Congratulations. You got the middle seat on a long haul flight with a screaming baby in the seat ahead and a snorer to your side. There’s not much you can do remedy this mile-high nightmare, but CBD for flying can take the edge off and make your flight much more manageable.
Whether you suffer from air sickness, a fear of flying, dry skin, or general anxiety in the sky, CBD is an all-natural solution that’s easy to take and free from harmful side effects. Let’s take a look at how CBD can help you feel more comfortable the next time you fly. Then, we’ll recommend some of the best types of CBD products for flyers.
READ FIRST: Legal Information You Need to Know Before Flying with CBD
The legality of CBD has been murky for the last few years, but as of May 2019, CBD has been cleared for take-off and landing in the USA.
A statement by the TSA declared hemp-derived CBD products and FDA-approved CBD products to be legal on board aircraft in the USA. These updates were made in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp as an industrial product and effectively legalized CBD at a federal level.
But, this doesn’t mean that you can take any CBD product onto your flight.
If your CBD is derived from marijuana (as opposed to hemp), it is still illegal and can result in prosecution. Also, if your hemp-derived CBD contains more than 0.3% THC, it is illegal to carry on board.
Of course, your CBD needs to comply with all airline and airport security rules. If you bring CBD oil or a topical cream on board (or any other liquid, such as CBD-infused water), it cannot exceed 100ml. You are free to put quantities of CBD larger than 100ml into your checked bag.
Long-haul international flights can be a lot easier to get through with a little CBD. But, some countries are not as cannabis-friendly as others. If you want to fly internationally with CBD, you must check the cannabis regulations of your destination and the airline(s) you are flying with before your journey begins.
Remember, just because your destination is CBD-friendly doesn’t mean your layover country is too. This can result in legal problems.
As of now, the following countries are regarded as CBD-friendly. If you’re flying to one of these destinations and are flying with an airline based in one of these countries, you can take your CBD on the plane.
* United States
* Costa Rica
* Czech Republic
* Slovak Republic
* South Africa
* United Kingdom
If you’re flying to Asia, we recommend you leave your CBD behind. Asian countries have very restrictive cannabis laws, and possession of CBD can incur serious penalties.
7 Benefits of CBD for Flying
CBD for flying can make air travel less stressful and more enjoyable for all types of passengers. These are the 7 most common benefits according to research.
1. It Relieves Anxiety
Anxiety is of the most common ailments of flyers. From making your flight on time to going through security to nervousness on board, almost everyone shares some reluctance about air travel. Many people pop an anti-anxiety pill before a flight to keep them calm, but these drugs have potentially harmful side effects, and they can lead to dependency.
CBD is an all-natural, plant-based supplement that has been shown to relieve anxiety in multiple studies.
Researchers have demonstrated that CBD modulates binding at GABA receptors—the receptors in the brain directly correlated to feelings of stress and anxiety. In fact, CBD affects GABA much in the same way as anti-anxiety medication—but without the side effects and risk of addiction.
For those nervous flyers, CBD has also been shown to reduce fear. It does this by binding with serotonin receptors and endocannabinoid receptors and preventing scary experiences from becoming internalized and dwelled upon. Basically, it helps you to let go of those hard-to-shake fears and relax.
2. It Stops Panic
For some, the fear of flying goes beyond nervousness. Intense fear, phobia, and panic can prevent you from enjoying vacations with friends and family, getting your dream job, or attending important events like weddings and funerals.
By taking CBD, you can stop panic attacks as soon as you feel them coming on, and you may even be able to reverse learned phobias.
CBD is a popular treatment for panic disorders. Multiple studies on humans and animals have convinced scientists that CBD can limit or eliminate panic attacks. While more studies are being conducted as to the exact cause of the drop in panic, researchers have observed that CBD reduces activity in the left amygdala-hippocampal complex, hypothalamus, and posterior cingulated cortex in the brain. All of these areas of the brain show increased activity during a panic attack.
Those who experience a phobia of flying may have had a traumatic experience that triggered the condition. CBD may be able to render the phobia manageable through a process called fear extinction. Basically, this is the process of detaching learned behavior (panic) from the trigger of that behavior (flying).
One study of 48 human participants clearly showed that when given CBD, the subjects had less of a negative response to phobic cues.
3. It Soothes Cramps
Remember watching old movies where airplane seats were as big as recliners? Unfortunately, the good old days are gone, and modern airlines pack passengers in like sardines. Even a few hours in those tiny seats can lead to leg, foot, and knee pain. And if you happen to fall asleep in the wrong position, you could wake up with a serious pain the neck.
CBD won’t increase your legroom, but it might be able to soothe your aching muscles and joints so you can get some shut-eye or enjoy your in-flight entertainment.
Pain relief is one of the most common reasons why so many have chosen to use CBD. Even the Arthritis Foundation has acknowledged its benefits.
One of the biggest ways that CBD affects pain is by reducing inflammation. Inflammation is directly related to joint pain, muscle pain, headaches, and other aches and pains that are common among flyers.
CBD reduces inflammation by interacting with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (a vital body system responsible for regulating hormones, pain, appetite, stress, and more). It has also been shown to interact with other receptors involved in decreasing pain perception and inflammation such as serotonin receptors, TRVP1 receptors, and a3 glycine receptors.
In plain English, CBD may be able to check the inflammation that occurs when flying (due to low oxygen levels in the pressurized cabin). By putting your immune response back into balance, you’ll be able to rest easy and enjoy your flight pain-free.
4. It Reduces Nausea
Airlines may now refer to turbulence as “rough air” to make it seem less intimidating, but that doesn’t change how the heaving and dropping of the aircraft can turn your stomach upside down.
CBD could be a new solution for air sickness that is safer and more natural than motion sickness medication.
Researches have suggested that when taken at the right dosage, CBD can reduce nausea and vomiting. It does this by indirectly activating autoreceptors in the brain which reduce the release of nausea-causing 5-HT.
It’s important to remember that when flying, nausea isn’t caused by an upset stomach but by your body losing its bearings and your brain trying to correct it. By interacting with your brain’s receptors that trigger nausea, CBD can stop your discomfort at its very source.
5. It Helps You Sleep
There’s nothing worse than being dead tired in your tiny plane seat yet unable to fall asleep. Instead of watching yet another in-flight movie, pop a few CBD gummies or take some CBD oil and get some shut-eye.
CBD has a sedative effect when taken in higher doses, and many CBD products are combined with natural melatonin to further induce sleep.
CBD helps to induce sleep by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for regulating mood and sleep patterns. CBD also affects GABA receptors (as we previously discussed), helping you to chill out and let go of those worries that keep you from sleeping well.
If you don’t feel like taking a high dose of CBD to conk out during your flight, even small doses have been shown to improve sleep quality, help you fall asleep faster, and keep you asleep longer. But, to enjoy these benefits, you should take small doses of CBD daily.
6. It Calms the Jitters
Sitting on a flight for hours on end can lead to uncomfortable jitters that prevent you from relaxing. Not only that, but walking around the cabin or bouncing your legs up and down can disturb other flyers and flight attendants and can be dangerous to you if unexpected turbulence occurs.
CBD is an effective anti-spasmodic supplement. It also helps to control involuntary movements and restless legs by relaxing the muscles and modulating GABA receptors.
To get rid of the jitters, take a fast-acting oral CBD supplement and avoid coffee, alcohol, and sugary snacks on board.
7. It Moisturizes Dry Skin
Cracked lips, bleeding cuticles, and dry skin on your hands and face are common on long flights. This is because the air in a plane is much drier than the air on the ground. The dryness that affects you in the air can last for a week or more once you land, which can cause discomfort and affect your holiday photos.
Bringing some CBD lotion, cream, or balm with you on the plane can help prevent dryness. It can also help to soothe inflammation that aggravates symptoms of preexisting dryness or acne.
CBD topicals contain CBD oil and other ingredients such as essential oils, herbs, and other natural moisturizers to keep your skin healthy and looking great.
For cracked lips, CBD lip balm is a good way to counter the dry air and protect the skin that needs the most moisture.
The Top 5 CBD Products to Take on Board
The CBD you use at home may not be the right choice to take on a plane. Some CBD products won’t be allowed on board due to security restrictions unrelated to cannabis. To have the best experience flying with CBD (and to avoid confiscation or security trouble), try some of the following products.
1. CBD Edibles
The easiest way to take CBD in the sky is by packing some edibles in your carry-on. Edibles are easy to transport, they get through security without a hitch, and they won’t make a mess in your bag. Not to mention the fact that they are super easy to take regardless of turbulence or cramped conditions (unlike CBD oil which can easily spill).
The only downside of edibles is that the effects of the CBD can take longer to kick in, especially if you have recently eaten. We recommend taking edibles an hour before your flight and then taking more during your flight if needed.
Popular edibles for taking on a plane include gummies, chocolates, cookies, cakes, and even CBD infused honey that you can put into tea or hot water from the in-flight service.
2. CBD Cream
Topical CBD is easy to apply and has multiple benefits on board. It can protect your skin and soothe muscles and joints simultaneously. There are a few different types to choose from:
* CBD cream: A thick and ultra-moisturizing mix of CBD and natural ingredients
* CBD lotion: A thinner, water-based solution made with CBD oil and other natural oils.
* CBD balm: A mix of natural butters, CBD, beeswax, and oil for softer skin.
* CBD salve: A combination of beeswax, CBD, and oil for protection and healing.
When choosing a topical CBD product, consider your skin type and the duration of your flight. For a super long haul, choose a protective topical with a high CBD content. This will cost a bit more, but your skin will thank you.
Also, remember to make sure your topical product does not exceed 100ml of fluid or it will not be permitted on board.
3. CBD lip balm
CBD lip balm is the easiest product to bring on the plane. If you keep some in your pocket or purse, you won’t have to worry about security or do any preparation to take it on board.
Choose a CBD lip balm that contains at least 20mg of CBD and is made with natural ingredients. For extra protection from the dry cabin air, opt for a product made with beeswax.
This will hold the moisture in and protect your lips for longer. It will also help you absorb an optimal amount of CBD.
4. CBD Capsules
CBD capsules (pills, tablets, softgels, etc.) are a discreet and easy way to take CBD on a plane. Most passengers will be popping anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, and painkilling meds, but just one CBD capsule is all you need to relax and protect yourself.
You can bring as many capsules as you like on board—there are no restrictions (besides the legal restrictions based on your destination and airline we mentioned above). But, you probably don’t need to keep more than a few in your pocket.
Capsules are easy to remember to take, as you can keep them with any other medication or vitamins you take on a daily basis. They are also flavorless for those who don’t like the hempy taste of CBD oil.
CBD capsules come in many forms. If you want to sleep on board, choose a softgel with melatonin. If you need boosted immunity, you can choose a capsule with protective turmeric added.
The only downside to capsules is that, like edibles, they take a while to kick in because they have to pass through your digestive tract. To get the benefits of your capsules on board, take one an hour before take-off and then take another on board if needed.
We recommend purchasing CBD capsules that contain at least 25mg of CBD each. This might seem like a high single dose, but some CBD will be lost as it passes through your system, so it’s better to take a higher dose.
5. CBD Water
This is a bit tricky because you can’t take bottles of water through security. But, we had to add this to the list, because the healthiest thing you can do when flying is to drink water.
Adding CBD to your water will turn it into super water, boosting its ability to heal your body and relax your mind.
You can’t bring CBD water through security, but you can make your own after the checkpoint. Simply bring a bottle of CBD oil with you to the airport. After you go through security, fill up a few bottles with normal water. Then, take your CBD tincture and add the desired number of drops to your water bottles.
Now, you have CBD-infused water for your journey and you won’t have to worry about using a messy and non-discreet dropper mid-flight.
If you don’t have time to prep CBD water before your flight. Ask the flight attendant for some water or tonic water and add your CBD on board.
Fly Easy with CBD
CBD may not make flying a pleasure (it never is), but it can certainly make it much easier. CBD for flying can alleviate pain and nausea that turn your journey into a nightmare. It can also help you relax and get some sleep so you feel healthy and refreshed when you reach your destination. It can even help those with anxiety and panic overcome their fears and experience the joys of travel.
CBD for flying is a good alternative to painkillers, anti-anxiety meds, and sleeping pills as it is an all-natural, plant-based supplement. It does not lead to dependency and has no serious side effects. Though, you should always consult your doctor before starting any new vitamin or supplement regimen.
CBD is safe, easy, and legal to take on board in the USA and many other countries. We hope it improves all of your adventures. Happy Trails!