Everything you need to know about flying with CBD—legally—and the best CBD products for travelers. Many of us can not imagine going on vacation or a work trip without our daily dose of CBD. But is putting CBD in your travel bag a good idea? Generally, yes, you can bring CBD on a plane so long as the THC content is under a certain percent, and the place you're traveling to allows
A Guide to Traveling With CBD
Apprehensive travelers are turning to CBD for its calming effects. But crossing borders with it can be tricky. We break down the rules for you—and the best products to try.
Travelers are using CBD to calm nerves, treat jet lag, ease muscle aches, and more.
Photo by The Nix Company/Unsplash
As travel makes its roaring comeback and you return to the friendly skies or the open road, you may also feel a little trepidation after so much time grounded. Some nervous travelers are taking CBD, or cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating cannabis plant extract, for its calming effects. Others use it to treat jet lag or ease muscle aches.
But can you fly with CBD oil or gummies? Here’s what you need to know about traveling with CBD—plus, some of our favorite products for travelers.
Can you travel with CBD?
According to the TSA, CBD products that contain less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), standard for CBD derived from hemp as opposed to CBD from cannabis, are permitted aboard aircraft in checked or carry-on bags. Keep in mind that marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products with more than 0.3 percent THC are illegal based on federal laws and should not be brought on airplanes. The TSA website maintains that passenger screening is aimed at detecting potential threats and keeping everyone safe and not in the business of searching for illegal substances, but that said, the laws are pretty clear and breaking them is ill-advised.
Although CBD has been legal on a federal level since 2018, keep in mind that CBD regulations vary from state to state. For example, it’s perfectly legal to travel with CBD products containing less than 0.3 percent of THC in the state of Vermont, but in Kansas, only THC-free CBD products are considered legal. And even this is confusing as all forms and combinations of CBD appear on the state’s list of banned substances. Before you bring CBD products into a new state, it’s best to research local regulations.
Traveling internationally with CBD is even trickier. Although Canada legalized cannabis in 2018, it’s still against the law to cross the Canadian border with cannabis and cannabis-containing products—even if you have a medical marijuana license. Likewise, traveling abroad to anywhere in the EU prohibits the possession of cannabis and products containing cannabis, regardless of the laws in the country you’re visiting. And if you decide to purchase cannabis in one EU nation—say, the Netherlands—the safest option is to leave it behind if your European adventures have you hopping from country to country.
The benefits of CBD for travelers
With the topline legal stuff out of the way, let’s dive into the benefits and uses of CBD for travelers.
“The literature studying the effects of cannabis on anxiety is fairly robust,” says Timothy Byars, director of Medical Cannabis Programs at Pacific College of Health and Science. Studies, of which there are over a hundred now, show promising evidence that CBD may reduce anxiety.
But while CBD’s potential to help stressed or anxious travelers is fairly well known, Byars says it may also promote wakefulness, at least at lower doses. CBD edibles and oils promoting energy or focus are on the rise, though research has not yet gone deep in studying CBD’s stimulating effects. Nonetheless, we’d be remiss to ignore CBD’s potential to help weary, jet-lagged travelers combat fatigue and exhaustion. This writer, for one, has found CBD products promising “energy” or “focus” to be a better bet than downing yet another cup of coffee when the inevitable jet lag strikes. And Boston-based musician Tedros McCrary says he’s found CBD useful on trips out west when traveling requires adjusting to a different time zone. “It’s subtle but effective,” he says.
Best CBD products for travelers
Whether you’re looking for a way to relax in flight or focus on a jam-packed-making-up-for-lost-time travel agenda, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our picks for the best CBD products for travelers. Each one contains less than 0.3 percent of THC, so they’re legal to travel with on domestic flights within the United States.
This CBD chocolate bar is made with 72 percent dark chocolate.
Courtesy of Green Element
1. Best CBD chocolate bar: Green Element CBD Chocolate Bar
- Buy now: $15 for a three-ounce bar, greenelementcbd.com
- CBD per serving: 25 mg
- THC per serving: 0.0133 percent
This bean-to-bar Madagascan chocolate bar is so tasty it may be hard to stop at one square. But recalling the industry adage shared by Byars, “Start low and go slow,” we recommend sticking to the suggested one square dose, which contains 25 mg CBD from full spectrum hemp extract. Intended to relieve all kinds of traveler ailments from inflammation to anxiety and sleep issues, the preservative-free chocolate bar is a nice alternative if you’re not into gummies or oils.
Wyld CBD gummies are made with real fruit.
Courtesy of Wyld
2. Best CBD gummy: Wyld Blackberry CBD gummies
- Buy now: $35 for 20 gummies, wyldcbd.com; cbd.co
- CBD per serving: 25 mg
- THC per serving: THC free
If you care about authentic (read: not artificial) flavors, you’d be hard-pressed to find a tastier gummy than what this artisanal Oregon brand is producing. Redolent of the Pacific Northwest’s bounty, the blackberry CBD gummies, made from hemp containing zero THC, are especially delicious—and effective. A general-use CBD bite, a single dose can be taken before takeoff or after a long hike when your muscles need some TLC.
3. Best CBD honey: Red Belly Honey Snap Packs
- Buy now: $15 for a five-pack, redbellyhoney.com
- CBD per serving: 1.8 mg
- THC per serving: 0.3 percent or less
These travel-ready packs containing honey infused with pure CBD get our seal of approval both for their flavor profile—floral, fruity, and earthy—and their chill impact on tired limbs, sore joints, and racing minds. With so many gummies on the market, it can be easy to forget that not everyone has a taste for the candy-like item. What’s more: This honey can be consumed on its own, stirred into a beverage, or drizzled on toast or crackers to elevate even the most basic airplane food.
4. Best CBD for newbies: Eco Therapy CBD Mints Relax
- Buy now: $40 for 30 mints, ecotherapycbd.com; cbd.co
- CBD per serving: 10 mg
- THC per serving: THC free
A good option for someone just dipping their toes into the wide world of cannabinoids, these mints are beautifully packaged—we almost feel soothed by the packaging alone—and discreet. Containing just a handful of ingredients, including green tea extract, chamomile, and ginger, each mint has 10 mg of CBD and its effects are subtle yet successful in bringing stress levels down a few notches.
In addition to CBD, this oil contains melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that regulates sleep and can also be taken to fight insomnia and jet lag.
Courtesy of Highline Wellness
5. Best CBD for jet lag (falling asleep): Highline Wellness CBD Night Oil
- Buy now: $40 for a one-ounce bottle, highlinewellness.com
- CBD per serving: 16.6 mg
- THC per serving: THC free
We’ll admit we were initially drawn to this product because of its attractive, streamlined packaging and design, but we stayed enamored after administering a dropper before bed on our first night back in a hotel in an unfamiliar bed and proceeding to fall into a deep, relaxing slumber. The recommended dose’s 5 mg of melatonin no doubt played a part in the oil lulling us to sleep, but it’s hard not to also feel grateful for the groggy-free mornings likely aided by the oil’s hemp-derived CBD.
6. Best CBD for jet lag (staying awake): Mindset Wellness Focus Gummies
- Buy now: $52 for 50 gummies, mindsetwellness.com
- CBD per serving: 10 mg
- THC per serving: 0.011 percent
Truth be told, we’re into all of Mindset Gummies’ categories: happy, calm, rest, recovery, beauty, focus, but if we had to choose just one for our travel needs now, we’d go with focus. Containing terpene pinene, which may aid in memory and stoke creative juices, these blueberry gummies are a great option for travelers with packed itineraries who struggle with jet-lag related brain fog. Plus, pinene—a terpene found in pine, rosemary, and basil—may also help relieve pain.
7. Best topical CBD: Healing Rose Lemon Ginger Menthol 4X Herbal Salve
- Buy now: $80 for a 2.25-ounce jar, thehealingroseco.com
- CBD per serving: 4.76 mg, based on a pea-sized amount
- THC per serving: 0.3 percent or less
Travel often requires a certain amount of stamina. Whether it’s a long, international flight, a multiday road trip, or an interstate Amtrak journey, the inevitability of sore muscles and joints is ever present. While many ingestible CBD products purport to reduce inflammation and provide relief for arthritis or other chronic pain issues, we love the swift relief of a topical salve. And a little of this product, made in Massachusetts by a women-led company, goes a long way.
>> Next: How to Calm Your Travel Anxiety
Flying with CBD – is it legal?
Many of us are used to having CBD by our side every day.
So, it is no surprise that we want to take it with us when we travel. Yet, the issue of travelling with CBD is rather complicated.
The blame falls on the fact that the legal status of CBD across the globe is not unified. Different countries have different laws and standards when it comes to CBD, even within the EU.
Figuring out whether it is safe to bring your favourite CBD product with you when you travel might feel like solving a Rubik’s cube.
Luckily, you have us!
The basics of travelling with CBD products
Many of us forget that CBD, while non-intoxicating, does come from the cannabis plant.
CBD is not considered a drug in many European countries, but this was not the case a few years ago.
Every country around the world has its own cannabis policies, which means that they each have their own approach to CBD. Policies can even vary within a country, as is the case in the US where every state has their own cannabis laws.
Travelling within your home country with CBD should not be a problem. As long as you bought it legally, you will be fine.
International travel is where things can get tricky.
Is international travel with CBD products legal?
The essential rule about international travel with CBD products is that it doesn’t matter where you come from, but it does matter where you’re going.
The product you purchased legally back home might be considered illegal in your final destination.
Telling airport security staff that you bought it legally in your country of origin won’t get you far. It is simply irrelevant. The only thing that matters are the laws of your destination.
Therefore, always check the CBD laws in the country you travel to. And remember that this also applies to places where you may have a layover.
CBD products on flights within the EU
Flying with CBD between EU countries should not be a problem if you travel with CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD products.
If you are bringing full-spectrum CBD on board, you must remember that each EU country has its own rules and regulations regarding the allowed and tolerated THC content.
Even though the European Parliament authorised and raised the permitted THC levels in industrial hemp from 0,2% to 0,3%, it does not necessarily mean you can travel with CBD products containing up to 0,3% of THC.
That’s why you must check what THC content is allowed in CBD products in the country you are travelling to.
Flying with CBD outside of the EU
Things get even more complicated when you cross the EU border.
For example, the UK only allows CBD isolates and broad-spectrum products with no detectable levels of THC.
International travel to places other than the UK becomes so difficult you might be better off simply leaving your CBD at home.
If you accidentally bring a CBD product to another EU country that is not allowed, the most likely (and worst-case) scenario is that your CBD product will be confiscated. Outside of the EU, you may risk being rejected at the border or, in the absolute worst-case scenario, even face some jail time.
When you travel from the EU to a non-EU country, on top of checking the rules in regards to CBD, it is also important to check the rules about bringing cannabis and hemp products in and out of the country you are travelling to.
For example, even though recreational cannabis is legal in Canada, bringing any cannabis products (including CBD) into the country is not.
Countries to avoid travelling to with CBD products
There are some places where travelling with CBD can get you into real trouble. For example, if you’re visiting Africa, you should know that bringing non-medical CBD with you is not allowed. The only exception is South Africa.
It is also safe to assume that countries with stringent anti-drug laws, like Saudi Arabia or the UAE, may not be very keen on tourists bringing cannabis-derived products into their countries.
What are the rules for bringing CBD on a plane?
Here’s everything you need to know about flying with CBD.
You can carry CBD products in both check-in and hand luggage.
You can pack CBD into any of your travel bags. Remember that CBD drops or cosmetics in your carry-on bag will have to comply with the same rules as any other liquids. This means that within the EU, any liquid CBD products you have cannot be in a container bigger than 100 ml. This includes cosmetics.
Any CBD products you bring on board need to be in its original packaging.
Do not put your CBD gummies in a smaller jar or place CBD oil in a tiny bottle. No airports have the equipment necessary to test your CBD products on the spot. Therefore, airport employees need to gather all the information they can from the packaging.
The product label has to include info on the THC content.
Always make sure the original packaging has info on the THC content of your product. If the supplement you are using does not mention its THC content on the label, you will be better off leaving it at home.
Bring lab certificates and receipts.
When it comes to cannabis products, nobody will believe what you say unless you have documents to back up your claims. So bring the certificates from labs (available on the producers’ website) and the receipt confirming you purchased it from a legitimate producer.
Check the origin of your CBD product.
Make sure that you only bring CBD made from industrial hemp. You can not fly with CBD extracted from Marijuana or from plants grown at home.
Bring your prescription.
If you are using prescribed medical CBD, make sure you have your prescription in case you need to prove that is the case. Additionally, we recommend you contact your airline and ask for their policy on carrying medical cannabis products.
Benefits of having CBD with you on a flight
Now that you know the rules and hurdles of flying with CBD, you might ask yourself – is it worth it?
There are many benefits of flying with CBD. If you get a bit anxious about flying, you might enjoy an extra dose of CBD.
It can also make it easier to rest before you hit your destination. Who doesn’t love a good nap on the plane?
Additionally, it has been shown that CBD works best when taken regularly and at the same time of the day. Missing out on your daily doses might make you feel a bit off, and that’s most certainly not how you want to feel when travelling.
How much CBD oil can you take on a plane?
Remember that if you bring CBD in a liquid form and take it on board, you need to respect the rules on liquids in hand language. In the EU, this means 100ml per product max. The same applies to cosmetics.
Can You Travel with CBD? Yes, With Some Caveats
More information about the remarkable benefits of CBD (also known as cannabidiol) over the years has catapulted this alternative medicine into the mainstream world. When it comes to travel, CBD has proven to be especially popular. It’s been touted for its benefits including helping alleviate the fear of flying to nixing anxiety from travel, as well as helping to eliminate pain and inflammation and more. Naturally, one of the most-asked questions regarding CBD is if people can travel with it.
What is CBD?
CBD is a chemical derived from cannabis. Although both CBD and THC are derived from cannabis, THC creates a “high” or euphoric effect, while CBD does not.
CBD is used to help control seizures, anxiety, pain, Parkinson and Crohn’s diseases and more. Consumers can purchase CBD as a flower to smoke, cartridge for vaping, as well as tinctures, gummies, supplements, lotions, patches, and more.
Is CBD legal?
First, you’ve got to understand the difference between hemp and marijuana—both of which come from the cannabis sativa plant. They both produce CBD. With hemp, the amount of THC is virtually non-existent; it’s another story when it comes to marijuana. In the US, marijuana is federally illegal because of the high THC percentage (though more and more states are decriminalizing it).
In 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act was passed, making hemp-derived CBD products legal on a federal level. It also removed hemp as a Schedule I substance and moved it to an “agricultural commodity.”
So, if the CBD is coming from hemp, then it is legal federally. In addition, the CBD must contain less than .3 percent THC. Hemp-derived CBD can be transported freely across state lines so long as it meets the criteria passed in the bill.
That being said, although CBD is legal on a federal level, not all states consider it so. For example, it’s fully illegal in Idaho (only legal with 0 THC and from mature stalks of plants), Nebraska, and South Dakota as of 2022. And, it’s only legal for medicinal use in Alabama (must contain less than .3% THC), Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee (must contain less than .6% THC), Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The benefits of traveling with CBD
CBD can be particularly beneficial to people when they travel.
For starters, since CBD is known to ease anxiety, it can help people with travel anxiety. It’s been shown to lessen the body’s response to stress. In addition, it also quiets the part of the brain that registers threats, making flying a more relaxing experience. For those who have never taken CBD before, make sure to use it a few weeks before flying to see how the body reacts.
Aside from CBD helping with travel anxiety, there are other benefits as well. Lotion can help alleviate dry skin, especially when flying. It helps nourish the skin and prevents dry skin, cracks and more. Plus, if inflammation and joint pain are an issue, it can also provide relief when applied topically.
Finally, CBD can help with jetlag, too. Take some at night to relax and unwind before going to sleep (you can also read our tips for sleeping on a plane).
Choosing the right CBD for traveling
What CBD is the right one for you when it comes to traveling?
If you’re looking for a slight euphoric feeling, grab the full spectrum CBD. While the THC percentage is still normally less than .3 percent, it’s made with many other cannabinoid compounds and low levels of THC. While it’s not enough to get someone “high,” it can give a euphoric effect. Because it contains terpenes from the cannabis plant, it also may smell like the plant. Skip the full spectrum CBD if you have to take drug tests, as it could show up.
Broad-spectrum CBD delivers all the calming effects of CBD, minus the euphoric feeling. Like full-spectrum, it contains other cannabinoid compounds, but has zero (or only traces) of THC. So, in a place where THC is illegal, this is the CBD to choose.
For nearly instant gratification to combat anxiety, tinctures/oils are the way to go as they get to your bloodstream the quickest. However, this wears off the quickest of all delivery methods, so you’ll need to take it every four to six hours.
CBD gummies are easy to dose and provide relief to your entire body since they are metabolized and spread throughout your entire body. Plan for when you want the gummies to kick in, as they take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours to feel the effects. Most single servings last up to 12 hours.
You’ll want to use a CBD cream or lotions, balms, patches or salves for aches and inflammation, as well as for dry skin.
Because vaping isn’t allowed on planes, it’s probably best to leave that at home or only bring it out once you’ve arrived at your destination (assuming it’s legal where you’re traveling).
No matter which method of CBD you choose, always check the label to make sure the percentage of THC is lower than .3 percent for traveling to destinations where it’s legal to use.
Can you bring CBD on a plane?
Generally, yes, you can bring CBD on a plane so long as the THC content is under that magic .3 percent. If you’re carrying a liquid or cream form of CBD, it must be less than three ounces if you want to take it in your carryon. If you’re traveling with a CBD vape pen, then it can only go in your carryon, not your checked baggage.
When traveling, know the state laws for your destination and understand that, ultimately, it’s up to the TSA officer to let you through with CBD. Sometimes they get it wrong, and will confiscate your CBD. A handful of states only allow CBD for medicinal use. It is illegal to have CBD in Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Internationally, always check the laws before departure. CBD is illegal in countries including Singapore, Bolivia and Armenia, as well as most countries in Africa (except South Africa).