Out of all the American states, North Carolina has, perhaps, the richest history of hemp cultivation. Is CBD legal in NC these days, though? The short answer is, “Yes.” The long answer, though, should properly be explained over the course of a full article. Along the way, we’ll familiarize ourselves with federal CBD law, North Carolina hemp statutes, and how these laws might affect the average North Carolinian who wants to use CBD in the Tar Heel State.

North Carolina flag alongside the United States flag

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second-most abundant naturally occurring compound in hemp. It has an entirely different chemical composition from THC. As a result, CBD does not have any intoxicating effects and can hardly even be considered “psychoactive.”

CBD does have a few subtle mental and cognitive effects. It might make you feel less anxious and more sleepy, for instance. All the same, the intense intoxication and even paranoia that often occur with THC will never happen when you use CBD. The federal government makes sure of it by limiting THC levels in CBD products to 0.3%, well under the concentration necessary to cause an intoxicating high.

  • CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis
  • It has lightly relaxing effects
  • CBD is generally legal as long as it contains under 0.3% THC

Is CBD the Same As Marijuana?

No, CBD and marijuana are very different on every meaningful level: chemical, legal, and also in their effects. The federal government generally now only defines “marijuana” as the singular compound delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC.

Though there might be some exceptions, all other unique active compounds found in the hemp and cannabis plants are usually considered “industrial hemp,” CBD first and foremost. CBD was the main driver behind the 2019 hemp boom, and it continues to serve as an essential and accepted component of the American hemp industry.

  • CBD and marijuana are viewed differently for legal purposes
  • The 2018 Farm Bill made CBD generally legal
  • The definition of “marijuana” is now usually limited to just THC

CBD Laws in North Carolina & What You Should Know

In 2022, North Carolina officially brought itself into accord with federal law by passing Senate Bill 455, which adopted the standard federal definition of “industrial hemp” as cannabis products containing less than 0.3% THC.

Concerns over lack of proper enforcement of production regulations, however, continue to stymie the efforts of North Carolina lawmakers seeking greater control of their state hemp industry. With NC CBD law now mirroring federal hemp law, though, these ongoing regulatory battles will not affect average users of CBD living in North Carolina.

  • CBD products are legal in NC
  • 2022 state law essentially legalized all hemp products
  • The state continues to work to regulate its hemp industry
  • North Carolina residents should feel free to purchase and use CBD

Is CBD Legal in North Carolina?

Yes, CBD is legal in North Carolina. This state was one of the first to begin a hemp pilot program, and over the years, this legislation evolved into North Carolina’s current CBD policy. Officially, NC now matches DC in its stance on CBD: It’s legal as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC.

Any further regulations mainly pertain to selling CBD products made within North Carolina, a matter the state government primarily cares about for taxation purposes. That’s all to say North Carolina residents should have no trouble buying or using CBD products. They’ll have an even easier time if they buy their CBD products online.

  • It is legal to purchase, own, and use CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC in North Carolina
  • Nonetheless, the regulatory climate in the state might make it easier to buy your CBD online

Do You Need a Prescription for CBD Oil in North Carolina?

No, a doctor’s prescription is not required to buy CBD oil in North Carolina. Due to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD is not sold on a prescription basis anywhere in the country. It is also not necessary to have a medical marijuana card to buy hemp-derived CBD products in NC. Consulting with your doctor, though, could help you choose an ideal CBD product for your needs.

What is the Legal Age to Buy CBD in North Carolina?

The state legislature in North Carolina has not established any age limits on CBD purchases. It is general procedure to limit CBD sales to individuals 18 years of age or older, but this is simply the industry standard and does not reflect any state or federal law. Individual NC CBD shops can institute any restrictions on CBD sales they like, such as requiring that you be over 21 to buy CBD.

Where to Buy CBD in North Carolina

Technically speaking, you have quite a few different options when you want to buy CBD in North Carolina. As you’ll learn by the end of this brief list, though, there’s only one approach that’s guaranteed to get you the best CBD products in NC:

1. CBD Stores

In North Carolina and many other parts of the country, CBD specialty stores have sprung up to cater to the massive increase in interest in the hemp plant. These stores are mostly gimmicky, however, and may even lead customers astray with sub-par products and incorrect information on the cannabis plant and CBD extracts. Better product selection and lower prices are available online.

2. Supermarkets

Some supermarkets and grocery stores in North Carolina might carry CBD products. CBD is still a relatively new idea in the Carolinas, however, and the region has been stalwartly anti-hemp since the Drug War era. Don’t count on North Carolina supermarkets to carry the CBD products you need. Don’t count on them to carry any CBD at all, for that matter.

3. Health Stores

You’re likely to have a better time finding high-quality CBD products at North Carolina health shops and natural food stores. Health and wellness purchasing managers at these locations generally have a good grasp of what CBD is and how it works, leading to improved product selection and quality. Due to the small size of most of these shops, however, finding the exact CBD product you’re looking for is very unlikely.

4. Dispensaries

In many states throughout the country, it is possible to buy CBD products at state-licensed marijuana dispensaries. However, the medical marijuana program in North Carolina remains very new, with it being unlikely that patients will be served any time in the near future. Even then, the variety and quality of CBD products at NC medical marijuana shops will be low, and any available CBD products will likely be wildly overpriced.

5. Online

Especially for North Carolina residents, purchasing CBD online is the way to go. The hemp industry in your state has a long history, but it will take a long time for North Carolina to fully remember its deep love of the cannabis plant. In the meantime, there’s an abundant selection of high-quality CBD products at your disposal online, with Colorado Botanicals leading the pack.

GMP, ISO, and FDA-certified, Colorado Botanicals has offered the world’s best organic CBD products since 2017. Featuring a full catalog of CBD oils, CBD creams, CBD gummies, CBN oils, CBG oils, and more, Colorado Botanicals is the internet’s most trusted CBD brand according to the independent review aggregator TrustPilot. Count on Colorado Botanicals to supply North Carolina with the best CBD you can buy anywhere in the entire United States.

Are CBD Gummies Legal in NC?

North Carolina has not passed any laws prohibiting the sale, purchase, or possession of CBD gummies or any other CBD food products. As such, the state’s position on ingestible products that contain CBD extract is the same as the federal government’s: as long as CBD gummies contain less than 0.3% THC, they are considered legal hemp by both North Carolina and Congress.

Can You Take CBD and Drive in NC?

There are no laws specifically against using CBD before or while driving in North Carolina. If you are subjected to a drug test for cannabis during a police traffic stop, the chances of THC being detected in your saliva are incredibly low regardless of which type of CBD product you use. To be on the safe side, simply avoid using CBD vapes, CBD flower, or any other type of product that might lead trace concentrations of THC to accumulate in your mouth.

Can You Sell CBD Products in NC?

If you wish to sell CBD in North Carolina, you may be asked to follow the state’s new regulations on CBD and hemp commerce, such as purchasing a North Carolina hemp license. As a result, CBD producers based in North Carolina are few and far between, and most NC residents buy their CBD online from companies based in other states.

Is CBN Legal in NC?

Yes, CBN is legal in NC because the State of North Carolina has not established any laws whatsoever regarding cannabinol, the THC derivative commonly known as “CBN.” While similar to THC in some ways, CBN does not have potent psychoactive properties, and it is an entirely separate substance from both a chemical and regulatory perspective. Residents of North Carolina should feel at ease using any products containing CBN.

NC CBD Legality: The Bottom Line

Following the advice of the Industrial Hemp Commission, North Carolina is now in full accord with the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act, heralding the dawn of the golden age of NC CBD commerce. Even so, buying CBD in-state will remain a headache for the foreseeable future.

Thankfully, the online CBD industry has never been in a better place. With a vast variety of excellent products to choose from, there’s truly something for every CBD user. Trust Colorado Botanicals to deliver the best CBD in America, complete with a 60-day guarantee.