The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived THC products on a national level, so long as they meet the established definition of “hemp.” However, with nearly 80% of states legalizing cannabis either medically or recreationally, some consumers may wonder whether delta-9 THC cannabis is legal in their home state.
Essentially, the law allows individuals to purchase and use delta-9 THC products with no more than 0.3% THC per dry weight and that come from legal hemp plants. In North Carolina specifically, the North Carolina Farm Act of 2022 aligned state law with the federal government’s definitions, so the same rules apply on a state and national level. These rules exempt hemp products from the state’s low-THC, high-CBD program, which allows medically-approved patients to use high-CBD cannabis for treating intractable epilepsy.
Read everything you need to know about North Carolina’s marijuana laws and what the regulations say about delta-9 THC.
- Cannabis products not sourced from hemp are illegal in North Carolina.
- Delta-9 THC is federally legal and legal in North Carolina if the product originates from hemp and has less than 0.3% THC.
- Hemp-derived delta-9 THC and delta-9 THC from marijuana are the same things.
What is Delta 9?
Delta-9 THC, or plain THC, is the most concentrated chemical in the cannabis plant, found in both hemp and marijuana varieties. THC is the cannabinoid responsible for marijuana’s intoxicating effects, with various cultivars containing more or less THC than others.
What separates the hemp plant from other cannabis varieties is the relatively minuscule amount of THC it naturally produces. Legally speaking, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that hemp plants grown for industrial or agricultural use must contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC per dry weight.
Whether sourced from hemp or marijuana, however, all delta-9 THC is chemically the same. Laws only limit what is legally permissible to sell, possess, and consume.
Hemp-Derived Delta-9 vs. Cannabis-Derived THC
Delta-9 THC and cannabis-sourced THC differ only in their source material and extraction processes. Cannabis is still a Schedule I controlled substance and illegal on the federal level. Conversely, the USDA allows the legal cultivation of hemp plants that meet the less than 0.3% dry weight definition. As such, most nationwide manufacturers get their delta-9 from hemp plants instead of marijuana.
Chemically speaking, hemp-derived and cannabis-derived delta-9 THC is the same. No matter where it comes from, high-enough THC levels produce the intoxicating effects that many consumers seek. Higher potency delta-9 THC products come in various forms, including:
- Smokeable flower
- Concentrates such as live rosin or resin
- Portable vaporizers and cartridges
- Edibles, such as gummies or infused brownies
Unless you live in a recreationally or medically legalized state, delta-9 products may only carry less than 0.3% THC per dry weight. The phrase “per dry weight” is critical, as federal law doesn’t specify guidance on extracted delta-9 products such as oils or tinctures. Some manufacturers use this loophole to sell higher potency products that produce similar highs to THC products found in legalized states.
Is Delta-9 Legal in North Carolina?
Delta-9 THC products are illegal in North Carolina for medical and recreational use. The state has a low-CBD, high-THC medical program, which allows those with a doctor’s recommendation to acquire products with at least 5% CBD and less than 0.1% THC for treating intractable epilepsy.
However, the passage of the North Carolina Farm Act of 2022 extended the Farm Bill’s legalization of hemp products into state law. It exempted hemp and hemp products from its cannabis regulations as long as they meet the federal definition of hemp (less than 0.3% THC per dry weight). Therefore, the only delta-9 legal in North Carolina is that found in federally legal hemp products.
North Carolina Marijuana Laws
Cannabis is entirely illegal in North Carolina, with the first possession offense of a half ounce or less decriminalized. In 2015, Governor Pat McCrory signed HB 766, which kicked off North Carolina’s low-THC, high-CBD medical program for those with intractable epilepsy. The NC Compassionate Care Act (SB 711) is currently being discussed among state regulators. It would expand access to higher potency medical cannabis to those with cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and other qualifying conditions.
Hemp-derived cannabis products are legal as long as they meet North Carolina’s definition of hemp and come from and contain no more than 0.3% THC per dry weight.
Where to Buy Delta-9 in North Carolina
Individuals seeking hemp-derived delta-9 products in North Carolina usually find options in health-food stores or pharmacies such as Whole Foods or Walgreens. Delta-9 THC products have offered relief to many consumers seeking ways to naturally soothe muscle pain, handle stress, or relax after a long day.
Unfortunately, higher-potency marijuana products are unavailable to North Carolina citizens under current law. Should SB 711 pass, more individuals with qualifying medical conditions will have access to delta-9 THC products.
Those looking for delta–9 THC products online will find various hemp-derived delta-9 products and other CBD options in our EVN online store. We ship to all 50 states, including North Carolina, and provide multiple product types to suit different consumer preferences.
Disclaimer: This article was last updated in April 2023 and reflects federal and state legal information as of this date. Cannabis laws in the U.S. are continually shifting; therefore, the information in this article is subject to change. The information in this article does not constitute legal advice, and no entity at EVN-CBD is claiming to provide legal advice. Please visit your official state website for more information on your state’s cannabis laws and regulations.