We all know that in most parts of the world, traveling with cannabis in your possession is illegal. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume the same is true for CBD — however, that’s not the case. If you’re planning a trip and you’re worried about being able to take your CBD with you, keep reading. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about traveling with CBD.
Why Is Cannabis Illegal While CBD Isn’t?
Only a few decades ago, CBD (and other cannabis products) used to be lumped in with various psychoactive substances and written off as “drugs.” However, with the advancement of medicine and the discovery of CBD’s medical applications, the stigma around the substance started to disappear.
What’s more, CBD is becoming increasingly popular among recreational users as well. Nowadays, CBD can be found in various products, from CBD-infused jellies to face creams and serums. But how is that even legal?
The answer is simple — CBD, or cannabidiol, is only one of cannabis’s main compounds. The other one is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and it’s the culprit responsible for that “high.” Since CBD is not psychoactive, it’s perfectly legal in most parts of the world.
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and CBD Isolate
That said, if you’re planning on traveling with CBD, there are a few things you should consider. While it’s true that CBD is legal in many parts of the world, the THC content in some CBD products makes things a little more complex. That’s why it’s important to distinguish between the three main types of CBD: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates.
Full-Spectrum CBD Products
As we mentioned, cannabis is made up of THC, CBD, terpenes, and a few other components. Full-spectrum CBD products don’t filter out all of those components, and as a result, contain some traces of THC. That is enough to change their status from “legal” to “it depends” or even “illegal” in some places.
For example, in the US, federal law prohibits CBD products with over 0.3% THC content. However, those numbers vary across other countries or even states, so doing your research is essential when traveling with CBD.
Broad-Spectrum CBD Products
Broad-spectrum CBD products are a safer bet than full-spectrum ones. As the name suggests, they contain most of cannabis’ main compounds, except for THC. If you’re unsure what the local regulations are where you’re traveling, choosing broad-spectrum over full is a great way to get most of cannabis’ benefits without worrying about legal trouble.
If you still have some concerns regarding full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products, there is a third option. As you might have guessed, CBD isolates contain only pure CBD and none of the cannabis’s other components.
Legal Status of CBD Around the World
With the distinction between CBD and THC out of the way, we can talk about CBD’s legal status worldwide. Of course, it’s essential that you do your own research, but here are some guidelines on traveling with CBD.
CBD in the US
Since 0.3% is the acceptable amount of THC, most manufacturers extract their CBD from hemp (as it has a very low THC content). It’s also worth mentioning that hemp’s legal status was changed with the 2018 Farm Bill, which made it legal in all 50 states.
That means hemp-derived CBD products are legal in all 50 states. However, that “legal” status is conditional in some states:
- Alaska — Possession is legal, but shipping to other states is prohibited
- California — CBD products are legal, but CBD can’t be used as a food additive
- Idaho — Not available over-the-counter, but still legal
- Maine — Can’t be used as a food additive
- Missouri — Legal for medicinal use under the Hemp Extract program
- Nebraska — Not available OTC
- New Mexico — Only legal if purchased from New Mexico growers or dispensaries
- North-Dakota — Regulations vary between cities
- Oklahoma — Only legal for epilepsy patients
- Wisconsin — Legal for medical use
- Wyoming — Legal for epilepsy patients, products must contain over 0.5% CBD
A Word of Caution: Marijuana-Derived CBD
As you learned, hemp-derived CBD is legal (or conditionally legal) in all 50 states. However, the same is not true for marijuana-based products. Marijuana’s legal status is different from that of hemp, and traveling with CBD products derived from marijuana can get you in trouble with the law. If you’re caught traveling with such products, you might end up facing jail time — even if marijuana is legal where you’re going.
CBD in Canada
CBD is completely legal in Canada, so you can safely use, possess, and travel with any CBD product.
CBD in Europe
Most forms of CBD are legal in all European countries except Slovakia, with some regulations regarding THC content. CBD products with less than 0.2% THC are legal in:
- The UK
CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are legal in:
CBD products with less than 0.6% THC are legal in:
CBD in Turkey
Similarly, laws regarding CBD production and use in Turkey are unclear. If you’d like to stay on the safe side, you should avoid traveling with CBD on Turkish territory.
CBD in Asia
Most Asian countries prohibit CBD production and use by law, although local regulations vary. For example, CBD is legal for medical use in:
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
In Japan, you’re free to purchase and use CBD products, but only if they’re isolates and labeled as such.
If you’re traveling to India, your best bet is to leave the CBD at home, since it falls in a legal grey area.
CBD in Russia
When it comes to CBD products, the waters are murky in Russia. While growing hemp is not illegal, extracting CBD from it is, so such products are considered illegal.
CBD in Africa
CBD is illegal in all African countries except South Africa, where you can use up to 20mg CBD if it contains less than 0.3% THC.
CBD in South America
CBD is legal in most countries in South America (except Bolivia), but local regulations vary from country to country. The countries that allow CBD only for medical use are:
CBD is available nationwide in:
- Argentina — for personal use only
- Brazil — available OTC
- Chile — personal use only
- Columbia — available OTC
CBD in Australia and New Zealand
In Australia in New Zealand, you can only get CBD oil with a doctor’s prescription. Possession of any form of CBD for personal use is illegal and will get you in trouble with the law.
And there you have it, that’s everything you need to know about traveling with CBD. The use of cannabis-based products is becoming more and more widespread, so the list of countries that have decriminalized CBD is only going to expand. Until CBD is legal everywhere, though, always make sure to do your own research and check your destination’s regulations!