Traveling To Domestic & Foreign Countries With CBD Capsules

Since it was legalized federally in 2018 by the Farm Act, CBD has become a household name among American consumers.

UNSPLASH Andrew Neel

If you’ve been paying attention, you already know that CBD can help those who take it manage chronic pain symptoms, anxiety, insomnia, and mood disorders. It should thus come as no surprise that many CBD enthusiasts want to take their favorite herbal supplements with them when they travel.

That begs the question: how hard is it to travel with CBD capsules from and is it legal? The answers can be complicated since every U.S. state and international destination has different laws governing CBD. Most domestic travelers will have no trouble transporting their capsules, but there are a few things they should know.

Whether you plan to travel across state lines or the ocean to exotic vacation spots, you’ll find all the information you need to take your CBD capsules along without causing undue stress or legal troubles below.

Traveling With CBD in the US

In the United States, CBD is legal on the federal level as long as the product contains 0.3% or less THC. That means it’s much easier to travel with hemp-based CBD products than marijuana-derived alternatives. As long as you check the laws in the states you plan on staying in or passing through, you should be fine.

Are There States Where CBD Is Illegal?

Individual states still have the authority to outlaw cannabis-based products if they so choose. As of 2020, hemp-based products made with CBD isolates or broad-spectrum extracts that contain no THC are legal almost everywhere in the US, with very few exceptions. Idaho, Iowa, and South Dakota are the only states that have outlawed CBD completely, but some states are friendlier than others to CBD possession, sale, and use.

If you want to avoid problems with labeling or food and beverage-infused products, these are the states with the fewest CBD restrictions:

  • Alabama
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming

These states have no or very few regulations on hemp-derived CBD products. That means they’re easy to find in stores and you don’t have to worry about getting into trouble for having them. The other states fall somewhere in between on the regulatory spectrum with most outlawing CBD-infused foods and beverages and some placing restrictions on manufacturers such as registry with the state.

Can You Cross State Lines?

Since CBD is legal on a federal level, you are allowed to cross state lines with capsules, oils, tinctures, and other products as long as they are hemp-derived and contain no more than 0.3% THC. You can also fly domestically with CBD products that meet federal guidelines as long as you’ll be leaving from and arriving in states that allow CBD.

If you want to avoid any potential for trouble with the TSA, you can print out the product’s certificate of authenticity if it’s available to prove it meets federal standards.

Special Provisions for Marijuana-Based CBD

If your CBD products are marijuana-based, you’ll be much more likely to run into trouble. Only a few states have legalized recreational marijuana, and some states still won’t even let residents use marijuana-based CBD products that contain THC for medical purposes. You’re much better off using hemp-derived CBD products if you plan on traveling domestically.

Traveling Internationally With CBD Capsules

Just like each of the 50 United States has its laws governing CBD, different countries also have different rules. Some countries permit only hemp-based CBD, while others won’t allow any cannabis-derived products.

The onus always falls on travelers to familiarize themselves with local laws and regulations, so don’t assume that you can plead ignorance to get out of trouble with local authorities. Instead, you should do your research and choose destinations that are CBD-friendly if you can’t stand the thought of leaving your favorite herbal supplement at home.

Most CBD-Friendly Countries

Since today’s world is so interconnected, more countries are jumping on board with the current CBD craze all the time. Some governments are just moving faster than others to legalize or decriminalized hemp-based CBD. So far, most of North America, Europe, and Northern Asia have jumped on board, as have select countries in South America.

Asia has some of the strictest cannabis laws, but CBD is still legal in some surprising places. Japan, for example, has made cannabis possession alone a crime punishable by up to five years in prison, but CBD isolates that contain 0% THC are legal. CBD also remains illegal across all of Africa, except South Africa.

Can You Take Them on a Plane?

The problem with taking CBD on international flights is that every country has different laws. If you plan to travel from a country with legal CBD to another CBD-friendly nation, you should be fine. It’s best to take CBD capsules instead of oil or tinctures since commercial airlines restrict liquids in the cabin.

Additionally, you should print out lab results to prove that the product does not contain THC. Otherwise, just make sure it’s legal wherever you plan on getting off the plane and going through customs and border control.

Countries Where CBD Is Prohibited

If the idea of heading out on an adventure without being able to take your favorite wellness supplement along seems like it would ruin your vacation, you should only travel to CBD-friendly countries. That means you should also know where in the world CBD is prohibited.

Here’s where it’s best to avoid traveling with CBD since it remains a banned substance:

  • Africa (except for South Africa)
  • The European countries of Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, the Republic of Georgia, and Slovakia
  • South American countries including Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela
  • The Middle East (except Israel)
  • Most of Asia, including Papua New Guinea and Singapore

If one of these countries is on your bucket list, don’t worry. As CBD becomes more popular across the world, governments are changing their tune to reflect the scientific consensus that this natural herbal supplement is both harmless and non-psychoactive. Just stick with more CBD-friendly nations for now and keep an eye on the news. Chances are, the government of that bucket-list travel destination will come around, eventually.

The Bottom Line About Traveling With CBD Capsules

Traveling with CBD capsules is the safest and easiest way to ensure that you’ll be able to stay on top of your daily wellness routine or get access to your herbal supplement of choice to help you manage your symptoms.

You’re allowed to take them on domestic and international flights as long as CBD is legal both in the state or country you’re leaving and in your final destination, and you can even take them in the cabin with you.

Given that CBD can be harder to come by in some places than in others, it’s always best to stock up in advance by placing an order with a reputable online vendor and bringing a sufficient supply along to get you through your entire vacation.

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