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CBD is believed to be a stress reliever and can be used while traveling. Here are the pros and cons. Which CBD products are the best for travel? These nine CBD products are legitimate. Everything you need to know about flying with CBD—legally—and the best CBD products for travelers.

The Pros and Cons of Taking CBD Before Flying

F lying during the holidays is a nightmare. You don’t need anyone else to tell you that, what with all the airline studies that come out every year about just how bad it’s going to be getting in and out of the airport this time of year. But other than expecting a crowd, it’s hard to know what to actually do about handling holiday flight stress other than some measly “hacks” like “check-in online!”

Which brings us to the “it” cure-all of the moment: cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD is a compound found in cannabis that doesn’t get you high. It’s in a legal grey area because it can be extracted from hemp, which has 0.03 percent or less THC. So while it doesn’t send you to cloud nine, it’s purported to be everything from a stress reliever to a miracle drug that can lessen muscle pains. More studies need to be done to nail down exactly how it affects our bodies, but that hasn’t stopped people putting it in cocktails, coffee, tea, and pretty much everything else humans ingest. But does it work for flight-related stress?

“A CBD tincture or CBD edible is a great way to take the edge off,” Curt Van Inwegen, the CEO of CBD company Life Elements, told Matador Network. “I don’t take anything with THC because I find that CBD has a way of calming my nerves and relaxing me so I can deal with delays, stress, crowds, and anything else that comes up.”

Those nerves can be a big problem. A study in CBD publication Remedy Review found that nearly 58 percent of women and 47 percent of men are anxious about flying. Around 33 percent of respondents in the study said turbulence was the most anxiety-inducing issue, followed by delays (25 percent) and TSA lines (18 percent).

However, despite having both the problem of travel stress and a trendy stress-relieving solution in CBD, people rarely combine the two. Of those included in Remedy Review’s study, only 4 percent (5 percent of women and 2.5 percent of men) claimed to have used CBD to ease travel anxiety.

For the curious, here are the pros and cons of taking CBD before flying.

Pro: It may lessen anxiety and make you feel more calm.

“The way I describe CBD’s effect is that there is no visceral feeling like a buzz or a high or anything,” Van Inwegen said. “You just realize that you’re more patient and can better focus on solving a problem like rerouting a flight or finding an emergency ‘I gotta pee NOW’ stop for someone in the car.”

In a preliminary study, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that CBD is an effective way to reduce stress. The authors of the study write that “overall, current evidence indicated CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders,” while also noting further studies need to be done.

Con: The rules around CBD are still murky.

Just because CBD is easy to find doesn’t mean it’s entirely legal. In September of 2018, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) changed its stance to say that CBD products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are allowed. Everything else containing CBD is still a Schedule I drug alongside marijuana and heroin. That said, a DEA officer told Men’s Health that people are unlikely to be prosecuted for possessing or buying CBD products.

The TSA, like always, is more of a stickler. TSA guidelines state, “Possession of marijuana and cannabis-infused products, such as cannabidiol (CBD) oil, is illegal under federal law. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and cannabis-infused products.”

Things get even trickier when you add in the varying state laws, especially states that allow marijuana. That said, it’s not like the TSA is exactly hyper-efficient. The agency missed 70 percent of fake weapons when checkpoints were tested in 2017.

“As long as you abide by the two-ounce rule, TSA is not going to hassle you,” Van Inwegen said. “We know from personal experience, feedback from our customers who travel, and frank discussions with people who know the TSA protocols that they are not looking for CBD edibles, tinctures, or anything that is not a bag of weed. If you are super nervous, pull the labels off. As with anything, you should take ownership and bone up on the rules and regulations of the places you are visiting.”

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The 9 Best CBD Products for Travel

Looking to try to find some zen (and zzz’s) while rushing around trying to make it to your vacation destination? Some travelers are turning to CBD products: the benefits of CBD are said to include easing anxiety and inducing sleep.

If you’re curious about whether you can fly with CBD products, read more about the legality of CBD and air travel here. In short, CBD oil that’s derived from hemp oil and contains no more than 0.3 percent THC is permissible for domestic travel by the TSA. Here are some CBD oils, sprays, and gummies to try for better sleep and lower stress during travel.

Best CBD Oil for Sleep: Nordic Oil CBD Mani Drops

Quality-obsessed brand Nordic Oil uses organically-sourced, non-GMO hemp for its products, including drops made specifically to fight jet lag and insomnia. Nordic Oil CBD Mani Drops with Melatonin are meant to be taken 15 minutes before bedtime (whether that’s on a plane or in a hotel room).

Best CBD Gummies for Sleep: Charlotte’s Web Hemp Extract-Infused Gummies

Full-spectrum hemp extract, natural fruit juices, and melatonin all go into Charlotte’s Web Hemp Extract-Infused Gummies, which are meant to support sleep. Take two of the raspberry-flavored gummies 30 minutes before you want to drift off.

Best CBD Spray for Sleep and Immunity: Botanika Life Jet Pack

Botanika Life has two big traveling concerns covered with its Botanika Life Jet Pack: one CBD spray is focused on promoting sleep with melatonin and magnesium, while the other travel-size CBD spray includes vitamin C and zinc to ward off infection.

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Best CBD Oil for Anxiety: Rae CBD Drops

Wellness supplement brand Rae formulates its lab-tested CBD Drops with organically produced hemp and organic coconut MCT oil, holy basil leaf extract, and geranium leaf extract. Each bottle includes a 30-day supply.

Best CBD Gummy for Anxiety: Lord Jones CBD Gumdrops

These made-by-hand, lab-tested Lord Jones CBD Gumdrops include 20mg of hemp-derived CBD, and the brand says one gumdrop can be eaten for calming vibes. Gourmet flavors include white peach, watermelon, wild berry, and blood orange.

Best CBD Bath Bomb for Anxiety and Sleep: Happy Dance CBD Bath Bomb

Booked a hotel specifically for the gorgeous soaking tub? Unwind after a long travel day with a CBD Bath Bomb from Happy Dance, formulated with CBD and ginger and grapefruit too. Each package includes four bath bombs.

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Best CBD Balm for Anxiety and Sleep: Haoma Calming Temple Balm

Meditate and rub full spectrum CBD-infused Calming Temple Balm from Haoma on your temples if you’re stressed before a flight or trying to beat jet lag after arriving at your destination. The solid balm with ginseng, chamomile, lemon balm, vetiver, and ylang ylang won’t spill in your travel bag, and it comes in a chic gold tin.

Best CBD Oil for Dogs: Innovet PurCBD+

Led by a biochemist and mechanical engineer, Innovet prides itself in providing CBD oil for dogs that’s made in the U.S. with organic full spectrum hemp extract and without any additives or preservatives. One of the uses pet owners turn to Innovet’s CBD oil is for travel in order to calm their pup’s nerves.

Best CBD Chew for Dogs: Paw CBD Calming Soft Chews

Turkey flavor can convince dogs that this Paw CBD Calming Soft Chew is a treat. The veterinarian-formulated brand wraps up hemp extract with herbs like passion flower, ginger, and chamomile to help soothe dogs who might be fearful during a car trip or plane journey.

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A Guide to Traveling With CBD

Apprehensive travelers are turning to CBD for its calming effects. But crossing borders with it can be tricky. We break down the rules for you—and the best products to try.

Travelers are using CBD to calm nerves, treat jet lag, ease muscle aches, and more.

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Photo by The Nix Company/Unsplash

As travel makes its roaring comeback and you return to the friendly skies or the open road, you may also feel a little trepidation after so much time grounded. Some nervous travelers are taking CBD, or cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating cannabis plant extract, for its calming effects. Others use it to treat jet lag or ease muscle aches.

But can you fly with CBD oil or gummies? Here’s what you need to know about traveling with CBD—plus, some of our favorite products for travelers.

Can you travel with CBD?

According to the TSA, CBD products that contain less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), standard for CBD derived from hemp as opposed to CBD from cannabis, are permitted aboard aircraft in checked or carry-on bags. Keep in mind that marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products with more than 0.3 percent THC are illegal based on federal laws and should not be brought on airplanes. The TSA website maintains that passenger screening is aimed at detecting potential threats and keeping everyone safe and not in the business of searching for illegal substances, but that said, the laws are pretty clear and breaking them is ill-advised.

Although CBD has been legal on a federal level since 2018, keep in mind that CBD regulations vary from state to state. For example, it’s perfectly legal to travel with CBD products containing less than 0.3 percent of THC in the state of Vermont, but in Kansas, only THC-free CBD products are considered legal. And even this is confusing as all forms and combinations of CBD appear on the state’s list of banned substances. Before you bring CBD products into a new state, it’s best to research local regulations.

Traveling internationally with CBD is even trickier. Although Canada legalized cannabis in 2018, it’s still against the law to cross the Canadian border with cannabis and cannabis-containing products—even if you have a medical marijuana license. Likewise, traveling abroad to anywhere in the EU prohibits the possession of cannabis and products containing cannabis, regardless of the laws in the country you’re visiting. And if you decide to purchase cannabis in one EU nation—say, the Netherlands—the safest option is to leave it behind if your European adventures have you hopping from country to country.

The benefits of CBD for travelers

With the topline legal stuff out of the way, let’s dive into the benefits and uses of CBD for travelers.

“The literature studying the effects of cannabis on anxiety is fairly robust,” says Timothy Byars, director of Medical Cannabis Programs at Pacific College of Health and Science. Studies, of which there are over a hundred now, show promising evidence that CBD may reduce anxiety.

But while CBD’s potential to help stressed or anxious travelers is fairly well known, Byars says it may also promote wakefulness, at least at lower doses. CBD edibles and oils promoting energy or focus are on the rise, though research has not yet gone deep in studying CBD’s stimulating effects. Nonetheless, we’d be remiss to ignore CBD’s potential to help weary, jet-lagged travelers combat fatigue and exhaustion. This writer, for one, has found CBD products promising “energy” or “focus” to be a better bet than downing yet another cup of coffee when the inevitable jet lag strikes. And Boston-based musician Tedros McCrary says he’s found CBD useful on trips out west when traveling requires adjusting to a different time zone. “It’s subtle but effective,” he says.

Best CBD products for travelers

Whether you’re looking for a way to relax in flight or focus on a jam-packed-making-up-for-lost-time travel agenda, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our picks for the best CBD products for travelers. Each one contains less than 0.3 percent of THC, so they’re legal to travel with on domestic flights within the United States.

This CBD chocolate bar is made with 72 percent dark chocolate.

Courtesy of Green Element

1. Best CBD chocolate bar: Green Element CBD Chocolate Bar

  • Buy now: $15 for a three-ounce bar, greenelementcbd.com
  • CBD per serving: 25 mg
  • THC per serving: 0.0133 percent

This bean-to-bar Madagascan chocolate bar is so tasty it may be hard to stop at one square. But recalling the industry adage shared by Byars, “Start low and go slow,” we recommend sticking to the suggested one square dose, which contains 25 mg CBD from full spectrum hemp extract. Intended to relieve all kinds of traveler ailments from inflammation to anxiety and sleep issues, the preservative-free chocolate bar is a nice alternative if you’re not into gummies or oils.

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Wyld CBD gummies are made with real fruit.

Courtesy of Wyld

2. Best CBD gummy: Wyld Blackberry CBD gummies

  • Buy now: $35 for 20 gummies, wyldcbd.com; cbd.co
  • CBD per serving: 25 mg
  • THC per serving: THC free

If you care about authentic (read: not artificial) flavors, you’d be hard-pressed to find a tastier gummy than what this artisanal Oregon brand is producing. Redolent of the Pacific Northwest’s bounty, the blackberry CBD gummies, made from hemp containing zero THC, are especially delicious—and effective. A general-use CBD bite, a single dose can be taken before takeoff or after a long hike when your muscles need some TLC.

3. Best CBD honey: Red Belly Honey Snap Packs

  • Buy now: $15 for a five-pack, redbellyhoney.com
  • CBD per serving: 1.8 mg
  • THC per serving: 0.3 percent or less

These travel-ready packs containing honey infused with pure CBD get our seal of approval both for their flavor profile—floral, fruity, and earthy—and their chill impact on tired limbs, sore joints, and racing minds. With so many gummies on the market, it can be easy to forget that not everyone has a taste for the candy-like item. What’s more: This honey can be consumed on its own, stirred into a beverage, or drizzled on toast or crackers to elevate even the most basic airplane food.

4. Best CBD for newbies: Eco Therapy CBD Mints Relax

  • Buy now: $40 for 30 mints, ecotherapycbd.com; cbd.co
  • CBD per serving: 10 mg
  • THC per serving: THC free

A good option for someone just dipping their toes into the wide world of cannabinoids, these mints are beautifully packaged—we almost feel soothed by the packaging alone—and discreet. Containing just a handful of ingredients, including green tea extract, chamomile, and ginger, each mint has 10 mg of CBD and its effects are subtle yet successful in bringing stress levels down a few notches.

In addition to CBD, this oil contains melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that regulates sleep and can also be taken to fight insomnia and jet lag.

Courtesy of Highline Wellness

5. Best CBD for jet lag (falling asleep): Highline Wellness CBD Night Oil

  • Buy now: $40 for a one-ounce bottle, highlinewellness.com
  • CBD per serving: 16.6 mg
  • THC per serving: THC free

We’ll admit we were initially drawn to this product because of its attractive, streamlined packaging and design, but we stayed enamored after administering a dropper before bed on our first night back in a hotel in an unfamiliar bed and proceeding to fall into a deep, relaxing slumber. The recommended dose’s 5 mg of melatonin no doubt played a part in the oil lulling us to sleep, but it’s hard not to also feel grateful for the groggy-free mornings likely aided by the oil’s hemp-derived CBD.

6. Best CBD for jet lag (staying awake): Mindset Wellness Focus Gummies

  • Buy now: $52 for 50 gummies, mindsetwellness.com
  • CBD per serving: 10 mg
  • THC per serving: 0.011 percent

Truth be told, we’re into all of Mindset Gummies’ categories: happy, calm, rest, recovery, beauty, focus, but if we had to choose just one for our travel needs now, we’d go with focus. Containing terpene pinene, which may aid in memory and stoke creative juices, these blueberry gummies are a great option for travelers with packed itineraries who struggle with jet-lag related brain fog. Plus, pinene—a terpene found in pine, rosemary, and basil—may also help relieve pain.

7. Best topical CBD: Healing Rose Lemon Ginger Menthol 4X Herbal Salve

  • Buy now: $80 for a 2.25-ounce jar, thehealingroseco.com
  • CBD per serving: 4.76 mg, based on a pea-sized amount
  • THC per serving: 0.3 percent or less

Travel often requires a certain amount of stamina. Whether it’s a long, international flight, a multiday road trip, or an interstate Amtrak journey, the inevitability of sore muscles and joints is ever present. While many ingestible CBD products purport to reduce inflammation and provide relief for arthritis or other chronic pain issues, we love the swift relief of a topical salve. And a little of this product, made in Massachusetts by a women-led company, goes a long way.
>> Next: How to Calm Your Travel Anxiety

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