What are you doing? Packing, huh? Please, ignore my presence and go on!
CBD oil check? Are you sure about it?
I’ll ask you a simple question: Can you travel with CBD oil?
You seem puzzled. You haven’t thought about it, right?
Trust me, the answer to my question is more complicated than you think!
I know, that you bought it online. I know it contains just traces of THC (from 0% to a maximum of 0.3%). I know that hemp-derived CBD oil products are said to be legal in all 50 states and in lots of countries worldwide.
Don’t you know that bureaucracy rules, my friend? Even though CBD oil won’t give you either a high or an addiction, it is still a “cannabis son”.
So, if you don’t want your trip or your holidays to be ruined by this small bottle, let’s have a cup of coffee and talk about all the things you should know about legality and safety issues when traveling with CBD oil.
Legality issues of CBD oil in the US
The Farm Bill 2014 made it clear that the cultivation of hemp plants is not illegal according to Federal Law but it didn’t leave the situation uncontrolled. The Feds’ strict and watchful eyes remained there while it was upon each state’s discretion to give or deny approval of growing hemp to farmers.
Hope that things would change was reborn in December 2018, when President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill.
According to section 12619 of the new Farm Bill, both hemp and its derivatives are removed from the Schedule I status under the Controlled Substances Act. To make it simpler, hemp-derived CBD doesn’t belong to the same category as marijuana and its derivatives.
Hurray? I really don’t think so.
The bureaucratic paranoia is still alive and kicking.
Yes, hemp-derived CBD is legal for the US Department of Agriculture but it’s still illegal under federal law.
The 2018 Farm Bill and a relatively recent action by the Department of Justice underline that CBD and any cannabinoid extracted from the hemp plant is taken out of the Schedule I status and thus considered legal under the following 4 conditions:
- Only licensed growers can grow the plant and its cultivation should be consistent with
- the 2018 Farm Bill
- the associated Federal regulations and
- the associated State regulations
The derivatives of hemp plants that don’t conform to these conditions are still regarded illegal.
What causes all this confusion?
The answer is simple: Classification.
Different types of CBD are classified differently by the DEA.
A product is regarded as a Schedule V drug if and only if the levels of THC it contains are below 0.1% and has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration.
Oh, your product contains 0% THC!
The only CBD product the FDA has approved is GW Pharmaceutical’s Epidiolex
Your product is technically illegal and stands next to heroin and cocaine in the Schedule I status.
The Drug Enforcement Agency has not rescheduled CBD oil products. It seems that it will not do it in the near future unless all these products go through serious and thorough research.
Are you afraid that you will be woken up in the middle of the night by the Feds coming after you to confiscate your precious CBD gummies and throw you in a dark and humid dungeon WITHOUT YOUR GUMMIES?
It won’t happen, trust me!
“The DEA goes after the largest drug traffickers that exist … We’re going after the large drug traffickers, not end users.”Special Agent Melvin Patterson, an official DEA spokesperson.
Can you Hit the Road with CBD oil, Jack?
If you travel by car, by bus or train and you remain within your state or your country lines, things are simple. You know your country’s or state’s law regarding CBD oil and the fact that you are free to travel to places without any second thought.
Things might become complicated when you cross the border, though.
Hemp-derived CBD oil products are considered “legal” in all states except for Arizona, Idaho, and Nebraska where its legal status is UNCLEAR.
You may not be controlled when entering these states but you should know that
“While it is legal for the University of Nebraska and Nebraska Medicine to possess cannabidiol ( also known as CBD), possession by anyone not participating in the medical cannabidiol pilot study will likely be treated as if they are in possession of an illegal controlled substance.”
The law enforcement agencies of Arizona underline that the legality of CBD oil depends on the amount of THC it contains and the plant it is extracted from.
Since there are two types of CBD oil
- hemp-derived CBD oil ( with zero to very little THC) and
- marijuana-derived CBD oil (with high levels of THC )
you can understand that it is important to be sure not only of the exact amount of THC your product contains but also the plant it is extracted from.
This means you should trust that your brand is transparent regarding the amount of THC your product contains.
In Arizona, CBD oil is legal if it contains LESS than the federal permitted level of 0.3% THC.
As one of the most conservative states, Nebraska isn’t very friendly with CBD legislation. Moreover, on November 16, 2018, the Nebraska Attorney General reminded Nebraska vendors that his office believes CBD is illegal. To make things worse, he sent a memo to the law enforcement agencies stating that CBD remains illegal to possess, manufacture, distribute or dispense.
I’ve recently read that South Dakota Senate Bill 95 allows CBD oil products to be used only if a doctor prescribes them, contradicting the 2018 Farm Bill.
So what should you do?
In my humble opinion, you need to try to keep up to date regarding the legality of CBD oil. Laws change without warning and you should be aware of any changes in your state or the state you want to travel to.
In Europe, the situation is a bit simpler. CBD oil products containing 0.2% THC or less are legal in most countries with some exceptions:
- In Slovakia and Belgium, CBD oil products are considered illegal.
- Some countries’ laws differentiate from the 0.2% rule and demand lower levels of THC. Some of them permit higher levels. Others allow CBD oil use only if it is prescribed by a doctor
Here is the list of the EU countries where CBD is legal and some notes regarding the conditions applied to its legality and THC levels wherever the 0.2% rule is not implemented.
- Austria: prescription by a pharmacist or doctor needed
- Denmark: CBD is available if it is permitted by a doctor
- Germany: prescription by a pharmacist or doctor needed
- Finland: prescription by a pharmacist or doctor needed
- Italy: CBD products with less than 0.6% THC
- Malta: prescription by a doctor needed
- The Netherlands: CBD is tolerated with a THC of up to 0.05%
- Portugal: prescription by a pharmacist or doctor needed
- The Czech Republic: THC has a legal limit of 0.3%.
- Switzerland: THC content of 1,0% or less
- United Kingdom: THC content must be less than 0.5%.
To wrap things up, the current status of CBD oil is legal in almost every country within the EU. Unfortunately, the policies are expected to become more strict in the future.
With the exception of the countries where a prescription is needed, it’s obvious that the legality of CBD is defined by the THC levels of your product.
Be sure that you choose a brand that is transparent and trustworthy. There were occasions when a so-called- below-0.3% THC product was found to contain higher amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol.
A brand – I trust – which manufactures CBD oil products with 0% THC is
Unfortunately, Joy Organics doesn’t ship worldwide yet.
All of them ship worldwide. VerifiedCBD has a free international shipping policy.
How about the rest of the world?
Before traveling to any other part of the word you should be informed on whether CBD oil is legal or not in the country of your destination.
I should remind you that when flying to the other side of the planet, a very common stop-off is Singapore.
Why is this important?
The drug laws of this country are some of the toughest in the whole world and include the death penalty.
No matter if it doesn’t contain any THC, CBD oil is an illegal drug in Singapore. (Joo is a reader and friend of mine from Singapore. I hope she will read this article and give us more details about her country’s laws)
The situation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) isn’t different at all. The country shows zero tolerance to drugs. And not only drugs: lots of substances found in prescription medicines are considered illegal too
In 2005 a European tourist was put to jail because codeine was found in her system- yes, the same codeine that is contained in cough syrups or pain killers like Nurofen!
In the UAE, you should be careful not only with your CBD but with all of your prescribed medicines.
The government has published a guide for carrying prescription medications for tourists entering the country that you should check out before traveling to Dubai.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because I want you to think more than twice before traveling abroad with CBD.
Flying with CBD
“We have much more freedom in our checked baggage. I don’t understand why there would be an issue at all. We are also allowed to travel with medication. I would not have thought twice about taking my CBD with me on a plane in my liquids bag”Theresa told me.
Do you agree with her?
I am afraid, the Transportation Security Administration doesn’t.
If I wanted to carry my CBD with me I would choose to travel by land ( bus, train or car) having always in mind the specific countries or states where it is unclear if cannabidiol is legal.
Nevertheless, there are a lot of people reporting to have flown or to fly on a regular basis carrying their CBD with them. A lot of sites claim that it isn’t risky to put it in your checked or carry-on bag.
Perhaps things are not so tricky when traveling within the United States (US) or the Europen Union (EU).
Even though TSA or airport security agents have to report all violations of the law, they will probably not cause you any trouble, especially if your product doesn’t mention THC at all.
There are some things to remember if you decide to fly domestically.
- Choose a broad/full spectrum or whole plant product with 0% THC.
- Print and carry with you the lab certificate that indicates the exact amount of THC contained by your product. It would be a great idea to print and carry a copy of your order to prove to the security agents that your product has been extracted from the hemp plant
- Don’t try to hide your CBD oil. You will look suspicious and the security “hound dogs” will read it in your eyes! (They are trained to do so!) Honesty is the best policy, don’t you think? Put your cannabidiol in your carry-on bag. In case a security agent controls your CBD oil, you will be there to explain what it is and show him the printed material you carry.
- Don’t stress out the security agents. This means YOU shouldn’t be stressed out. ( How about taking a CBD soft gel to combat stress?) The agents are there to ensure your safety and the security of the airport They are actually looking for bombs, weapons or explosives and all possible threats to aviation and passengers and not your supplements.
Remember, though, that
“TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but in the event, a substance that appears to be marijuana or a cannabis-infused product is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”
- Bring the allowed quantity of CBD oil in liquid form. In case you need higher quantities than those permitted in or you don’t want to worry about the liquid laws there is a simple solution: choose capsules or softgels instead of CBD oil.
- Remember to handle you CBD with care and keep in a dry, cool and dark place.
What if you want to fly internationally with CBD oil?
I urge you NOT TO.
When traveling from one country to another, it is normal for the security measures to be tighter. Governments and foreign laws get involved and it’s easy to get into trouble. Is it worth ending up in prison or getting executed for possession of a cannabis product? I honestly don’t think so!
Remember Singapore and the UEA, and act wisely.
How to travel with CBD safely
Well, the answer to your question is to travel without CBD.
I am not kidding!
There is a clever trick that can help you avoid all the stress and the risks of traveling with CBD without having to live without it.
If you use it to combat flight-stress, take it before boarding.
CBD oil edibles like capsules, softgels or gummies are advisable in this occasion because their effects take longer to be experienced and last longer because CBD is released in your system slowly and steadily.
You can have a couple of extra capsules or softgels in your bag in case there is a delay in your flight and consume them if needed. You can throw them if your plane departs on time.
If you need your CBD in the state or the country of your destination, you can either mail it yourself or order it giving your destination’s address before you set off.
Careful planning is essential.
You should calculate the time needed for the product to be delivered.
Don’t forget to check the laws of your destination country because there is always the risk it is seized at customs.
Don’t forget to inform the hotel you will be staying at, of the arrival of the packet and its content. As long as CBD oil is legal in their country they will probably receive and keep the package until you arrive.
Calculate the amount of CBD you will need for the whole duration of your stay. I bet you don’t want to remain without CBD in the middle of your vacation.
What to take home
Certainly not the CBD product that remained in the bottle or the package. I don’t want you to get in trouble on the way home!
Before throwing it away, think of the possibility of giving it away. Who knows, perhaps you will help another human being with his health issues!
Even though CBD oil is a non-intoxicating and non-addictive substance, there are still a lot of gray areas regarding its legality not only in the States but in the EU and the whole world.
The golden phrase to remember is “Better Safe Than Sorry”.
Don’t take any risks.
Be informed and prudent.
Take the facts and my advice into consideration and …
UPDATE ( 6/4/2019).
In an update of the “What Can I Bring?” section of their website, the Transportation Security Administration state that hemp products like CBD medications approved by the FDA are now allowed in both carry-on and checked bags.
The news was quietly posted on Sunday 2nd, 2019
According to TSA:
Possession of marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products.
Products/medications that contain hemp-derived CBD or are approved by the FDA are legal as long as it is produced within the regulations defined by the law under the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018.
TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.Transportation Security Administration
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DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided is not meant to alleviate or cure any disease or disorder. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider for any medical condition.