Can You Take CBD Oil on a Plane in the UK?
Are you wondering, “Can you take CBD oil on a plane in the U.K.?” Today, more people are asking this question, as the use of legal CBD oil, also called Cannabidiol, has entered the mainstream. So many people are now legally using a wide variety of products containing CBD derived from hemp. However, on airlines, the subject can remain taboo. Confusion remains about the law in the U.K. and is far more complicated outside of Europe.
Let’s look at what to expect as you plan for your next trip. As anxiety is high due to COVID-19 and Brexit, more people want to bring along their CBD products for anxiety relief. However, you can run into real problems unless you follow the often confusing rules carefully.
Is CBD Oil Legal in the U.K.?
The short answer: Yes, EU-approved Cannabidiol (CBD) is legal in the U.K. and is not a controlled substance. Thus, you can bring CBD with you on domestic flights or into the U.K. on international flights. Nevertheless, please contact your airline and customs to ensure this holds true.
Unfortunately, the bigger picture remains confusing for many, including airlines. CBD oil is legal so long as it is made from industrial hemp, EU-approved, and contains no Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive cannabinoid. Also, the product must contain no similarly-named Cannabinol (CBN), which is another slightly psychoactive cannabinoid.
So, when bringing your CBD oil, it’s best to have a labeled and sealed bottle and a purchase invoice with a batch report to prove THC levels. If you aren’t sure, it’s probably best not to bring it, as you could run into problems at the airport.
On the other hand, there are many reputable sources for approved CBD oils, and most sellers will assist you with any questions as you plan for your flight. As always, back up their statement with your own research, and ask authorities questions beforehand.
Varying Limits for THC
The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 designates THC and CBN as controlled substances. Notably, there are only trace amounts of THC in industrial hemp plants. So long as your CBD oil contains the trace amount of no more than 0.2% THC, it will likely be acceptable inside the U.K.
However, when traveling elsewhere, it can quickly become more complicated. Other countries have specific thresholds, such as 0.3% in the United States. In Italy, the percentage can be up to 0.6%, while in Switzerland, it can be as high as 1%.
Next, we’ll look at why so many people are using CBD, and get into more details about flights, including those outside the U.K.
Does CBD Oil Work?
Over 1.3 million people in the U.K. have used natural CBD for a wide range of uses, from anxiety to insomnia, to depression, pain, and inflammation. The number of uses is staggering. In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued an optimistic report that CBD might provide relief for a wide variety of health issues, from cancer to Alzheimer’s’ disease.
Studies and Polls Show Promise
Human studies have found that CBD oil, combined with illegal THC, can be effective in treating pain from arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Another study indicated CBD oil might encourage weight loss naturally.
Our anonymous weblink survey found that out of 500 anonymous users, most reported that CBD oils helped “a little” or “a great deal” in easing anxiety. So, there is much promise, though there remains little to no detailed research findings as of yet.
While the potential is exciting, the medical benefits remain, for the time being, unofficial. Thus, products containing CBD can’t make claims of medical benefits. Instead, they sell as a natural remedy, for nutritional supplements, for vaping, lubrication, creams, and other non-medical uses.
Can I Carry CBD Oil On the Plane In the U.K.?
Due to liquid laws, any liquid in your carry-on luggage must be 100ml or less. But, there is an exception if you have a doctor’s prescription. Paradoxically, CBD isn’t for medicinal use, but doctors may prescribe it. To further complicate the subject, the U.K. laws are subject to rapid change as we prepare for Brexit. Also, airline security may have different ideas. So, a prescription may or may not allow you to carry a larger container onto the plane.
As always, it’s better to ask your airline and customs in advance. Otherwise, only bring a smaller container. Most items are of the 10ml size and easy to store inside unopened in a sealed plastic bag to avoid spills. As noted, bring along the purchase invoice to verify the contents.
If you are considering using CBD while you fly, it might be better to bring along gum, sweets, tea, or other edibles containing CBD. Like oil, you must ensure the edibles you carry have no more than 0.2% THC. Also, there shouldn’t be any medical claims made on the packaging.
Or, you can store your CBD in the hold luggage as long as it follows airline requirements. Keep in mind, once you leave most of the European Union, any CBD could become illegal, depending on your destination and changeover flights.
Even if your changeover flight lasts only a few minutes, you could end up detained due to local laws.
Airline Security Hassles and Holdups
Unfortunately, Airport personnel are not always well-versed about CBD. Inside the E.U., this most likely won’t be a problem. Still, you could run into security teams who may potentially want to inspect or test your CBD oil. It can be a hassle, so again, check with the airline to be sure before arriving.
Flying Outside the European Union with CBD Oil
Now comes the much more dangerous part: International travel with CBD oil. It’s generally not a good idea, and there are some places where it can be disastrous. Perhaps the worst-case applies to Egypt, where an American citizen could have faced the death penalty for importing organic hemp seed oil in 2010. Fortunately, mass protests led to his release before he faced hanging.
Like Egypt, it’s best to avoid flights to Arab countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, or Dubai. Also, never travel with CBD to South East Asian destinations like Thailand, Singapore, or Malaysia. Similarly, leave out the CBD if you travel to South Korea, Japan, Russia, or Australia. Lastly, Slovakia’s laws currently hold CBD oils as illegal drugs.
In the latter case, laws are rapidly changing as Australia moves to legalize CBD, but currently, it’s not advisable to try bringing CBD on flights. As in Germany, Denmark, and Poland, CBD oils must be doctor prescribed.
Carrying CBD Oil to The United States
Recent law changes by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the U.S. have made it possible to carry legal hemp and derivatives. However, it’s also probable to run into confusion since the laws are still very new. Your experience will depend on the training of the security at the specific airport at which you arrive. In some cases, law enforcement could come into play if questions arise.
Wherever you go, you must carefully check with local airports, authorities, and customs to prevent you from running into problems for carrying CBD oil. You are subject to the local laws wherever you go, even as they are continually changing.
What Will Happen Due to Brexit?
Due to Brexit, the future for the growing CBD industry remains uncertain as laws and regulations will change in unknown ways. The departure from the European Union could go in either direction, bringing more or fewer regulations. Some industry leaders think it may open doors for the edibles industry.
After the transition, it’s possible regulations for flights crossing into or leaving the U.K. could change. So, it’s best to play it safe. Carry a small 10ml bottle, or bring along CBD edibles or capsules. This way, you’re less likely to draw attention and encounter problems.