How old do you have to be to Smoke Weed?
The age-old adage is that if you start consuming cannabis as a teenager, it will be a gateway drug and you’ll spiral down. Here we look at what science says about the right age to start consuming cannabis.
The Right Age to Start Consuming Cannabis – It Probably Isn’t What You Think
The legal age for drinking booze is 21, so it makes sense that most people would think that’s also the right age for weed. It is also thought that are some significant risks that teenagers take – such as lower IQ, or abusing hard drugs later in life. Although those notions don’t come with a ton of data. According to a recent study, starting your weed consumption at 19 might not be any different than doing so at 21.
“Several later life outcomes from starting cannabis use at age 19 are not different than starting at or after age 21,” Hai Nyugen, a health economist at the University of Newfoundland and the lead author on the study, told Inverse.
Studies Show, it Does Matter for Teens
Even though young adults ages 19 to 21 might not develop drug problems later in life, young teens might. There is a study that shows teens ages 13 to 14 are putting themselves at risk for developing serious drug problems later on in their late 20’s. The study shows that teens aged 13 to 14 that start smoking weed at that age are at a 68 percent risk of hard drug abuse problems, but that percentage actually drops down to 44 percent for teens ages 15 to 17.
Age to Start Consuming Cannabis – Arguments for Current Laws
In the U.S., there is one of the main arguments for keeping the legal age to consume cannabis where it is. And that is that officials want to keep it out of schools. In Canada, the legal age federally for consuming recreational cannabis is 18. However, some Provinces have exercised their rights to boost that age to 19 or 21. There is no evidence to support the notion of more of weed found on students in schools in those areas.
What is the age restriction for buying CBD?
CBD restrictions vary from state to state. It depends on what state you’re in, what kind of CBD you want to buy, and the store that you want to buy it from. Generally, you have to be 18 years or older to buy CBD. In some cases, you have to be 21.
In states where CBD sales are legal, brick-and-mortar stores may ask you to verify that you’re 18. Reputable online CBD retailers also have basic measures in place to ask your age.
You’ll likely need to be 21 to purchase CBD from recreational dispensaries. Medical marijuana dispensaries may have additional requirements. CBD products with higher THC have different criteria and the levels are regulated by states, and age requirements are in place.
What happens if you get caught with weed under 18?
If you or your child are caught with marijuana while under 18 years old, the case goes into the juvenile court system. Unlawful possession of drugs by a minor or an individual under the age of 18 in the United States, is a criminal offense likely to result in financial and legal consequences. Minors caught illegally possessing drugs are typically subject to juvenile (minor) drug possession charges with a wide range of state-level penalties. Such penalties include juvenile drug counseling and conditions, probation, pre-trial diversion, and juvenile detention.
As Always, We Need More Research
It’s a broken record at this point. But, more research is needed to determine the best age for young people to consume. There is some evidence that medical cannabis can actually help your mental health conditions like anxiety, depression and PTSD. The only way we’ll have conclusive evidence is if more restrictions are removed. Researchers need to be granted access to do more much-needed studies.
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