Will Traveling With CBD Oil Land Me In Prison?

by Alfred van der Heide
woman standing at the airport security

You find yourself about to go through the airport security, suddenly you remember you’re carrying a bottle of CBD Oil…

woman standing at the airport security

the legality of CBD varies from country to country.

“Am I even allowed to travel with CBD Oil?”

Traveling with CBD Oil

CBD oil is increasingly being accepted in more and more countries around the world as a safe, non-addictive solution for various conditions including pain and anxiety – but that doesn’t mean your CBD products are welcome everywhere you travel. Whether you’re traveling to another state in your home country or halfway around the world, never take it for granted that your CBD is legal and allowed at your destination. You can also avoid getting yourself into serious legal trouble by researching all your destinations – even just countries where you’ll be stuck ‘in transit’ between flights without leaving the airport – to prevent any major hassles while you travel.

CBD Laws in the UK – Traveling Within the UK with CBD

CBD is legal in the UK, providing it contains no more than 0.2% THC. These rules apply to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As long as your CBD products clearly display their THC content on their labels, and you travel with new (unopened) products, you shouldn’t expect any problems traveling with your CBD via flight or ferry within the UK or using the Channel Tunnel, since France has the same 0.2% THC limit on CBD products as the UK.

click here to learn more about CBD Laws specifically in the UK.

Traveling from the UK to Europe with CBD products 

Travelers with CBD products that meets the legal requirements in the UK should have few difficulties travelling with their CBD to France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, Croatia, Ireland, Cyprus, Greece, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania or Romania, because (at least at the time of writing this article) these countries either have no laws concerning CBD products or allow CBD products that meet the UK limits (i.e., contain less than 0.2% THC) to pass through customs without any problems.

If you are planning to travel to Germany, Finland, Denmark, Austria or Portugal, you can still plan to take your CBD products with you, but you must obtain a prescription from a licensed medical doctor for all your CBD products before departure. Make sure to keep the doctor’s prescription letter with you to show to border agents as you pass through customs.

cbd balm

CBD balm

In Slovakia, CBD is illegal and a controlled substance, it is unwise to try to bring CBD into the country.

CBD Laws in the US – Traveling into and within the US with CBD products 

The 2018 Farm Bill made CBD from hemp legal on a federal level, allowing people to travel into and within the US with hemp-based CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC. Any CBD derived from marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Unfortunately, this recent change doesn’t mean that traveling in the US with CBD is hassle-free. 

Anything made from cannabis that has over 0.03% THC content is still illegal, and unless your particular CBD product expressly states its THC content clearly on the label, it will likely be seized and confiscated. Bottles of CBD oil which are already open are also likely to be seized because of the risk the contents could have been substituted for higher-THC products.  However going into 2020, changes can be expected.

Several states also have laws prohibiting the possession of any CBD products despite the more lenient federal law. Both Carnival Cruise Lines and Disney Cruise Lines prohibit all CBD oil on their ships. You also aren’t allowed to have any cannabis products – CBD included – with you while visiting any national park; these public lands fall under federal jurisdiction, regardless of whether they are in a state that has legalized cannabis use (hemp-derived CBD should still be allowed.)

CBD Laws in Mexico

Although reforms are currently being debated within the Mexican government, it is presently illegal to bring CBD into Mexico.

CBD products

CBD products

CBD Laws in Australia and New Zealand

Both Australia and New Zealand are incredibly strict on drugs in general, but you may still be able to bring your CBD Down Under if you notify the authorities in advance and receive their permission. You’ll need to provide a doctor’s letter and a prescription for all your CBD products that explains your medical need for CBD. Don’t ever enter Australia or NZ with large quantities of CBD; bringing anything more than a reasonable supply for three months of personal use can land you in hot water. 

You should also make sure you consider any stopovers (even just brief waits in the airport) on your journey to Australia. Flying to Australia often involves a stopover in Singapore, for example, which has some of the harshest penalties for drug possession in the world. Even if you’re only there ‘in transit,’ the narcotics officers in Singapore airport can require almost anyone to submit to a urine drug screen. A positive result could lead to your imprisonment and prosecution in a country where some cannabis offenses still carry the death penalty.

CBD Laws in Asia

  • China; Each recreational and medical marijuana, as well as hemp, are illegal, yet prescription CBD products are allowed.
  • Cambodia; Legally it is prohibited to cultivate, sell, buy, use and merely possess marijuana. Residents and tourists will nonchalantly obtain or maybe smoke marijuana publically. There is a public tolerance here and the country’s capital, Phnom Penh even has the reputation of being a global centre for cannabis. You can notice restaurants that sell marijuana and food things with cannabis as a part of the ingredients!
  • India; Almost the same situation as in Cambodia. The law prohibits marijuana, but the public tolerance for cannabis is culturally rooted in religion, particularly concerning the Hindu festival of Holi. Traditionally, this competition needs cannabis-infused milk referred to as a soft drug. As a result, many stores openly sell marijuana. Many followers of the god Shiva are users of cannabis. Shiva himself has the title of the “Lord of Bhang.”
  • In Myanmar, the law prohibits it, but it is not enforced.
  • In Thailand, CBD for medicinal use is legalised.
  • Japan is culturally tolerant of cannabis but has strict laws against it. Mere possession of marijuana in Japan leads to a most sentence of 5 years imprisonment. Despite the archaeological evidence that suggests the Japanese people have been using cannabis as part of their diet since the Stone Age.
  • In Indonesia, the law is stringent. On December 2, 2018, a British artist living in Bali was arrested for allegedly smuggling cannabis oil into the country and now faces up to 15 years in prison. Indonesian authorities caught him with 3g of medicinal cannabis oil, which he uses to treat his arthritis. Indonesian police aforesaid he received nearly 31g of cannabis oil within the mail and will face the execution if condemned. Despite the defence lawyers argued he was a drug user – after he failed a drugs test – rather than a trafficker, he still faces the trafficking charge.

CBD Laws in Egypt

It is completely illegal to travel with CBD products into Egpyt. As of May 2019, a US citizen who arranged to bring a shipment of non-psychoactive CBD oils into Egypt had finally been released from jail on ‘house arrest’ while awaiting trial, but is still facing the death penalty for importing CBD.

“But I need my CBD…”

We understand that many people rely on CBD as a natural pain reducer and/or anxiety killer (especially if they’re afraid of flying.) Some people choose to try to mail their CBD products to their destination country ahead of traveling there, while others attempt to conceal their CBD oil in false packaging. We can’t, in full conscience, recommend either method to our customers – if you just can’t bear being without CBD for the length of your holiday/work trip, it’s almost always better to work with the foreign authorities and have your doctor advocate for you, and if that fails – leave the CBD behind. Quashing your flight anxiety is not worth risking criminal charges (let alone the death penalty!) in a foreign country far from home.


You may need to consider getting a short-term prescription for a traditional prescription medication for pain or anxiety just to last you through your trip, then you can return to your healthier, natural CBD products as soon as you get home.  

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