Medical marijuana continues to garner more and more support across the United States. As such, laws are changing left right and center. Many people, in fact, feel that it is only a matter of time before all forms of cannabis (and their extracts) become legal across the world.
That said, it is clear that some U.S. states are more generous than others in terms of cannabis laws. Unfortunately, North Carolina remains on the “stricter” side of the fence in this regard. The state no doubt has some of the tightest and most zero-tolerance marijuana laws in the country.
In 2014, however, a real-life story emerged of a young girl named Haley Ward. Details of the girl’s story prompted North Carolina to pass House Bill 1220, otherwise known as the Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act. This bill allows children with various forms of epilepsy to use cannabis extract to help control their condition.
In this article, we go over everything you need to know about CBD oil in North Carolina. We’ll discuss how to get it if you (or your child) is a qualifying patient, what some of the legal restrictions are, and what you can do if you do not qualify for CBD use, but still want to acquire and use some form of hemp extract.
What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
First, let’s go over what exactly CBD is in terms of how it’s affiliated with the cannabis plant. Then we can discuss legislation and the legal framework surrounding CBD in North Carolina.
In recent years, researchers all over the globe have been focusing their efforts on cannabidiol – the scientific name for CBD. It appears that CBD displays many of the therapeutic and medicinal capacities of cannabis, without providing any of the high.
Basically, there are two primary components of cannabis in terms of the plant’s medicinal use to humans: THC and CBD. THC is the compound that provides the mind-altering, stereotypical marijuana high. It is the sole reason for cannabis illegality over the past 80+ years.
CBD, on the other hand, has zero psychoactive (mind-altering) properties. It also maintains most of the primary therapeutic effects of the cannabis plant. From a global report issued by the World Health Organization, CBD is “safe, well-tolerated, and not associated with any significant adverse public health effects.”
The Importance of Scientific Evidence
Dozens of studies have come out within the last decade or so showcasing the potential medicinal effects of CBD. CBD displays properties as:
- An anti-inflammatory
- An anti-depressant
- An antioxidant
- An antipsychotic
- An anxiolytic (anxiety-reliever)
- And an anti-carcinogenic
As a result of these findings, CBD is becoming increasingly popular. Physician-recommended treatment is now even taking place for rare forms of epilepsy. CBD is also used to help moderate treatment-related symptoms of:
- Chronic Pain
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
Living in North Carolina? Explore How CBD Works
There have been hundreds of studies done on marijuana and its cannabinoids to find out how it works with our bodies, and if it is safe to consume. And while some states are still unconvinced, the science speaks for itself, as there have been no recorded deaths as a result of cannabis.
From this research, we now know that when consumed, CBD interacts with an internal molecular system in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is in charge of our body’s homeostasis, which basically means that it regulates most of our bodily functions to keep things healthy, balanced, and working in sync. From our body temperature to the way we feel pain, it plays a part in almost everything.
When CBD enters our body, it works with receptors in the ECS to encourage an increase in the production of naturally-occurring cannabinoids that play such a crucial part in our health. It is for this reason that CBD can work for so many conditions.
CBD In North Carolina: What You Need to Know
The legal language surrounding CBD and its various forms is still pretty cloudy. There are different types of the compound depending on whether it comes from industrial hemp (which many companies claim is legal), or actual medical marijuana (which is still illegal on a federal level).
In many states, quality CBD is extremely easy to get hold of and even recommended by some physicians and professional health practitioners. As such, it is a real shame that other states (such as North Carolina) remain so strict with their laws.
While CBD derived from hemp is available in North Carolina, the state has outlined a specific process for how you can go about legally obtaining cannabis-extracted oils.
Basically, in order to legally use CBD in North Carolina, your child (or otherwise a child you look after) has to be diagnosed with an intractable form of epilepsy “for which other treatment options have not been effective.” As a caregiver, you will need to fill out this form and mail it in along with supporting documents to:
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services
3008 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-3008
A Brief History of CBD in North Carolina
As we mentioned earlier, back in 2014 the state of North Carolina took its very first step in cannabis-based legislation by passing House Bill 1220, otherwise known as the Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act.
The law was passed to allow medically-diagnosed children with some forms of epilepsy to use hemp-derived CBD oil, as long as the oil had a THC content below 0.9% and CBD levels of at least 5%.
Amendments to the initial legislation currently make CBD oil more accessible for qualifying children, as they no longer have to participate in a pilot study program (as per the Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act).
Be advised however that we are currently not aware of any doctors in North Carolina who are seeing patients under the Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act. In fact, there have been news articles of pediatricians in the state cutting ties with patients who use CBD oil to treat epilepsy and other conditions.
Current Legislation on CBD Oil in North Carolina
As it stands, there has been very little movement for CBD in North Carolina since the 2015 amendments. In fact, the current law leaves a lot to be desired for many residents of the state – particularly adults who wish to use legal CBD oil to treat a variety of medical ailments.
Possession of even 0.5 oz of cannabis (not specifically CBD oil) or less can still earn you a misdemeanor criminal penalty charge in the state, although potential jail time for this amount has been lifted. (You can, however, still go to prison for possession of more than 0.5 oz).
So as a North Carolina resident, what are your options in terms of acquiring legal CBD oil?
Let’s take a look.
How to Get CBD Oil if You Are a Resident of North Carolina
To be clear, we are NOT stating that it is legal to buy, possess, or use CBD oil without medical certification in the state of North Carolina. As per current legislation, CBD is only legal under doctor-recommended use for instances of intractable pediatric epilepsy.
That said, it appears that state laws do not coincide with federal laws on hemp products. The Agricultural Act of 2018 (the U.S. Farm Bill) legalizes industrial hemp, which is the source material for many CBD products.
There are several high-quality American CBD manufacturers that claim to operate legally under the Agricultural Act. Many of these brands ship to all 50 U.S. states, including North Carolina.
Again, however, as a resident of North Carolina, we are not stating that it is legal for you to buy CBD oil online from one of these sellers, regardless of the “legal language” of the Farm Bill or the claims that are made on the company’s website.
A Murky Situation…
All we can say is (as mentioned earlier) many of these companies frequently ship to North Carolina without issue, and many residents of the state are currently using online-purchased CBD oil without problem.
Moreover, it is our understanding that various health food stores and vape shops across the state are still openly selling CBD oil products. Again, however, these do not appear to be technically legal under state law.
In fact, a story surfaced not too long ago about the owners of a Concord vape/tobacco shop who were arrested on marijuana possession charges, simply for selling bottles of CBD oil in their store. It is unclear whether the charges remained, or if the case was dropped.
If you do decide to purchase CBD oil online and have it shipped to your home in North Carolina, remember that you are doing so at your own discretion, and we are not responsible for any potential penalties or infractions. (If you have any additional questions, feel free to comment below or contact us via our Facebook page).
Also, in terms of which CBD oils to purchase if you do decide to go the online route, be advised that due to the current unregulated nature of the cannabis industry, there are a lot of sub-par, even potentially dangerous products out there that contain harsh chemicals.
We have completed a few thorough reviews over the years from various CBD oil manufacturers. One of our recent guides may be a good place to start if you’re considering trying to find an oil that will work for you and your condition.
Final Thoughts on CBD oil in North Carolina
As you can see, North Carolina is not yet fully on board with medical marijuana. This is unfortunate for many residents of the state who wish to experience the powerful healing effects of cannabis, and CBD in particular. That being said, while buying CBD oil in North Carolina may not be as straightforward as it is in other states, you do have options. Even if the legislation or legal language is still a bit cloudy.
We hope that in the near future, North Carolina catches up with the times. We hope the state allows people to utilize the compound’s massive health benefits. CBD provides many healing properties, and all should have access to this natural compound.
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