Now the roadmap for leaving lockdown is laid out, many of us are dreaming of the holidays we might soon be able to have. But can you take CBD oil abroad with you?
The short answer is, it depends where you go and who you fly with. Whilst CBD is legal in the UK, this isn’t the case worldwide. We explain why and whether you can take CBD oil abroad in more detail below.
First of all, it is important to understand what CBD oil is and how it differs from similar sounding products. These differences change the use and legality of the product.
Let us start with the plant: hemp. Hemp is a type of cannabis plant which contains less than 0.2% of the psychoactive chemical THC, and is therefore legal in the UK. Both hemp oil (also known as hempseed oil) and CBD oil are extracted from the hemp plant, but they differ in their make up and uses.
Hemp oil contains very low levels of CBD as the oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. Whilst there appears to be nourishing benefits to hempseed oil, it will not deliver benefits which are specific to CBD interaction in the body.
CBD oil, on the other hand, is extracted from the flowers and seeds of the hemp plant where CBD is concentrated. Sativa is one of three Cannabis varieties that are high in CBD and low in THC. Studies indicate that CBD oil has wide ranging benefits to wellbeing. In particular, CBD appears to have potential for pain relief, as an anti-inflammatory, to tackle anxiety and depression, and to aid sleep. CBD research is still in its infancy and still requires large scale studies before it can be medically proven.
Medical cannabis, on the other hand, contains significant amounts of both CBD and THC. It is only legal to possess this in the UK if you have been prescribed it by a specialist doctor.
CBD is legal in a large number of countries including the UK. But CBD is not legal worldwide.
Adding to the complexity, the threshold for tolerated THC amounts differs from country to country. In the UK, CBD products are allowed to contain a trace of THC up to 0.2%. In the US this tolerated amount is 0.3%. In Sweden they are stricter, only allowing only 0.1% THC in CBD products.
These nuanced rules, coupled with the fact that not all CBD sellers can be trusted to provide exactly what they say is in the bottle, we suggest the following:
Alternative Airlines provides a list of countries you can take CBD to. However, we feel it is always worth double checking with the customs department of your destination, in case the situation has changed.
Do not start something new just before or during your holiday.
If you are looking to use CBD to calm your nerves on a flight, it is best to try it well in advance of stepping onto the plane.
Try it at home first in case you experience side effects. Although uncommon, the known side effects are dry mouth, fatigue, dysphoria, light-headedness and mild stomach upset. Learn more about side effects and misconceptions about CBD in our blog.
Another benefit of getting used to CBD at home first is that different people require different strengths. Too little and you may not feel the benefit, too much and you may start experiencing a side effect. Give yourself time to try CBD and find the right strength for you. We always recommend using the lowest strength first and slowly increasing until you find your optimum amount. It can take some people a few weeks before they see noticeable benefits.
Learn more in our ‘Which CBD oil for me’ blog.
Always talk to your doctor before taking CBD. CBD is not the answer for everyone, and it could have interactions with other medications you are taking.