Can I Travel With CBD? A Guide To Travelling From The UK

Travelling With CBD - UK, Europe & International

CBD is perfectly legal in the UK providing it contains no more than 0.2% THC. To date, we have not heard of a single case where someone has been prosecuted for carrying or ingesting these oils.

But what are the legalities when it comes to packing CBD supplements in your travel luggage before taking an international flight?

The answer essentially boils down to the laws of the country that you are travelling to. Do not assume that just because CBD is legal in the UK – a country which still adopts a stubborn prohibitionist approach to marijuana – that it’s also tolerated elsewhere.

There are some surprising popular destinations where CBD is still illegal, and in others, the acceptable THC content varies enormously.

Taking CBD Oil On A Plane In Europe

The European Union considers hemp grown for ‘fibre’ to be legal providing it contains no more than 0.2% THC.

As that correlates exactly with the UK legal limits, surely that means that you ought to be able to take your supplements pretty much anywhere in Europe? Wrong!

The EU holds little sway over the domestic legal policies of member nations, and these can vary enormously. Just as you need to be careful when taking UK purchased oils overseas, you also need to be careful in some cases what oils you may buy abroad and bring home with you as they can be over that 0.2% threshold.

Safe Countries To Take UK-Bought CBD Oils

Let’s begin by looking at which countries allow CBD according to what can legally be bought in the UK.

Travellers should not face any issues passing customs in the following countries as they either allow for 0.2% THC content or lower, have no laws at all regarding CBD extracts, or allow for the medical/recreational use of cannabis:

France

France

Same 0.2% maximum as the UK.

Spain

Spain

No limits legally enforced. 0.2% THC maximum for domestic hemp cultivation.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands

Cannabis is decriminalised thanks to their famous Tolerance Policy.

Italy

Italy

0.6% (three times the UK limit) maximum. Be careful however if you’re planning on buying and bringing home!

Belgium

Belgium

Decriminalised cannabis for personal use, no limits.

Poland

Poland

No policy in place so CBD is entirely legal for the time being.

Switzerland

Switzerland

No policy in place.

Sweden

Sweden

Hemp is not considered cannabis so entirely legal.

Croatia

Croatia

No limit regarding CBD thanks to widescale hemp production.

Ireland

Ireland

0.2% THC limit same as the UK.

Cyprus

Cyprus

0.2% THC limit same as the UK.

Greece

Greece

0.2% THC limit same as the UK.

Slovenia

Slovenia

0.2% THC limit same as the UK.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria

0.2% THC limit same as the UK.

Hungary

Hungary

0.2% THC limit same as the UK.

The Czech Republic

Czech Republic

0.3% THC limit

Estonia

Estonia

CBD not considered psychotropic so entirely legal.

Latvia

Latvia

No regulation so entirely legal.

Lithuania

Lithuania

No regulation so entirely legal.

Romania

Romania

No regulation so entirely legal.

As we can see from the above list, taking CBD to any of these countries should not cause any difficulties whatsoever. Just be careful when purchasing oils in certain countries with higher thresholds as these may be considered strictly illegal when re-entering the UK.

European Countries With Strict Regulations Concerning CBD & Legality

You may have noticed a couple of perhaps surprising omissions from the list above.

There are a number of European countries which only allow CBD use/possession providing the individual can present a doctors/pharmacists prescription. In essence, CBD remains illegal in the following countries:

Germany

Germany

All CBD supplements must be prescribed by a medical professional.

Austria

Austria

All CBD supplements must be prescribed by a medical professional.

Denmark

Denmark

All CBD supplements must be prescribed by a medical professional.

Finland

Finland

All CBD supplements must be prescribed by a medical professional.

Portugal

Portugal

All CBD supplements must be prescribed by a medical professional.

Slovakia

Slovakia

CBD is illegal and listed as a ‘group 2’ psychoactive narcotic.

All of these listed restrictions are based upon late 2018 data and chances are that they will become more tolerant in the near future. Slovakia is an exception because they currently enforce an extremely strict anti-drugs policy, which has somehow managed to confuse CBD with narcotics. Portugal may be famous for the success of its tolerant/inclusive drugs initiatives yet still considers hemp oil as a drug.

Taking CBD On A Plane In The U.S.

The first thing to consider here is that all airports in the USA are controlled under federal law. So even in states such as Colorado where cannabis is legal for personal/recreational use, if you fly from there to another state with a CBD oil that contains over 0.3% THC (the federal maximum) then you are breaking the law. The same applies to those arriving on international flights.

As simple as that may sound, you ought to be aware of what ‘zero’ means and how it can be interpreted:

  • Anything over that 0.3% figure is classified as marijuana (which is illegal at a federal level).
  • Unless the product explicitly states that it has a certain amount of THC content it will likely be seized.
  • Bottles which are already opened may be confiscated anyway due to the risk that it has been substituted for a more potent concentrate.
Taking CBD Oil To America

Laws in the USA vary on a state-by-state basis

To confuse matters even more, laws also vary between counties within States! Even alcohol is still banned in some counties almost 100 years after the end of prohibition, so it’s always wise to check local laws beforehand – or safest of all, not to take CBD on any interstate flight.

Even states which have fairly open laws regarding cannabis can adopt a much stricter line with CBD-infused products than what we are used to in the UK.

Remember that there are many people who are unaware of what CBD actually is. One recent example from Florida (where CBD products are widely available despite being officially ‘prescription only’) saw a 69-year-old Great Grandmother arrested during a visit to Disney World after security guards discovered her legally purchased CBD oil in her purse!

So while the 2018 Farm Bill was supposed to clear up nationwide confusion over the federal attitude and restrictions regarding CBD use, at the state level it’s clearly not yet widely understood in some places.

Some Basic US Facts:

  • CBD products are only legal if they are derived from hemp. Marijuana-based oils are illegal.
  • Hemp is considered to be a cannabis plant under 0.3% THC.
  • Marijuana is any product over 0.3% THC.
  • State & county laws/ordinances massively vary.

This link provides a good general guide to which States are the most and least “friendly” towards CBD.

From a UK perspective, it’s likely safest to only travel with a sealed bottle (10ml) that clearly states it is ‘zero’ THC and is not adorned with marijuana leaves on the packaging.

Even still, CBD is widely available throughout the country and it may be best to try instead to pick some up once you have reached your destination.

Although the chances are that you will be fine taking UK produced and sold CBD oils to the USA, it may be less hassle to leave it at home just in case.

Carefully Research The Laws Of The Country You’re Visiting

So what about the rest of the world? First of all, do not be too alarmed by the few sensationalist news stories out there of people being arrested for carrying CBD oil.

That being said, it’s a sensible precaution (absurd as it may seem) to think of CBD along the lines of prescription-only medications.

In the vast majority of cases, customs officials will not pay any attention to finding personal use amounts of painkillers and other justifiable and necessary medications. But they may well take exception to a strange little bottle with a hemp plant depicted on the front.

Please Note – This Page Does Not Provide Legal Advice

We believe the information on this page was correct at the time of writing. However, we do not provide any legal advice or assurance. Laws/regulations of the countries listed on this page may have changed since this guide was compiled.

Whilst we strive to update this page with up-to-date information, some data may be incorrect.

As such, we strongly advise that you do your own research into the laws of the country you are visiting before travelling with any CBD or cannabis-based or hemp-based extract. That also includes layover destinations such as Dubai and Singapore which are notoriously strict.

Thankfully, most airlines can now offer accurate advice on regional attitudes towards CBD oils so do give them a call before you fly. If they are unable to assist you, ask them to point you in the right direction.

Attitudes, customs and laws do vary all over the world and there’s no point complicating your trip unnecessarily. It’s better to be safe than sorry.