Posted on

cbd oil for fear of flying

I had a very short layover in Denver and wasn’t sure if I should try topping off my earlier dose of CBD, but I went for it, because, again, Denver airport problems. I only used one dropper full this time, and it was about five hours after my previous dose and about 30 minutes before my flight. Our takeoff was terrible, so I would have loved to be relaxed, but this time I felt no effects of the CBD oil other than my palms feeling extra sweaty. The relaxation reached me later in the flight, but at that point, I didn’t feel like I needed it as much.

Poor planning on my part resulted in me flying through Denver again to come back home, despite how much anxiety the flight route gives me. But I was better prepared on the CBD front this time, which was a very good thing when I realized that a lot of my usual comforts during a flight were going to be taken from me. I checked into my Southwest flight far later than I usually do and was stuck with a bad boarding spot, which meant no window. Then the passenger who had the window seat of my row closed the shade, and I actually wanted to panic. Luckily, I had taken three droppers full of CBD oil about 45 minutes prior to this and had already started to feel drowsy. Despite being very uncomfortable during the entire flight, the CBD absolutely helped to calm me down.

My CBD oil of choice was Diamond CBD oil in cotton candy flavor, because I’m nothing if not a child at heart. Over the course of four flights, I experimented with how much I used and when to see if I could find the magic formula. I opted to fully use it as a tincture, as that is the easiest for me to do while traveling. But, rather than drop it into any liquid, I put it straight in my mouth for efficiency.

Flight 2: Denver to San Francisco

I finally got it right for the fourth flight. After another layover in Denver, where I topped up on the CBD with another two droppers, I was actually able to nod off during the flight. It’s extremely rare for me to feel calm and comfortable enough during a flight to actually fall asleep, so this was a bit of a miracle.

Because of poor planning on my part, I got to the airport much later than I wanted to for this flight, which meant I didn’t take my CBD oil until I’d already boarded the plane. I opted to do two nearly full pumps of the dropper because I tend to be fairly resistant to CBD and THC and I wanted to really relax. About an hour into the flight, I started to feel slightly tired but not drowsy and pretty relaxed. Overall, the flight was pretty calm, but once we were coming into Denver, which is never fun, I was hyperaware of everything, and the CBD had no effect at that point.

I have such an intense love/hate relationship with flying. I think flying is one of the coolest experiences, but it still absolutely terrifies me for reasons that make no sense whatsoever. While in flight, I go through several routines that help calm my nerves, and if any of it is thrown out of whack, I find myself having a near meltdown. But at the advice of POPSUGAR Fitness editor Dominique Astorino, who used CBD oil for anxiety, I decided to try it on my last batch of flights to see how it would work for me.

Overall, I would recommend this particular CBD oil for anyone who is a nervous traveler. The percentage of CBD in the oil is low enough to make it legal to purchase, carry, and use, but it’s still concentrated enough to give you the calming effects. The small bottles are actually perfect for travel, because they meet TSA requirements for the amount of liquid you’re allowed to bring on a plane. However, all that being said, make sure to read the instructions that come with any CBD or hemp products you purchase and adjust accordingly to see what will work for you.

This one is sort of a maybe/yes/no. "Swelling while you travel could be a result of poor circulation not necessarily inflammation, and dry skin isn’t a result of inflammation so CBD may not have any benefit in this area, but the topical administration of CBD ointment is a safe and non-invasive solution that can improve skin irritation, especially on inflammatory background," says Dr. Allen Morgan, women’s health specialist and co-founder of Maxine + Morgan.

Also, as with all CBD and cannabis-related products, be sure to learn the legalities of the products in your particular state or place of travel, as many states haven’t quite jumped on the marijuana bandwagon just yet. As for flying with CBD, according to the TSA site, "Marijuana and certain cannabis infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law except for products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA." Be sure to check the ingredients facts on your CBD product of choice to see if it meets the federal requirements before tossing in your carry-on.

While Dr. Bonni Goldstein, medical advisor for Weedmaps and owner and Medical Director of Canna-Centers Wellness & Education, notes that there is still much to be learned and examined about the claims and uses of CBD, she acknowledges that it’s also pretty darn helpful when it comes to certain issues — and that includes some of the aforementioned travel-related ones. But there are a few caveats. Ahead, find feedback from Dr. Goldstein and a few other medical professionals to learn how CBD can — and can’t — benefit you on your next trip.

For Flight Anxiety

Between the tinctures, gummies, water, and even more products touting CBD’s powers (supplements, superfoods, and more), you must be living under a rock these days if you haven’t heard of its claims — let alone tried it. Among the most popular uses of CBD are treating anxiety and stress, easing aches and pains, and soothing skin, so it doesn’t seem so unusual to think that it could work as an aid to some of the negative effects of travel, like jet lag, muscle cramping, or plane panic.

There’s a lot to look forward to when taking a trip, from checking out the historic sites to enjoying the comforts of a bed that’s decidedly nicer than your own. But getting there isn’t always a breeze. Between the discomfort and dryness that can take place mid-flight, the sleeplessness you might suffer from crossing into a different time zone, and the panic that sets in for those who deal with flight anxiety, traveling can also kind of be a pain — sometimes literally. That said, is CBD for travel a worthy solution? According to medical experts, it just might be — but there are a few things you should know before looking to this buzzy wellness trend to solve all your in-flight woes.

"CBD can be helpful for travel anxiety because, by activating the endocannabinoid system, it dampens the stress response," says Dr. Kate Denniston of Los Angeles Integrative Health. "CBD has also been shown to reduce activity in the amygdala, an area of the brain that is part of our threat detection system, which can induce the body’s flight or fight response. By modulating neural activity in the body’s threat response system, our perception of threats and stressors changes."

And while Dr. Goldstein agrees that those who experience stress during travel could benefit, she mentions that, before testing it out on a flight, first make sure it works for you in an everyday setting. "Like all substances (e.g. pharmaceuticals, homeopathic remedies, even foods), everyone responds uniquely to CBD," she says. "The general rule of thumb is, when trying CBD for the first time, try it at home first to see how much dosing (read: the amount) you should take to achieve your desired effects, before you step on the plane."

“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.”

Flying 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!”

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

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.

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.

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