A note from the publisher: Since the publication of this article, the FDA has approved a CBD-based prescription drug for two special types of epilepsy.
It’s been years since anyone has to ask, “Is CBD oil legal in NC?”, but there are still lingering questions and misinformation about the legal status of cannabidiol (CBD) in the state. In fact, three years after the passage of the CBD law, there are still no state-sanctioned CBD dispensaries.
On top of the problems with access, only one very specific medical condition has been identified for legal CBD prescription. Advocates are calling for leniency and a broader definition of the state’s CBD laws, so as to allow for easier access. What does this all mean for the residents of the state? Is CBD legal in North Carolina?
In short, yes. However, CBD is legal only for one very specific application. A nineteen-year-old named Jackson Helms is a perfect example of someone who has benefitted from legal cannabidiol (CBD) in the state of North Carolina. Jackson suffers from many health issues, including cerebral palsy and intractable epilepsy, but it is only epilepsy that gives him legal access to the compound. Intractable epilepsy is the only legally permissible therapeutic use for CBD, but even with this narrow definition, CBD has had an undeniable impact on the lives of many patients in North Carolina. Jackson’s is one of the most remarkable cases. 
When he was born, doctors advised Jackson’s mother, Kelly Helms, that he would likely not live past the age of six. This year he turned 19 and, according to his mother, he has had more than 80,000 seizures in his relatively short life. Until the age of 16, he was taking many of the more traditional pharmaceuticals to manage the pain and seizures, but these were slowly leading to problems. Although they were able to manage the frequency of seizures, these harsh drugs had also been slowly damaging his already fragile health.
Kelly discloses that the side-effects of these drugs led to the development of a bleeding disorder, cirrhosis of the liver and osteoarthritis in Jackson. His hair was also growing grey, and his mother noticed crows feet developing around his eyes. It was clear to her that the drugs were taking their toll on her son.
As a single mother already battling the daily challenges associated with taking care of her disabled son, she faced a difficult decision. Would she keep Jackson on anticonvulsants which would very likely lead to liver failure, or should she take him off the prescription medication at the cost of more seizures on an everyday basis? In the end, she chose a third path - treating Jackson with hemp-derived CBD oil.
The results have been extraordinary, to say the least. Jackson has gone from over ten seizures a day to only six a week. In the first 33 days of CBD oil treatment, he was completely seizure free. His mother believes she has witnessed an 85 percent reduction in the number of seizures and, very crucially to her, an 85 percent reduction in the number of drugs he needs. Jackson’s case clearly highlights the need for legal access to CBD oil in the state, but what about other conditions? Is CBD legal in North Carolina for any other medical conditions?
With the passage of theHope 4 Haley and Friends law by the state legislature in 2014, North Carolina entered a new era regarding access to CBD for medical purposes, but unfortunately, unlike some states who have recently granted legal access to marijuana-derived CBD oil, North Carolina’s access regulations are pretty restrictive.
As it stands now, only patients over the age of 18, with intractable forms of epilepsy are allowed to legally obtain marijuana-derived CBD products in North Carolina. They also must be under the supervision of a neurologist, who should first prescribe three other traditional treatments unsuccessfully before prescribing CBD oil. To complicate matters more, there are no state-sanctioned CBD dispensaries as of yet, and patients are also not allowed to grow their own medicine. Statewide programs to grow, process or distribute CBD oil in North Carolina are also still lacking. 
There is, in addition, no room in the law for anything other than hemp extracts, meaning that even other forms of cannabis with low THC ratios would not be acceptable under North Carolina law. The state only allows hemp-derived CBD oil products with under 0.9 percent THC and with over 5 percent CBD by weight.
TheHope 4 Haley and Friends law passed very easily through both houses of government in 2014, but proponents in the state hope that the legal barriers continue to evolve alongside the research on THC. This is what Kelly, Jackson’s mother, hopes too. She believes that Jackson could benefit from THC to treat his chronic pain, and perhaps even bring him out of a seizure coma, when or if that happens.
Other patients are pushing for access to CBD for health issues far beyond intractable epilepsy. There is increasing evidence that CBD is of benefit for issues such as mood disorders, cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis. Even if legislature continues to put the idea of legalized cannabis on the back burner, one recent poll suggests that state residents strongly feel otherwise. Approximately 80 percent of the population now supports the use of medical marijuana. As the voting population continues to push for wider access to the plant or cannabis-derived medicine, elected officials may be forced to follow suit in the coming years. Hopefully, soon, nobody will have to ask, “Is THC or is CBD oil legal in NC?” because its status will be clear and uncomplicated.
Thankfully, hemp-derived CBD is readily available and is 100% legal in all US states, and you can order one of our high-quality CBD products here
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