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Although North Carolina isn’t very cannabis-friendly, all hemp-derived cannabinoids and products, including delta-8 THC, are legal in the state. Here’s a closer look at the delta 8 legality and its future in the Tar Heel State.
Delta-8 THC is legal in North Carolina; the state matches federal law by allowing all hemp-derived products.
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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.
The state also passed legislation in June 2022 which permanently made hemp products legal. Additionally, HB 252, passed in July 2022, confirms that tetrahydrocannabinols found in products with no more than 0.3% THC are exempt from the state’s controlled substances list.
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 17 states: Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
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.
Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.