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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 a banned substance.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main active compound in marijuana and the reason why marijuana gets you high. As such, US federal authorities are concerned with THC’s ability to impair motor skills. 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 Lune’s 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 from Canada.  

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 would probably be aware that marijuana, or any product made from marijuana, e.g. edibles, has THC in it. The media have given little coverage to CBD and it’s no surprise the public isn’t as knowledgeable about CBD or where it comes from.

CBD is in lots of recreational and lifestyle products in the US. Many people are under the illusion then, that it must be legal. But they’re wrong. Luckily for retailers in the US who sell CBD, and their customers, most law enforcement agencies have bigger fish to fry. All except the US Border Security. The people who run that show know the rules and they’re out to enforce them. So, don’t get caught with THC or CBD crossing the Canada/US border!

Here’s a quick story to close this 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 Lune Wellness