CBD is a natural and safe substance with many well-documented health benefits. According to a 2017 report by the WHO on cannabidiol, even doses of up to 1.500 mg of CBD per day are well tolerated by humans.
While cannabis is considered an illegal substance in many parts of the world, CBD is legal in most countries. However, since CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant - and there is more than one species in this family - its legality is not always unconditional.
This situation makes CBD difficult to use in many areas, from owning to buying, to traveling with your CBD products around the world.
If you've got an adventurous soul but don't want to mess with local laws, we've put together a comprehensive guide to traveling CBD to virtually every corner of the world.
Let's start with the basics
A primer on traveling with CBD
Millions of people use airplanes for vacation travel. CBD is all the rage right now, so it can be assumed that many of them will take their CBD oil, capsules, or whatever form of cannabidiol they use with them when they travel.
The biggest misconception when it comes to taking CBD while traveling?
"Since CBD is legal in my country, it doesn't matter whether I take it with me in the car, train or plane."
"CBD is CBD, so why bother?"
To understand why there is so much confusion about the legal status of CBD around the world, it is important to understand the difference between the two sources - hemp and marijuana.
Differentiation between hemp and marijuana
At the molecular level, CBD is the same as CBD, regardless of the source. It is the same compound with the same chemical structure and effects.
However, when it comes to the effects and legality of various CBD products, the source is crucial.
Although they come from the same family of plants - Cannabis sativa L. - hemp and marijuana are two different plants.
For one, they have different cannabinoid profiles.
While marijuana has high levels of THC and usually low to high levels of CBD (depending on genetics), hemp plants are rich in CBD and contain only traces of THC (usually less than 0,2% of dry matter).
This means that while the consumption of marijuana and marijuana-infused products can lead to psychoactive effects known as “cannabis high”, hemp does not produce such effects due to its low THC content.
Because of this, governments around the world have different regulations for both crops.
Marijuana is only legal in Canada, Uruguay, and 11 US states at this time. Some countries have already decriminalized ownership and are aiming to legalize it.
Hemp, on the other hand, is legal in most countries.
CBD products made from hemp are usually labeled as "dietary supplements," which means they can be bought over the counter. Additionally, hemp has many other uses, including food, fiber, textiles, biofuel, and building materials (hempcrete).
Marijuana is typically harvested for medicinal and recreational use.
Types of Travel With CBD
Various modes of transport are used to travel with CBD. Some just need to know the local laws, others require more thorough research.
Here's how you can travel the world with CBD:
1. By car
If you are planning your vacation trip by car, there is no need to worry. Unless you're your typical backpacker, you won't cross state or state borders with your CBD, so all you need to know is local laws. As long as the THC content is below the legal limit, you are safe. And because hemp-derived CBD is treated differently than marijuana CBD, you don't need to carry it with you in a sealed container or declare your possession when stopped. Carrying CBD is not a criminal offense if CBD is legal in your country.
2. On the train and other public transport
Similar rules apply to taking CBD with you on the train and on other public transport. Hemp-derived CBD with a legal amount of THC is allowed to be taken on trains and buses when traveling within your country's borders. For trains and buses with international connections, we recommend that you find out about the regulations for CBD hemp products in your destination country, as these are only allowed under certain conditions in some countries.
3. On the plane
A few years ago it was common for passengers to be held in their pockets for CBD oil. Fortunately, airports around the world have changed their policies, and as long as you have a legal product with you, you can fly.
But if you want to successfully complete your flight, you need to make sure that CBD is legal in your destination.
Otherwise, at best, you will return to your country with a spoiled vacation.
Even worse? You can be arrested and jailed for smuggling or possession of illegal substances. There are stories of people who were jailed for traveling with CBD and breaking local laws.
For the moment we just give you one tip: Always get a certificate of analysis for your product. This is the only legitimate way to tell if THC levels are below the legal limit.
What you need to know about international flights with CBD
Below is a list of countries that have legalized hemp CBD products. While it is important to study the laws of each country as there are different regulations regarding the amount of THC allowed, it is safe to travel with CBD in the following countries:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- Puerto Rico
How to Travel the US Using CBD: Federal and State Laws
The Agriculture Act of 2018 made traveling with CBD in the US a lot easier. Hemp was removed from the Controlled Substances Act and is now considered an agricultural crop.
In other words, hemp and hemp-derived CBD goods are legal in all 50 states as long as they contain less than 0,2% THC.
As with most federal regulations, states can either adapt to national law or introduce changes of their own. In some states, CBD is legal under certain conditions, but before we go into that, let's take a look at what the U.S. Travel Security Agency says about traveling with CBD.
The TSA's guidelines for traveling with CBD
The TSA website states:
"Marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products, including cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law, with the exception of products that contain no more than 0,2 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are FDA approved."
This policy mirrors that of the federal government. As long as CBD oil comes from hemp and contains less than 0,2 percent THC, you can fly between states with it.
Since hemp naturally contains high amounts of CBD and very little THC, most CBD products are made from hemp plants.
This allows manufacturers to sell them without having to deal with potential legal issues. Consumers, in turn, are enjoying the benefits of CBD without feeling the psychoactive side of cannabis.
However, not all CBD oil is made from hemp. As mentioned earlier, CBD can also be extracted from marijuana. Some people prefer higher THC levels because the synergies across the cannabinoid spectrum are enhanced and marijuana is legal in some states.
If this definition applies to your CBD oil, then there is no way you should take it on a plane. Taking marijuana-derived CBD from one state to another is a criminal offense - even if marijuana is legal in both states.
The TSA officers don't look for CBD oil, but if the security checkpoint suspects they have found marijuana, they will initiate the verification process, even if your oil is made from hemp rather than marijuana:
“The TSA screening procedures are security-oriented and intended to identify potential threats to aviation and passengers. Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if an illegal substance is discovered during the security check, the TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer. TSA officers are required to report suspected violations of the law to local, state, or federal authorities. ”
In the next section, we'll look at the legality of CBD hemp oil in all 50 states, with detailed regulations in those states where CBD is conditionally legal.
Full CBD Spectrum, Broad CBD Spectrum, Isolate: Which Form of CBD is Safest for Travel?
Full-spectrum CBD refers to extracts that contain the full range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other naturally occurring hemp compounds. This means that a full spectrum product also contains a certain amount of THC. According to federal law, the legal THC limit is 0,2% per volume.
In some states, however, CBD is not approved as a full-range supplier. If that's the case in your destination country, you can take a broad spectrum product with you. Broad-spectrum CBD products are similar to full-spectrum products except that they do not contain THC.
If you want to be on the safe side, CBD isolate is the best option. As its name suggests, Isolate only contains pure CBD. It does not contain any traces of other hemp compounds in the final product.
Traveling with CBD in Canada
As a pioneer in global cannabis legalization, Canada has very liberal policies on CBD products.
What forms of CBD are legal in Canada?
Since both medical and recreational cannabis have been legalized in Canada, there is no legal limit on the THC content in CBD products. You can legally purchase and own CBD derived from both marijuana and hemp, whether in oil form or as CBD flowers.
Can you travel Canada with CBD?
Yes, you can safely travel up to a 30 day supply of CBD. for CBD oilsHowever, the maximum amount for liquids set by the airline applies, which is normally 100 ml in Canada.
Traveling with CBD from Canada to the USA
Traveling with hemp-derived CBD from Canada to the US is legal as the US federal government approved hemp in 2018 Controlled Substances Act has deleted. No one will look for your CBD products unless security guards suspect you are trying to smuggle an illegal substance across the border.
The same rules apply to marijuana-derived CBD as to exporting hemp from one state to another. If you try to take marijuana on an international flight you will be charged with a criminal offense and put in jail. Period.
Travel and buy CBD in Europe
Europe is one of the most liberal regions in the world when it comes to marijuana and hemp. Every year more countries are decriminalizing smoking weed, and some of them are well on their way to legalizing all sources of CBD.
Long story short: CBD made from hemp is legal everywhere except Slovakia, where CBD is considered a category 2 drug.
The general consensus is that CBD products must contain less than 0,2% THC, although some countries have set their own limits on the level.