In the US, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 legalized hemp-derived CBD that contains less than 0.3% of THC (a psychoactive cannabinoid). That is to say, flying with CBD products is legal around the United States. However, caution is advised while flying internationally, as many nations have strict regulations surrounding marijuana and hemp-derived products.
U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs twitted about traveling with CBD products abroad. Traveling with CBD products can land you in trouble, which means that you need to research what is allowed and what isn’t before travelling to certain countries:
Is CBD legal?
The federal government of the United States of America acknowledges two forms of cannabis: marijuana and hemp. They are essentially the same plant, although their cannabinoid content differs. Hemp, often known as industrial hemp, contains a lot of CBD and very little THC (to be classified as hemp; it cannot contain more than 0.3 percent of THC).
The Agriculture Improvement Act was signed in December 2018, which effectively legalizes hemp in all US states by removing it from the list of controlled substances. In May 2019, the Department of Agriculture released a memo that expressly permits the transport of hemp across state lines so long as it complies with the State-approved program.
The Federal Farm Bill, in particular, empowers states to regulate hemp more severely, and many have done so. State hemp legislation is currently undergoing rapid change, with a strong proclivity toward legalization. CBD is currently not completely legal in all states, and some states impose strict limitations on its purchase.
What About Europe? Is CBD Legal in Europe?
The European Union has classified cannabidiol (CBD) as novel foods. This means that CBD products may require authorization under the EU Novel Food Regulation. Nonetheless, many EU countries have classified CBD products as medical products. For instance, in the UK, almost all cannabinoids are classified as controlled substances, however, CBD is not classified as such.
Additionally, while countries such as Spain have decriminalized cannabis, the legal status of CBD remains murky. Apparently, commercialization of CBD for human use is not approved in Spain.
As we can see, CBD and cannabis laws differ widely from country to country. In general, EU law allows the consumption of CBD oils containing no more than 0.2% THC. Nonetheless, some European countries such as Croatia and Slovakia have harder rules, and these countries don’t allow any cannabis products. Flying with CBD oil to Croatia or Slovenia is, therefore, not recommended.
Numerous EU countries have authorized cannabis products for medical purposes; nonetheless, the legal status of cannabis and CBD products remained unclear. The legislation is not uniform across the EU. Sweden, for example, has one of the most restrictive drug laws in Europe, with no explicit statute governing CBD products.
Flying with CBD oil: Asia
Flying with CBD oil could land you in trouble. Do some research before traveling to avoid unnecessary problems. Certain countries, especially Asian countries, are very strict with marijuana products.
CBD appears to be legal in many Asian countries, but importing CBD from your native country may be difficult. According to some sources, CBD is legal in Japan and even China. China is the world’s largest hemp producer (70 percent of the world output). However, as indicated previously, importing hemp-derived products into China may generate complications. As a result, we do not advise bringing CBD products into China or any other Asian country. For example, CBD products will no longer be considered narcotics in Thailand, unless if they are locally produced there.
In Latin American culture, there are countries with an open view on cannabis such as Mexico (it has legalized the cultivation, processing, sales, and possession of cannabis) or Argentina or Uruguay that have decriminalized cannabis. On the other hand, there are other countries with a strict view of cannabis products such as Brazil.
Uruguay, Paraguay, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Perú allow CBD oil from hemp. It would not, in theory, be a problem to fly with CBD products to any of these countries.
Marijuana is illegal in most African countries. Perhaps, the only exception is South Africa. South Africa has a very open attitude towards cannabis, allowing its use for both medical and recreational purposes.
Why was CBD Illegal?
We can say that it was mainly based on ignorance. We didn’t know that much about the curative properties of cannabinoids. For decades, marijuana was just a psychoactive substance with only recreational uses.
Starting in the 1950s, we began to classify substances into two main categories: hazardous toxic substances and ‘familiar and common substances.’ Marijuana or cocaine, for instance, have been categorized as hazardous and toxic, whereas alcohol and tobacco have been listed as ‘familiar and common substances’.
Unfortunately, marijuana was shunned and stigmatized for the majority of the twentieth century. Believe it or not, there is no legitimate basis to prohibit marijuana, and it was mostly prohibited in the 1930s as a symbol of the jazz subculture and black and Mexican people. In summary, there was a great deal of racism there. In other words, it was not regarded as a “civilized” substance on the same level as cigarettes or alcohol.
Flying with CBD Oil: Conclusion
In some countries, flying with CBD oil could be problematic. For example, there are countries with very strict rules such as China, Singapore or Sweden. On the other hand, it’s widely decriminalized in most EU countries and many Latin American countries.
In the US, hemp-derived CBD is legal at the federal level. However, the Federal Farm Bill allows states to control hemp more strictly, and many States have done so. The state hemp legislation is currently in a rapid state of change, with a strong tendency to support legalization.
Do some research before flying with CBD oil!
This post was originally published on December 18, 2019. It was most recently updated on July 9, 2021.