We are often asked, can you take CBD oil on a plane?
Well, the short answer is that it depends on where you are going and what sort of CBD product you are taking with you.
The regulatory environment around CBD is evolving fast, and it’s wise to check the local laws and regulation in your destination country; along with any transit points on the way.
Travelling within the European Union with CBD is relatively easy, hemp-derived CBD oils with a THC level up 0.2% are permitted.
Note, the UK has a tighter set of regulation and technically permits no THC or CBN. As a result, any detectable levels of THC in a product are illegal in the UK (although this seems relatively un-policed for now with the availability of full spectrum CBD oils).
Nonetheless, if you are going to travel with CBD oil in the UK, its best to take a broad spectrum and tested product if you must in order to be confident your CBD oil is UK legal.
Flying with CBD Oil In The USA
CBD derived from hemp where the final product contains less than 0.3% THC is federally legal in the US and the transportation security administration (TSA) recently explicitly outlined an approval for these products.
However, the uncertainty lies in importation, which is treated differently to domestic travel in between state lines. US federal (national) law, states that THC is a schedule 1 substance, in the same category as heroin for example, and thus it’s technically (highly) illegal if the product contains > 0.3% THC.
Although, if you are travelling internationally into the US and your CBD oil contains even a detectable amount of THC (their is no global definition for detectable THC either), and federal police decide to test it, you could land yourself in hot water.
Recently, two Canadians were banned from travelling to the US for life, due to the possessing CBD oil with tiny amounts of THC upon landing at the airport. It seems these opaque laws apply more so to international travel, given the recent admission to permit CBD Oil < 0.3% THC in (domestic) travellers bags in line with the US 2018 Farm Bill act.
Another point to note, is being careful when outside the airport! Some US states have enforced state law over federal law. Checking both federal and state regulation around CBD is useful, especially for once you have arrived and left the airport.
The lesson here is, if you are travelling to the US, do not take CBD oil with you and buy it there from a reputable souce with third party testing.
Can You Travel In Canada With CBD Oil?
Canada legalised cannabis In October 2018, but similar to THC products, CBD is only available from authorised retailers or federally approved cannabis resellers.
Compounds in cannabis are regulated in the same way regardless if they elicit a high (THC) or not (CBD). In parallel, any products containing cannabis cannot enter into (or leave) Canada; this applies to CBD oil too!
So buy it there instead, from a licensed retailer; as they are regulated federally, you don’t need to worry about products contents as each item is pre-tested before being placed on sale. Although you might want to make it clear to the sales attendant, you are looking for a CBD oil without enough THC to induce a high.
Rest of the World
Here, it gets a little tricky, regulation for cannabis-based products is exceptionally tight and often with no wiggle room in places like the Middle East or South East Asia; where an assumption that it’s not legal would be wise unless informed otherwise by an embassy or government website.
On the contrary, CBD is legal in Japan (as long as it contains 0% THC) and South Africa recently legalised CBD in May 2019 (albeit for 12 months as a trial). Although, In South Africa the product needs to also contain zero THC and have a maximum daily dose of 20mg (assessed by the instructions on the label) CBD.
If you do decide to take CBD oil on a plane, ensuring the product you travel with has been third party lab tested is critical in order to ensure legal compliance.
Bottles with labelling which define product contents are also extremely useful, especially in the eyes of an airport employee who isn’t well versed on CBD.
As you can see, understanding if you can take CBD oil on a plane isn’t rocket science!
But, it does require some common sense. Sending an email to a local embassy for the country you are travelling to can quickly provide the most reliable guidance. As the law is frequently in flux on this topic, it’s always good to double-check.
If you are unsure, then don’t take it and if CBD is okay to use in your destination, you might find it there anyway.
On a final note, be aware local law applies in transit points, even if you are only changing planes and staying within the confines of the airport terminal. Always check the regulatory stance in transit countries if this applies to you.