Even though non-essential travel is suspended at the time of this writing (as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic), we hope to get back to traveling in no time. A lot of countries have laws that enable tourists to bring their CBD products and medical marijuana in order to treat medical conditions, or just help them fall asleep easier.
But are CBD products legal to bring in every country? The answer is no.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a popular tourist destination for people all over the world. They include the seven emirates – Abu Dhabi, Umm al-Qaiwain, Fujairah, Ajman, Ra’s al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Dubai. The emirates have been major tourist destinations since the 1990s, especially the capital Dubai. So, let’s get into the subject of bringing CBD oil into UAE, with a focus on Dubai, and answer the “Can you take CBD oil into Dubai” question.
What’s CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a product made from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. It’s one of the two main cannabinoids found in weed – cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). As opposed to THC, CBD doesn’t cause psychoactive effects nor intoxication.
CBD is consumed by medical marijuana users to help with depression, insomnia, chronic pain, anxiety, and other conditions, including preventing seizures. While the use of CBD and medical marijuana are gaining in popularity in the United States, the UAE is a whole other topic.
Can You Bring CBD Oil to Dubai (UAE)?
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has one of the strictest policies when it comes to possession, consumption, and transportation of illegal drugs. In the UAE, CBD oil is considered a drug, similar to cannabis. The same goes for Dubai, the most populated city in the UAE, as well as the other emirates.
So, if you’re planning a first-time trip to Dubai, you should know that you can get in trouble with the Dubai police if you’re found in possession of CBD. Emirati authorities even see the presence of drugs in the bloodstream as possession and you could face a jail sentence of up to four years if found with even trace amounts of illegal substances in your possession, or in your blood.
In 2019, a British tourist got a 10-year sentence for drug trafficking into Dubai. And that isn’t the only case. Last year, an Asian smuggler was arrested at the UAE airport for possession of 6 kg of cannabis and was convicted to 10 years in jail as well as a fine of Dh 50,000 ($13,612).
Moreover, according to the UK’s Foreign Office (FCO), trafficking large amounts of drugs can lead to the death penalty sentence, which is a legal penalty in the UAE. For that reason, the Foreign Office advises against bringing even the smallest amount of CBD to Dubai.
What About Transit Tourists?
Even transit tourists can’t escape the excellent technology and security at UAE airports. Transit tourists carrying even residual amounts of drugs will be arrested by local police and will be sent to court. Just the presence of the letters C-B-D on the packaging may be reason enough for you to be arrested by Emirati authorities.
Can CBD Oil Be Shipped to the UAE?
The law is the same when it comes to ordering hemp oil online, it’s illegal. So, you won’t be able to order CBD and have it shipped to Dubai if you’re travelling there. This also applies for skin care products and soaps that contain CBD oil as an ingredient.
What About Other Cannabis Products?
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is different from CBD oil. The latter contains a higher concentration of CBD, while the former comes from the small seeds of the plant and it doesn’t contain any CBD. As such, hemp seed oil is legal for sale and purchase in Dubai in the form of both health care and cosmetic products since 2019.
CBD Capsules, Edibles, and Gummies
CBD capsules, edibles, and gummies are also illegal in Dubai. If you’re found in possession of products that contain CBD as an ingredient, you’ll face serious jail time.
While vaping devices and e-cigarettes are legal to sell in shops in the UAE for people over 18 since April 2019, CBD cartridges are illegal. Given that the law was passed for allowing the sale of vape pens, a lot of foreign tourists were arrested for having CBD oil inside their vape pens instead of tobacco just in the first quarter of 2019.
Dubai’s Possession Laws
As we’ve previously said, the smoking tolerance level in Dubai is zero, so you can face a sentence for possession as low as 2 years, and as high as a capital punishment, depending on the amount of cannabis you’re caught with. Foreigners have an even bigger chance of being considered a threat by local law enforcement.
To Sum It Up
In the last few years, CBD has gained in popularity and it’s included in a lot of products ranging from snacks to cosmetics and medical marijuana remedies. But in some places in the world, it’s still against the law to use or possess such products.
CBD oil isn’t legal in Dubai, nor is it legal in any of the seven emirates to buy, sell, cultivate, or use. Any of these actions could lead to severe punishment. Tourists who are planning to travel to the United Arab Emirates shouldn’t bring products that contain CBD oil or any other illegal drugs in the country. This includes skin care products as well as e-cigarette refills that may contain CBD oil and other illegal ingredients.
Doing so may result in imprisonment for minor possession, and capital punishment if you’re found with large amounts of cannabis or CBD products. For that reason, it’s best to stay on the safe side and maybe go to neighboring countries like Iran, Pakistan, and India, if you’re craving narcotic or psychotropic substances.