The average CBD user in America is well aware of the cannabinoid’s legal status.  As CBD becomes more and more widely used, it receives more media coverage regarding its complicated relationship with the government and the FDA.

However, if you’re a CBD enthusiast who is planning a trip abroad this summer, you’re probably eager to learn about how the legal status of this hemp-derived compound varies from country to country.  After all, if you’re going to be traveling with CBD, it’s extremely important that you know whether or not it’s legal in your destination.  Failing to do your homework beforehand can, as it turns out, land you in jail.

Some Background Information

As you probably know, CBD’s legal status in America is a bit confusing.  That’s because of the fact that CBD is a compound that exists in both the hemp and marijuana plants, two members of the cannabis family.  Because marijuana is still classified as an illegal substance on a federal level, CBD products derived from the plant cannot be purchased or sold unless the user happens to live in a state in which marijuana has been legalized.  However, CBD that comes from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana that has less than 0.3 percent THC, is legal.

So, how did we get to this point?  Well, in 1971, the United Nations agreed to make cannabis a classified, illegal substance.  This meant that both hemp and marijuana became illegal to purchase, sell and consume.  However, recent changes in legislature have allowed farmers to grow hemp for research purposes in the United States, which led to a boom in the hemp industry.  As more and more studies were performed, researchers discovered that CBD possesses unique therapeutic benefits without putting the user at risk of getting high.  Needless to say, the rest of the world quickly followed, studying CBD for its potential medicinal benefits.  Now, the industry is extremely popular around most of the world and will only continue to become more successful as time goes on, at least according to reputable economic reports.

The Legal Status of CBD Around the World

As you can imagine, the laws regarding CBD are different in every country.  Let’s explore the most widely traveled-to destinations around the world so that you can have a general idea of whether or not it’s safe to bring your CBD with you when you travel abroad.


Generally speaking, Europe is very supportive of the CBD industry.  In many European countries, medical cannabis is legal, meaning that CBD is legal for therapeutic purposes.  In countries like Spain, England, Denmark, Austria, Belgium and Italy, one can obtain a prescription for CBD from a doctor.

England’s laws regarding CBD are very similar to ours.  As long as the CBD comes from the hemp plant and therefore has less than 0.3 percent THC, it’s legal in every sense of the word.  The CBD industry in the United Kingdom is actually booming much like our own, and researchers over there are eagerly studying its potentially positive effects on the mind and body.

It’s worth noting that Switzerland’s laws regarding CBD are even more liberal as the country allows any CBD product with up to one percent THC to be sold, purchased and consumed.  However, THC is illegal throughout the country.

Meanwhile, in Russia, CBD is completely illegal as all cannabis products are outlawed.

North America

In Canada, recreational cannabis was recently legalized.  That means that CBD is extremely easy to find, and that citizens don’t need to worry about being penalized for having it in their possession.  CBD is also legal in Mexico.


Australia is known for its strict laws regarding substances, and their relationship with CBD is unsurprisingly complicated.  CBD is considered a controlled substance that can only be obtained via a prescription from a licensed medical professional.  And, those who qualify for a CBD prescription are few and far between.  It’s apparently very difficult to obtain a prescription for CBD, and as of two years ago, only 500 or so citizens were able to get one.

South America

Almost every country in South America allows people to use CBD as long as it comes from the hemp plant.


In Asia, CBD laws vary immensely.  North Korea and China are two of the world’s biggest hemp producers, but in both countries, CBD is illegal.  However, entrepreneurs in both countries are pushing to get the compound legalized as more and more research is showing that it has the potential to treat a wide range of health-related ailments.

In Malaysia, citizens are subjected to some of the strictest drug laws in the world, and CBD possession can most certainly land you in jail.  It’s worth noting that drug offenses can be punishable by death in Malaysia.  That is true of North Korea as well.

South Korea, meanwhile, has a good relationship with CBD.  Medical cannabis is legal in the country, although cannabis-based products are subjected to strict regulations and must be meticulously tested and approved before ending up on the market.  However, economic experts believe that South Korea is on its way to experiencing a massive CBD industry boom much like the one that’s currently going on in the United States.

What This Means for the Future of the CBD Industry

The fact that so many countries around the world have legalized the use of CBD is incredibly important to the future of the industry.  As hemp cultivation becomes legalized worldwide, more and more researchers around the world will be able to perform studies that further demonstrate how this natural cannabinoid has the potential to treat a wide range of health problems.  It also means that more and more countries will feel the pressure to legalize the compound so that their citizens can have access to this therapeutic cannabinoid.

Right now, countries all over the world are producing highly effective CBD products as more and more entrepreneurs are getting involved with hemp.  So, as time goes on, we expect the market to only get more exciting.

CBD’s Legal Status

As you can see, CBD’s legal status is different depending on the country that you’re in, meaning that you need to be careful when you travel.  However, it’s quite obvious that as this compound becomes more popular and more widely studied by reputable researchers, more and more counties will make it completely legal.  Still, for the time-being, it’s best to err on the side of caution and do some research before packing your hemp oil with you to take overseas.