Can I Take CBD Across the Border???

Recent stories have highlighted Canadians who got into trouble with US border authorities. They were caught carrying CBD. As a result, they were denied entry and could possibly face a lifetime ban.

It’s widely understood by Canadians that you cannot take marijuana into the US. What’s not so well known, is that CBD is also prohibited.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main active compound in marijuana and the reason why marijuana gets you high. CBD (cannabidiol) doesn’t get you high and has no known side effects. So, why the concern with CBD?

Well, that’s a good question. Probably simply because THC and CBD both come from the marijuana plant. Regardless of the reason, the bottom line is US federal regulations make no distinction between THC and CBD. In the eyes of the law, they’re the same.

Some of us might also be aware that CBD can be extracted from hemp plants (this is where Budtanicals’ CBD comes from). In fact, both marijuana and hemp are members of the cannabis family. However, regardless of what plant it comes from, CBD cannot be taken into the US.  

Canadian media haven’t helped the situation. The folks who bring us the news have focused on marijuana and the psycho-active effects of THC. Anyone who has followed the stories will be aware that marijuana, or any product made from marijuana, e.g., edibles, has THC in it. But the media has given little coverage to CBD and it’s no surprise the public isn’t as knowledgeable about CBD or where it comes from.

But THC and CBD are legal in lots of US states you say? Doesn’t that mean it’s OK to cross from Canada into a border state, like Washington, if it’s legal there? The answer is again… “No”. The government with jurisdiction over the International border is the US federal government and federal rules apply to anyone crossing into the US.

Here’s a quick story to close our session. A friend of mine took his car to his mechanic for a once-over before heading to the US. His mechanic found a bottle of CBD tincture in his glove box. My friend had forgotten about it! Chances are he would have sailed through customs with no problem. But the risk would still be there. And it’s a risk with pretty severe consequences. The lesson: if you’ve been using a THC or CBD product, make sure it’s not knowingly, or unknowingly, on your person, in your luggage, or in your vehicle.

Happy trails!

Patrick and the Staff at Budtanicals

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