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Can You Travel With CBD in South America?

Travel With CBD in South America

CBD has taken the health and wellness space by storm. You can find it in different forms at several dispensaries and stores, both online and offline. Since the shift in marijuana legislation, all these occurred, making the legal side of cannabis and cannabis-derived products more straightforward in the U.S.

However, travelers are still left to figure out the legality of such products, especially when it involves flights and traveling overseas.

Understandably, the legislation of CBD and cannabis, in general, varies across different countries. But to truly understand this confusing topic, travelers need to know a few things. First off, it’s necessary to fully appreciate where CBD comes from, or in other words, the differences between hemp, cannabis, and marijuana.

Distinguishing Hemp, Marijuana, and Cannabis

Travel With CBD in South America

Though most people use these three terms interchangeably, they are not the same. The cannabis plant can be classified into three major kinds: Sativa, Indica, and Hybrids. Marijuana is a plant that can either be part of the cannabis Indica or Sativa classification. However, hemp belongs only to the Cannabis Sativa group. If you know what to look for, the hemp and marijuana plants are quite distinctive.

The chemical makeup of these two plants comprises tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, and cannabidiol (CBD). The main difference, while hemp usually contains no more than 0.3% THC, marijuana contains about 40% THC. Manufacturers extract CBD from these plants and process them into products. Today, you can buy CBD gummies online, along with several other CBD products like oils, tinctures, etc.

The Legal State of CBD in South American Countries

According to the LATAM Cannabis Report, published in 2018, Latin American countries could become leaders in the global cannabis business in terms of its export and cultivation. On the regulatory side, you can divide the present landscape of cannabis legalization into two main categories.

One category supports the medicinal use of cannabis and cannabis-derived products. Whereas the second allow its recreational use.

Talking about CBD in particular, this therapeutic compound is largely unregulated. In places that legalized CBD, it is regarded as a useful medicinal product, regulated through prescriptions. However, there are some other countries within South America that sell it over the counter.

South American Countries That Allow CBD

Travel With CBD in South America

Due to the history of drug trafficking in this part of the world, some experts believed the legalization of medical marijuana couldn’t be possible in South America. However, countries like Uruguay and Colombia took the lead and approved CBD products containing no more than 1% THC. Plus, the percentage of THC content has to be calculated in dry weight.

Apart from this, Mexico has also legalized CBD and gives out several commercial licenses for CBD products. Like Columbia, it also allows products with less than 1% THC for use but on a commercial scale.

Below is a list of some of the countries in South America where medicinal marijuana is legal:

  • Colombia - Formally approved medicinal cannabis in 2015
  • Mexico - June 2017 marks the legalization of medicinal cannabis.
  • Brazil - The National Health Agency of Brazil legalized CBD products in 2015
  • Argentina - Approved new regulations for medical cannabis in 2017
  • Cayman Islands - Legalized limited medicinal use of CBD in 2016
  • Peru - 2015, approved the use of cannabis oil.

Other countries that legalized medicinal cannabis include:

  • Chile
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Uruguay

It looks like the countries that legalized medicinal use of cannabis are also open to CBD use. Hence, you can buy, sell, and consume CBD without any fear of legal action.

But apart from these, there are Latin American countries that are not open to CBD products and medicinal marijuana in general. Some of these countries have laws against their consumption and sale.

Tips For Traveling With CBD in South America

Travel With CBD in South America

Because CBD comes in different forms like edibles, creams, liquids, and even e-liquids, you may need to adjust to comply with form-specific rules that your destination may enforce. However, all gels, oils, edibles, and other liquids require you to comply with regular TSA 3-1-1 rules.

You must not hide them, but you don’t need to declare your CBD products either. The rules of the TSA also allow travelers to bring electronic gadgets like vaping devices onboard flights. And yes, this includes your atomizers and batteries. But they’ll need to be in your carry-on bag, not checked-in luggage.

Generally, it’s not advisable to travel with hemp flowers, both in Southern and North America. The reason is simple. It is too similar to the marijuana flower. Authorities will have to perform lab tests to tell the difference, and you don’t want to be detained at the airport.


If you must travel with CBD in South America, it’ll be better to do so on the safe side and avoid any legal issues. Hence, it may be worth consulting the rule for your specific destination before booking a flight or packing your luggage.

And always remember that for every CBD product you carry, whether CBD gummies, CBD oil, or topical lotion, you need to bring the certificate of analysis of the product. It doesn’t matter if all your products are FDA-approved medications.


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