CBD Oil Legal In Canada

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Government of Canada’s official one-stop-shop for comprehensive international travel information. Author: Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research

Cannabis and international travel

Cannabis is legal for adults in Canada. However, it is still illegal to transport cannabis and products containing cannabis – including edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals – across the Canadian border:

  • No matter how much cannabis you have with you
  • Even if you are authorized to use cannabis for medical purposes in any form, including cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Even if you are travelling to or from a municipality, state or country where cannabis has been legalized or decriminalized

If you are entering Canada and have cannabis with you in any form, you must declare it to the Canada Border Services Agency.

Not declaring cannabis in your possession at the Canadian border is a serious criminal offence. You could be arrested and prosecuted.

Leaving Canada

It is illegal to take cannabis across the Canadian border, whether you are entering or leaving the country. You could be charged with a criminal offence if you try to travel to other countries with any amount of cannabis in your possession. This applies to all countries, whether cannabis is legal there or not.

Cannabis is illegal in most countries. If you try to travel internationally with any amount of cannabis in your possession, you could face serious criminal penalties both at home and abroad. You could be denied entry at your destination country if you have previously used cannabis or any substance prohibited by local laws. You could also be denied entry to other countries in the future.

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It is your responsibility to learn about the laws, including the legal status of cannabis use and possession, in your destination country. See our Travel Advice and Advisories for more information.

Travellers to the United States

Although the possession of cannabis is legal in some U.S. states, it remains illegal under U.S. federal laws. Do not attempt to cross the Canada-U.S. border with any amount of cannabis in any form, even if you are travelling to a U.S. state that has legalized possession of cannabis.

Previous use of cannabis, or any substance prohibited by U.S. federal laws, could mean that you are denied entry to the U.S. If you are travelling for business related to the cannabis industry, you may be deemed inadmissible.

Patrick and his roommate are packing for their upcoming trip.

He sees his roommate putting legal cannabis into his luggage.

Luckily, Patrick had checked Travel.gc.ca/cannabis before packing for their trip.

He knew it is against the law to take cannabis across Canada’s international borders.

Questions and Answers

What is the legal status (and evidence) of CBD oil?

Author: Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research

Cannabidiol or CBD is a naturally occurring component of cannabis. It is extracted from the cannabis plant and often made into an oil for use. CBD is not psychoactive, and does not produce the ‘high’ of THC (tetrahyrocannabinol), the primary psychoactive component of cannabis. CBD is legal in Canada and has been used in the treatment of various medical conditions.

All cannabinoids, including CBD, produce effects in the body by attaching to certain receptors in the brain or immune system. The human body also produces its own cannabinoids. It seems that CBD does not attach directly to receptors. Instead, it directs the body to use more of its own cannabinoids to produce the therapeutic effects associated with CBD.

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Research suggests that CBD may provide relief for chronic pain. Sativex is a proprietary medication that combines THC and CBD and may be prescribed for the relief of pain associated with multiple sclerosis. There is also some evidence suggesting that CBD may be a promising support for people with opioid use disorders. The researchers noted that CBD reduced some symptoms associated with substance use disorders including anxiety, mood-related symptoms, pain, and insomnia.

After researching the safety and effectiveness of CBD oil for treating epilepsy, in 2018, the United States FDA approved CBD (Epidiolex) as a therapy for two rare conditions characterized by epileptic seizures. Other evidence suggests that CBD may be useful in the treatment of schizophrenia, though further research is needed before introducing CBD into medical practice.

There is some initial evidence that CBD may help people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease keep the ability to recognize the faces of people that they know, and thus slow progression of the illness. Again, more research is needed in this area.

Because of the way cannabis and its products are metabolized, scientists believe there is a potential for interaction with other drugs, although nothing significant has yet been recorded. CBD has been found to be generally safe. Reports from patients indicate that negative drug interactions are not common. As with any other treatment, it is important to monitor your use of CBD and seek assistance if you experience any problems or have questions or concerns about its use.

About the author

The Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, formerly CARBC, is a member of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information. The institute is dedicated to the study of substance use in support of community-wide efforts aimed at providing all people with access to healthier lives, whether using substances or not. For more, visit www.cisur.ca.

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Q&A is for readers who want to take charge of their well-being, support a friend or loved one, find good help, or just learn more about mental health and substance use. Here, the information and resource experts at HeretoHelp will answer the questions that we’re asked most often. We’ll offer tips and information, and we’ll connect you with help in BC, Canada. If you have a question you’d like to ask, email us at [email protected] , tweet @heretohelpbc, or log in to HeretoHelp and post a comment on this page.

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