in beauty products.
Hempseed oil does not have THC as a constituent, but it contains trace amounts of CBD. If a product is labeled as hempseed oil or Cannabis sativa oil, it most likely doesn’t contain any CBD. CBD should be usually listed as hemp oil, full spectrum hemp, cannabidiol, phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) or PCR hemp extracts.
CBD vs THC?
The major difference between CBD and THC is the euphoric sensation one feels after consuming products with THC. Although CBD and THC are both important cannabis-derived cannabinoids, only THC produces this effect. Legally sold CBD products should have less than 0.3% THC in them, but those sold in dispensaries may contain more.
They occur in hundreds, with THC and CBD being the most common. Most cannabis strains chiefly contain THC. Cannabidiol products are usually made without other cannabinoids and with CBD as the main ingredient.
- CBD isolate products: These are products with the highest purity.
- Broad-spectrum CBD products: They may contain other cannabinoids except for THC which is removed during processing.
- Full-spectrum CBD products: These contain THC and many other cannabinoids.
Apart from the difference in the chemistry of CBD products, they’re also sold in many forms. Some are edible, others are topical, there are even CBD smokables. Here are a few examples:
1. CBD oil Tinctures
CBD oil tinctures are the basic liquid form of CBD. It usually comes in a vial with a dropper cap. All you have to do is take a few drops above or underneath your tongue. They come in different concentrations so it’s important to be careful and calculate your dose. A typical drop contains around 0.05 mL of liquid (20 drops per mL). The best absorption route is through the sub-lingual capillaries under your tongue. Therefore, a good tip is to keep it in your mouth for a little before swallowing it.
2. Pills & Capsules
Because of its indicated use as a supplement, some people find it easier to take daily as a capsule. The doses are usually smaller (between 5 and 25 mg).
3. Creams & Lotions
Because of its increasing popularity, CBD is being integrated into many everyday products. For example, you now have CBD lotions and creams, as well as, CBD balms and salves. All of these products can be beneficial for your skin’s well being and even help with some disease relating to pain and inflammation.
4. CBD Edibles
Much like its psychoactive cousin (THC), CBD can be infused into any number of CBD edible products. CBD gummies are one of the most popular forms of CBD. Like CBD oil, you can find broad spectrum CBD gummies, or full spectrum CBD gummies.
If you already use e-cigarettes or vapes, you can always get CBD vape juice. On one hand you’re getting beneficial CBD effectively into your system. On the other hand, you’re avoiding smoking other harmful substances. However, like any smoking products you do need to be above 18 to purchase CBD vape oils.
From a Legal Point of View
In theory, Hemp CBD oil should not be age restricted, as it is void of any toxic chemicals like those usually found in cigars and cigarettes. Still, THC may be found in a few CBD products, and its intoxicating effects have been established. Such products have been prohibited from being sold in certain states in the country. However, for States where marijuana is legal, such as Colorado, Washington and California, these products can be sold with an age restriction of 21 years.
It is basically difficult to give a clear answer as to which age bracket of people can consume CBD legally. It is advisable for consumers to consult their local police department if they can consume CBD in their jurisdiction. Naturally, people above 21 years of age shouldn’t have any doubts as regards this.
Online CBD Legality
Online hemp guides have pointed out that many things about the regulation of CBD purchase vary greatly. There have been concerns regarding the quality of CBD produced and distributed online. Others have mentioned that there are only few clear age restrictions on the purchase of CBD products online.
These concerns are not entirely true and justifiable. Most websites selling CBD have an age requirement for their customers (usually set at 18 years or 21 years). However, there have been little or no consequences for those who lie about their age and obtain CBD illegally. Therefore, while there are in fact laws governing the online purchase of CBD, very little is being done to ensure that these regulations are adhered to.
Who’s in Charge of CBD Legality?
Seeing as the question of who exactly can take CBD legally is complicated and highly debated, it’s best to seek answers from reliable government sources such as the Governor’s office, District Attorney, police department, the state representative, or the office of the state. Moreover, some more information on the state of the legality of industrialized hemp may be found via internet searching.