Getting back to flying after the pandemic is enough to give anyone the jitters. But for some people, the lead-up to any flight is always stressful. There are ways to reduce travel nerves, but can CBD help reduce pre-flight stress?
It’s useful to differentiate between the type of nerves that may build up before a flight. Are you stressed because you genuinely hate flying? Is being in a plane thousands of feet up, seemingly defying the laws of gravity, too much to cope with? Or is it the process of getting to the airport that brings on the butterflies? Either way, stress is likely to build well before take-off.

Fear of flying – aerophobia – is a defined phobia, and there are programs to reduce this. It can be debilitating and impact family, friendships, social and work life. People suffering from aerophobia identify with one of two types of anxiety:

  • The fear of an external, uncontrollable event like turbulence, engine problems or bad weather.
  • The worry of losing emotional control due to fear, thereby embarrassing yourself in front of others.

Aerophobia is a serious condition that’s believed to affect one in ten people. But there are many more people who experience general pre-flight stress. This probably disappears once they are in the air because it is more associated with anticipation and travel to the plane.

What Are the Reasons For Pre-Flight Stress?

Air travel is much more complicated than hopping on a bus or taking the car. That’s why it is more likely to cause stress. Think of the potential stress builders:

  • Getting up super early to get to the airport ahead of schedule and maybe oversleeping
  • The bus or train to the airport being delayed, or the car breaking down
  • Overloaded luggage incurring extra payment
  • Long queues to check in
  • Losing your boarding pass or passport
  • More long queues at security, then being picked out for a search
  • Going to the wrong gate
  • Flight delays or, worse, cancellation
  • Luggage not appearing on the carousel
  • Finding a way from the airport to the destination

There’s so much potential for air travel misery that many, usually calm, people experience even mild pre-flight stress. Psychologists call it anticipatory anxiety. But there are simple techniques to calm the nerves.
Preparation: Get ready for your trip well in advance. Knowing you have double and triple-checked your luggage and personal items is reassuring.
Give yourself extra time: If you worry about missing the flight, calm your travel anxiety by arriving extra early. It may be a pain for your travel companions, but it’s better than a hysterical, clock-watching trip.
Visualise the destination: If you are flying for a well-deserved holiday or to reunite with loved ones, visualising can help you commit to the journey. Carry a photo to remind yourself why you are flying.
Positive thinking: Remind yourself of all the successful flights you’ve had when all went well. In the end, there had been no need to stress. Convince yourself this flight will be the same.
Expect the unexpected: Airports are unpredictable places where things can go wrong. When that happens, officials usually take charge. Accept that whatever is happening is outside your control. No amount of worry can change it.
Meditation and mindfulness: These practices can provide calming techniques to steer you through your flight. For an extra boost, download a mindfulness app. Listening can block out other people’s noise and stress, reducing your own.
Positive playlist: Create a bespoke travel playlist full of happy tunes and sunshine feels to keep you uplifted and help you look forward to the trip.

Can CBD Help With Pre-Flight Stress?

CBD has a great reputation for calming the nerves and creating a sense of peace. Many people believe it reduces their worry levels and allows them to focus on the important things. In fact, people who regularly feel anxious often take it every day to help ward off worries. As well as supposedly having a calming effect, CBD apparently boosts mood and supports a more balanced persona. Anecdotal evidence suggests that even when taken for aches and pains, CBD inadvertently results in improved mood and a happier outlook. If CBD can reduce nervous thoughts and induce happiness, it could be a great way to deal with pre-flight stress!

When And How To Take CBD

If your pre-flight anxiety kicks in days or even weeks before, try taking CBD daily in advance. Experts believe that the longer CBD is taken, the greater the effect. This is because it may take time to truly establish itself in the body and get to work on the endocannabinoid system. This system is active in nearly all bodily functions but has a major connection to the nervous system. However, everyone is unique and bodies react to CBD in different ways. One dropper of CBD oil may calm one person’s nerves an hour before a flight. For another, it might take weeks of experimenting with doses and strengths to get the desired result.

CBD Formats

CBD is available in different formats and, therefore, can have a delayed effect. CBD oil is taken as drops under the tongue. The CBD is absorbed through the thin membranes and reaches the bloodstream quickly. Vaping CBD e-liquid also takes CBD directly to the bloodstream via the lungs. The results of both can be felt in minutes.

However, CBD oil can be bitter to taste, so CBD is available as capsules or edibles, like gummy bears or chocolate. These are more pleasant to take but must be metabolised through the digestive system. This means they take longer to work, but ultimately have a longer-lasting effect. They can be taken well before the flight to work at the crucial time. It might still be useful to keep a few gummies handy during the journey in case stress levels start rising.

A new and convenient way to take CBD on the go are CBD pouches. These are like mini teabags filled with CBD, plant matter and natural flavourings. There’s no mess and they are very discreet. They are placed between the lip or cheek and the gum, where the CBD is absorbed through the thin membranes. From there it’s delivered straight to the bloodstream.

Travelling With CBD

If you are taking CBD oil in your hand luggage for easy access, be aware this must be shown at security with your other liquids. If vaping is your passion, make sure you know what is allowed on board, or your precious CBD vape juice could be confiscated.

Be extra careful that CBD is legal in the country you’re flying to. In the UK and EU, laws regarding CBD are relaxed, but it’s still illegal in Slovakia, Bosnia, Russia and Serbia. In Belgium and Portugal, CBD requires a prescription, and it’s not legal in Denmark or Iceland.

Further afield, the rules vary widely and are liable to change, so do your homework before flying. Check the rules for each state when flying to the USA. Although THC-free CBD is on sale in Israel, Turkey and Egypt, in other Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia, it’s seen as cannabis and people have been imprisoned or worse for possession. Do not add to your pre-flight stress by panicking about being questioned in the Arrivals hall – leave the CBD at home this time and focus on other ways to reduce stress.

To Sum Up

CBD may be a game-changer for nervous travellers. Be prepared for your next flight by ordering from a huge range of quality, tested products at CBD Village. Get to know the products that work for you. Saying hello to CBD could mean saying goodbye to pre-flight stress. Safe travels!

Read our similar blog on: Can You Use CBD for Driving Anxiety?



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