CBD Oil NC: Is CBD Oil Legal In North Carolina?

When it comes to CBD Oil in North Carolina, it is a gray legal territory. In North Carolina, the law states its illegal for anyone to possess CBD unless they have intractable epilepsy.

CBD Oil NC: The Highlights

  • The North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act permits people suffering from intractable epilepsy to access and use to CBD oil derived from marijuana in NC.
  • A WHO report released in November 2017 declared CBD safe and beneficial in the treatment of several health conditions including epilepsy.
  • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is charged with the responsibility of regulatory oversight for the cannabis program in NC.
  • North Carolina is not accepting applications for cannabis businesses in the state currently.
  • The 2018 Farm Bill made industrial hemp legal under federal law, this could open doors for cannabis research.

Is CBD Oil Legal In NC?

CBD Oil is legal for anyone with intractable epilepsy, this is a result of the 2014 Epilepsy Treatment Act.

In addition, patients must be under the supervision of a neurologist and can only have CBD oil after unsuccessful results from three traditional treatments. In 2015, the act was amended to raise the amount of CBD allowed. The new requirements were:

  • CBD levels should not be below 10 percent
  • THC levels should not be over 0.3 percent.

On the flip side, it is illegal for anyone to have CBD unless they have intractable epilepsy, which puts things in a gray area as there are plenty of shops in North Carolina that sell CBD.

Understanding The CBD Boom: What is CBD Oil?

Hands holding a bottle of CBD Oil

Research has shown anecdotal evidence on the therapeutic properties of marijuana, especially for severe forms of illness such as intractable epilepsy. This has prompted scientists to research more on this wonder plant that was previously taboo.

The therapeutic properties have since been attributed to the presence of chemical compounds in marijuana known as cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most prevalent and potent cannabinoids in pot. Whereas THC acts on the brain to produce euphoria, CBD does not have any mind-altering effects.

People who use marijuana for recreational purposes favor strains with high THC content for this mind-altering effect.

It is also purported that THC can slow down the development of the brain especially in teenagers, but this theory has been challenged by a 2018 study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Further, a WHO report released in November 2017 declared CBD safe for humans and animals, and also beneficial in the treatment of several health conditions, such as Cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

With all these factors, CBD has risen in popularity as the preferred therapeutic cannabinoid.

In states where only medicinal cannabis is legalized, the cannabis extract has to have trace amounts of THC, ideally less than 0.03 percent to ensure that it does not have the mind-altering effect on patients. That said, there are over 100 cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in the cannabis plant, all which work synergistically to enhance the healing properties of the plant.

A 1998 study conducted by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem investigated this synergistic effect and called it the entourage effect.

With that, CBD has been a topic of interest in medical and pharmaceutical circles with a lot of money being channeled towards CBD research.

CBD Oil Benefits

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system through endocannabinoid receptors to restore homeostasis in the body. An article by Harvard University Publishing revealed that CBD has shown many therapeutic properties, most significantly in the treatment of intractable seizures in children.

Lennox Gastaut and Dravet’s syndromes are two severe forms of childhood epilepsy that have shown great responsiveness to CBD oil, in some showing a significant drop or complete elimination of the seizures.

CBD has also shown effectiveness in the control of inflammatory pain, neuropathic pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia and nausea, and vomiting post-chemotherapy.

A report published by Nova Institut in 2017 confirmed the favorable safety profile of CBD in humans have a better side effect profile in the treatment of epilepsy and psychotic disorders.

The report indicated that this effect could go a long way in facilitating patient compliance and adherence to treatment.

North Carolina Cannabis Laws: A General Overview

North Carolina flag with marijuana in background

In 2014, the state led by Gov. McCrory passed House Bill 1220, also known as the Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act. This bill allows children with severe forms of epilepsy that had not responded to three typical treatment options to be licensed to use cannabis oil.

Initially, the cannabis oil had to contain more than 5 percent CBD and less than 0.9 percent THC. Also, cannabis oil could only be prescribed by neurologists from one of the four recommended universities.

The act was later amended in 2015, changing the CBD/THC percentages to greater than 10 percent CBD and less than 0.3 percent THC. It also granted any board-certified neurologist affiliated with any state university in NC the right to prescribe cannabis oil.

Another controversial element in the act is a sunset clause that promises to end the legality of cannabis should it fails to show significant therapeutic results by 2021.

Access to the cannabis oil must be through a registered caregiver who is a parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the patient. The CBD oil has also to be obtained from a state with reciprocity for its medical marijuana program. Currently, there is no in-state cannabis dispensary in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is charged with the responsibility of regulatory oversight for the cannabis program in NC. They set the criteria and requirements for patients and caregivers participating in the cannabis program.

The DHHS has an online registry with the names of doctors, caregivers, and patients in the cannabis program.

When it comes to possession, registered patients and caregivers are not limited as to the amount of cannabis oil they can possess at one time, provided that they adhere to the set CBD/THC limits.

As for the “rest of the population,” possession of less than .5 oz of marijuana will not land you in prison but can get you charged with a misdemeanor and be liable to pay a fine of not more than $200. Possession of more than this amount will, however, see you charged with a felony and could land you in prison.

How To Buy CBD Oil Online Legally In North Carolina?

To purchase CBD online is pretty straightforward, most CBD sellers with online shops even offer to ship free of charge. As the cannabis market is largely unregulated, it is always good to demand to see the certificate of analysis to ascertain the potency and purity of the CBD oil that one is buying.

The CBD products must always be third-party lab tested. But before you buy, be aware that you are doing so at your own discretion. As much as there have not been any problems in the past, CBD oil is illegal in NC unless permitted under the Epilepsy alternative treatment act.

How Does The 2018 Farm Bill Affect North Carolina?

State of North Carolina designed cannabis leaf green and black

The 2018 Farm Bill has even better prospects for the cannabis industry than the previous 2014 Farm bill. The new bill legalizes hemp at the federal level, which means farmers can grow hemp.

This will make research on hemp possible. As for North Carolina, the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill mean CBD oil derived from hemp is legal at the federal level.

Interest In Launching A CBD Business In North Carolina

What does North Carolina have to say about opening a CBD business?

Not yet, is the most appropriate answer for now. Currently, the state is not accepting applications for cannabis dispensaries and has no set rules or regulations for the cultivation, production or dispensing of CBD products within the state.

CBD Oil NC: The Final Word

For those that want to get CBD oil in North Carolina, the law is a gray matter. While CBD oil is illegal in North Carolina, unless the person has intractable epilepsy, anyone can walk into a shop that sells CBD oil and purchase it.

Jesus Acevedo
 

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