How Old Do You Have to be to Buy CBD - Is There an Age Requirement?
This is a very common question we get and we definitely understand it.
Our children (age 16 and 18) both use CBD so we made sure to heavily research it at our CBD and teen anxiety or CBD and child anxiety articles.
That was more from a question of safety (which we'll review below) but what about the legal question?
Is there an age requirement for CBD?
Let's look at this question and answer some accompanying ones as well.
We'll cover these topics:
- Is there an age requirement for CBD
- Is CBD legal in every State
- How does the FDA look at CBD
- Do you have to be 18 to buy CBD
- CBD's safety for younger people
- CBD versus benzos or SSRIs for children
- The importance of ZERO THC
- The best kind of CBD for people under 18
Let's jump into and feel free to send over specific questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there an age requirement for CBD
Technically, there is no age requirement to buy CBD.
It's not like alcohol or cigarettes (in many ways really).
The FDA looks at CBD as a food supplement currently.
This is similar to protein powders, vitamins, and various other supplements you can buy at a store.
There is no minimum age to purchase CBD if derived from industrial hemp (like IndigoNaturals).
The definition of industrial hemp is cannabis with less than .3% THC (very important note on that below).
We actually make sure our CBD has zero THC. In fact, it's CBD isolate (CBD by itself) with MCT oil (extract from organic coconut oil). Two ingredients.
Does it matter what state your in for age requirements with CBD?
Is CBD legal in every State
Is there an age requirement in Texas? What about California?
No. It's still under the Federal jurisdiction and the FDA specifically.
States have not applied their own age requirements for qualified CBD (industrial hemp variety).
Now, in States where they have cannabis with higher levels of THC, there are definitely age requirements.
That's a totally different deal because of the THC and other cannabinoids in those products.
The CBD isolate we have at IndigoNaturals has ZERO THC and only two ingredients.
One of the other cannabinoids sold in "full-spectrum" CBD may have effects similar to THC (not as strong) both in terms of being psychoactive and addictive.
Again, we're only talking about CBD derived from industrial hemp and really, we're only comfortable saying this for products with zero THC.
This is still under the management of the FDA at the federal level.
Let's go there now.
How does the FDA look at CBD
The FDA treats CBD derived from industrial hemp (less than .3% THC) as a food supplement.
This is the same category as vitamins, protein powders, and the like.
Basically, anything you can find at a GNC or Whole Foods.
The safety is generally stronger than even the over-the-counter medications like Tylenol (the leading cause of liver failure in the US...espeically for children).
See CBD and Tylenol connection here.
You can learn about what exactly CBD is here.
Now, the FDA may change its mind but at the time of this writing, CBD like IndigoNaturals is treated like a food supplement.
One note...this means that it is not regulated!
For this reason, you MUST have 3rd party testing with any CBD and you can't buy it from Amazon (they don't even legally allow it).
We test our CBD twice (since our two kids use it after all) and the results are available at the top of each page.
It's tested to be free of:
- Heavy metals
Another common question.
Do you have to be 18 to buy CBD
No. There is no age requirement for hemp-derived CBD in the US.
You do not need to be 18 or 21 to buy CBD.
CBD is not psychoactive (no high feeling) and the safety is well established (see CBD safety here).
If you take medications, it's important to run it by your doctor or naturopath to make sure they don't interact.
Otherwise, there is no age limit for CBD, be it 18 or 21.
CBD's safety for younger people
We covered this in more depth at our CBD and child anxiety or CBD and teen anxiety but a quick look at common questions.
There are really two big pathways to look at:
- Daily activity and functioning
- Developmental effects
For the first one, the common side effects are:
- Dry mouth
- Lower blood pressure (rarely an issue for children)
Interestingly, the drowsiness appears to be time-specific.
We did a whole review of whether you can CBD in the middle of the day.
CBD can actually be wake-promoting during daytime and cause drowsiness at night.
It's worth reading the middle of the day one since CBD is not sedative-like benzos.
The dosage of CBD is specific to weight so that has to be taken into account.
Even though 25-30 mg is generally an introductory dose, lower weight would affect this calculation.
CBD can affect other medications so it's important to work with your doctor or naturopath in that regard.
The general rule of thumb is at least 4 hours away from other medications but again, double-check.
Our bigger question was on the developmental side.
The brain and nervous system are literally remodeling during every stage of growth through age 25 (when puberty actually starts to wind down).
White matter tracts (communication networks in the brain) continue to develop for decades after.
In fact, recent studies found that using THC during puberty...even just a few times...can alter this development and prime the teenager for future anxiety and depression.
Interestingly, CBD offset this effect!
Check out Why you must have CBD if you use THC or CBD versus THC for anxiety or even Lawyer Up! Sellers of High THC Products.
Even our recent article on CBD for coronavirus found differences in the immune response.
We go deep into the interaction but they're generally the polar opposite.
This is important since cannabis and THC are so prevalent with the younger generation.
It's a giant science experiment and if you read the data above, we're not going to like the results.
Make sure CBD is available if you suspect a teenager is smoking cannabis.
It's EVERYWHERE for your/their generation.
We also looked at the other key players during development...hormones!!
Check out CBD and estrogen here (also touches on testosterone) or CBD and PMS.
The endocannabinoid system which CBD bolsters has direct management of balancing hormones and the entire endocrine system.
Let's look at the main reason you're probably reading this.
CBD versus benzos or SSRIs for children
One of our sons had pretty intense anxiety and like any good parent, we took him to a few doctors including the area's leading child psychologist.
Out he came with a bottle of 30 Xanax.
This was before we did the big CBD versus benzos article here where we really get into how this works.
The research on this was so fascinating (and frustrating) that we followed up with CBD and the GABA system review to really dive deep into CBD and anxiety versus benzos.
Of course, my doctor prescribed benzos for perimenopause which almost broke me.
My story is here and the more important article is how I used CBD to wean off benzos.
Really read the CBD versus benzos article since so many GP's are writing that for kids these days.
Scratch that...READ that article immediately if your child has been prescribed benzo.
The other big favorite for children under age 18 are SSRIs.
That's a whole different deal and I was prescribed Lexapro after the benzos (since they're ridiculously addictive).
CBD versus SSRI or How do SSRIs really work shed some light on what's going on there.
Now, SSRIs are commonly prescribed for children under age 18.
As we detailed in our CBD versus SSRI for suicidal ideation, that's the one risky demographic….children!
Male with OCD appears to be a triple threat there.
Needless to say, we had to write How I used CBD to get off SSRIs (which was probably tougher than the benzos).
Giving children these medications considering how the brain naturally pushes back by reducing GABA and serotonin (their respective pathways) function to counter the effects is….
We'll avoid harsh language and we're not doctors but look at the research.
Make an informed decision. We also go through how CBD shares these pathways but without the one-directional effect (up up up).
Let's circle back around to THC.
The importance of ZERO THC for children under 18 (25 really)
Keep in mind that some CBD on the legal market can have up to .3% THC.
There is no age requirement for this type of CBD.
It's enough THC to fail a drug test but more important, under age 21, it's not great for brain development.
In fact, a study found that even 1-2 uses around age 14 can change brain architecture.
Look...the brain is in a constant state of remodeling and THC affects this process.
Read the CBD if you use THC article to look at that research and more.
Then there's the hormone effect.
Smoking marijuana may cause early puberty and stunts growth in boys
Most of these studies are on cannabis smoke which has been shown to be estrogenic (hence the weight gain and "man boobs").
Here's the key take-away that see time and time again research.
CBD acts as a constraining agent on our endocannabinoid system.
THC pushes one way the CB1 receptor (our main endocannabinoid receptor) while CBD has biphasic effects.
This means that it can have opposite effects depending on the state of that pathway.
A perfect example is cancer.
- Healthy cell with low inflammation - CBD has no effect
- Healthy cell with high inflammation - CBD reduces inflammation
- Cancer cell - CBD INCREASES inflammation!
That's a very odd ability and we see it everywhere.
- Benzos, at a higher and higher dose, will keep jacking up GABA till you pass out.
- SSRIs, at a higher and higher dose, will keep jacking up serotonin till you get serotonin syndrome
CBD doesn't do that which is why there is no report of overdose (which we can't say for Tylenol).
In the GABA review (GABA is key to anxiety and sleep), CBD would only boost levels when levels were low!
See CBD and GABA function here.
THC is another "one direction" player which is why you can overdose in terms of psychosis, blood pressure, anxiety, etc.
See CBD if you're Greening Out here.
Let's look at a practical question then.
The best kind of CBD for people under 18
There are some basic requirements.
Interestingly, we designed IndigoNaturals after a debilitating perimenopause but our real requirements are driven by the fact that our kids use it.
- The CBD must be from an FDA registered farm organically grown
- 3rd party tested (we test ours twice)
- No THC (zero)
- No heavy metals
- No solvents (our CBD is processed with cold CO2 - the cleanest option)
- No pesticides
- No bacteria
- No mold
The testing is available on every page at the top.
Then there's CBD isolate versus full spectrum.
We reference a few 100 NIH studies across the site.
Just look at the CBD and anxiety research page as an example.
All that research is on full-spectrum CBD.
It's all CBD Isolate. CBD by itself.
The bulk of the market is for full spectrum and we dispel a bunch of that at our CBD isolate versus Full-spectrum here.
The original "entourage effect" they tout actually referred to how CBD would offset the negatives of THC (as above) from the Godfather of CBD research in Isreal.
More importantly, with our children, we want decisions based on research and the research is on CBD by itself.
We add it to MCT oil since fat allows the CBD to be better absorbed (bypass the liver).
So...the net net...there is no age requirement or a minimum age for CBD.
Work with your doctor of course but feel free to email us with any questions. Thanks!
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.