A new psychoactive substance has been gaining popularity throughout North Carolina. Delta-8, known by people in the industry as “marijuana lite”, has become increasingly accessible to North Carolinians. Hemp stores, CBD dispensaries, and even gas stations have rapidly begun advertising the product, solidifying its status as the latest “fad” drug. 

But, what is delta-8, and what makes it legal? As a trending substance, especially in North Carolina, it is important to understand what delta-8 is, what makes it legal, and the side effects of using this substance. 

What is Delta-8?

Delta-8 is an analog of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component found in marijuana. As an analog, the molecular structure of delta-8 is very similar to that of traditional THC, yet it has a few distinguishing characteristics. Because of this, the delta-8 high is comparable to a marjuana high. 

Delta-8 is derived from the cannabis plant and, like marijuana, it is smoked or eaten. In states where the substance is legal, customers must be 21 or older to purchase delta-8 in any form. 

Is Delta-8 Legal in North Carolina?

Yes—delta-8 is legal in 28 states, including North Carolina. As a substance so similar in composition to marijuana, many people do not understand how delta-8 is legal. The answer lies largely in the method of production. After the passing of the 2018 United States Farm Bill, hemp farmers were granted more freedoms in cultivation, and hemp/hemp-derived products were removed from the DEA’s schedule of controlled substances. 

Delta-8 manufacturers quickly took advantage of this legal loophole. Unlike marijuana, delta-8 is derived from the hemp plant, a plant within the same species of the cannabis plant but containing much lower THC levels. This has allowed legal manufacture and sale of delta-8 using hemp instead of cannabis during the production stage. 

Although delta-8 is legal in many states, there has been significant pushback from state jurisdictions where it is currently sold. Citing similarities in the delta-8 and delta-9 high, some legislators are calling for an amendment to the farm bill which would overturn hemp legality. 

Side Effects of Delta-8 

Research has been limited towards the long-term effects of delta-8 use due to it being relatively new.  However, as a less-potent imitation of marijuana, delta-8 shares many of the same initial side effects. The most common side effects of delta-8 use are listed below:

Poor concentration

Increased appetite





Sensory distortion 

Motor skill impairment 

We Are Here For You

Delta-8 is a relatively new cannabinoid circulating throughout North Carolina and 27 other states. Although legal, this substance is very similar to marijuana and carries many of the same side effects. It is important to seek help immediately if you or a loved one is struggling with this or any addiction. At Asheville Recovery Center, treatment specialists have developed a unique, hybrid model of treatment which combines a traditional 12-step program with holistic rehabilitation. A multitude of services, programs, and therapies are offered, including the Partial Hospitalization Program, Residential-style treatment, outpatient rehabilitation, and more. 

Services at the center include: 

Partial Hospitalization Program – At Asheville Recovery Center we offer a partial hospitalization program for clients who need post-residential treatment as well as for clients who need primary treatment but are unable to enroll in inpatient programs. Our PHP track offers a variety of therapeutic services and benefits to individuals in early recovery from substance addiction. 

Outpatient Rehabilitation – During intensive outpatient treatment, clients live at home or in a sober living residence which can help keep them accountable for their recovery commitment. Our staff coordinates with local, reputable sober living homes to ensure that our clients are living in a safe place and that their needs are being met, even when they are not at clinical sessions.  

The founders of Asheville Recovery Center, as well as many of our addiction therapists, have struggled with addiction and now enjoy life in recovery. They understand the struggles of addiction and how difficult it is to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call (828)518-6996 and speak with an addiction expert today so you can take the first step towards a rewarding life of sobriety.

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