CBD oil is increasingly being accepted in more and more countries around the world as a safe, non-addictive solution for various conditions including pain and anxiety. However, taking CBD isn't legal everywhere, the UK law for taking CBD oil may best very different from other countries around the world. You don't want to assume that your CBD product is welcome everywhere you travel and that you're allowed to carry CBD oil (for example) onto your flight or in your hand luggage.
It's important for a CBD company like ourselves to inform CBD oil users on what the legal status of CBD oil abroad is, depending on what international flights you may be catching. Whether you’re travelling to the United States, your home country or halfway around the world, never take CBD law for granted, or that any CBD product is legal for you to carry within your hand luggage etc.
Before you bring CBD oil onto international flights you can avoid getting into potentially serious legal trouble by researching all your destinations. Even just countries where you’ll be stuck ‘in transit’ between international flights without leaving the airport, you can still get yourself into trouble. Make sure to prevent any major hassles while you travel.
CBD Laws in the UK – Travelling Within the UK with CBD
CBD is legal in the UK, providing it contains no more than 0.2% THC. These rules apply to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As long as your CBD products clearly display their THC content on their labels, and you travel with new (unopened) products, you shouldn’t expect any problems travelling with your CBD via flight or ferry within the UK or using the Channel Tunnel, since France has the same 0.2% THC limit on CBD products as the UK.
Travelling from the UK to Europe with CBD products
Travellers with CBD products that meet the legal requirements in the UK should have few difficulties travelling with their CBD to France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, Croatia, Ireland, Cyprus, Greece, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania or Romania, because (at least at the time of writing this article) these countries either have no laws concerning CBD products or allow CBD products that meet the UK limits (i.e., contain less than 0.2% THC) to pass through UK airport customs without any problems. So if you're carrying CBD oil or other products within your hand luggage or hold luggage, it's completely legal.
If you are planning to travel to Germany, Finland, Denmark, Austria or Portugal, you can still plan to take your CBD products with you, but you must obtain a prescription from a licenced medical doctor for all your CBD products before departure. Make sure to keep the doctor’s prescription letter with you to show to border agents as you pass through customs.
In Slovakia, CBD is illegal and a controlled substance, and it is unwise to try to bring CBD into the country. This is a good example of how varied the legal status is for CBD law depending on the country and what is considered drug trafficking. So even if it's medicinal cbd oils or anything related to cannabis products, it is considered illegal drugs and not prescribed medication.
CBD Laws in the US - Travelling into and within the US with CBD products
The 2018 Farm Bill made CBD from hemp legal on a federal level, allowing people to travel into and within the US with hemp-based CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC. Any CBD derived from marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Unfortunately, this recent change doesn’t mean that travelling in the US with CBD is hassle-free.
Anything made from cannabis that has over 0.03% THC content is still illegal, and unless your particular CBD product expressly states its THC content clearly on the label, it will likely be seized and confiscated. Bottles of CBD oil which are already open are also likely to be seized because of the risk the contents could have been substituted for higher-THC products.
Several states also have laws prohibiting the possession of any CBD products despite the more lenient federal law. Both Carnival Cruise Lines and Disney Cruise Lines prohibit all CBD oil on their ships. You also aren’t allowed to have any cannabis products – CBD included – with you while visiting any national park; these public lands fall under federal jurisdiction, regardless of whether they are in a state that has legalised cannabis use (hemp-derived CBD should still be allowed.)
Australia and New Zealand
Both Australia and New Zealand are incredibly strict on drugs in general, but you may still be able to bring your CBD Down Under if you notify the authorities in advance and receive their permission. You’ll need to provide a doctor’s letter and a prescription for all your medicinal CBD products that explains your medical need for CBD. Don’t ever enter Australia or NZ with large quantities of CBD; bringing anything more than a reasonable supply for three months of personal use can land you in hot water.
You should also make sure you consider any stopovers (even just brief waits in the airport) on your journey to Australia. Flying to Australia often involves a stopover in Singapore, for example, which has some of the harshest penalties for drug possession in the world. Even if you’re only there ‘in transit,’ the narcotics officers in Singapore airport can require almost anyone to submit to a urine drug screen. A positive result could lead to your imprisonment and prosecution in a country where some cannabis offences still carry the death penalty.
Although reforms are currently being debated within the Mexican government, it is presently illegal to bring CBD into Mexico.
It is completely illegal to travel with CBD products into Egpyt. As of May 2019, a US citizen who arranged to bring a shipment of non-psychoactive CBD oils into Egypt had finally been released from jail on ‘house arrest’ while awaiting trial, but is still facing the death penalty for importing CBD.
“But I need my CBD…”
We understand that many people rely on CBD as a natural pain reducer and/or anxiety killer (especially if they’re afraid of flying.) Some people choose to try to mail their CBD oils and other products to their destination country ahead of travelling there, while others attempt to conceal their CBD oils in false packaging. We can’t, in full conscience, recommend either method to our customers – if you just can’t bear being without CBD for the length of your holiday/work trip, it’s almost always better to work with the foreign authorities and have your doctor advocate for you, and if that fails – leave the CBD behind. Quashing your flight anxiety is not worth risking criminal charges (let alone the death penalty!) in a foreign country far from home.
You may need to consider getting a short-term prescription for a traditional prescription medication for pain or anxiety just to last you through your trip, then you can return to your healthier, natural CBD oils etc, as soon as you get home.