Is CBD Legal?

People all over the world enjoy CBD for its therapeutic and medical properties. However, in most parts of the world, CBD remains a controlled substance. 

In the United States, possession, distribution, and traveling with CBD products are legal for the most part. However, this legal status is mostly contextual and highly nuanced. 

Worse still, domestic and international travel with CBD products is very complicated. Recently, traveling with CBD oil became legal in the US. But when traveling internationally, you might want to pause and think: is CBD legal in all countries? Moreover, can you even take CBD oil on a plane? 

The fact of the matter is that CBD laws are different not only for all countries but even across various states within the US. 

If you want to avoid any unfortunate run-ins with the law, his article will help you understand the difficult question: Is CBD legal

What is Cannabidiol (CBD)

There are hundreds of naturally occurring chemical compounds in a cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids. One of the most well-known cannabinoids is known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the intoxicating effect— the “high”— that is most often associated with cannabis. 

However, there are many non-psychoactive cannabinoids, Cannabidiol being one of them. 

The reason why there is so much recent discourse surrounding CBD boils down to its therapeutic and anti-inflammatory properties. 

These days, CBD is usually supplied as an oil. CBD oil is an extract that contains only CBD (for the most part). This is not to be confused with medical marijuana that does contain high amounts of THC. 

So, here’s the million-dollar question: if CBD isn’t psychoactive, it should be legal, right? 

Theoretically, yes. However, the legal status of CBD is a little more nuanced than that. 

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CBD occupies a legal gray area in the United States. To understand the legal status of CBD more comprehensively, we must unravel how CBD is made and sold. 

Hemp Vs Marijuana 

Hemp and marijuana are two different variants of the cannabis plant. The difference lies in their respective THC percentages. Generally, hemp plants have less than 0.3% THC, whereas marijuana has more than 0.3% THC by composition. 

Now, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. For context, this is the same Schedule as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Strange, right? 

Stanger, still, is the fact that even hemp was a Schedule I substance until very recently. At the legislative level, this meant that all cannabis varieties were illegal for recreational or medical use across the country. As of 2021, recreational marijuana is legal in only 17 US states. 

The 2018 Farm Bill 

In 2018, former President Trump signed the Agriculture Improvement Act, otherwise known as the Farm Bill. Under this Act, Hemp was no longer a Schedule I substance. So, what implications does this have for CBD? 

Marijuana-derived CBD is still generally illegal in the United States. However, hemp-derived CBD is actually legal in most US states, as long as the hemp plant:

  • Contains less than 0.3% THC
  • Is grown by a properly licensed grower
  • Adheres to shared state-federal regulations

Keep in mind that the production and distribution of CBD are heavily regulated. People seeking to purchase CBD products must acquire a medical marijuana card. 

States Where CBD Is Illegal

CBD products are legal in 47 US states. Some of these states even legalize CBD-derived hemp. However, the legal status of hemp-derived CBD remains inexplicit in the following states: 

  • Idaho
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota

One of the main implications of the 2018 Farm Bill was that the production and transportation of hemp-derived CBD were no longer restricted. In other words, CBD products could legally cross state lines.

Does this mean that you can travel with CBD? Let’s find out. 

Can You Travel With CBD Oil Domestically?

As a CBD oil lover, you may want to travel with the product to reduce anxiety and minimize distress, especially if you’re the type that gets anxious while on a plane. Moreover, you may need to take your CBD with you wherever you go if you’re using it for medical purposes. 

But before you slip your CBD oil into your luggage or carry-on bag, you need to read up on all regulations to avoid running into some serious problems.  

In the United States, CBD is 100% legal. But that doesn’t mean that you can take it with you wherever you go— at least not without a little hassle. 

The truth is that while CBD is technically legal, you will likely face many challenges while traveling with your favorite CBD product— especially on a plane.  

For years, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) banned the movement of any cannabis product within the US. However, recent legislative revisions in CBD laws enabled people to travel with hemp-derived, FDA-approved CBD oil. 

Basically, you can travel within the US with your CBD product, provided that it does not violate TSA guidelines. 

The problem is that some broad-spectrum CBD products do contain THC. While the legality of these products differs state by state, the TSA requires that you strictly adhere to their guidelines. 

Additionally, traveling with marijuana-derived CBD can have potential ramifications. The most significant issue is that many states prohibit the possession of marijuana-derived CBD. While your state might not have an issue with this, you might face a lot of problems after you cross borders.  

Can you Fly with CBD Oil?

At this point, you might be wondering: “can I bring CBD oil on a plane?” In strictly legal terms, the straightforward answer is: yes. 

According to the updated 2019 TSA guidelines, you can take CBD oil on a plane. However, the CBD product you carry must adhere to the laid down regulations. 

The most important thing to keep in mind is that the CBD product should not contain more than 0.3% THC by composition. 

Some sources claim that the product should have zero traces of THC to pass TSA screening. However, most CBD products will contain at least a little bit of THC. So, the latter claim is questionable. 

Marijuana is legal in some states, and some people prefer CBD products with more THC content. If your CBD oil is derived from marijuana or has higher THC content, do not make the mistake of carrying it with you on a plane. The TSA policy strictly prohibits this type of CBD product.

Moreover, you must adhere to the TSA flight regulations for e-cigarettes, vape pens, and liquid containers if you’re carrying these items. According to these regulations, you can only bring e-cigarettes and vape pens on the plane in your carry-on baggage. For safety reasons, they are not allowed in checked bags.

To avoid these problems altogether, you must be mindful of the source of your CBD product.

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Traveling With CBD— Tips

As you can see, traveling with CBD products can get complicated. Even if the products you carry are legal, not everyone over at the TSA can distinguish marijuana from CBD, which means that you may have to go through extra screening. 

To avoid screening delays, consider the following tips for traveling locally with CBD oil: 

  • Research carefully. You must know the content of a CBD product before you carry it. Ensure that your CBD products are tested and approved. You can do this by requesting to see its third-party lab tests or by enquiring about its certificate of analysis. 
  • Consider consumer packaged products: Law enforcement officers cannot differentiate between marijuana flower and hemp. In the past, this issue has caused a lot of confusion and unnecessary arrests. However, with consumer-packaged products like capsules, tincture oils, and gummies, you’ll bypass any misunderstandings with the law. 
  • Stick with CBD oils that are THC-free. Law enforcement agents can detect the presence of THC with their drug testing kit but may not be able to determine its quantity. That is why traveling with THC-free CBD is the best bet.

What Are CBD Benefits for Travelers?

If you use CBD for medical purposes, you obviously need to take it with you wherever you go. However, CBD benefits can extend to flight-related issues as well. 

Relief From Stress and Anxiety

Some of the primary reasons for carrying CBD oil on a plane are that it helps manage aviophobia (fear of flying), reduces traveling stress, and assists with anxiety symptoms.

Let’s be honest: taking CBD on the plane to calm your nerves is safer than drinking alcohol since alcohol can alter your behavior and even lead to dehydration.

Additionally, CBD helps in relieving pain, reduces jet lag symptoms, and acts as a natural sleep aid.

Relief From Other Flying Woes

Traveling in an airplane can impact your health. The low humidity level in the cabin may hurt or dry out your skin. This is why you might land with a puffy face or a new acne breakout, especially when you fly at a very high altitude. 

However, a CBD lotion may help hydrate your skin and prevent these flying woes.

Can You Travel Internationally With Your CBD Oil?

International regulations and laws on CBD are not congruent. Each country has its own regulations regarding cannabis products. 

If you want to travel out of the US, you’ll have to research the rules and regulations of that country. However, the drug laws are stricter in some countries, so you should err on the side of caution by leaving your CBD products back at home.

CBD is legal in almost every EU country. However, the legal THC threshold level for CBD in Europe is lower than in the US. Most EU countries require 0.2% THC concentration or less. 


France allows 0% THC isolates. However, CBD with full-spectrum extracts is illegal as it contains traces of THC.


Recreational and Medical use of cannabis and all cannabis-derived products is legal in Canada

Hence, you will not face any issues regarding CBD possession, purchase, and use once you land on Canadian soil. 


Mexico allows the use of marijuana in small amounts for recreational use. However, All CBD products with THC that are higher than 1% are illegal.

Other Countries

Luxembourg and Austria allow up to 0.3% THC. CBD is illegal in Lithuania and Slovakia, while Switzerland allows up to 1% THC.

Most Eastern and Middle-Eastern countries have yet to legalize any cannabis products— be it marijuana or hemp. Therefore, you can not bring along your CBD products if you are planning to travel to any of these countries. 


If you like to use CBD oil for medical purposes, it will bode you well to know the CBD laws on your fingertips. 

However, knowing the legal status of cannabis in your state or country isn’t enough. If you’re looking to make a trip across the state or country borders, you need to be mindful of CBD laws in the country of destination. 

Moreover, traveling with CBD products comes with its own baggage. Even if CBD is legal in your area of residence, the TSA could give you a very hard time. 

Keep in mind that CBD hasn’t been legal for that long, which is probably why the laws are so inconvenient. As they say, though, the only way from here is up. Soon enough, traveling with CBD will become much easier.

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Is CBD Legal?

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