Can you fly with CBD supplements in your luggage?

April 19, 2023

You only have to look at the recent high profile case of Brittney Griner — the US women’s basketball star detained in Russia for 10 months — to worry about travelling with CBD. While there may have been other factors at play in that specific case, and we’ll get onto those later, we also need to look in detail about the restriction and best practices around CBD. 

One of the first things to check is whether or not it is legal to consume in your destination country. Is cannabis legal in Canada? Yes, for medicinal use it is legal. Is cannabis legal in Italy? Yes, for medicinal use cannabis is legal…and so on. These types of questions are the bare basics you need to be asking before deciding to travel with CBD. Why cannabis? Because even though you and I know CBD and cannabis leaves are two different things, you will be amazed at the number of people who don’t know that. Play it safe and assume that the person who will be searching your bag at the border won’t know the difference. 

There are also key things you need to consider on your journey, and it’s just simple questions like is cannabis legal in New York (yes) if that’s where you’re travelling to. What you need to remember is that you need to follow the individual advice of the airline, as well as the local laws and customs of any transit countries you may be passing through during the course of connecting flights. Let’s break this down step by step so we can focus on the fine details. 

The first thing to consider is whether or not the airline itself will allow you to take CBD products onboard. If they don’t, then the whole issue is a moot point and taking CBD with you on your travels is a nonstarter. Now, while we can’t provide a definitive list of the latest guidelines for every airline, there are a few key things to consider and look into further. 

Firstly, what form are you taking the CBD in? The reason we say this is that while some airlines will have no issue with you taking capsules or tablets that contain CBD, they may have restrictions on the amount and volume of liquid you’re able to take in the hold or in your hand luggage. Vaping is another issue that also needs to be handled with care. The electronic nature of vapes means they have been banned or prohibited by some airlines at certain times. This means that even if the vape cartridges are legal for carry on the airline, the actual vaping device itself will not be allowed.

Some airlines will impose blanket bans on the carrying of vaping devices, while others will only allow them to be carried in the hold, preventing you from having access to them during the course of your flight. The simplest way to address these issues is to connect with the airline directly prior to ordering your tickets. You can also ask to be informed of any changes to their policies in the lead up to your departure. If in doubt, ask politely and confidently for clarification and make sure you don’t leave it to your gut instinct. 

Something else to consider is if you’re passing through any transit countries on your way to your final destination.

A number of people have fallen victim on flights between the UK and Asia by changing in the Middle East, for example. These countries have a very different culture to our own and much less tolerant of anything they deem to be even loosely associated with illegal drugs. The key point here is that even though you may only be passing through the airport, you are still stepping foot in their country for a period of time. This means that you have to abide by the same rules, laws and customs as you would if you were taking your entire vacation there. 

Once again, if you’re in doubt, contact the right person for information. While it may be tempting to google information, we cannot stress enough how, in these types of cases, it’s so important to make sure you have the very latest and most current information at your disposal. These types of policies can be changed quickly in countries around the world and are unlikely to make the mainstream press here in the UK. Just because you can’t see that CBD is banned in your transit country doesn’t mean it is allowed. In fact, we advise a stance that says if you can’t see where it’s explicitly permitted, assume it’s banned and leave it at home. Only then can you be 100% sure that you’re not going to fall foul of the rules and incur the penalties and disruption to your trip that will almost certainly follow. 

When you’re looking into these types of issues it may be tempting to throw in the towel and decide that you’re going to leave your UK CBD products at home and buy something locally. While this may sound like the low-stress solution, how will you know that what you’re buying is something you should actually be putting into your body? The answer is that unless you find a brand in advance who is as stringent and trustworthy as we are, you’re unlikely to have much success when picking one at random off a crowded store shelf. 

The key here is to do your research in advance and look for a CBD brand that has all the same checks and balances in place as we do. Only then will you be able to sleep with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have everything covered and nothing untoward is entering into your body. Here’s a quick rundown of the key things you need to look out for: 

  • Independent third party testing that’s conducted by experts who continually assess the origin, potency and purity of the CBD you hold in your hand 
  • Individualised results that allow you to change the way you approach health and wellness by looking at the specific results of supplements, rather than standard generic results for the product range 
  • Ethical origin accreditations that give you the peace of mind that everyone involved in the growing, harvesting and processing has been paid a fair wage for their hard work 
  • Natural and organic farming practices that show you there’s nothing synthetic or unwanted entering your body when there shouldn’t be 

By taking your time to do your research well in advance, you can make sure that you find the right product when you get to your destination. Ideal if you feel like no one is forthcoming enough with the information you need to make an informed decision. 

Final thoughts 

Being cautious and careful is always the way to go when crossing international borders. If you’re in the slightest doubt about whether or not you should be carrying your CBD supplements with you, leave them at home and seek a safe and certified alternative. Perfect when you want to sleep with the peace of mind that your holiday will be one to remember for all the right reasons. 

Back to Blog