Where can you buy CBD if you’re living abroad?

June 5, 2023

If you want to find a way to manage your health and wellness in the most effective way, we strongly recommend taking a look at CBD. Okay, it’s no surprise that we’re biassed since we run Londonderry’s most trusted CBD brand, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help without merit! To prove it to you, we’re going to provide some simple tips on how you can make sure your health and wellness stays on the right track. 

One of the biggest issues with a routine is that it’s all too easy to fall out of it when you’re travelling. Whether it’s for work or pleasure, the change in your surroundings is something that can have a big knock on your progress. Being so rigid and inflexible that you never travel, or that you do things exactly the way you do at home, will simply make you miss out on everything the world has to offer. This means that if you want to find a way to keep up your momentum you need an approach to health and wellness that adapts to your surroundings.

Where is Cannabis Legal?

While many will google things like is cannabis legal in Canada? Or go in search of answers to questions like is cannabis legal in Italy? CBD offers a far more open and easy-to-manage approach that can work in more places. Ideal if you never want to stress about questions like is cannabis legal in New York?

Our Londonderry CBD brand offers the chance to take your CBD legally and with peace of mind in any setting. This means that when you’re travelling, you can easily stay on top of your health and wellness routines. To make sure nothing is missed, and to ensure the simple things are never overlooked, we want to share a few hints and tips that no one else will introduce you to. 

The first thing to say is that you must make sure that CBD is legal in your destination country if you want to fly with it. Some countries, particularly in Asia and the Middle East will not allow anyone to take CBD and it is still criminalised there like cannabis. While we never want to criticise other countries, or to put pressure on you to take a particular path of action, we’re going to deal in this article with countries where CBD is legal. 

The U.S. is not just a great example, it’s a popular destination. While CBD is legal to buy and consume in the U.S., some airlines will have restrictions on what you can carry with you, both with respect to your carryon bags and your luggage in the hold. This means that while the destination country will have no issue with consuming CBD, getting it there may prove to be a little more difficult.

Common issues that CBD users face are restrictions on products that contain listed amounts of THC as many agents still regard it as a form of narcotic, even though it’s only present in trace amounts. This means that your CBD would likely be seized even if the airline allowed you to fly with it. Given that you could potentially face some form of detention, not just the inconvenience of being without your primary wellness product, the risk simply doesn’t seem worth it. 

Another common issue CBD users face is taking oils in liquid form through customs. There are still a range of restrictions on how much liquid you can carry in a given container on a flight. While a quick Google search will reveal that many airlines are thinking of relaxing the 100 ml rule, they are all at different stages. Getting up to date information on this complex piece of bureaucracy can be challenging at the best of times, and if you get it wrong, you’ll be the one who misses out. 

Having packages delivered from overseas to a hotel or other form of temporary address can be stressful and haphazard. Even if the company you order from is able to get the package to the right address, there’s no guarantee it’ll be accepted when it gets there. If you imagine a hotel receiving a package for a guest who they don’t have a record of, or who isn’t currently staying with them, are they likely to want to start housing packages? The chances are they will simply think there’s been an admin mistake and then the package will be returned to the sender. Again, the end result will be that you will be left without your CBD and your health and wellness routine will be out of alignment. 

A tempting solution is to try and source CBD locally, and with places like the U.S. being major CBD markets, you’re bound to find options relatively quickly. Job done? Not quite my friend, not quite…

The issue you’re going to have is that while anyone can brand some CBD and catch your eye with it, not everyone can fully test and certify what’s in the bottle. We’re not saying there are brands out there who are deliberately selling substandard products. What we are saying, however, is that you will find there are a lot of upstart brands who simply don’t know how important it is to trace the efficacy, purity and quality of every single product they put their name to. 

Simple practices and procedures that can avoid cross contamination are often missed through inexperience and tight budgets. We’re not defending it, we’re not trying to accuse any particular brand, but we do want to raise awareness of it. The problem is that it’s hard to know which brands do the right thing right the way throughout the sourcing and manufacturing process. 

Navigating the CBD Market While Traveling

To make sure you find the right solution when you’re abroad, we want to highlight a few of the key things you need to look at. The first is that you want to ensure anything you put into your body is fully third party tested. This will ensure that it’s been thoroughly looked at and checked to make sure there aren’t unwanted substances in there. The chances are there will never be anything harmful in there, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth taking the chance. If nothing else, it’s likely that corners have been cut and you’re not getting the full range of benefits from the CBD that it says you can expect from the label on the bottle. Something which is far from ideal if you’re looking to continue your health and wellness progress while you’re on your travels. 

If you want to find a way to sleep easy knowing that you’re taking the right thing, we can help advise you on more of the key markers to look for when shopping abroad. If in doubt, avoid provocative branding that seems to promise far more than the competition. You want something that’s grounded in science and focus on the health and wellness benefits in a holistic way. Anything that reads like a cure-all is likely a warning sign that the owners of the brand aren’t serious about the science that underpins everything.  If in doubt, ask the experts and look for the same level of testing as our Londonderry CBD brand offers.

Do your research

Firstly, we need to make sure you fully appreciate that CBD is legal in a number of regions in the world, and that this is likely to remain the status quo indefinitely. The Middle East, Singapore, and countries in Latin America take a much stronger stance on drugs, and supplements derived from drugs, than anywhere in the West. While it’s perfectly fair for you to think that this is wrong, shortsighted or just not opening your mind to the science around CBD, it’s also the legal reality. 

Trying to fight an entire legal system in a foreign country by bringing CBD through the border because you’re convinced that you’re in the right just isn’t a smart move. From our base here in Londonderry, and surrounded by the balanced and liberal culture of the UK, we think you should be able to take CBD wherever you go, but not everyone around the world agrees with us. Diversity of culture, religion and historical links between drugs and violent gangs all lead to differing opinions as to what to do with CBD. For many countries in the regions mentioned a little earlier, the mere fact that CBD is derived from the same plant as the illegal cannabis that gangs destroy neighbourhoods over is enough to treat it no differently. 

Why are we getting into all this? Because before we get into where you can safely and legally buy CBD on your travels, you have to be aware of the fact that there are several parts of the world where this is just a non-starter. Of course there will be black markets and illicit sellers of CBD in just about every country in the world given how big the industry has become, but how can you accurately account for what’s in the bottle when you hold it in the palm of your hand?

You can’t account for the quality of blackmarket CBD anymore than you can account for the quality of street cannabis. The best choice is always to avoid anything from the blackmarket and focus on legal sources of health and wellness in the country you’re in. If you’re somewhere that prohibits the sale of most natural substances as part of a draconian crackdown on illegal drugs and narcotics, you can still make some real progress by listening to the signals your body gives off. Cold baths, box breathing and yoga are all activities you can do without risking falling foul of local laws and customs, and without having to eat into your virtually priceless checked luggage allowance. 

Now, how about the countries where CBD is legal? The easiest solution is to carry enough CBD with you so that you don’t run out during your stay, but that’s not always possible. Luggage and fluid restrictions, unexpected extensions, and all manner of other things can quickly make even the best laid plans look poorly thought out. The key is not to worry and to make sure you can find CBD from a legitimate source. 

Many turn to online marketplaces like Amazon and select a certified and approved CBD brand, and there’s nothing wrong with that approach. Just make sure that the hotel you’re staying in allows you to have packages delivered to reception under your name. The chances are they do, but not everyone will be willing to accept your package, which could lead to unexpected delays. If in doubt, a quick ring down to the duty manager behind the desk will clear things up sooner rather than later. 

The other thing you can do is go out in search of CBD in-person, making sure not to buy CBD that exceeds a 0.2% THC concentration otherwise you won’t be allowed to fly it back into the UK when it’s time to head home. The key here is to google shops before you set out from your hotel. Not only will this save you time and effort, it will also make sure you don’t turn to a less than reputable seller because you can’t seem to find anything else. Remember, just because something is on sale doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to be putting into your body.

Check reputable sources

A little research in advance will show you where the local reputable sellers are located, which brands are trusted and certified in your new home away from home, and how to get good value for money. When you’re abroad it’s all too easy to be that little bit naive in a way you simply never would be at home. Remember, you’re someone who takes a scientific, evidence-based approach to your health and wellness, so why should you take the first bit of convincing marketing material you see at face value? You wouldn’t be at home, so let’s apply the same level of scrutiny to everything you do when furthering your health and wellness habits abroad. 

The last thing we want to say is that pre ordering your CBD supplements from our UK-based brand so they’re ready and waiting for you when you get home is a smart move you may want to consider. You’ll be able to hit the ground running by picking up where you took off before your welcome break. Exactly what you want to hear when it’s time to get back into the groove while making it all look effortless.

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. 

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