Landings and Takeoffs
Home About Travel Tips Sightseeing Food & Drink Night Life Archives Resources

Is It Legal to Travel with CBD Oil?

Recreational marijuana has been made legal in some states, but the TSA has always made it clear that flying with any marijuana products was illegal. This, however, has changed following a recent announcement by the TSA that passengers are allowed to carry medical marijuana (provided they have the necessary documentation) and some forms of CBD oil are allowed as well. 

But despite the changes brought on by the 2018 Farm Bill, traveling with cannabinoids has always been tricky, and the fact that medical marijuana laws in Arizona are not the same as, say, the laws in Florida, this can make things even more so. Recently a woman was arrested at Disney World for bringing a bottle of CBD oil, which she claimed was medication for her arthritis pain. More than 30 states have so far legalized medical marijuana, but for the average traveler, the problem comes when flying to a state that prohibits any use of THC. 

Flying with CBD that contains THC is illegal

According to the TSA website, all TSA agents are required by law to report any traveler that is found carrying marijuana products unless the state laws allow it. Keep in mind that most CBD products contain only trace amounts of THC, and as long as your product contains 0.3% or less THC, then you won’t get in trouble. 

The problem comes with CBD products that contain the psychoactive THC, which is the real reason cannabis is illegal in some states. Consumers are encouraged to look at product labeling to make sure they don’t bring any illegal compounds into government property. If for some reason the TSA catches on to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll end up in jail. The TSA doesn’t actively look for cannabis when scanning travelers; instead, their screening procedures focus on security and detecting potential threats.

Assuming they find a traveler carrying a cannabis product, the main concern would be the departure and destination states. In places like California where cannabis is legal, it would be fine to carry any form of marijuana through the airport (though we’re not sure about the amounts allowed); but if you’re travelling to a state where cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug, then you might run into legal trouble. 

What brought on the change?

 The TSA advised a traveler on their Twitter account that products containing only hemp-derived CBD are generally legal and can fly. The obvious challenge to both the TSA and travelers is finding out which products contain illegal amounts of THC. As far as we know, the TSA doesn’t do onsite testing for cannabis products (or any particular drug), and so it’s likely that they look at the product labeling to find out if there are illegal substances in it.

The FDA’s approval of a CBD-infused drug called Epidiolex was the first step in legalizing CBD throughout state borders. As long as the CBD is farmed and extracted within the regulations defined by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, then all travel restrictions are lifted. In the past, the TSA didn’t differentiate between hemp derivatives and regular marijuana, but the recent changes have highlighted a couple of things: First, there is a bit of a split between state and federal law with regard to cannabinoids, and secondly, it shows that Congress is starting to pay attention to the general public and we can expect fewer restrictions moving forward.    

So can I bring CBD on a plane?

The short answer is yes. As long as your CBD oil doesn’t contain THC amounts exceeding 0.3%, the TSA would have no legal basis for getting the police involved. Remember, federal law trumps state law; and since cannabidiol is legal on a federal level, then don’t worry about packing your CBD bottle on your next flight. Keep an eye out for THC levels in your product and if you’re flying from one marijuana state like Oregon, to another, then you may be allowed to carry certain amounts of cannabis, but make sure to check with your local airport website to see what the rules are for travelling with marijuana. 

Categories: Travel Tips