- Can You Take CBD on a Plane?
Can You Take CBD on a Plane?
The world of travel can be complex, with various rules and regulations to navigate. One question that travellers often ask is, "Can you take CBD oil on a plane?"
This query stems from the growing interest in CBD products, which have become popular for their potential wellness benefits. However, the legality and acceptance of these products vary greatly across different countries and even within different states or regions of the same country.
In the following sections of this article, we will delve deeper into the specifics of travelling with CBD, both within the UK and internationally. We'll look at what you need to know when taking CBD oil out of the country, legal status of CBD in Europe and the legal status in the rest of the world. We'll also provide recommendations on how to ensure a smooth journey when taking CBD oil abroad.
Can you take CBD oil on a plane? – The short answer
In the United Kingdom, you can bring CBD oil on a plane, provided it meets specific criteria outlined by relevant UK authorities. CBD oils are legal in the UK if they meet the Novel Foods requirements set out by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and are completely free of THC and other controlled cannabinoids.
CBD oil can be safely placed in your carry-on bag if it's in a bottle smaller than 100ml and is packed in a separate transparent bag. However, it's important to note that regulations regarding CBD may differ when travelling internationally. Different countries have their own laws regarding CBD, and it is crucial to research and understand these regulations before you embark on your journey.
Understanding CBD and its Legality
As the popularity of CBD oil continues to rise, so does the need for clarity regarding its legality, especially when it comes to travelling:
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another cannabinoid found in the same plant, CBD does not have psychoactive properties, meaning it won't get you 'high'.
Instead, CBD is often used as a food supplement and is extracted from hemp, a low-THC variety of the cannabis plant. The extract produced from this process is added to other natural ingredients to produce a range of products, including oils, gummies, creams, and e-liquids.
Legal Status of CBD in the UK
In the United Kingdom, CBD oil and other CBD products are legal, provided they meet specific criteria. According to UK law, CBD products must be free of controlled cannabinoids, including THC, CBN and THCV.
Furthermore, CBD oil in the UK must be labelled as a 'food supplement' unless it's licensed as a medicine by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
CBD oil also faces restrictions imposed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) under its novel food regulations. As of the latest update, any CBD product that was not significantly consumed before 15th May 1997 is considered a "novel food" in the UK.
This means that producers and sellers of CBD products need to go through a rigorous approval process to ensure their products comply with safety standards and are suitable for human consumption. The FSA requires businesses to submit a valid novel food application for their CBD products before they can be sold legally.
International Laws on CBD
While CBD is legal in the UK, the international laws on CBD vary greatly. Several European countries, such as Croatia, Italy, Hungary, and others, accept the use of CBD as a legal food supplement. However, some countries remain wary of CBD products due to their association with the cannabis plant. For instance, in France, CBD is legal but is generally considered an illicit substance, while in Slovakia, CBD legislation is undergoing reform, but due to a persistent conservative approach, possession could still lead to prosecution if found in possession.
Travelling with CBD Oil from the UK
Whether for personal use or as a gift, many travellers consider bringing CBD oils and other CBD products along on their journeys. However, navigating the rules and regulations surrounding CBD can be complex, especially when travelling internationally:
Taking CBD on a Plane from a UK Airport
When boarding a plane from a UK airport, you can take CBD oil in your carry-on luggage. Each airport or airline may have a different approach, but legally it is fine to take it through security and onto your flight.
However, it's important to check with both the airline and your destination airport to ensure a trouble-free journey. Because CBD is still relatively new, many people still strongly associate it with the illegal drug cannabis. Even in the UK, you may come across people willing to assume it is illegal or not allowed on a plane.
UK Regulations for Travelling with CBD Oil
When taking CBD oil on a plane, it must be in a container holding less than 100ml and be presented to airport security in a separate, transparent plastic bag measuring no more than 20cm x 20cm. This is in line with the UK's liquid law for carry-on luggage.
Additionally, the oil must adhere to the law in the UK, meaning it must contain no THC or any other controlled cannabinoids.
Can you use CBD oil on a plane during the flight?
Yes, you can use CBD oil during your flight, provided it meets the UK regulations previously stated. However, it's important to remember that CBD oil and other CBD products may be subject to the specific policies of the airline you are flying with. Therefore, it's always a good idea to check with your flight provider before travelling.
Travelling with CBD in the EU
The rules and regulations surrounding CBD can be complex, especially when travelling across international borders, such as from the UK into the EU:
Is CBD legal in Europe?
In the European Union, the legality of CBD varies significantly among member states. While many European countries have embraced CBD as a legal food supplement, some remain wary due to its association with the cannabis plant. It's crucial to research the local laws of your destination country, as each EU member state has the right to set its own regulations regarding CBD.
EU Countries where CBD is legal
Several European countries, such as Croatia, Italy, Hungary, and others, accept CBD as a legal food supplement. These countries have recognised the potential benefits of CBD and have set regulations that allow for the sale and use of CBD products, provided they meet specific criteria.
For instance, in Croatia, CBD oil and other CBD products are legal if they contain less than 0.2% THC. Similarly, in Italy, CBD products are legal and widely available, provided they are made from approved hemp strains and contain less than 0.6% THC.
EU countries where CBD is illegal or restricted
Despite the growing acceptance of CBD in many European countries, there are still some nations where CBD is either illegal or heavily restricted.
For example, in Slovakia, CBD is considered an illegal substance and could lead to prosecution if found in possession. In France, while CBD is technically legal, it is generally considered an illicit substance, and the sale and use of CBD products are heavily regulated.
In addition, while the general position of the EU is that CBD oil is legal, many member states have been slow to update legislation. Unfortunately, in many areas of the EU, CBD oil remains in a legal black hole, making it unwise to travel with it to some areas. If you're not 100% sure it's legal in your destination country, it's best to leave your CBD oil at home.
Travelling Internationally with CBD
If you plan to take your CBD oil with you on a trip outside of the UK or EU, you will face a broader range of restrictions. Worldwide, there is a huge variation in response to CBD oil and its legality. While many places accept CBD oil, CBD products and sometimes even cannabis as completely legal, others have severe restrictions that could result in confiscation or prosecution:
Countries Where CBD is Legal
Several countries outside the UK and EU have legalised Cannabidiol (CBD) to some extent, including Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Africa, the Virgin Islands, Australia and Thailand. In these countries, CBD products are legal, but there are additional restrictions concerning the amount of THC they contain. Permitted THC content, the hemp varieties (some require industrial hemp) and other contextual regulations vary from country to country. For instance, while CBD is legal in Australia, it can only be obtained with a prescription.
Countries Where CBD is Illegal or Restricted
Despite the growing acceptance of CBD in many countries, there are still some nations where CBD is either illegal or heavily restricted. For example, in Albania, Russia, Singapore, and Serbia, CBD products are completely illegal. However, there are also several countries where the status of CBD remains unclear or restrictions are so tight that it's not worth the risk of taking CBD oil with you.
For example, in Belize, CBD oil is legal, but importing it is still illegal. Therefore, if you're planning to travel internationally with CBD oil, it's crucial to familiarise yourself with the laws and customs regulations to avoid any potential issues.
International Areas with Special Requirements for Taking CBD on a Plane
When travelling with CBD internationally, it's important to remember that each country may have specific requirements for taking CBD on a plane. It's always a good idea to check with your flight provider and the local authorities of your destination country before travelling with CBD products.
Precautions when travelling with CBD
When planning to travel internationally with CBD products, it's recommended to take certain precautions to ensure a smooth journey:
Researching Destination Country's CBD Laws
The legal status of CBD varies greatly from one country to another. Therefore, it's essential to research the local laws of your destination country before travelling with CBD oil. While CBD is legal in many countries, its legality isn't unconditional everywhere.
Checking THC Content in CBD Products
Once you know the THC restrictions of your destination country, the next step is to check the THC content of your oil. While all legal UK products should be free of controlled cannabinoids, including THC, many still aren't.
Therefore, it's essential to verify the THC content of your CBD products before travelling to ensure they comply with the local laws of your destination.
Packaging and Labelling Requirements for CBD Oil
Another important consideration when travelling with CBD is the packaging and labelling of your products. In many countries, CBD products must be clearly labelled as such and include information about the product's origin and active components. It's also recommended to keep all packaging, labels, and receipts with your CBD products to provide proof of their legality if questioned by security authorities.
Liquid Restrictions for Hand Luggage
If you're carrying CBD oil or other liquid CBD products in your hand luggage, you must be aware of the liquid restrictions imposed by airport security. In the UK, containers of liquid should not exceed 100ml and must be visible in a clear plastic bag to avoid delays at the airport. While most bottles of CBD oil are only 15ml, it's important to ensure that your CBD products comply with these liquid laws to prevent any issues during your journey.
Communicating with Your Airline
Before you embark on your journey, it's crucial to communicate with your airline about your intention to travel with CBD products. Different airlines may have different policies regarding carrying CBD oil or other CBD products on board. It's always best to contact your flight provider directly to understand their specific rules and regulations. This will help you avoid any potential issues at the airport and ensure a smooth journey.
Pack CBD in Your Hand Luggage
When travelling with CBD oil, it's recommended to pack it in your hand luggage. This is because checked luggage goes through a more rigorous screening process, which could potentially lead to complications if it is found. However, remember that liquid restrictions apply to hand luggage.
Research Legal Restrictions and Laws for Any Stopovers
If your journey involves stopovers in other countries, it's equally important to research the legal restrictions and laws regarding CBD in these countries. Even if CBD is legal in the country you're travelling to, it may be illegal or restricted in the countries you're transiting through. Failure to comply with these laws could result in penalties or even imprisonment. Therefore, it's crucial to stay informed about the legal status of CBD in all countries involved in your journey.
Research Airport Security Procedures
Airport security procedures can vary from one airport to another, and it's important to familiarise yourself with these procedures before your journey. In general, you should be prepared to present your CBD oil for inspection at security checkpoints. You may also be required to provide documentation such as a doctor's note or a certificate of analysis from a third-party lab to confirm the cannabinoid levels and the absence of other contaminants in your CBD product.
Conclusion: Can You Take CBD on a Plane in the UK?
As we have explored throughout this article, you can take CBD on a plane in the UK, but with certain conditions and precautions. The legality of CBD in the UK and its acceptance on planes is subject to specific regulations and guidelines that must be adhered to.
CBD is legal in the UK as long as it is free from all controlled cannabinoids. For hand luggage, the bottle of CBD oil needs to be smaller than 100ml due to liquid restrictions. When travelling internationally, it's crucial to understand the laws and regulations of the destination country, as well as any countries where stopovers may occur. Some countries have strict laws against CBD, while others are more lenient. It's also essential to communicate with your airline about their specific policies regarding CBD.