EducationMedical cannabis on holiday: The basics

Medical cannabis on holiday: The basics

6 min read

Lucy MacKinnon

Medical cannabis on holiday: the basics


Please note that this information does not constitute legal advice and should not be solely relied upon. It is crucial to thoroughly review the current travel advice for each country before making any travel arrangements or embarking on a journey with medical cannabis.

Here at Releaf we understand that holidays should be about relaxation, but travelling with medical cannabis sounds like a stressful voyage.

We’re doing what we can to absorb that stress so that you can soak up the sun, and so, we’ve designed a series of articles to cover the subject: medical cannabis on holiday. 

Medical cannabis on holiday: the series

Much like the NHS, the Government, and the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society, at Releaf we strongly recommend doing some research before attempting to travel with medical cannabis.  

That's why we’ve put together this content series, to help assist you in your medical cannabis journey, giving you the facts so that you can enjoy a well deserved holiday.

To help you do this, we have designed a Continental Cannabis Guide that details the legality and acceptance of cannabis based medicinal treatments across the globe. Here we explain the different rules and laws relating to medicinal cannabis in different countries in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Oceania and Africa. 

Our destination inspiration features contain a compilation of information relating to the legality and accessibility of medical cannabis in the countries that appear on TripAdvisor and’s 2023 top charts, so that you can trot off to where’s hot this year. 

We’ve also collated all the relevant advice available from a number of official sources including the NHS, the government and the INCB in our Professional Guidance feature, to help you prepare all the relevant documentation and receive approval from the relevant authorities before embarking on your journey. 

What you need to know: an overview

Before attempting to take your medication across the border, it is imperative that you read up on the legal status of medical cannabis in the country you plan on visiting - including any stopovers or airline transfers. 

Rules and regulations concerning the legality and availability of medical cannabis vary from country to country, but generally in the western world, laws tend to be gradually changing in favour of the medicinal applications of cannabis. 

Of course, it is extremely important to follow the guidelines provided by both the government and the NHS when carrying medical cannabis out of the country, and it is imperative to also check the guidelines that relate to bringing any leftover medication back home. 

Because medical cannabis is classed as a controlled drug in the UK, and in many other countries around the world, failing to take these steps and gain approval from the relevant authorities is classed as smuggling, which often comes with very heavy legal penalties attached. 

Whether travelling for business or for pleasure, approval from the destination’s Embassy is always required to take medical cannabis into another country. This includes any stopovers or transfers you may also be taking in your journey, and patients are expected to wait a number of weeks before receiving an answer, so it is important to plan ahead. 

Often approval from the individual airline, railway, or transportation provider is also needed before attempting to travel with medical cannabis, and these guidelines vary from company to company, so it is important to research this for each trip. 

A letter from your clinician explaining your prescription and medication is also always required when travelling overseas with medical cannabis, and it is best to keep medication in its original packaging to prove its validity. 

According to UK government guidelines, residents with valid medical cannabis prescriptions can take up to three months supply of medication out of the country with them without an export licence - but only if they have received official approval. 

How Releaf can help

As well as having access to this travel guide, our patients can access to their medical records, prescription documentation, and clinical information at any time, anywhere in the world, all through our website. 

Every Releaf patient is also issued with a Medical Cannabis Card, which contains a QR code that can be scanned to access this information quickly. In the UK, law enforcement have been briefed about this type of photo ID to prevent patients from being mistaken for acting illegally. 

Our medical cannabis is always dispatched in its original packaging, which also details your prescription information because we believe in transparency. When travelling, we advise  that our patients keep their medication in this packaging for extra ease at the airport. 

Here at Releaf, we can also supply patients with a specialist travel certificate to take abroad with them. Written by one of our expert clinicians, this certificate will detail the patient’s medical condition, and explain the course of treatment with medical cannabis. 

Our medical cannabis travel certificates contain the following information:

  • The name and qualifications of your doctor
  • Details of the clinic
  • The diagnosed condition(s) that medical cannabis is being used to treat
  • The medication’s name and details of its medical profile
  • The medical administration process
  • The quantity supplied
  • The daily dosage prescribed

Our Patient Support Team are also available to qualm any concerns patients may have by pointing them in the direction of further professional guidance or contacts that may be able to give them individual advice. 

We’ve put these practices in place to give extra piece of mind to our customers as they explore the world, because we don’t believe they should have to choose between their health and a holiday. 


Please note that this information does not constitute legal advice and should not be solely relied upon. It is crucial to thoroughly review the current travel advice for each country before making any travel arrangements or embarking on a journey with medical cannabis.

It is important to seek medical advice before starting any new treatments. The patient advisors at Releaf are available to provide expert advice and support. Alternatively, click here to book a consultation with one of our specialist doctors.

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With five years of journalism and healthcare content creation under her belt, Lucy strives to improve medical cannabis awareness and access in the UK by producing high quality, credible content.

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Further reading

The Continental Cannabis Guide: Medical cannabis-friendly countries

For some patients, medical cannabis really is a lifeline and is therefore a necessary component in the holiday of a lifetime. So that you don’t have to choose between your health and a holiday, we’ve put together this guide that explains which countries currently have medical cannabis policies in place.

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