Is It Legal to Fly Internationally With CBD?

Evidence based

Is It Legal to Fly Internationally With CBD?

By now you probably know that CBD products are legal nationwide. Thanks to the federal Farm Bill, any American over the age of 18 is free to buy and enjoy CBD products practically anywhere! [1]

But what about international travel? What about flying from the US to Japan, or from France to Canada? These topics can be a little more nuanced. Keep reading to learn more about where CBD is legal, where it's not, and where confusing laws mean you just might want to play it safe.

The simplest way to travel internationally with CBD

Staying within the confines of the law during international travel is actually pretty easy. If CBD is legal in the country your flight is departing from...and if CBD is also legal in the country you're arriving in...then you’re in the clear.

If CBD  is illegal in the country you are departing from or the country you're arriving in, however, then you may want to go without CBD products this time around.

Why broad spectrum CBD is best for international travel

Even if you're traveling from one CBD-friendly nation to the next, there's another factor you should keep in mind: some areas adhere to different THC limits than others. The US and most nations in the European Union require that CBD products contain no more than 0.3% THC. This 0.3% THC cutoff, however, is far from accepted as a universal standard. Switzerland allows for much more (1%), other nations allow for slightly less (0.2%), and a third category forbids CBD products that contain any THC whatsoever. [2]

Because of these discrepancies it might be best to stick with broad spectrum CBD while traveling internationally — particularly if you're going to be visiting multiple countries. Medterra’s ultra-broad spectrum CBD is completely free from THC, yet still rich in beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes. When in doubt, leave the THC out.

CBD’s ‘no-fly zones’

Last but not least, there are a surprisingly large number of nations where any and all types of CBD products are illegal. Here's a partial list:

  • Africa 
  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Dubai
  • Ecuador
  • Lithuania
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Venezuela

CBD isn't always just a little bit illegal, either. In Dubai and other UAE nations, possessing even small amounts of CBD can lead to serious fines and jail time. Earlier this year a British man who moved to Dubai was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for possessing just four bottles of CBD oil. [3] Dubai’s government attests that they have a zero-tolerance policy for drug-related offenses. We'd encourage you to play things safe if you’re traveling throughout the UAE or any of the other aforementioned countries. 

What to do if you're traveling without your CBD

Okay, let's envision a different type of worst-case scenario. Let's say you're a journalist traveling through Asia and the Koreas. Since nobody needs extra drama in their life, you wisely decide to leave your CBD at home and go without for the entirety of your three-week trip. 

But soon enough those pesky thoughts begin to race through your mind. Will your aches and pains return? Will your insomnia strike back with a vengeance? Will you lose your cognitive edge? These are all valid questions. Try to take a deep breath, though, because we've got good news: you can keep your endocannabinoid system in balance even while going without CBD for a while! 

Studies show that a variety of activities — and even certain foods — can activate your endocannabinoid system enough to keep your body in balance. Top activities include running, cycling, and yoga. Research hints that all these activities may be able to boost your body's internal cannabinoid production and help you stay blissful. [4] When it comes to endocannabinoid-friendly foods, healthy fats like coconut oil and olive oil are great choices. So is dark chocolate, which provides your body with the chemical precursors it needs to synthesize more endocannabinoids on its own. [5] So even if you have to go without CBD for a while, don't panic. Just keep your body nourished and trust that it knows what to do!

Flying internationally with CBD: summing things up

Those of you who’ve tried CBD will understand why the thought of going without on your next international trip could be stressful. Hey, we get it. Take your CBD with you when you can, but when in doubt, refer to the following guidelines:

Where CBD is legal

  • The US
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • The EU
  • Japan

Where CBD is conditionally legal 

  • Brazil
  • China
  • Paraguay
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • The Bahamas

Where CBD is illegal — don’t fly with it! 

  • Africa 
  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Dubai
  • Ecuador
  • Lithuania
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Venezuela
Is It Legal to Fly Internationally With CBD?
IS THE CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF MEDTERRA.
  1. Hudak, J. (2018a, December 13). The Farm Bill, hemp legalization and the status of CBD: An explainer. Brookings. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/ 
  2. Baumgartner, B., Bodemann, C., Toni, M., & SchräMli, V. (2020, April 22). Swiss indirect tax implications for importing CBD products (THC < 1%). Lexology. https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=65437f9a-73e4-4c2f-a4b7-d6c04cf04690 
  3. Scripps National. (2021, October 18). UK man sentenced to 25 years in prison for possession of CBD in Dubai, reports say. KMGH. https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/world/uk-man-sentenced-to-25-years-in-prison-for-possession-of-cbd-in-dubai-reports-say 
  4. Dietrich, A. (2004, October 1). Endocannabinoids and exercise. British Journal of Sports Medicine. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/38/5/536 
  5. Marzo, D. V. (1998, December 17). Trick or treat from food endocannabinoids? Nature. https://www.nature.com/articles/25267

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