using cannabis oil when traveling

Using Cannabis Oil when you Travel

In Travel Tips by Midas

Cannabis is known as a super helpful plant and has been used by people for over 2,500 years. This is especially good news for people who travel a lot. Using products made from cannabis can help with many problems travelers face, like pain, feeling anxious, or not being able to sleep.

But one question comes up a lot: How much cannabis oil is okay to take when you’re traveling? We’re going to dive into that question and give you some clear answers.

Disclaimer – Consult your doctor before you use any supplements. Cannabis oil works differently for various people.

Understanding the Different Types of Cannabis Oils

The cannabis plant contains more than 480 compounds. These compounds are broadly categorized into two groups, namely cannabinoids and terpenes.

Cannabinoids refer to the compounds that account for most of the medicinal properties of cannabis. On the other hand, terpenes are compounds that give different cannabis strains their distinctive tastes and flavors.

So far, researchers have identified over 110 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. The two most widely-researched cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is best known for its therapeutic properties and mostly comes to mind when discussing medical marijuana. 

On the other hand, THC is renowned for its psychotropic and intoxicating effects and is mostly associated with recreational marijuana. Whenever you consume a cannabis-based product and end up experiencing euphoric effects (or the famous high), know that the product contained decent levels of THC.

Like other cannabis extracts, both CBD and THC can be processed into oils, in which case they’re known as CBD oil and THC oil, respectively.

Why Is It Necessary To Discuss Cannabis Oils Separately?

There are numerous reputable outlets where you can buy high-quality cannabis seeds online and begin your marijuana cultivation journey. However, you’ll hardly find a retailer dealing in individual products labeled as cannabis oils. On the contrary, those products will always bear the labels ‘CBD oils, ‘THC oils,’ etc., depending on the specific cannabinoids that the product contains.

Before purchasing cannabis oil for your next trip, endeavor to familiarize yourself with the active ingredients in the product. Most importantly, try to establish what the law says concerning the possession and use of cannabis products in your travel destination.

As you shall find, cannabis laws appear to be more lenient on non-psychoactive than psychoactive marijuana compounds. For instance, it’s legal to travel with cannabis oil across all states in the United States, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. You only need to ensure that those products contain no more than 0.3% of THC- the psychoactive compound. 

Now, the difference between the psychoactive properties of marijuana compounds lies in how the extracts interact with your endocannabinoid system, particularly how they affect your endocannabinoid receptors. Non-psychoactive compounds like CBD affect CB2 receptors, located farthest from the brain and central nervous system. Their psychoactive counterparts, like THC, bind to CB1 receptors that are located nearest to the brain, which accounts for their mind-altering properties. 

In fact, many countries that ban cannabis cite the plant’s psychoactive nature. This means that if you must travel with cannabis oil, ensure that the oil is formulated with a maximum of 0.3% THC. If you can find THC-free products, as is the case with most hemp-derived CBD oils, the better for you.

Even so, cannabis laws are not the same worldwide. So, the best way to avoid running afoul of the law is to research the specific cannabis oils that are legal in your travel destination.

three bottles of hemp oil
Bottles of hemp-derived CBD oil tinctures Source:

So How Many Drops Of Cannabis Oil Should You Take When You Travel?

You’ve done your research and established that you could legally consume cannabis products in your travel destination. Now, you could be wondering how many drops of cannabis oil you should take as you travel.

It’s important to note that cannabis has no ideal dose, which means that each user has to establish their suitable doses. So, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution as far as determining the amount of cannabis oil to consume during your travel is concerned. Fortunately, various aspects can help you zone in on a dose that works for you.

The following are some of the factors to take into consideration while establishing the right amount of cannabis oil to consume while traveling;

1. The Type of Cannabinoids in the Product

One or more cannabinoids can be used to formulate cannabis oils. These cannabinoids are mostly categorized in terms of their psychoactive nature.

While purchasing a cannabis oil to travel with, always read the ingredients list carefully. Generally, most cannabinoids whose abbreviations begin with the prefix CB- are non-psychoactive, whereas those preceded by the prefix TH- are psychoactive.

Better yet, you can look for the terms ‘isolates,’ ‘broad-spectrum,’ or ‘full-spectrum.’ Isolates are products that contain one cannabinoid. For instance, CBD isolates contain cannabidiol only. Broad-spectrum cannabis oils refer to oils that contain numerous cannabinoids, except THC. Lastly, full-spectrum cannabis oils are formulated with CBD, THC, and lots of other cannabinoids.

When determining your dose depending on the types of cannabinoids in cannabis oil, the convention is to go slow on THC-containing products unless you’re a seasoned cannabis user. Since THC binds to receptors located nearest to our brain and central nervous system, our bodies are highly sensitive to it. So, overdose risks are higher with THC oil compared to non-psychoactive cannabis oils like CBD oil.

2. The Strength of Cannabinoids in the Product

The strength of cannabinoids in cannabis oil refers to the concentration of specific cannabinoids in the product. For instance, let’s assume that you’ve purchased 100 milliliters of cannabis oil that contains 20 milligrams of CBD and 10 milligrams of THC.

The CBD strength in the oil works out as 20mg/100ml, which means that for every 5 ml of the cannabis oil you consume, your CBD intake is 1mg. Using the same formula, 10 milligrams in every 100 milliliters translates to 10mg/100ml. Therefore, the same 5 ml of cannabis oil carries 0.5 mg of THC.

Most cannabinoids come in strengths between 20 and 40 mg per dose. However, some travelers are comfortable with as little as 1 mg per dose, whereas others can even tolerate 100 mg. Again, this comes down to your specific requirements.

As you shall find, oils containing higher concentrations of cannabinoids will work for you if you’re older, relatively big-bodied, and tolerant to cannabis. The contrary is true for younger travelers with smaller bodies and a bit sensitive to cannabis products. 

For instance, travelers aged below 30 years and weighing 100 pounds can safely consume CBD oils with a concentration between 10 mg and 60 mg. Older travelers weighing around 250 pounds will do fine with products that contain up to 150 mg concentration of CBD oil.

A woman holding a bottle of hemp oil

3. The Condition You’re Trying to Treat

There are many travel-related side effects that cannabis oils can help with, including pain, anxiety, nausea, and insomnia. But the amount of cannabis oil you consume depends on the severity and the duration of the condition. 

For instance, you can consume as much as 80 mg of cannabis oils to relieve headaches and acute back pains triggered by long-haul flights. The same applies to insomnia.

High doses of cannabis oils will help you fall asleep by shortening your sleep latency and ensuring that you enjoy quality sleep by eliminating rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, characterized by intense eye movement and physical agitation.

If you’re suffering from a social anxiety disorder, you can take 20 mg of THC-low cannabis oils before appearing in public places.

Consult your doctor for underlying medical conditions before traveling to determine how much cannabis oils you can consume.

4.  Delivery Method

There are several ways to consume cannabis oils, including;

  • Oral administration of cannabis oil tinctures
  • Vaping cannabis-infused e-juices
  • Smoking dried cannabis extracts
  • Ingesting cannabis edibles
  • Topical application of cannabis-enriched cosmetic products

Each of these methods comes with its own rate of absorption, which is technically known as bioavailability.

The following table helps to put that into better perspective;

Delivery MethodBioavailabilityTime to Take Effect
Oral tincturesUp to 40%20 – 30 minutes
Vape oilsUp to 60%5 – 10 minutes
SmokablesUp to 60%5 – 10 minutes
Edibles4 – 20%1 hour – 3 hours
Topical applicationUp to 45%20 – 40 minutes
Disclaimer – This chart is not meant to be used as fact. Consult your doctor before you use any supplements.

Generally, the lower the bioavailability, the higher the amounts of cannabis oils you can consume.

A man vaping

There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to determining the amount of cannabis oil to consume when you travel. It all comes down to the types and strengths of the cannabinoids in the oil, your favorite delivery method, and the condition you’re trying to relieve. As a general rule, however, always begin with low doses and gradually work your way up. Once you’ve established your sweet spot, stick to it. That’s the only way you’ll avoid experiencing adverse side effects such as nausea, drowsiness, hallucinations, and dependency.