CBD oil can be sold as is, or it can be purchased in the form of lotion, gummies, capsules and more. It's made from marijuana or hemp (two varieties of cannabis). Hemp-derived CBD was legalized by the U.S. in 2018 because hemp is less than 0.3 percent THC, which is the psychoactive compound that… CBD has exploded in popularity, with shops now seemingly everywhere. But can you take your CBD products on your next cruise?
Cruising With CBD Oil: Everything You Need To Know
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is an oil derived from cannabis that has become increasingly popular as a home remedy for anxiety, pain, sleep disorders and more, since the U.S. legalized its use in 2018. Now, avid cruisers who are fans of CBD are wondering if they can bring the oil onboard to help smooth out their time at sea.
But with strict no-drug policies across all cruise lines, is CBD banned or an exception? Here is everything you need to know about how and when you can travel with CBD oil.
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What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil can be sold as is, or it can be purchased in the form of lotion, gummies, capsules and more. It’s made from marijuana or hemp (two varieties of cannabis). Hemp-derived CBD was legalized by the U.S. in 2018 because hemp is less than 0.3 percent THC, which is the psychoactive compound that gives users a “high” feeling. Marijuana has a THC content of 20 percent or higher, and therefore it and its products are still banned federally.
After the nationwide legalization of hemp-derived CBD, products infused with the oil skyrocketed in popularity, being sold in pharmacies (including CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid, but only in select states), herb stores and even specialty stores like GNC and Ulta Beauty. Most products in stores are being sold as topicals, meaning they are lotions infused with CBD oil for the purpose of reliving pain; Ulta Beauty sells “skin nourishing oil” that is supposed to help with dry skin.
Can You Cruise With CBD Oil?
Most major cruise lines explicitly forbid CBD oil. The following lines have a ban on traveling with any CBD oil:
- Carnival Cruise Line
- Celebrity Cruises
- Disney Cruise Line
- Oceania Cruises
- Princess Cruises
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Royal Caribbean
Can You Travel To Your Cruise With CBD Oil?
If you’re flying to your cruise, any CBD oil product that is approved by the FDA (which is only one prescription medication, as of this writing) or has less than 0.3 percent THC is allowed by the TSA as of May 2019.
But be warned: TSA agents also have the right to report any suspected violations to local and federal authorities, which could delay you and cause you to miss your flight. The relatively new nature of CBD legalization and its allowance on U.S. flights means authorities might not always be on the same page about regulating the substance.
Also, CBD oil is subject to the same rules as any other liquids, meaning you cannot carry on containers larger than 3.4 ounces, and it must be stored in a clear bag no larger than 1 quart.
For cruisers driving to port, the 2018 farm bill legalized hemp-derived, FDA-approved CBD federally, but some states have their own rules. A handful still prohibit any CBD oil transportation over state lines. To be safe, look up the specific laws for the states that stand between you and your departure port.
Can I Bring CBD on a Cruise Ship? (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian)
To say there’s been a revolution in public opinion around marijuana, hemp, and CBD would be putting it lightly. Following the passage of a recent farm bill in Congress, the rules regarding CBD oils specifically have seemingly eased; in fact, you might have noticed a boom in shops selling products with CBD oils in them. You might have even noticed CBD in places you’d never expect like convenience stores and even national chains like Bed Bath & Beyond.
So why is CBD so popular? For many of the same reasons that taking a cruise is so popular. Many people report eased anxiety, better sleep, pain relief, and more. In a country where for years many people have turned to pharmaceuticals for health problems, many believe that CBD offers better benefits with fewer side effects and are a healthier option.
Of course, with the number of people using CBD, that also means there are more people who want to know if they can bring it on a cruise ship. That’s why we’ve looked into the rules to see if you can board your ship with CBD on your next vacation.
Relaxing Rules Mean More Acceptance. What About Cruises?
As rules surrounding marijuana, hemp, and CBD relax in the United States (and other parts of the world), it has put the cruise lines in confusing situation.
Take marijuana, for instance. If you are taking an Alaskan cruise, the ship would likely leave from Seattle, sail to Alaska, and have a call in Canada. In all three of these places recreational marijuana is legal. So you can bring it on a cruise, right?
Wrong. As we explained here , cruise lines follow federal laws, which still make marijuana illegal. It’s also illegal to take the substance into or out of Canada .
So what about CBD, which doesn’t contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana? Isn’t it legal in the U.S.? Doesn’t that mean you can take it?
The Definitive Word on CBD on a Cruise Ship
Truth is, the laws surrounding CBD are still fuzzy. For instance, PBS NewsHour put together an exhaustive article around the legality of CBD. They had this to say:
“Yes, purchasing CBD is federally legal as long as it doesn’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC, but some state laws have put restrictions on buyers. For example, Virginians can only buy and possess CBD if they have a prescription…
“…These federal provisions, as written, also have a blindspot whereby a store can sell as much CBD as it wants, as long it doesn’t make any health claims about its products, put it in food nor add it to dietary supplements.”
But one thing to remember is that cruises may depart from the United States, but they travel to other countries. So cruise lines are dealing not only with U.S. law, but Mexican law, Canadian law, Bahamian law, Aruban law, and many more.
In other words, it’s far simpler and easier simply to not let passengers bring CBD on a cruise and stay clear of violations. This keeps both the cruise line and the individual passengers in the clear.
That’s why you can’t bring CBD on a cruise.
For example, Carnival Cruise Lines specifically mentioned CBD on their prohibited items list :
“Any illegal narcotics/drugs including synthetic, designer drugs, Cannabidiol (CBD) and medical marijuana”
Royal Caribbean doesn’t specifically mention CBD products on its list of prohibited items, but does mention “illegal drugs and substances.” When we asked the cruise line, they told us that “We do not allow any cannabis-derivative products (including CBD products) aboard our fleet.”
Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Guest Conduct Policy states that “no illegal drugs or other illegal substances including but not limited to medical marijuana are allowed onboard…”
While there is no mention specifically of CBD by Norwegian, we contacted the cruise line who affirmed that the substance is not allowed on their ships either.
Put simply, don’t bring your CBD-infused items on your cruise. They are against the rules for now.