May 21, 2024

The Legal Status of CBD Creams in Different Countries

Just a few years ago, all cannabis products were illegal across most of the world. That’s changing fast, and while marijuana and its psychoactive components remain illegal in most places, products that contain therapeutic compounds like CBD are now legal across much of the world. CBD creams are controlled much like other products containing this cannabinoid even though they are designed for topical use, so people who travel abroad frequently should learn the basics about which countries have legalized CBD and which have not.

Where It’s Legal

CBD is legal in most Western nations, including the UK, Australia, almost all of Europe, and much of North, Central, and South America. People living in areas that have legalized CBD can see shipping information to find out how much it will cost to have high-quality products delivered to their doors. Just be sure to purchase products that are made from hemp rather than marijuana to avoid running afoul of other laws related to controlled substances.

Where It’s Illegal

There are some places where no traveler wants to get caught carrying CBD, even if it’s hemp-derived and completely non-psychoactive. CBD, even in cream form, is illegal across most of Africa, with only a handful of exceptions. CBD creams and other products are also banned in most of the Middle East, in Indonesia, and in some Central and South American countries, including Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname.

CBD also remains illegal across much of Southeast Asia. In fact, in this area of the world, legislation seems to be moving in the opposite direction from most. While much of the world is making plans to legalize CBD, Hong Kong took steps to explicitly criminalize it this year to align its laws with those of mainland China.

Where It’s Complicated

While the laws are clear in countries that have explicitly legalized CBD oil, creams, and other products, and in those that have completely banned them, there are some places where things get more complicated. In the USA, for example, CBD is almost universally legal, but some states allow the possession of CBD products made from marijuana, while others only allow hemp, and three states have banned the sale of CBD entirely. 

In Russia, hemp is cultivated across the continent, but the extraction process required to remove CBD for use in creams and other products is illegal. Laws in Georgia, India, and many other countries are less strict but also less clear. As a rule of thumb, if CBD is not explicitly legal, treat it as though it were illegal.

The Safest Way to Travel With CBD

Frequent fliers may be wondering how they can mitigate the risks of traveling with CBD, given the complex legal landscape across national, and sometimes domestic, lines. The only way to travel safely with CBD is to check its legal status in each location. If CBD is completely legal or legal with some restrictions, bring the product in its original container and print out lab results to show that it does not contain THC. Officials may be persuaded by this proof that would otherwise have confiscated the cream, oil, capsules, gummies, or vapes.

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