If you plan to travel with CBD oil, you must know its legality, particularly if your destination is abroad. The rules and regulations around using CBD differ worldwide, so it’s tricky to be sure if you can take it with you on holiday or even travel with it through another country.
The horror story of the young British football coach jailed for 25 years in Dubai for possessing CBD vape pens is rare, but it does happen. More recently is the case of a US basketball star jailed for nine years in Russia for carrying a cannabis vape (fortunately, she was subsequently released in a prisoner swap).
Still, these are stark reminders that laws may differ from those in the UK, so you need to know whether it is safe to travel with your CBD products.
Even if you do not face prosecution, you may likely have your precious oil drops confiscated at some point on your journey! So please read this guide to travelling with CBD to avoid that happening – and ensure you always do your own research before making that trip too!
Is CBD oil legal in the UK?
Yes, CBD is a legal supplement in the UK and is classified as a novel food by the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA). A novel food has no significant history of consumption before May 1997. However, CBD oil must have a THC content (the psychoactive compound) of less than 0.2% to be classified as a novel food. So if your CBD oil is over 0.2%, it’s too high to be considered a novel food and falls into the scheduled drug category.
Using reputable suppliers is the best way to ensure your CBD oil contains less than 0.2% THC. And choose ones that clearly label their products and can account for their production methods and ingredient origins. We always do that at Mindful Extracts, and our CBD oils are less than 0.2% THC content.
If you are concerned about workplace drug testing, you may also be interested in this post, ‘Does CBD oil show up on a drug test?‘
Can you take CBD oil on a plane?
Once you are confident there is less than 0.2% THC, it’s perfectly acceptable to take it on a plane in your hand luggage as long as it is under 100ml – so it’s the same restriction as other liquids (note: the 100ml limit will increase in the UK in June 2024 when a new two litre limit will be introduced).
Checking with your travel provider about the rules around CBD is a great way to reassure yourself. The leading carriers, such as British Airways, allow you to fly with CBD oil; however, it’s always worth checking the rules of other airlines. Even if your carrier is OK with you having CBD oil on board, it may still be illegal in your destination country.
Is CBD legal where you are travelling to?
So, leaving the UK with your compliant CBD oil is legal, but is it legal in your destination? That’s where it gets more complicated. Not just because other countries have different rules and laws, but also because the rules and laws around CBD constantly change. Your best approach is to research the regulations in your destination and any other areas you will travel through before you depart.
Where is CBD legal in the EU?
Most EU countries have legalised the use of medical Cannabis. As such, CBD is also legal and widely available in the following countries:
- The Netherlands
Although it is currently legal to purchase CBD with less than 0.2% THC in these countries, it is essential to note that other guidelines may apply.
Switzerland is slightly different. Though it has no rules specifically around CBD, it has strict THC laws. So CBD is widely available but is legal only if the THC level does not exceed 1%.
European Countries with stricter CBD regulations
France, Sweden and Norway have different limits for CBD – only CBD with no THC is allowed. The Netherlands has a low limit of just 0.05% THC in a CBD product.
Some European countries allow CBD to be brought in if you carry a medical prescription. These include:
Travelling with CBD oil to North America
The USA is a reasonably safe place to travel to with your CBD. Of the 50 US states, 47 now allow it. Only Iowa, Idaho and South Dakota strictly ban its use.
However, the 47 states that allow CBD each have different rules or requirements, which can be confusing. As always, our best advice is to check with your airline carrier about the specific laws of the state you plan to visit, plus any other states you’ll travel through.
In Canada, CBD is legal for adults, however, it is illegal to transport CBD products across the Canadian border without a permit or exemption authorised by Health Canada.
You can travel with CBD legally across the USA-Mexico border, providing the label on your CBD product shows it is hemp-derived and contains less than 1% THC. If travelling to Mexico from other countries, you cannot bring CBD remedies in. However, once within its borders, CBD products are widely available to buy from licenced Mexican stores.
Travelling with CBD oil to South America
In Central and South America, the legality of CBD products can vary greatly. It is therefore essential to research the specific regulations for the countries you plan to visit.
Despite some countries having legalised medical Cannabis (or decriminalised possession of small amounts of marijuana), this does not necessarily mean that CBD oil is legal or that there are no restrictions on its use. Therefore you should consult with the embassy or consulate of the countries you plan to visit for up-to-date information on the regulations.
Columbia allows the use of medical Cannabis including CBD products (less than 1% CBD by the product’s dry weight and sets the THC limit for grain and fibre production at 3% THC). However, it’s important to note that you will need a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional and any necessary documentation regarding the use of medical Cannabis, including CBD products.
Brazil allows the use of medical Cannabis, including CBD products, with a 2% THC limit. When travelling with medical cannabis products, including CBD, you will need a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional and any necessary documentation.
Although Uruguay has legalised Cannabis for recreational use, this is permitted for residents only. Therefore, when travelling there with CBD products, it is recommended that you carry them in their original packaging and be prepared to provide documentation or a prescription if customs officials require it.
Travelling with CBD oil to Asia
Asia is not a continent to be messed with when travelling with CBD! They do not distinguish between CBD and THC, as they are all lumped together. Unfortunately, it boasts the most restrictive and punitive approach to dealing with it.
It is highly recommended that you to research the specific regulations for the countries you plan to visit in Asia. In particular, speak with the embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on the regulations surrounding CBD and medical cannabis products.
The legal stuff!
We want to remind you that the information presented in this blog post is a starting point for your research and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Please always do your own research before making your trip!
While we’ve made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information, we can’t guarantee its completeness and accuracy. Therefore, you must understand that any reliance you place on the information presented in this post is done so at your own risk. We cannot be held liable for any loss, damage or legal action arising from its use.
Thanks for reading this message, and we hope you find the information presented in this post helpful and informative. Keep well!