The legality of hemp CBD oil in the UK is clear: it’s completely legal if it contains less than 0.2% THC.
If you are planning to go on an international flight in the near future, it is worth knowing about the legalities of CBD supplements in the countries you’re visiting. We recommend you look at what the law has to say about CBD before you travel. You can find a wealth of information on each country’s embassy website.
In the meantime, we’ve done some groundwork to save you the effort. Here is our complete guide for travelling from the UK with CBD oil.
Taking CBD oil on a plane in Europe
Just like the UK, the European Union views ‘hemp that’s grown for fibre’ as legal, as long as it stays within the 0.2% THC threshold. However, unlike the UK, the limits don’t necessarily mean you can take your hemp CBD oil to any destination in Europe. In terms of domestic legal policies of member nations (which vary enormously) and the fact the EU holds very little sway over them, we recommend practising precaution whenever you travel with CBD and purchase it abroad. If it’s over the 0.2% threshold, you are going to put yourself in a risky situation.
Which European countries allow you to bring CBD oil with you?
The following countries are those that allow hemp CBD oil with 0.2% THC content or lower, have no laws regarding CBD extracts, or allow for the medical/recreational use of cannabis, which means there shouldn’t be an issue getting it through customs.
France: The same as the UK (0.2% maximum)
Spain: No limits enforced (0.2% THC maximum for domestic hemp cultivation)
The Netherlands: Cannabis is completely decriminalised due to their Tolerance Policy
Italy: They have 3 times the maximum UK limit at 0.6%, which means buying it out there and bringing it back home is unwise
Belgium: No limits due to it being decriminalised for personal use
Poland: No current policy, which means it’s legal for now. We still recommend you check before travelling
Switzerland: Cannabis products containing less than 1% THC can be sold and purchased legally
Sweden: Entirely legal due to hemp not being considered cannabis
Croatia: Due to widescale hemp production, there’s no limit regarding CBD
Ireland: The same as the UK (0.2% maximum)
Cyprus: The same as the UK (0.2% maximum)
Greece: The same as the UK (0.2% maximum)
Germany: The same as the UK (0.2% maximum)
Slovenia: The same as the UK (0.2% maximum)
Bulgaria: In 2020, Bulgaria became the first EU country to allow retail sales of food products and supplements containing CBD, despite the ongoing discussion within the EU about the classification of CBD as a Novel food.
Hungary: The same as the UK (0.2% maximum)
Czech Republic: Slightly more than the UK with 0.3% THC
Estonia: As it’s not considered a psychotropic, CBD is legal
Latvia: Legal due to no regulations
Lithuania: Legal due to no regulations
Romania: Legal due to no regulations
Which countries have stricter CBD oil regulations?
People are often surprised to learn which European countries allow CBD use and possession without a prescription.
Austria: Medical prescription only
Denmark: Medical prescription only
Finland: Medical prescription only
Portugal: Medical prescription only
Slovakia: Illegal and listed as a ‘group 2’ psychoactive narcotic
As medical science continues to promote the benefits of hemp CBD oil and tolerances change, so will the restrictions.
What about CBD oil regulations outside of Europe?
All airports in the USA are controlled by federal law. For this reason, state-specific laws on CBD and cannabis do not apply in airports. For instance, if you fly from one state where CBD is legal to one where it’s not, you’re breaking the law. It’s the same for people arriving on international flights. Laws in the USA also vary massively on a state-by-state basis, which means transporting CBD oil can get complicated very quickly. Even states that have open laws regarding cannabis can be far stricter when it comes to CBD-infused products.
It’s worth noting that:
- Any CBD oil over 0.3% is classified as marijuana (which is illegal at a federal level).
- The product will be seized unless it specifically states that it has the legal amount of THC content.
- Any opened bottles will be confiscated due to the potential of substitution for a higher concentrate.
- CBD products are only legal if they are derived from hemp. Marijuana-based oils are illegal.
- Hemp is considered a cannabis plant under 0.3% THC.
- Marijuana is any product over 0.3% THC.
Cannabidiol became legal for recreational and medical use by the federal Cannabis Act in Canada in October 2018. As of August 2019, CBD products can be sold by authorised retailers or federally licensed medical companies, which limits their access to the general public.
A legislation amendment in 2017 changed CBD from a Schedule 9 drug to a Schedule 4 drug, this means that it is legally available in Australia.
The Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Act was passed in December 2018, which declassified cannabidiol as a controlled drug. That said, it is a prescription medicine under the Medicines Act with a set of specific restrictions.
Travelling With Hemp CBD Oil – Our Conclusion
There are various sensational headlines about arrests connected to CBD oil in the media. However, these incidents are rare misunderstandings that would have been preventable had the parties involved done their research.
We cannot stress the value of researching the laws in any country you’re visiting enough – it really is just good practice!
If you think of CBD oil as a prescription-only-medicine and treat it as such, then you won’t get caught out. Customs won’t think twice about justifiable painkillers and medications, but they will stop and think twice if they can see any products with hemp plants on the label!
Although this list shows us the countries that are safe when travelling with CBD, purchasing oils in countries with higher legal limits and bringing them back to the UK is still considered illegal. In 2019, the European Commission announced that, ‘CBD and other cannabinoids would be classified as “novel foods,” which means that CBD products would require authorisation under the EU Novel Food Regulation before they can be classed as legal.