Is Delta-8 THC Legal in North Carolina?

By | last updated December 17, 2021

Evidence Based 4

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Delta 8 is legal in North Carolina. Although the state isn’t very cannabis-friendly, all hemp-derived cannabinoids and products, including delta-8 THC, are allowed in the state.

Here’s a closer look at the delta 8 legality and its future in the Tar Heel State. 


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North Carolina Delta-8 THC Laws

North Carolina legalized hemp and hemp-derived products in 2019 with Senate Bill 352. Here’s the key definition from the bill:

“Hemp product” means any product within a delta-9 THC concentration of three-tenths percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis derived from, or made by, processing hemp plants or plant parts, that are prepared in a form available for commercial sale, including, but not limited to, cosmetics, personal care products, food intended for animal or human consumption…and any product containing one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol…

North Carolina SB352

Delta-8 THC products fall under this definition because they’re made from hemp-derived CBD. That means as long as they contain no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC, they’re legal in North Carolina.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 8) is a form of THC, the intoxicating cannabis compound. Cannabis plants usually contain high levels of delta-9 THC, which is what people refer to when they say “THC.” 

Unlike delta-9, delta-8 THC is found in very small quantities in cannabis plants. That’s why it’s typically made from hemp-derived CBD through a chemical conversion process.

Delta-8 can get high just like delta-9 THC but its effects are significantly weaker (1).

Why Delta-8 THC is Federally Legal

Delta 8 is legal thanks to a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill made hemp and hemp products legal nationwide as long as they contain no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC.

But that definition doesn’t put any limit on other forms of THC, like delta 8. That means hemp-derived delta-8 THC is legal under the Farm Bill.

Delta-8 THC is made from hemp-derived CBD through a chemical conversion process.

Other States Where Delta-8 THC is Illegal

Each state has the power to regulate delta-8 THC in its own way.

Delta-8 THC is currently illegal in 14 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, and Washington.

The Future of Delta 8 in North Carolina

We expect delta 8 to remain legal in North Carolina for the foreseeable future. 

Even though it’s not the most cannabis-friendly state, many states look to the federal government and the DEA for guidelines on how to regulate cannabinoids. 

The DEA released two public statements in 2021 confirming that hemp-derived delta 8 is not a controlled substance.

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