If you’re using CBD oil for a health condition or everyday wellbeing, you’ll be wanting to take it with you when you travel — just like any other medication you’re taking.
But due to the changing cannabis landscape, rules around travelling with CBD differ from country to country.
This can be confusing when you’re trying to plan a trip, especially if it spans several countries and airport customs checks.
Even though most CBD products don’t get you “high” and only contain trace amounts of THC, some countries still treat all cannabis products the same.
In this article, we’ll let you know the rules for travelling with CBD oil and medicinal cannabis internationally so you can be prepared for your next overseas trip.
Please note, the rules and regulations around medicinal cannabis are changing all the time but we’ll do our best to keep this article updated.
This article is specifically about CBD products. While we’ll touch on general medicinal cannabis travel rules, there may be tighter regulations around THC medications.
You should absolutely do your own research before travelling to a new destination to ensure you’re abiding by the law.
Where can you travel with CBD legally?
Let’s look at the current rules for travelling with CBD oil to the various countries, continents and popular destinations.
If you are planning to travel internationally with a CBD product and you’ve checked the rules at your destination country, we still recommend taking these extra measures:
● Carry a copy of your prescription from your doctor
● Keep the product in its original packaging
● Print out a copy of the certificate of analysis (COA) which should confirm the THC content
● Print out the rules/laws for your destination country to present to a customs officer if needed
● Where possible, use a hemp-based CBD product as they seem to be more legally acceptable.
These are the guidelines from the Ministry of Health.
When entering New Zealand, you can bring a medicinal cannabis product (including CBD) into the country if:
● the product has been prescribed to you by a doctor
● you have a copy of the prescription or a letter from your doctor stating that you are being treated with the product
● you declare the product on your passenger arrival card
● you carry the product in its original container, and
● you are bringing no more than a 3-month supply of a CBD product or a 1-month supply of any other medicinal cannabis product.
There are no rules for leaving New Zealand with a prescription cannabis product and it’s up to you to check the rules at your destination country.
Australia has similar rules to New Zealand. If you are travelling to Australia, you are able to carry up to a 3 months’ supply of medicinal cannabis for yourself or a passenger in your care, provided you have the relevant prescription from a medical practitioner.
The United States is tricky as there are federal and state laws to consider.
Currently, 47 of 50 states have legalised CBD in some form. Therefore, if you’re flying into one of these states you should be safe to carry your CBD medication so long as it contains less than 0.3% THC or it has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
It’s also recommended that you only carry hemp-derived CBD.
However, if you are flying into any of the states that haven’t legalised medicinal cannabis, you shouldn’t travel with your CBD oil.
Please refer to the general guidelines above for taking CBD products into the United States.
United Kingdom and Europe
It is legal to fly to and from the UK with a CBD product in your luggage, as long as it adheres to UK law. The key requirements are that it contains no more than 1 microgram of THC and is labelled as a food supplement for human consumption.
Based on these rules, we’d recommend going with a zero THC product or CBD isolate just to be on the safe side.
The rules in Europe differ from country to country. The main difference is the amount of THC they tolerate.
For example, you can travel into Germany and Greece with a CBD product as long as it contains less than 0.2% THC, The Netherlands only allows 0.05% and France doesn’t permit any THC at all.
Please check each country’s laws or simply travel with a low or no THC product.
CBD is still illegal in some European countries, such as Albania, Iceland and Slovakia.
Countries across Asia differ greatly in their laws around travelling with medicinal cannabis.
The likes of Russia, Japan, China and Indonesia are extremely strict when it comes to cannabis-based medicinal products. Flying into any of these countries with CBD is likely to result in prosecution and potential jail time — definitely not worth the risk.
However, countries like India and South Korea are more lenient and allow you to travel with CBD if you have a prescription. Thailand will also allow travel with CBD if you have a permit from Thailand FDA.
Make sure to check the specific laws for the country you are travelling to.
Central and South America
Most countries in Central and South America have legalised CBD for medicinal use and allow you to travel with CBD products.
However, similar to Europe, each country has different rules around THC.
It’s difficult to find official information on travelling with medical cannabis products, but it seems that Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico all allow you to bring CBD into the country.
However, there are variations in the amount of THC they tolerate, which aren’t all publicly available. Some countries only permit CBD for medicinal purposes so make sure to travel with a copy of your prescription.
Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela are among the countries that don’t allow CBD.
South Africa is the only African country that permits travellers to carry CBD oil, but there are strict regulations.
We can’t find an official government source for this information, but others have reported the following requirements:
● CBD products must contain a maximum daily dose of 20mg CBD with an accepted low-risk claim or health claim OR
● CBD products must consist of processed products made from cannabis raw plant material, where only naturally occurring quantities of not more than 0.001% THC and 0.0075% CBD are present.
Pretty confusing, right? Based on this information, it would probably be safer to abide by the first requirement and only take a small amount of CBD with you along with your prescription.
CBD is illegal in other African countries and strict penalties may apply.
As you can see, travelling the world with CBD is full of uncertainty as some countries are slow to adapt to the new medicinal cannabis landscape.
Hopefully, this guide has pointed you in the right direction.
But we can’t stress enough the importance of checking the latest rules at your travel destination as they’re changing all the time.
It’s important to realise there are travel regulations for a wide range of medications, not just medicinal cannabis.
In the years to come, we expect to see CBD allowed in an increasing number of countries.
But for now, play it safe and follow the guidelines we’ve outlined here.