While some CBD products are now legal, what will happen if you carry them on a plane? Can you take CBD on a plane? Learn how to travel with CBD in this simple and easily understood guide.
Is CBD Safe to Carry on a Plane?
Nov. 26, 2019 — Many air travelers who struggle with anxiety and jet lag have turned to CBD as a remedy, even as researchers are still investigating whether it works. Other travelers like to tote along CBD in skin care or beauty products.
But many also wonder: Will my CBD get past the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)?
Earlier this year, officials arrested a 71-year-old woman at the Dallas/Fort-Worth International Airport in May after finding CBD oil in a carry-on. She spent two nights in jail.
While the TSA recently loosened up its regulations around CBD products, the answer is still: It depends.
Marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products including cannabidiol (CBD) oil are still illegal under federal law and won’t make it through government screening, says Carrie Harmon, a TSA spokesperson. But CBD products made from hemp, which contain no more than 0.3% THC, are legal under the Farm Bill of 2018. THC is the component in marijuana that produces a “high.”
In addition, the FDA recently warned companies that adding CBD to foods or dietary supplements is illegal because it has not been declared to be GRAS, or generally recognized as safe.
The TSA’s updated regulations allow passengers to legally bring these products on board:
- Medical marijuana
- Products that contain no more than 0.3% THC
- FDA-approved products. The only one currently approved is Epidiolex (cannabidiol), which treats two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
At the Airport
Once at the TSA checkpoint, what can CBD-toting travelers expect? According to the TSA, screening is focused on security and protecting passenger safety. “TSA security officers don’t search for marijuana or cannabis-infused products. However, in the event a substance that appears illegal is discovered during security screening, TSA officers will refer the matter to law enforcement. Law enforcement officers then follow their own procedures.”
And no, there won’t be a TSA dog sniffing your luggage or purse. “TSA K9s only search for explosives and explosive components,” Harmon says.
Who gets the final word? The TSA website posts: The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.
The other complicating factor is that some states may have more restrictive laws regarding CBD. In Virginia, for example, you can only purchase CBD with a prescription. And CBD of any type is not allowed in dietary supplements or food, the FDA says.
Here’s what experts suggest:
If you are traveling with medical marijuana or an FDA-approved drug, take your prescription with you in case there are any questions. Keep the marijuana and the prescription drug in original packaging.
If you have CBD products, find the product’s certificate of analysis, or CoA.
CoAs are listed on manufacturer’s websites. Or, once the product is purchased, the QR code on the label should be scannable, taking customers to the product’s webpage and the CoA. A CoA will list the percent of CBD and other cannabinoids, when it was tested, and the name of the lab that tested it (outside labs are preferred to company testing, experts say.)
“Print a copy of the certificate of analysis (or CoA) of the CBD product you are carrying so you have formal documentation of what that product is,” says Alex Wolfe, vice-president of business development for ShopCBD.com, an online specialty store representing 32 companies that sell hemp-derived products.
“Any good brand should be able to show you the CoA,” agrees Gary Avetisyan, who is co-owner of two Topikal stores in the Los Angeles area selling CBD products. That way, he says, it will be clear there is no THC or it is below the required 0.3%.
Besides packing the CoA, ”print out the latest regulations that TSA has posted, or have the link to the latest regulations on your phone,” Wolfe suggests. That way, if you encounter a new TSA agent or one unfamiliar with all the regulations, you have support.
If the anxiety of wondering whether you will get through TSA with your CBD is too overwhelming, it might be better to check out whether it’s legal at your destination and simply buy it there. One source for state laws on marijuana, CBD, and hemp is norml.org.
Another option is to shop online or at a store before the trip, then ship the CBD to your destination, Avetisyan says.
Los Angeles attorney Griffen Thorne, who is familiar with cannabis issues, urges passengers to be cautious. He recommends not taking CBD on international flights.
“The laws in the jurisdiction you are flying to can be drastically different. Flying domestically with a CBD product is obviously less of a risk, but I still think there are risks.” Not everyone is up to date on the new TSA stance, he says. Hemp is not a controlled substance federally, he says, but people transporting it across state lines get pulled over. Law enforcement officials are not all familiar with the differences between hemp-derived CBD and cannabis-derived CBD.
As for marijuana, medical or recreational, the best advice, he says, is ”leave it all at home” if you’re flying, since it remains a Schedule I drug on the federal level.
Carrie Harmon, TSA spokesperson.
TSA: “Medical Marijuana.”
Gary Avetisyan, co-owner, Topikal CBD, Los Angeles.
Alex Wolfe, spokesperson, ShopCBD.com.
NBCDFW.com: “Traveling Grandmother Jailed for CBD Oil: ‘I Slept on the Floor… Next to the Toilet.’”
Citizen Truth: “What is a CBD Certificate of Analysis (COA) (And How to Read It).”
Marijuana Policy Project.
TravelLatte: “Traveling with CBD.”
Brookings: “The Farm Bill, hemp legalization and the status of CBD: An explainer.”
Can You Take CBD Oil on a Plane?
If there’s one universal truth about buying CBD oil online, it’s this: CBD isn’t cheap. Buying a bottle of high-potency CBD oil represents a fairly significant investment for many people – and if you happen to be planning a vacation at the same time, the investment becomes even more significant because you’re probably trying to scrape together every penny you can get. You don’t want to double-spend by buying more CBD oil during your vacation when you’re already spending a fortune to travel. Moreover, you also don’t want to spend your hard-earned vacation time looking for a place that has CBD for sale.
So, can you take CBD oil on a plane? The answer to that question is usually “yes,” but you may need to pay attention to certain regulations that apply to taking liquid products on an airliner. In addition, it’s also important to check the local laws in your destination country if you’re planning to travel internationally. The international laws regarding CBD may not always be as permissive as they are here in the United States. Before you travel with CBD, this guide will provide some helpful information that you should consider first. Let’s jump in!
How to Take CBD Oil on a Plane
As with any of the other liquid items that you might want to bring when traveling, you have two options if you want to travel with CBD. You can pack it in your carry-on bag, or you can pack it in your checked luggage.
If you want to pack CBD oil in your carry-on bag, special rules will apply because it’s a liquid product, and you can’t simply throw liquid items into your bag because they’ll need to be presented for separate inspection when you go through the airport security checkpoint.
Here’s what you need to do with your CBD oil and other liquid products if you want to pack them in your carry-on bag.
- The bottle must be no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters). For most travelers, that shouldn’t prove to be a problem because CBD oil is almost always sold in one-ounce bottles. If you happen to have an oversized bottle of CBD oil, though, it’ll need to go in your checked luggage.
- The bottle must fit in a quart-sized zip-top bag.
- All of the other liquids, aerosols, gels, pastes, oils and creams that you intend to bring in your carry-on bag must also fit in the same single zip-top bag. You must be able to close the bag after placing the items inside. Anything that doesn’t fit in the zip-top bag needs to travel in your checked luggage.
- Remove the zip-top bag and present it for separate inspection when you go through the airport security checkpoint.
If you can’t follow the above rules for bringing CBD oil on a plane in your carry-on bag, you have two alternatives. The first alternative is to buy something that’s not a liquid – such as CBD gummies – instead. If you do that, there’s no need to worry about following the special rules that apply to traveling with liquids. You can simply put the CBD gummies in your carry-on bag with all of your other normal items.
Alternatively, you can always travel with CBD in your checked luggage instead. There are no special rules for traveling with non-hazardous liquids in your checked luggage. It’s still a good idea to put your CBD oil in a zip-top bag, though, because liquid items can sometimes tend to leak at high altitudes.
Is Traveling with CBD Ever Illegal?
The only reason why you would ever need to be concerned about the legality of traveling with CBD is because the product itself isn’t legal. CBD oil extracted from industrial hemp is federally legal according to the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill defines industrial hemp as cannabis that contains less than 0.3 percent Delta-9 THC by dry weight. Here at VapeJuice.com, we only sell CBD oil extracted from industrial hemp, and the companies that we carry have the lab tests to prove it. All products sold here test below the federal limit for Delta-9 THC.
If you happen to have a bottle of CBD oil purchased from a store other than VapeJuice.com, you might want to leave it at home when traveling unless you’re completely confident about the source and seller of the product. It might not be safe to assume that a bottle of CBD oil purchased from an informal source – a friend or a local gas station, for instance – is compliant with federal law unless there are lab tests to confirm that assumption.
Another situation in which it might not be legal to bring CBD oil on a plane is because you live in a state that permits medical or recreational cannabis use, and you purchased the CBD oil from a dispensary. There are many cannabis strains that are high in CBD but are also above the federal limit for THC. It’s possible, therefore, that a full-spectrum CBD oil made from one of those cannabis strains would be legal according to your state’s regulations but not legal according to federal law. You wouldn’t want to bring your CBD oil on a plane in that case. Remember, it’s your responsibility – and not the dispensary’s responsibility – to ensure that products comply with federal and international regulations.
Can You Use CBD on a Plane?
There are no known rules or regulations that apply to taking standard oral medications and supplements while on a plane. You can use CBD on a plane without worrying that someone will give you a problem. Vaping, however, is an exception to that rule. For this article, we’re focusing only on the types of CBD products that we sell at VapeJuice.com – oral products like CBD oil, gummies and capsules and topical products like CBD creams and lotions. CBD vaping products do exist, and you cannot use those products on a plane because no airline allows vaping in flight. Don’t even think about trying to vape on a plane. It’s forbidden by every airline and will land you in some seriously hot water.
Are There Any Countries Where CBD Is Banned?
Before we go into detail about the countries in which CBD is banned or in a legal gray area, we need to note that the information presented in this article is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing and is in no way legal advice or a replacement for taking the time to do your own research. Before you travel with CBD to any international destination, it’s your responsibility to confirm that CBD is legal there. This information is presented for informational purposes only.
With that said, these are the nations in which CBD is banned or exists in a legal gray area according to the results of a web search.