Is There An Age Limit For CBD? [Is It 18 or 21?]

It seems that in the mainstream medical media and news, people are talking about the potential health benefits of CBD. 

They are claiming it to be the next miracle medicine.

But what exactly is CBD, and can anyone just buy it?

First off…

CBD Defined

CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is one of the main active cannabinoid components present in both Marijuana and Hemp plant. Unlike the other main cannabinoid compound, THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD offers no psychoactive effects at all. 


Unlike THC, which is a prominent compound in the marijuana plant and responsible for the associated high or euphoric feeling, CBD does not get you high. Instead, most users report a feeling of calm and relaxation after ingesting/taking CBD.

Interestingly enough, CBD products can instead help common ailments from a simple headache to reducing epilepsy.

CBD can be derived from both marijuana and hemp plants. Both plants are from the Cannabis Sativa family plant but feature unique differences.

Marijuana plants offer a much higher THC concentration. Meanwhile, industrial hemp plants are high in CBD but feature less than 0.3% of THC. You can get strains of marijuana that are high in both CBD and THC; however, it is hard to separate the 2 cannabinoids.


CBD mainly affects our ECS, short for the Endocannabinoid System. The ECS is a large self-regulatory system. It is responsible for a huge number of physiological functions associated with the CNS (central nervous system) and the immune system. 

The main job of ECS is to regulate the key aspects of human biology. It includes mood, appetite, pain and injury management, and sleep. 

How does ECS work?

Let’s say that the ECS is the body’s regulatory committee. If anything gets unbalanced, the ECS steps in and bringing order, scientifically known as homeostasis. In order to do so, it produced endocannabinoids. 

Unfortunately, when you get sick or run down, the body does not produce enough endocannabinoids. And this is where the phytocannabinoids come in. 

Like humans, plants also produce cannabinoids which can also safely interact with the human. These phytocannabinoids can be useful in boosting the low levels of endocannabinoid. And, as you can guess, CBD is one of the most popular phytocannabinoids available. 

How does CBD Bind with Cannabinoid Receptors?

Both endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids attach themselves to cannabinoid receptors. 

The body features 2 sets of cannabinoid receptors viz. CB1 and CB2 receptors. Gonads, connective tissues, and the nervous system have innumerable CB1 receptors. The CB2 receptors are present in the immune system and all related organs. 

When these cannabinoids bind with the receptors, it creates a chemical reaction, sending a different message to the brain and body. 

Although some cannabinoids fit inside the receptors as a key fits into a lock, CBD imperfectly sits inside. This means that not only does it fail to activate the receptors; it also blocks other cannabinoids or neurotransmitters from activating them.

Thus, it won’t be able to produce the same high as other cannabinoids since it cannot simulate the neurotransmitters. And by just acting on the receptors, CBD can help in regulating and coordinating various effects that can influence how you feel, think, and function.

CBD: Its Benefits and Possible Side Effects

As you probably know, CBD is currently having a moment in the wellness and health industry, thanks to the many health benefits that it can provide. These include:

  • Anti-Seizure
  • Pain Relief
  • Can benefit heart health
  • Reduced Anxiety and Depression
  • Easing Inflammatory skin conditions such as acne
  • Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ALS, and Huntington’s disease
  • Possible cancer treatment
  • Alleviate cancer-related symptoms such as nausea
  • Antipsychotic effects
  • Anti-tumor effects
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Diabetes prevention

Although CBD is well tolerated and considered to be safe, it can cause adverse reactions to some. Its side effects may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in weight and appetite
  • Interaction with several medications

The Legality of CBD

The 2018 Farm Bill passed the legalization of growing industrial hemp plants and producing products from hemp at a federal level throughout the US. 

Still, each state has its own laws and not all of the states have ratified the laws to come into line with these new federal regulations. 

CBD oils and other CBD products increase in popularity at a quick pace that it is currently outpacing the government regulations regarding the manufacture, use, and sale of these CBD products as well as the appropriate age to legally buy and use one. 

And some of the most questions asked about CBD are:

  • What is the legal age to buy CBD? and
  • Is there an age limit for CBD?

The Legal Age to Buy CBD

The realistic answer to this question will depend on the application and purpose. 

Approved Prescription Medicine

For instance, the FDA has already approved the use of CBD in a prescription medicine named Epidiolex. This CBD-infused medicine is meant to treat children suffering from seizures associated with the Dravet syndrome or the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, given that they are over 2 years of age. 

Take note that the FDA has not approved any other drug on the market which involves CBD. 

However, since there’s generally no THC in most CBD products marketed to the public, one does not need a prescription in order to purchase them. 

Commonly Used CBD Oil

So, what about the everyday CBD oils and CBD supplements that can be obtained without a prescription? How old should a consumer be to buy and use CBD products that do not require a prescription?

Well, according to a document from the FDA released in May 2019, the agency differs their policies between the age limits on various types of CBD products— whether it be topical creams, edible gummies, or skincare products. Although the likes of CBD-infused beverages and energy drinks are still a mystery, here is what has been said about the age restrictions so far. 

FDA Regulations

The FDA specifically stated that if any category of CBD is to be age-restricted, the smokable flower and vaping oils should only be sold to legal adults ages 18 and above. Meanwhile, other forms of CBD including topicals, oils, edibles, and creams, considering their medical benefit, shouldn’t be age-restricted. 

Later on, in November 2019, FDA released a document stating that they are still learning about the science and safety behind CBD. However, they did not update on the age limit and restrictions. 

Federal Law

However, when talking about federal laws, there’s no federal guideline for the legal age in order to purchase CBD products. But some states and local municipalities have set their own guidelines. So, if you are planning to buy CBD, then you need to see what your state and city have to say about this.

Sellers Take

In theory, the hemp-based CBD oils should be available to every one of all ages, because it does not create the intoxicating sensation and has no toxic materials which require restriction as cigars do. 

Still, there may be age restrictions placed on the sale and consumption of CBD products that take effect across the globe. For now, adults over 21 years of age are safe everywhere that CBD is legal. Other places stipulate that you need to be over the age of 16 or 18. In most CBD-selling websites, retailers, and dispensaries, you will be asked if you are at least 18 or 21 years of age. 

While there are not age regulations that are firmly in place, varying from place to place, it is important that you do your research upon CBD legality CBD where you live and what the local laws are as well as the proper age to legally buy. 

Why CBD Retailers Restrict The Minors From Purchasing CBD?

Assuming that the CBD product is properly processed and legally compliant (containing less than 0.3 percent THC), so that it is non-intoxicating and has very little to no chance of CBD being abused, why CBD-selling website and retailers restrict it to adult use only?

Legal Concerns

First off, every business owner is aware of liability. With the risks of an obscure ruling or law that has not been publicized or just the chance of accusation coming down on business for selling cannabis to the minors, most are just very cautious about staying on the good side of the law when it comes to sensitive products like CBD. Unfortunately, the cannabis misconceptions and stigma about CBD only aggravates the problem. 

Lack of Scientific Research

Secondly, there is very little formal scientific research on the long term effects of CBD. And again, this one may be a bit more about staying on the good side of history. However, when you’re selling products that do not have decades of clinical studies in order to support them, then it is best to only offer it to the consenting adults capable of making their decisions with regards to their health. 

Link with Smoking

Third, a massive part of the CBD industry is smoking and vape related. Depending on the state where you live, the legal age to purchase tobacco or other smoking products like vapes can vary from 18 –21. So, to say on the good side of the law, most CBD retailers have opted to just apply their state-mandated age restrictions for the smoke-related products to their CBD offerings. 

Lack of Understanding

Lastly is the misconception. In short, there are many retailers out there who do not fully understand the laws regarding CBD. And with the lack of regulations, who can blame them for being so confused. However, with a lot of misinformation out there, some retailers restrict the CBD purchases to 18+ while some think they should restrict it to 21+. 

There are a lot of online sources out there, discussing CBD age restrictions and limits. Many of them are saying that there are none. With the spread of fake news and millions of articles available online, it can be really difficult to sift through the fiction and fact.

At the end of the day, the most possible answer is:

There’s no federal guideline on age restrictions to purchase hemp-derived products which includes CBD. 

CBD In The Body: How Long Will It Last?

AS helpful as the compound CBD can be to users, regardless of age, there’s still a lot of curiosity surrounding it. The public is curious about the way CBD functions, especially considering its blurry legal status. CBD may be non-intoxicating and offer therapeutic effects, however, most consumers still want to know how long it will stay in their body, especially if a person will need to undergo a drug test.

The Method of Ingestion

Well, most of the CBD products on the market fall into 2 different types of categories:

  • Inhalable
  • Edibles

The human-body processes each of these products differently.

It processes the edibles through the digestive tract and absorbs CBD through the gastrointestinal system. From there, the liver metabolizes the compound. 

Inhalation, on the other hand, means that the compounds are absorbed through the respiratory tract instead. 

Based on the recent studies, the maximum level of CBD in the blood happens 1 – 2 hours after consumption of the edible. In terms of smoking, CBD reaches the highest level in the blood within 10 minutes. 

Regardless of how these cannabinoids are consumed, the liver will ultimately have metabolized them through the process of absorption and digestion. 

With these factors in mind, the next question now is:

How much time does it take for CBD to show its benefits?

THC effects are definitely more intoxicating and obvious. However, CBD is more subdued, thus the feelings of the effects will not likely be as impactful. 

The effects are rather muted and the symptoms that you treat will slowly fade away, instead of feeling like the compound do a one-time hard hit. 

The way that the CBD is consumed plays a huge role in how quickly the user feels and benefit from the relief. Studies indicate that the user starts feeling the effects of inhaling CBD in just 15 – 20 minutes. And while these effects happen quickly, they also fade quickly, usually within a few hours. 

The second-fastest onset of CBD benefits can be found in oral formulas such as CBD sublingual drops, sprays, and tinctures. These CDB products use the lining of the mouth in order to enter the bloodstream at a quick pace. The usual onset happens in just 30 minutes, though the user can feel the relief for up to 6 hours or more, depending on the dose strength and size. 

Edibles, on the other hand, have the longest effect. However, it can take at least 2 hours for you to feel the effects. 

How much time does CBD stay after the Benefits?

Now, in terms of the duration that CBD stays in your system after the benefits subside, there are several factors in play. 

The fat molecules absorb CBD and its metabolites pretty quickly. These molecules allow them to be stored in the fat cells. Thus, the consumers with a higher BMI (Body Mass Index) are more likely to hold onto these metabolites and keeping CBD in the body for a longer duration. Meanwhile, an individual with a lower BMI will excrete these metabolites expediently. 

Another factor to consider is the method of consumption. A 2018 study found that the average half-life of CBD that has been inhaled or smoked is at least 31 hours. Meanwhile, the sprays dissipated from the body in less than 11 hours after the use. Oral administration, on the other hand, lasts for about 5 days.

How much time after the use can CBD show in the Drug Test? 

Now, if you are worried about drug testing when you’ve consumed CBD, then here’s good news for you. 

The drug tests for legal or employment purposes only check for THC and its metabolites. And the only way that a CBD product will come upon a drug test is that if they exceed the trace amounts of THC. The legally allowed content of THC is less than 0.3 percent. 

And while there are some theories that CBD at high dosage can cause a drug test to be positive, there is no proof of such possibility. 

Like THC, there’s still plenty to be researched and learned about the use and application of CBD. Researchers have already found the factors that contribute to the lifespan within the body, which is somewhat similar to THC. 

Final Thoughts

Despite being legal, CBD is still a mysterious compound with consumers struggling to figure out what it can offer. Scientists, on the other hand, have barely scratched the surface. As the research on CBD continues to evolve, we can expect more surprising benefits and a clearer regulation about its use. 

The exactness of the optimal age limits to use and purchase CBD without federal guidance can be confusing. However, you should make it a case by case situation given your exact medical requirements and goals. 

The most sensible approaches are that you go with the all-natural and plant-derived hemp plant substance that is relatively safe and non-intoxicating. 

In closing, regardless of how old or young in age, you need to consult with your doctor before taking any medications. Also, consider starting slow with the lowest dosages and work on integrating the full dosages in due time, assuming that there are no side effects or adverse reactions.

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