Can You Travel with CBD Oil? [UPDATED]

By | 26/04/2019

What are you doing? Packing, huh? Please, ignore my presence and go on!

Toothpaste-check

Toothbrush-check

Shampoo-check

CBD oil-check

STOP!

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.

Premium Quality CBD Oil Products

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:

  1. Only licensed growers can grow the plant and its cultivation should be consistent with
  2. the 2018 Farm Bill
  3. the associated Federal regulations and
  4. 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!  

So what?

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.

Angry?

Confused?

Worried?  

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.

United States

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.

Travel With CBD

Europe

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:

  1. In Slovakia and Belgium, CBD oil products are considered illegal.
  2. 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
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark: CBD is available if it is permitted by a doctor
  • Germany: prescription by a pharmacist or doctor needed
  • Estonia
  • Finland: prescription by a pharmacist or doctor needed
  • France
  • Greece          
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy: CBD products with less than 0.6% THC
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta: prescription by a doctor needed
  • The Netherlands: CBD is tolerated with a THC of up to 0.05%
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal: prescription by a pharmacist or doctor needed
  • Slovenia   
  • Spain
  • The Czech Republic: THC  has a legal limit of 0.3%.
  • Sweden
  • 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

Joy Organics

Unfortunately, Joy Organics doesn’t ship worldwide yet.

So, my European readers can shop from Endoca, Elixinol, Avid Hemp, Nganic and VerifiedCBd.

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?

Yes?

I am afraid, the Transportation Security Administration doesn’t.

TSA For CBD

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.”

Flying With CBD
  • 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.  

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.

Promise?

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.

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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 …

Safe Travels!

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

TSA Approves CBD Products

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




If you have any questions or want to share any personal experience, please, leave a comment below.

If you want to know if I have published a new article, or get information about CBD news, product releases or promotions, don’t hesitate to sign up for my email list!

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.

32 thoughts on “Can You Travel with CBD Oil? [UPDATED]

  1. Sue

    Effie, I wondered about this on a recent trip to Spain, I wanted to take my CBD Oil with me but I was not sure. You have cleared it up for me, I decided, in the end, to try and get the same product out there and worked it out that way so I did not skip my routine.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Sue, I am glad you didn’t skip your routine and didn’t get in any trouble at the same time. Better informed than sorry, right?
      By the way, next time you go to Spain, will you take me with you? (kidding). Thanks a lot for stopping by. Take care!

      Reply
  2. Isaak Eisenshtein

    I can 🙂

    And you?

    Thanks for sharing the info. In some countries, it can be a serious problem, so better to examine CBD legal status for a particular country before visiting it.

    Cheers,

    Isaak

    Reply
  3. Tyler Johnson

    That’s good to know that CBD oil would not be legal in some areas. I would think that it would be good to know beforehand. That way if you try and bring some CBD with you then you wouldn’t get into any trouble.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Exactly, Tyler! The legality of CBD is an issue everybody should be informed about to avoid unpleasant surprises and trouble especially when traveling.

      Reply
  4. Phil

    Once I travelled with a girlfriend who had triply-wrapped a good supply of THC-laden chocolates on a trip to Mexico with a layover in the USA. I was pretty scared the whole time that we would get caught! Now I’m perhaps a tad wiser and I would be ultra-careful with traveling with any THC-labeled product. So thank you for your very well researched article, it is very helpful with figuring out what is allowed and where are the gray areas. Cheers, Phil

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      I knew you would comment on this! You are a frequent traveler and I bet you could tell us lots of scary stories like the one you shared. I am glad you are wiser now. You are too far for me to visit you in jail LOL- Thanks a lot Phil!!

      Reply
  5. Ahimbe

    Thank you Effie for this article. I always wanted to know where CBD oil is legal and where it is banned. I notice there are strict laws against it in some Asian and European countries. African countries seem not to be clear on where they stand on this matter. But definitely before travelling to a country, it is advisable to read about it since laws and regulations change from time to time.
    Thank you once again for this awareness post.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Your opinion is important to me since you are a travel expert. The stories regarding uninformed tourists that got into trouble traveling abroad are really frightening. We should be informed before traveling to another country if we don’t want to get into trouble. Thank you for your visit!

      Reply
  6. John

    Thanks for your traveling with CBD oil information. I do take a major trip each year to someplace I have not been before, I will use this information to help in my travel decisions. I travel mostly in the USA these days so my travel by car should be OK if I stay away from the states you have mentioned.
    When you travel by car is there a limit to the amount of CBD oil you can carry, what if you are taking a few bottles to a friend in another state.
    John

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      I don’t think there is any limit at least int he states where CBD is “tolerated” – we know it’s not legal under federal law. You don’t get controlled and you move freely between states. So, don’t worry John!

      Reply
  7. Lorraine Whitworth

    Thank you Effie for another excellent , informative article. I think as time goes on the awareness of CBD will rise and it will become the norm. Until that date thank you for continuing to advocate the benefits and improving lives.

    Lorraine

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, Lorraine!! I am glad I could give some useful and updated information regarding the complications of traveling with CBD oil either domestically or abroad. Be well!

      Reply
  8. Joo

    Hi Effie,
    I was quite sure I heard someone shouting my name all the way from Greece! 😉
    Yes, you are right about the extremely tight laws in Singapore, especially when it comes to drugs, which includes ANYTHING with CBD. As you have advised, it is not a joking matter, you really wouldn’t want to use your life to test the system.
    So please DO NOT travel to, or through, Singapore with CBD oil or their related products, the consequences are too serious.
    Personally I am very frustrated with this, because I understand the immense health benefits of CBD oil to many ailments. But I really can’t complain, it’s something I have to accept since I still choose to live here. I can only hope the leaders and law enforcers can open their eyes to how other countries are handling this, and start to think differently.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      I knew you would hear me, Joo! I wanted your comment because you would confirm my claims regarding the tight laws of Singapore. Thank you!

      Reply
  9. Matt's Mom

    This is very interesting. Crazy that it can be purchased, but you cannot fly with it. This makes no sense to me. I guess the alternative is to ship it ahead of time . Which might not always be feasible. I didn’t know that it was legal in so many states. I know I have been to some state where there are tons of stores, like in Colorado. And then where I live, I only know of one store in the area. Great information!

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      You can’t fly with it because it’s not legal under federal law. Paranoic? Absurd? Perhaps both! It’s great you are back, Leahrae!

      Reply
  10. Shannon

    Thank you for this information! I had actually never considered what the ramifications of travelling with CBD oil might be. Your article is very informative and comprehensive – should I make any travel plans, I will definitely refer back to your website to be sure where I can and can’t carry my oil. I also was not aware of the different qualities in oils as far as the plant they are derived from. You always give me more to think about so thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      I am glad my article gave you more to think about. I am glad I could give you helpful information and knowledge! Don’t you think that knowledge should be shared? Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Shannon!

      Reply
  11. Nida Ventura

    This article has great helpful tips for those that take CBD oil or other medicines. I agree with you on safety officers in the airport, they are doing their job for our safety and security so following the rules and regulations should be a must.

    I have traveled to Singapore, Guam, Korea, and the Philippines, it is very strict that they don’t allow checked-in luggage to be locked as they go through each one and have a certain scanner that they use as they open each luggage. Medications have to be in a carry on bag with your name in it or else it will be in the garbage.

    Thank you for these wonderful tips and warnings, Effie.

    Nida

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      I am not surprised by their strict security, I am terrified, Nida. I am not a risky person and I wouldn’t advise my readers to do anything risky. I feel there is no reason for this. There are always safe solutions to a problem, aren’t there?

      Reply
      1. Ahimbe

        It is good that the names of the countries with extreme punishments have been shared. It may not be only CBD oil that they restrict so more caution will be taken when visiting them.

        Reply
        1. Effie Post author

          Exactly my point, Ahimbe! The UAE has restrictions regarding prescription medicines and very strict laws.

          Reply
  12. Trish

    This is a WONDERFUL article – thank you so much. I have come to depend on my CBD oil and gummies and knowing it’s legal in most states I didn’t even think of the possibility of there being issues traveling with it. I have a trip coming up in a few months and will be flying so I am going to have to take some notes from this article to ensure I don’t have any issues on my trip. Thank you so much for putting this together for people like me 🙂

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      I always try to do my best and put things together. I want to save time and effort for my readers and above all to inform and help them. Comments like yours are valuable and rewarding, Trish! Thank you so much!

      Reply
  13. Ivan Brozincevic

    I’m surprised to see how EU countries share, more or less, the same policy when it comes to traveling with CBD in your baggage. However, I wasn’t expecting to hear that the policies are going to become more strict in the future. I believe it should stay like it is. Thanks for recommending Joy Organics.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Policies are going to become more strict both in the EU and the US, Ivan. I wouldn’t recommend any brand if I didn’t trust it. As you see Joy Organics isn’t the only one. But, I have to admit, I feel closer to Joy Organics because its CEO is a woman. Girls’ power! LOL. Thank you for your visit, Ivan !

      Reply
  14. Theresa

    Thanks again, Effie, for staying several steps ahead of me and warning me of the danger zones ahead! Jill’s comment about cavity searches adds a while new level of “scary”.

    I have shared your article on Facebook and encourage other readers to do the same.

    Let’s all enjoy stress-free travels!

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I really care about you, my readers so I would never advise you to take any risks. My ethics and sense of responsibility would not allow me to do so. I am not against security agents, they are doing their best to keep us safe and have to obey laws, rules, and regulations. So do we! I think we should be informed and that’s what I tried to do

      Reply
  15. Jill

    Thanks so much for all of your useful information. I was worried about traveling with my cbd oil for the very reasons you’ve mentioned. I think my best bet for flying is to ship it to my sister ahead of time that way I can go along my merry way. You can never be too sure with tsa these days and i don’t need a cavity search 🙄 thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      You are so right and so prudent! Better safe than sorry, right? Welcome, Jill! Thank you for your comment!

      Reply

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