Can you take CBD oil on a plane?
The legality of CBD
Once people have gotten their heads around the basics of what CBD oil is (and if you still haven’t, you can introductory guide to CBD) the questions that follow are normally concerning legality. Since cannabidiol shares both the root of its name and the root of its creation with cannabis, it can seem like a taboo topic.
One of the most common queries we get concerning legality is whether or not you can take cannabidiol on a flight. Since people get used to the daily routine of taking CBD, the prospect of not being able to take it abroad for business or on holiday can be frustrating. As ever, given the relative flippancy with which CBD’s legality is often handled, the question isn’t a simple yes or no situation.
Before getting into the specifics of CBD and whether you can or can’t fly with it, the most universal impediment is the size of the liquid container you’re carrying. If you’re intending to bring it in your carry-on, then you’ll be subject to the 100ml liquid rule.
The confusion here stems from the fact medicines aren’t limited by the 100ml rule if accompanied by a prescriptions or doctor’s note. As such, if you’ve been prescribed a medicinal CBD tincture you can ignore the liquid limit, but given the current furore surrounding medicinal CBD in the UK that’s probably not the case.
CBD’s relationship with THC
The main point of contention to consider when debating taking your CBD oil abroad is THC content. Whilst broad spectrum oils and CBD isolates promise 0% THC, since the market is poorly regulated, some products might not have been extracted properly. That’s why Vitality CBD provide independent batch reports here to guarantee your peace of mind.
Meanwhile, for full spectrum and whole plant products, the trace amounts of THC can raise red flags at airports where staff aren’t properly informed on the distinction between CBD products and medical cannabis. Likewise, it might be that the country you’re flying to has a lower THC threshold than the one you’re flying from.
For example, in the UK the maximum levels of THC in the hemp extract are 0.2%, whilst in the U.S. they can reach 0.3%. That means that even if CBD oil is legal in your home country, and legal in your destination, you still need to confirm that the laws follow the same guidelines.
UK laws about flying with CBD
Since the majority of our users are UK based, you’re probably already aware that CBD is legal to buy in the UK, especially given that it’s now being stocked in national supermarkets and stores. However, the laws around flying with CBD can seem a little confusing.
The CBD oils you’ve been purchasing are most likely being sold as nutritional supplements rather than medical products due to the nature of the law as it stands. Furthermore, the CBD you’re using will have been extracted from hemp containing lower than 0.2% THC, since it’s not covered by the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, and is therefore legal in the UK.
As such, given its legal status you should be able to bring CBD oil on board domestic flights within the UK, and international flights to the UK. We still recommend contacting your flight provider and customs in advance though.
Flying internationally from the UK
As mentioned above, the easiest solution is often just to contact your flight provider, and the incoming customs department for your destination. Having said that, it definitely helps to be informed on CBD law ahead of time, especially given that not all staff may be aware of its legal designation.
For a summary of the laws based on your specific destination, we recommend checking the official customs website here.
So, you’ve established that the country you’re flying to allows travellers to bring CBD oil across their borders, but have you also considered your changeover along the way? Even if you’re only dropping off in a country for a half-hour sprint across to your next flight, you still fall under their jurisdiction.
Generally laws are tighter in Asian and African countries, but there are exceptions across the board. As ever with CBD, research is key - check the official customs website here.
Final tips for flying with CBD
We haven’t provided individual country reports because simplified information can cause issues in and of itself. Broadly speaking, for example, European constituents are generally tolerant of hemp-derived CBD oils due to the mass legalisation of industrial hemp, but there are still grey areas in more hardline countries like Sweden.
The best solution to any headaches you may be having about whether you can fly with CBD or not is to be upfront. That means taking it in your carry-on, carrying the batch report with you to prove your THC levels (if you've bought your CBD with us you can find your specific one here) and contacting customs in advance to ensure you’re on the same page.
CBD and your health
In an exhaustive report, the World Health Organization has made a definitive statement on cannabidiol usage:
The evidence from well controlled human experimental research indicates that CBD is not associated with abuse potential.
You can read the full report here.
Whilst CBD has been declared safe for human consumption by the World Health Organization, we recommend you inform your doctor of your CBD intake, as it has the potential to interfere with any medication you may use.
If you’re looking to discover more about how to use CBD, read about it in our CBD guide, or if you want to know more about the difference between whole plant, broad spectrum, and the other CBD oil classifications, check out our article here.
If you want to ask us about your specific journey, our experienced CBD team are always on hand to field any questions. Reach out to us on our contact page contact page.