Updated: Oct 15, 2019
For many people, traveling (whether for business or pleasure) can be anxiety-inducing and for professional dancers, performance tours can be particularly exhausting. Aside from the fatigue that jet lag brings, there’s chronic venous insufficiency from sitting too long, there’s flight anxiety, and there’s a looming early morning call at the theatre for warm-up class. But how do you bring your CBD relief products with you on tour? What’s allowed in the airport, and can you stash it in your carry-on? And for those of us less inclined to dance professionally, how can CBD products make travel more relaxing?
Since the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp and its derivatives (in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-334), TSA has updated its policy on traveling with marijuana. The new policy specifies: “products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA” are legal for transport. Practically speaking, this means that CBD-only products are allowed to come with you—on tour, on vacation, on business trips, and more.
A simple web search will find that CBD is supposedly legal in Argentina, Austria, Belize, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the Virgin Islands, the UK, and Uruguay. We recommend doing more research before traveling to any of the country’s listed. Many will have restrictions on the amount of THC allowed in CBD products and the type of product itself: for example, Great Britain requires a THC level of 0.2 percent or less but is fine with tinctures, topicals and edibles.
Why just CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) and its cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are just two of over a hundred cannabinoids present in Hemp and Cannabis Plants. While THC causes the psychoactive reaction that we call a high, CBD induces no such response, it won’t get you intoxicated. The previously mentioned 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and its derivatives because they contain far less THC; legally, hemp must have less than 0.3 percent THC (it should be noted that Fire Leaf performs 3rd party laboratory testing on all our products to ensure that its products are under the legal threshold).
Without question, CBD has shown broad medicinal benefits and anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Scientists found that it binds to endocannabinoid Cb1 and Cb2 receptors to control inflammation, which manifests in several different ways in various parts of the body.
How can CBD make air travel easier?
Knowing that CBD responds to inflammation, we can now translate “inflammation” into specific symptoms, defining the ways it can affect your joints, tissues, and more. Let’s start at the top:
Flight anxiety can respond to several factors, whether it be the hustle and bustle to get to your flight, the crowded seating in economy or the long flight itself. If flight anxiety affects you, a solution is near: according to the Journal of Pyschopharmacology, a study on the neural basis of CBD’s anxiolytic effects found that “CBD reduces anxiety... and that this [was] related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.” Another study published by the National Library of Medicine saw “anxiety scores decrease within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%)” using CBD, and remain decreased during the study duration.
And though flight anxiety can also make it difficult to sleep in your seat, this same study saw “sleep scores improve within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%)” with CBD use. Cannabidiol is known to help regulate sleep—those endocannabinoid receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that modulates sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system. Sleeping more on the plane will help you kick that jet lag once you land: more time to explore your destination.
For dancers especially, anxiety can also bring compounded tension to problem areas, tightening knots and increasing inflammation in tired muscles. CBD application will calm receptors, allowing muscles to relax in preparation for tomorrow night’s show.
Muscular tightness, stiffness, and CVI: Unfortunately, anxiety is not the only flight factor that contributes to muscular ailments. Sitting for so long can put stress on joints and decrease blood flow. But CBD is known to combat synovial inflammation (inflammation of the fluid that reduces friction between joints).
Sitting for extended periods of time also lends itself to CVI, chronic venous insufficiency. You may recognize it as swelling in your ankles or lower legs. Luckily, swelling is a synonym for inflammation, so your trusty CBD products can moderate that, too. Reducing the swelling in your ankles will increase mobility and help you fit your foot into those pointe shoes, if need be.
Immunity is a huge concern for travelers—exposure to a myriad of germs, all trapped in a warm cabin for hours, can lead to days in bed rather than on the stage (or on the beach, for those traveling for vacation). However, since the ECS is also responsible for regulating the immune system, CBD binding to the endocannabinoid receptors can put your immune system on defense mode to fight off those extra germs.
The ability to travel with your CBD products is a tremendous benefit of purchasing Industrial Hemp-based CBD products, such as Fire Leaf Extracts. For dancers, this means pain relief on a long run of performances, and injury prevention in intense rehearsal periods. For vacationers, this means carefree relaxation at your favorite destination, and relief for your feet after those long European walking tours.