According to federal law, hemp and all its derivatives (including Delta-8-THC) are legal. Of course, every state governs their own hemp laws, and not every state agrees. Is Delta-8-THC legal in North Carolina? And if it is, how can you find it in today’s hemp market?
Luckily, Delta-8 is both legal and accessible in North Carolina. The state has broadly legalized hemp material and has made changes to their Controlled Substances list to remove tetrahydrocannabinols derived from hemp from the schedule.
You can buy it in stores and online, but first you should familiarize yourself with North Carolina Delta-8-THC laws:
Disclaimer: We’re always working to stay informed on the latest Delta-8 laws and research. However, state laws are subject to change and we advise that you do your own research to verify the information you find in this article. This is not intended as legal advice.
Table of Contents
Delta-8-THC and Federal Laws
North Carolina Delta-8-THC Laws
Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in North Carolina?
Delta-8-THC Possession Limits in North Carolina
Is Delta-9-THC Legal in North Carolina?
Where to Buy Delta-8 in North Carolina
Do You Have to Be 21 to Buy Delta-8?
Is Delta-8 Legal in All 50 States?
Delta 8's federal status is confusing at first glance. Technically, Delta-8-THC has been listed as a Schedule I substance alongside Delta-9-THC for well over a decade.
More recently, however, the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was signed into law. Under this legislation, hemp containing less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC became legal, as did any cannabinoids, extracts, or isomers derived from the legal hemp material.
In fact, Section 12619b of the 2018 Hemp Farming Act specifically addresses tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp. By extension of this new law, Delta-8-THC was legal, or so it seemed.
Here's the catch:
Most of the legal Delta-8 products on the market are made by "synthesizing" CBD. While federal hemp legislation currently allows the production and sale of naturally derived cannabinoids, it specifically prohibits all synthesized cannabinoids.
So where does this put Delta-8-THC, considering it is both a naturally occurring cannabinoid and can be synthesized from legal CBD?
To understand, you need to take a look at the method used to turn CBD into Delta 8, which is vastly different from the complex process that is generally used to create synthetic cannabinoids.
The conversion process between CBD and Delta 8 relies on a transfer of isomers, a process called isomerization, between the two cannabinoids. This means that Delta-8-THC technically exists as a hemp "isomer," which is covered by hemp's legal definition according to the 2018 law.
In other words, Delta-8 is made from hemp and considered to be a naturally occurring part of the hemp plant.
The types of cannabinoids that the DEA typically carve out as “synthetic” are liquid agents that are frequently applied to plant material, like K2 and Spice. Legal forms of synthetic cannabinoids, such as Marinol, also exist as prescription pharmaceuticals. Unlike Delta-8-THC, these substances are purely synthetic and made in a lab without the use of plant material.
Of course, laws regarding cannabinoids are still subject to change as hemp regulations are ironed out by both the DEA and FDA. For now, Delta 8 maintains a federally legal status, but state laws still may pose limitations on Delta-8-THC access.
North Carolina has updated hemp laws to legalize CBD and many other hemp derivatives. Still, the state maintains a ban on some hemp products, like smokable hemp flower.
Fortunately, the state has no specific prohibition on Delta-8-THC, and uses legal language that makes it accessible in the state. North Carolina legalized hemp using a definition that is almost identical to the federal definition used in the 2018 Farm Bill.
In North Carolina, hemp is any Cannabis Sativa material, including all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers (both living and non-living), so long as the material contains less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC.
Delta-8, which exists as a natural hemp derivative, is covered by this definition. Furthermore, North Carolina updated their Controlled Substances Act to make a specific exception for tetrahydrocannabinols derived from hemp.
Here are some highlights from the official legislative text:
AN ACT REVISING THE NORTH CAROLINA CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT.
(13a) “Hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa (L.) and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, within a delta-9 THC concentration of three-tenths percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis.
(13b) “Hemp extract” means an extract from hemp, or a mixture or preparation containing hemp plant material or compounds, within a delta-9 THC concentration of three-tenths percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis.
(13c) “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 as approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration or the United States Department of Agriculture, cloth, cordage, fiber, fuel, paint, paper, particleboard, plastics, and any product containing one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol. “Hemp product” does not include smokable hemp.
(16) “Marijuana” means all parts of the plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin, but shall not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil, or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination. The term “marijuana” also includes smokable hemp.
The term does not include hemp, when in the possession, custody, or control of a person who holds a license permitting that person to cultivate or handle hemp; hemp products; or hemp extracts. A licensed cultivator or licensed handler may possess raw hemp plant material for the purpose of (i) selling the raw hemp plant material to a licensed handler or a person who may legally receive the raw hemp plant material in that person’s jurisdiction or (ii) processing the raw hemp plant material into a hemp product or hemp extract.
SECTION 6. G.S. § 90-94. Schedule VI controlled substances.
This schedule includes the controlled substances listed or to be listed by whatever official name, common or usual name, chemical name, or trade name designated. In determining that such substance comes within this schedule, the Commission shall find: no currently accepted medical use in the United States, or a relatively low potential for abuse in terms of risk to public health and potential to produce psychic or physiological dependence liability based upon present medical knowledge, or a need for further and continuing study to develop scientific evidence of its pharmacological effects.
The following controlled substances are included in this schedule:
(2) Tetrahydrocannabinols, except for tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp products or hemp extracts.
(3) Repealed by Session Laws 2017-115, s. 8, effective December 1, 2017, and applicable to offenses committed on or after that date.
North Carolina has specifically amended their Controlled Substances list to add the phrase “except for tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp products or hemp extracts,” where tetrahydrocannabinols are listed as Controlled Substances.
That means that Delta-8-THC derived from legal hemp material is not a Controlled Substance in North Carolina.
North Carolina law does not define any possession limits for hemp-derived products, including Delta-8-THC.
Still, Delta-8 could be easily confused for Delta-9 THC by authorities without proper documentation and lab testing.
Basic lab testing checks only for tetrahydrocannabinol, meaning that extensive lab tests are needed to differentiate between Delta-8 content and Delta-9 content when proof of legal possession is needed.
No. High-THC cannabis is prohibited for both medical and recreational use in North Carolina.
According to state hemp laws, legal hemp products can be sold in the state so long as it is produced in accordance with the state’s hemp plan. If you’re looking to buy Delta-8-THC in North Carolina, you may be in luck!
In fact, all of North Carolina’s neighbors, including South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, have legalized Delta-8 production too. That means you may find a varied selection of Delta-8 products in the area, but quality regulations also vary greatly.
For that reason, it’s advisable to proceed with caution when choosing a Delta-8 distributor. While you can likely find various hemp products in local stores, there may be benefits to buying Delta-8 online. One reason is that you can buy directly from a brand or manufacturer, instead of purchasing through a third-party vendor that may not fully understand Delta-8 effects and uses or the laws surrounding Delta-8 products.
At Bloom Society, our Delta-8-THC products comply with all parameters of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. We can also help answer questions about Delta-8 before you buy, or you can read our “What is Delta-8-THC?” guide to learn everything you need to know.
There are no state regulations that place age restriction on the purchase of hemp-derived products. Retailers have the right to determine age limits for the purchase of Delta-8 products, but many retailers require consumers to be at least 21 years of age.
Delta-8-THC is currently federally legal under the context of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, but each state has the right to determine their own stance on tetrahydrocannabinols derived from hemp. Delta-8-THC is legal in North Carolina according to state law, but you should read more about Delta-8 laws by state to determine the legality in other areas.
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