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Is THCa Legal in North Carolina? (Updated for 2024)

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Disclaimer: The information in this article regarding THCA is drawn from comprehensive research. We make every effort to share the most accurate information available at the time of writing. However, the legal status of cannabinoids varies by jurisdiction and can change status over time. The reader is advised to check the legal status of cannabinoids before acting and we do not accept liability for this information. This content is for educational purposes only.


If you live in North Carolina, knowing the legal status of various cannabinoids can be quite confusing. As you probably know, cannabis is illegal in North Carolina, but this does not mean that hemp and other related products are also illegal.

As for hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as THCa, their legality is pretty clear-cut. So, let's take a closer look at whether or not THCa is legal in the state of North Carolina.

Key Takeaways

  • THCa, a precursor cannabinoid to THC, is federally legal pursuant to the 2018 Farm Bill, as long as it's derived from compliant hemp.
  • THCa is not a controlled substance in North Carolina.
  • In North Carolina, there are no possession limits for THCa, reflecting its legal status.
  • Regarding safety, THCa is non-psychoactive and generally considered safe, with no significant studies indicating otherwise.

What is THCa?

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or THCa, is a precursor cannabinoid, the acidic precursor to THC, specifically Delta-9 THC (not to be confused with THCv).

This cannabinoid can be found in hemp and cannabis. It is known as the precursor to THC because heat turns it into Delta-9 THC via decarboxylation.

Interestingly, THCa is not intoxicating or psychoactive, but once you decarboxylate it and turn it into Delta-9 THC, it becomes very intoxicating and psychoactive. Now you know why eating raw cannabis rarely makes you high!

The legal status of THCa is also interesting, seeing as it turns into Delta-9 THC, which is federally illegal. But the legal status of THCa may not be the same; it’s similar to CBD.

Here's an overview of the main differences between THCA and CBD.

THCA

(Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid)

CBD (Cannabidiol)
Psychoactivity Non-psychoactive in its raw form. Becomes psychoactive as THC after decarboxylation. Non-psychoactive. Does not produce a "high."
Legality Legal status varies by region and is often tied to the legal status of cannabis and THC. Legal in many regions, especially where THC is illegal, provided it is derived from hemp with low THC.
Occurrence in Plant Found in raw and live cannabis plants. Found in both raw and processed cannabis plants.
Conversion Converts to THC when heated (smoking, cooking, etc.), which is psychoactive. Does not convert to THC; remains non-psychoactive.
Research and Studies Less researched than CBD and THC. More studies needed to fully understand its benefits. Extensively researched for its medical benefits and safety profile.
Availability Less commonly available in markets; found in raw cannabis products. Widely available in various forms (oils, edibles, topicals, etc.).

THCa and Federal Law

The 2018 Farm Bill, signed during the Donald Trump administration, allows cannabinoid products derived from federally compliant hemp are legal if the THC concentration in hemp does not exceed 0.3% by dry weight concentration.

Since THCa does not contain Delta-9 THC and because it's typically harvested from hemp, it is legal at the federal level. However, in the grand scheme of things, cannabis and Delta 9 are not legal.

North Carolina THCa Laws

North Carolina recently signed laws that removed industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances in the state.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 455 which officially removed hemp from the state’s controlled substances act. This means that hemp has the same legal status in North Carolina as it does at the federal level, as laid out in the 2018 Farm Bill.

 

A Hand holding a jar of Botany Farms THCa Flower

 

Is THCa a Controlled Substance in North Carolina?

Although cannabis is a controlled substance in North Carolina, the same doesn't apply to THCA. That's because THCa complies with the laws set out in the Farm Bill and SB 455.

Hemp-derived THCs, as well as the acidic of forms them, are not controlled substances in North Carolina, and are specifically excluded from such definition in the statute. Hemp flower, smokable and otherwise, are legally bought and sold.

THCa Possession Limits in North Carolina

You can buy THCA flower without restriction in NC, so long as the product contains less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC by dry weight. State law requires that hemp-based, legal products contain less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC by weight (the specification put forward by Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill). That means, so long as cannabis flower containing THCA does not contain more than 0.3% delta 9 THC, said flower is considered legal hemp.

According to North Carolina SB 455 and the federal Farm Bill, THCA is legal in North Carolina as long as its THC content stays below the legal limit of 0.3%. You can purchase THCA flower in North Carolina as long as it meets state requirements and is sold by a licensed retailer or dispensary

Is THCa Safe?

Well, for starters, THCA is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not intoxicate. So this is a plus as far as its safety is concerned. But most importantly, there are no studies or evidence indicating that THCa is unsafe.

It may, however, produce extremely minor side effects at times, mainly related to gastrointestinal upset and possible fatigue, mainly due to flaws in the extraction and manufacturing processes. To be safe, buy THCA products (and cannabis products in general) from reputable sources.

Where to Buy THCa in North Carolina

We’ll have some great THCa products here at Botany Farms shop now! But also check out some of our best-selling Delta-9 THC products, such as these nano Delta-9 Microdose Gummies and our Botany Farms Mixed Variety Delta-9 Gummies.

Keep reading to find out some of the best high THCa hemp strains

THCa: Frequently Asked Questions


This article was last updated in April 2024 and the information provided in relation to US federal and state cannabis laws is accurate as of the date provided. Due to the rapidly changing cannabis laws in the US, the information herein may become outdated at any time.

Additionally, this article is NOT intended to be legal advice. Botany Farms does NOT provide any legal advice; neither does any individual nor entity associated with Botany Farms. Please consult official state government websites for current information regarding cannabis laws in your state.

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