Travelling with CBD Oil Guide: in Australia & On Flights

Travelling With CBD Oil

There can be substantial risks involved if you’re considering travel with CBD oil in Australia or overseas.

Understanding the rules and taking the proper precautions to avoid legal risks is vital to staying safe.

CBD products are legal in Australia, but there are some caveats to be aware of when travelling with them.

For instance, taking CBD oil overseas with you could land you in trouble, depending on where you’re heading.

Similarly, if you bring CBD oil to Australia from overseas, there are specific rules you need to avoid breaching.

CBD Oil in Airport Security

Staying across all the regulations regarding travel with these products can be challenging.

These laws apply differently depending on:

  • Where you sourced your CBD oil
  • Whether you have a prescription
  • The product type and strength
  • Country-specific laws if you’re going overseas

It can be very challenging to navigate the legal rules and complexities involved.

This guide will help you understand when, where, and how to travel with CBD oil in Australia and for flights internationally.

We’ll cover the essential rules to know, precautions to take and how to minimise risks when you fly.

Can You Travel with CBD Oil in Australia?

Travelling With CBD in Australia

Today, travelling with CBD oil in Australia is possible, provided you have a prescription.

If you don’t have a prescription, you must prove that your CBD product was purchased over-the-counter legally in a pharmacy.

The rules on CBD oil in Australia changed in 2021. It was made available for ‘over-the-counter‘ purchases in registered pharmacies. Prescription CBD medications have been legal since 2016 and are prescribed by licensed doctors.

So, while you can now buy CBD oil in Australia without a prescription, this can pose some challenges when you’re carrying it with you.

Travel with Prescription CBD Oil

Bottle of Prescription CBD Oil

If you have a prescription for CBD oil, it’ll be treated like any other prescription medication by authorities. This applies across all Australian states and territories as it’s legal nationally as a prescription medication under regulations. 

Bring your prescription with you if you’re looking to take CBD oil on a plane in Australia. It will help clear up any potential confusion with airport security.

Travel with Non-Prescription CBD Oil

CBD Dropper

Over-the-counter CBD oil purchased without a prescription is trickier to travel with. This product can only be bought in low-dose formulations from certain pharmacies.

Because you don’t have a prescription, you must show that you purchased your CBD oil legally (in a pharmacy) and not from the black market.

When travelling, you must take your purchase receipt and identification to verify your product’s origins.

Doing so will mean you don’t have problems when you fly with it in Australia.

You’re only at risk when travelling with CBD oil in Australia if you:

  • Forget your prescription or purchase receipt (ensure you remember this).
  • Travel with a high-strength CBD product without a prescription.
  • Didn’t buy your CBD oil legally.

In these cases, you risk getting your product confiscated and incurring fines.

Take suitable precautions here so you can avoid legal issues.

Can You Travel in Australia with Medical Cannabis?

Jar of Medical Cannabis

Within Australia, travelling with medical cannabis has similar rules to those of prescription CBD products.

Medical cannabis products are prescription medications as they contain THC.

These can include:

  • Cannabis flower
  • Cannabis oil
  • Edibles, wafers or vapes

Unlike CBD oil, you can’t buy these items over the counter in pharmacies.

As such, you always need your prescription if you travel with them.

Unfortunately, these medications can attract more attention because of their smell, appearance and the stigma associated with marijuana.

They’re more likely to be detected by sniffer dogs at airports or attract questioning from airport security.

This makes it even more critical to ensure you have your prescription with you when you travel with medical cannabis.

Tips for Taking CBD Oil on Flights in Australia

Flight Over Australia

A few rules of thumb will help you avoid or prevent risks if you take CBD oil on a flight in Australia.

  • Original packaging: keep your CBD product in its packaging to show it was purchased legally. Taking it out will mean it’s harder to identify where it came from, which exposes you.
  • Carry ID: always keep your identification on you in case you’re stopped by authorities when travelling. They will need this to check your identity against your prescription or product receipt.
  • Don’t Vape: although CBD oil can consumed whilst travelling, vapes typically can’t. The smell can be strong and draw undesirable attention to you. Vaping cannabis in public can also be a nuisance to others who don’t want to inhale your vape fumes. Avoid this when you’re in transit.

Remember that you could be stopped or searched depending on where you are.

But being arrested isn’t legally possible as long as you have the necessary documentation.

Can I Use my CBD Product While Travelling?
Vaping Medical Cannabis While Travelling

Most edible CBD products (like oils or gummies) are safe to take publicly and can be discretely used without issue. Vaping or smoking medical cannabis on transport is more of an issue due to its scent and second-hand smoke. It could also be illegal, depending on where you use it. Restrain from smoking unless you’re sure you can do so in private discretely and are outdoors. This helps mitigate potential risks or issues with other passengers, even if you have a prescription. 

Bringing CBD Oil on Flights: Checked Luggage vs. Carry On
Hand Luggage

If you’re bringing CBD oil on a plane in Australia for domestic flights, it’s best to take it in your carry-on bag.

This will help prevent it from being lost, stolen or confiscated by mistake in your checked luggage. Sniffer dogs are frequently used to screen luggage, so you could have your product taken by authorities who can’t quickly check your prescription.

It is a much better option to have your product in your carry-on with its original packaging and your prescription details (or receipt) handy.

Additional restrictions apply for CBD vaporisers that are medically approved.

For example, many airlines require holding your vape device in your carry-on. They typically will only allow you to use it during travel.

Similarly, vaping or smoking is banned in most airports outside of smoking areas. It’s unlikely you can use your vape conveniently in many airports.

Confirm any CBD vaporiser rules and how they should be carried with your airline before boarding.

Taking CBD Oil on Flights Internationally

International Flights Australia

Travelling on flights internationally with CBD oil from Australia has significantly different rules and risks versus domestic travel.

Unlike Australia, many countries don’t allow for any cannabis medications to be carried into their state, even if prescribed by a doctor.

This can include:

  • CBD oil and other CBD products
  • Cannabis oil
  • Cannabis flowers

For example, in Singapore or Russia, any cannabis-derived medicine is entirely illegal and entering the country with one will risk fines or jail time.

A recent example from 2022 highlighted the consequences of travelling with CBD oil without checking a destination country’s laws.

A women’s basketball player from the USA who entered Russia with a CBD vape was arrested as she went through security for her departure flight.

She was detained and sentenced to 9 years in Russian prison. While she was eventually released after a year in prison, this example underscores the potential trouble you can encounter if you take CBD oil overseas from Australia.

Confirming Regulations Before Flying

Customs Agent at Desk

Unlike Australia, most countries have not legalised CBD products or medical marijuana, even for medical purposes.

Laws also differ by each country and can frequently change.

This means you always have to check the regulations of wherever you’re flying to if you are thinking about taking CBD oil on a plane.

If in doubt, email or call ahead with the country’s local customs or health authorities on what you can take with you and how to do so.

They may require you to register your prescription or medicine with customs and the health department to bring it in.

Other countries may not make any allowances.

Travelling overseas with CBD oil from Australia can be very high risk. Unless you are clear that a specific country has legalised or permitted these products to be carried in from overseas (usually only with a prescription), it’s better to be safe and avoid doing so.

There’s little room for error.

Before you go, make sure you also complete a Medicine Export Declaration Form in Australia.

This is used to log what medication you’re taking with you officially.

It often helps to confirm your medication’s origin and authenticity if questioned overseas.

Precautions to Take When Travelling with CBD Oil

Woman in Airport

No matter where you’re travelling with CBD oil, it’s a good idea to take some sensible precautions before you go.

Let’s take a look at some additional steps you can take to help protect yourself.

Doctor’s Note

Doctor's Note for CBD Oil Prescription

Carrying a signed note from your GP or prescribing doctor can be helpful when you bring CBD oil or cannabis medications on a plane.

It won’t replace your prescription but can provide added authority and legitimacy to your product’s source from a medical practitioner.

The note should describe the product’s:

  • Strength and formulation
  • Dosage prescribed
  • Product type (e.g. CBD oil versus vaporiser)

In addition, it should have your doctor’s name, practice details and contact information listed.

Having this at hand can be very useful to pull out if you’re ever stopped, questioned or even mistakenly arrested to help explain the situation.

Prescription and Medical Documentation

As mentioned, you should always have your CBD oil prescription or purchase receipt when travelling anywhere.

Attaching it to your product is an excellent way to avoid forgetting it.

This will mean it’s always available when needed.

You might also consider attaching your medical cannabis card or documentation.

This can be attached as a label or note.

It should outline your approved medication, dosages and product formulation.

Keeping a copy of your Medicine Export Declaration Form with you for overseas travel is also prudent. It is handy for international travel to show your CBD product is from an official source.

Take your identification, like your passport, with these documents.

It’s necessary to compare your name to the prescription and confirm validity. 

Original Product Packaging

CBD Product in Packaging

While it may be tempting to put your CBD oil or medical cannabis in your own container, this should be avoided if you’re going to travel with it.

Original packaging is essential as a signal of legitimacy.

It lets authorities more easily gauge that your product is medicinal and not recreational (or illegal).

The packaging should meet Australian medication standards. It must list the strength and formulation of the product. Typically, a label is also attached to cannabis medications that have information on its associated script, prescriber and the patient’s name.

Leave this on the packaging as a backup measure for verification.

It’s also a good idea to avoid opening your medication before travelling. Keeping it vacuum-sealed helps prevent leaks or smells that could attract unwanted attention from sniffer dogs.

Understand Your Destination’s Regulations

Researching Local CBD Product Regulations

Careful research on your destination’s regulations is always needed if you’re taking CBD oil overseas from Australia or returning with it.

Check the customs website of your destination country to confirm the rules around importing CBD oil.

It’s also a good idea to confirm with the local embassy or consulate the rules for travelling to the destination with your medication.

Additionally, many airlines have specific policies about bringing medical cannabis on flights.

Even if it can be taken where you’re going, the airline may not permit it onboard their aircraft.

The last thing you want is to be unaware of the rules and get banned from an airline. Check ahead to prevent headaches.

Speak to Your Doctor

Discussion With Doctor About Travelling

Your doctor is another valuable source of advice regarding travelling with CBD oil overseas.

There are many items they can help you with.

For instance:

  • Providing advice on cannabis medicine legality or helping you check a destination country’s rules
  • Giving you guidance on managing without your medication if it’s necessary
  • Helping you with alternative treatment options when overseas
  • Giving you a doctor’s note and medical documentation for your trip
  • Providing repeats for your script to refill overseas
  • Planning your dosages and medication quantity if you can’t refill overseas

Remember that your doctor isn’t responsible for your travel, and you should always verify any legal queries yourself.

If CBD oil is allowed where you’re going, make sure you ‘budget’ the quantity you take so you have enough for your trip.

Getting refills overseas is often impossible, so running out of supply is a real risk.


Bags on Airport Carousel

Travelling with CBD oil in Australia or bringing it overseas on flights requires research and preparation.

The last thing you want is to be arrested or fined significant amounts for doing the wrong thing.

But if you take suitable precautions, it’s definitely feasible to travel with your medication.

In Australia, doing so is much more straightforward. Keep your prescription or purchase receipt and your ID on you.

This will keep you safe when you take CBD oil domestically on flights or through airport security.

Flying overseas with CBD oil requires more preparation. You must be sure you can take it into the country you’re visiting. If so, take your medical documentation and lodge a medicine export form before departing.

Remember that most countries view CBD oil and any product from cannabis as an illicit drug. Being unaware or ‘not knowing’ the rules when you visit one of these countries won’t be accepted as an excuse. Check with the country’s customs agency or consulate. If in doubt, don’t take your product to be safe.

Taking pre-travel with CBD oil is a good idea no matter where you fly.

Get a doctor’s note to help add legitimacy to your prescription. Leave your product in its original packaging. Ideally, don’t open it until you arrive. Exercise caution when you use your medication whilst travelling, mainly if you’re vaping.

Being prepared to leave your medication at home or seeking alternatives is often a necessity. Sometimes, you just won’t be able to travel with CBD oil from Australia overseas.


Can I travel overseas with medical cannabis?

Travelling overseas from Australia with medical cannabis can be risky. Its legality depends on the laws of the country you’re going to. Many countries have strict regulations regarding the import of CBD oil or medical cannabis. Your Australian prescription may not be valid in these locations or be disregarded by law enforcement. Before travelling with medical cannabis, it’s essential to research and comply with the country’s laws. Note that customs websites can often be outdated or inaccurate. The best bet to obtain accurate information is to liaise directly with the country’s customs agency or consulate. The margin for error is low when taking medical cannabis overseas, so ensure you are 100% clear on the rules before departing.

Can you bring CBD oil when travelling?

Travelling with CBD oil is allowed within Australia. However, your product must have been prescribed by your GP or purchased over the counter legally. In either case, take your ID, purchase receipt or prescription with you. A note from the supplying pharmacist or doctor that verifies you’ve obtained the CBD oil within guidelines is also beneficial.
Flying overseas is entirely different from a legal standpoint. Whether you can bring CBD oil with you on flights overseas depends on the laws of the departure and arrival locations. You’ll need to research and comply with the specific regulations of the countries you travel to and from. Some countries have strict restrictions on CBD products. Check with the consulate of the countries you visit or confirm with their customs agency to avoid doubt. Getting it wrong can mean severe consequences. If unsure, leave your medication at home.

Can I pack CBD oil in my checked luggage?

Packing CBD oil in your checked luggage when flying isn’t advised. It can be stolen by baggage handlers, lost in transit or mistakenly confiscated. Keep it in your carry-on bag. Additionally, contact the airline to ensure compliance with their policies regarding bringing CBD oil on your flight. Not all airlines permit this.

Can you take CBD oil in your hand luggage?

The ability to take CBD oil in your hand luggage depends on where you’re flying. Domestic flights in Australia generally permit it, providing you have a prescription or valid purchase receipt for your product. Taking CBD oil on overseas flights might not be allowed. The legality of this product varies globally, and what may be legal in one place could be prohibited in another. For example, Singapore does not allow CBD products to be brought into the country. Always check the specific regulations of the countries you travel to and from, and consider carrying a copy of your prescription or relevant documentation if applicable.

Can CBD go through airport security?

CBD products can go through airport security for domestic travel in Australia, provided you have a valid doctor’s prescription and ensure your product is medically labelled. CBD oil is legal and is treated similarly to other prescription medicines by airport security. For international travel with CBD products, there is more nuance. You must confirm the regulations specific to the country you travel to. Airport security in foreign countries may view CBD oil as illegal depending on their laws and potentially punish you. Only go overseas on flights with CBD products if you have confirmed with the country you’re travelling to that it can be brought in.

Can sniffer dogs smell CBD oil?

Sniffer dogs are trained to detect specific scents, including those from CBD oil. While this product isn’t psychoactive, it can have a smell associated with cannabis due to containing fragrant terpenes from hemp. Sniffer dogs have little ability to distinguish between legal prescription CBD oil and illegal recreational cannabis. Travelling with your prescription and a doctor’s note is always best to avoid issues. Also, leave your product unopened in its vacuum-sealed packaging to reduce these risks. In addition, don’t leave your medication in your luggage, as it could be confiscated if detected by dogs.

Can you bring CBD oil to Australia from overseas?

If you have a valid doctor’s prescription, bringing CBD oil to Australia from overseas is generally safe. CBD oil is medically legal in Australia. It can be prescribed by doctors or purchased in licensed pharmacies without a prescription. You’ll comply with local laws if you have a prescribed medication from a medical doctor. Ensure you bring your prescription and any supporting medical documents. You should also check whether you must declare or log your medication with customs before arrival.

Can I bring CBD oil on a plane to Australia?

CBD oil can be brought on planes to Australia if it is legally obtained from a doctor. It’s treated like any other prescription medicine and should be taken in your hand luggage. You may need to declare it with customers before bringing it into the country.