An extensive guide to travelling to and from the UK with a CBD product including a country-by-country breakdown of what to expect.
Although perfectly legal in the UK, Europe and the US for consumption, possession of CBD products is still a source of anxiety for many people simply due to its association with cannabis. Add to that the idea of travelling through border control with CBD products, and you can understand why so many people are asking, ‘Am I safe to travel with CBD?’
If you are wondering whether it’s OK to take CBD oil to the airport when you’re in the UK, or from another country, then we will answer that question for you in this guide for flying with CBD oil.
What are the CBD laws in the UK?
CBD products are perfectly legal for sale and consumption in the UK, under certain circumstances: –
The CBD product must contain no THC;
The CBD in the product must be grown from industrial hemp from EU-approved seeds;
The CBD products available must fall under the EU category of being a ‘novel food’.
A common misconception is that CBD products can contain up to 0.2% THC, however this is incorrect. The misconception is believed to have arisen from the law which dictates that hemp grown in the UK can contain up to 0.2% THC. The presence of THC is completely illegal and businesses are advised to ensure the products they sell are free from THC in the UK. So after you buy the best UK CBD tinctures, what next?
The EU released a list of approved seeds from which hemp can be grown and licenses must be obtained to grow it. CBD can only be extracted and used from the flowers of these plants. Any CBD oil obtained from non-EU approved seeds or from marijuana is illegal, although this is more of a manufacturer concern than a consumer concern. Approved industrial UK CBD private label suppliers is also available.
A ‘novel food’ is any food that was not consumed prior to 15th May 1997. Products that fall under the scope of being a novel food are: –
CBD oils, capsules and oral sprays;
CBD coffee, beers, water and other drinks
CBD edibles like gummies, lollipops, brownies and other foods
Because CBD flower/bud does not fall under the category of being a novel food, they are considered illegal in the UK.
Can you travel to the UK with CBD?
You are allowed to fly to the UK with a CBD product, as long as the product adheres to the federal law in the UK. The product must contain no THC and must be a product designed and processed for human consumption. So, CBD buds are not allowed but CBD oil and other CBD products are. Medical cannabis is available in the UK but a prescription is required.
However, your flight provider may have their own rules and regulations about whether they will allow CBD, so it is recommended that you speak to your flight provider and customs prior to flying.
Can you bring CBD oil in your hand luggage?
Yes, you can take CBD oil in both the hand luggage and in the hold luggage for your flight. If you are taking CBD oil in your hand luggage, then you must adhere to customs legislations of containing liquids in a container smaller than 100 ml. If your product is in a container larger than this, then it must be in your hold luggage because they won’t allow partially filled containers larger than 100 ml onto the flight.
Which countries in Europe can you bring CBD to?
Although all EU nations are bound by the same regulations as the UK regarding CBD products, the law and how it is policed within the different nations in Europe can differ. Some of the more popular destinations are: –
France – CBD oil from hemp is legal in France. The legislation is the same as the UK, where THC in any quantity is illegal and no medical claims must be made from any businesses selling CBD oil in France. Although CBD oil is legal, the French authorities have a strong view on cannabis products, so you may be questioned about the oil and its contents.
Spain – The cultivation of cannabis for personal use in Spain is legal. By law, any cannabis product cannot be bought or sold in Spain as a consumable product, and this includes CBD. CBD is legally allowed to be sold as a cosmetic product. However, CBD oil taken into Spain from another country is legal for personal use as long as it adheres to EU regulations, the same as the UK.
Belgium & Netherlands – In both countries, possession of cannabis containing THC is decriminalized. 3 g for Belgium, 5 g for the Netherlands. Therefore, no issue will be seen taking CBD to either country from the UK.
Portugal – Although cannabis is decriminalised up to 25 g in Portugal. All CBD products must be prescribed by a medical professional, so products cannot be taken from the UK without a prescription.
Austria, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Malta – CBD products must be prescribed by a medical professional, so products cannot be taken from the UK without a prescription.
Slovakia – CBD is a controlled substance and considered illegal. Do not travel with any CBD product.
Italy – CBD is legal and THC is allowed up to 0.6%. It is safe to travel to Italy from the UK with CBD. Not advisable to bring CBD back from Italy to the UK.
Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Sweden, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia, Switzerland and Poland – CBD oil is legal so no problem travelling with CBD oil from the UK.
CBD oil is legal in most European countries. However, if you are travelling from the UK with any CBD product, ensure that it contains no THC and check the legislation of the country prior to your travel because laws in all countries can change at any time.
Can I take UK-Bought CBD oil to the US?
Technically, any CBD purchased in the UK should be perfectly safe to travel to the US, because it will meet the US federal THC requirement of being less than 0.3%. However, there are certain checks you should make prior to travel: –
What is the law for the state you are travelling to? Airports are run by federal law, so less than 0.3% THC. But, the law will also change from state-to-state.
CBD bottles that don’t have the THC limit declared on it may be confiscated;
Any CBD product that are not sealed/have been opened may be confiscated.
The law is much more relaxed in the US than in the UK for cannabis products, but only in certain states, so it is important that state legislation is checked before flying.
Check the local laws before travelling
Taking CBD products that are legal in the UK into a UK airport and onto an aeroplane is completely legal. It is getting off the plane on the other side where the complications may arise. The police forces in some countries can be much stricter than our own, and may not be as forgiving even if you have made an honest mistake. Therefore, you should ensure that you specifically check the law in that country for travelling with a CBD product even if its a CBD topical for acne. If you are unsure, then it is better to be safe than sorry and leave your CBD at home.
Travelling with CBD shouldn’t cause you any added stress on your journey especially if your already suffering from anxiety use CBD before you get on the plane. If it does, then it may be worth leaving it at home. As long as you follow the advice in this article, you won’t experience any issues taking CBD abroad.
You may also like to read: CBD driving laws: Is it legal and safe?