Does your future involve traveling with CBD oil? Whether you're a frequent flyer and you want to know if this will influence your decision to use CBD or you are already a CBD user and have a flight looming ahead, you could have many questions. We'll go over everything you need to know about flying with CBD oil with a fine-tooth comb.
First off, we'll tackle the most pressing question.
Is it legal to fly with CBD oil?
Products containing THC, marijuana-derived CBD products, are illegal in many states and countries. If your CBD oil contains a registerable amount of THC, you could get in trouble or have your CBD confiscated. Do not try to take a product containing THC from one state or country to another, as Charlotte Caldwell discovered when returning to home to the UK from Toronto with CBD oil containing THC.
CBD oil derived from hemp has so little THC in it that it doesn't even register on test results and is legal in every state in the US. You should verify if that is true for different countries you intend to visit.
Countries where CBD with no THC is legal:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
- Costa Rica
- Puerto Rico
- Virgin Islands
Some countries allow medical marijuana, individual countries may have differing rules about what qualifies as legal such as whether it is a prescription drug, etc.:
- Czech Republic
- Puerto Rico
Some countries allow recreational and medical marijuana, so CBD of any kind will be okay:
Please note that this information could change at any time, to be more lax or more strict. It is just meant to give you an idea. Double check that this information is still true before relying on it to fly with CBD oil.
Also, the TSA does not state that you can fly with medical marijuana, because marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. You should be able to fly from one country to the other where medical marijuana is legal, but that does not, at this time, include the US. Wait for it though. It probably won't be long.
Understanding the TSA's Intent
The TSA's purpose is to prevent violence, not find drugs, even illegal ones. They, their dogs, and equipment are looking for weapons and chemicals that pose a threat. You can check their website and notice that it's all about liquid size, powders, etc. and they care where things are so they can't be detonated. It doesn't matter where you put an illegal substance. That's not what they're there for.
If they happen to find illegal substances, they will act, but CBD derived from hemp is not illegal. They have no grounds to charge you with anything or confiscate anything if the THC content is less than 0.3%, according to the DEA and FDA. Most CBD oils from hemp have 0.0 something THC in them and say on the lab results that this equals no THC, so you're well covered there. There's a whole decimal place between you and trouble.
A TSA officer might ask you questions or want to take more time to check out your CBD oil if they have questions about the product in question, to discover if it does have THC in it, or possibly if it isn't packaged per their rules, or if it isn't something else entirely. The latter option they'd do with any incorrectly packaged liquid, like shampoo or aftershave.
You could ensure you arrive at the airport early to allow for the potential of questioning or additional checking, just in case.
The TSA Weighs Different People Differently
Opinions on this policy may vary, but it is important to know and can make you feel better about carrying CBD. The TSA reports that they look into a person before they ever arrive at the airport. They may see the same bottle of CBD oil tincture in one person's possession and pay closer attention to it or less depending on that person's history.
If you don't have a history of activity they'd be concerned about, then they'll be less likely to care about your CBD.
Flying with CBD oil or not flying with CBD oil, that is the question.
Whether you should be concerned about TSA scrutiny depends on you. How badly do you want to avoid the hassle of questions or checks?
One of the most common reasons people use CBD oil is anxiety and stress. Worrying about the TSA might be counterproductive. If you're taking a short trip or can manage your stress in another way, it may be preferable to you to just do without.
If you are going to be staying in the other state or country long enough to purchase some more CBD, you could just plan to buy more when you arrive.
If you really can't do without your CBD oil, you can bring it with you and take actions to limit the chances of TSA checks and questions.
Preventing TSA Involvement when Flying with CBD Oil
Follow the Rules
The TSA is a bit funny about liquids and chemicals, what they're packaged in and the amount. This is because they are afraid of explosives, not because of drugs. Do protect yourself from unnecessary and irritating questions by following their rules so they don't think you've got a bomb.
Check the airport or airports you'll be using for recommendations about how to package liquids. They may even have specific guidelines for CBD products. Convenient! And a good sign that they won't try to act like they've never seen it before.
They're going to want you to separate things and take things out of your carry-on. No matter whether you've got CBD or not. They do this to everybody. Make it easier on yourself by packing neatly so it's easy to take things out.
Purchasing CBD Oil When You Are Likely to Fly
If you are considering purchasing CBD oil and intend to be flying, ensure you are buying CBD oil that says it contains no THC and can back that up with third-party lab test results.
Be mindful of what CBD product you purchase. The more your CBD product looks like a medication, the less likely it is to pique a TSA officer's curiosity. Avoid vapes and candies first. Tinctures, concentrates, and capsules look the most medicine-like. Choose between the other types at your discretion. It's your potential stress level we're talking about here.
The TSA likes bottles of liquids to be under 3.4 ounces. You could purchase CBD oils that are smaller than that, shouldn't be hard. If you have one that is larger than that, you could repackage in something smaller.
Gain Proof of Need
Should a TSA officer want to learn more about your CBD, be prepared. If you have a prescription or medical recommendation, bring a copy of it with you. You can also print out the receipt from your CBD oil purchase and the lab results.
Bring Your CBD on the Plane
First, this is great if you need it while you're flying.
Second, if your CBD is in your carry-on, you'll be present to explain any questions a TSA officer might have. If it's left in your checked luggage, they may make up their mind about what they think it is without your input and remove it.
TSA CBD Oil Breakdown
Consider this a refresher. You can print it out as a quick and easy reminder, if you like.
What can you expect when meeting the TSA with CBD oil in your possession?
- Don't be afraid that you'll get in trouble for your CBD. The TSA cannot penalize you in anyway for a non-psychoactive cannabinoid.
- CBD derived from hemp is legal in all 50 states in the US.
- This may also be true in many other countries, but it is may not be, so double check about individual countries you'll be visiting.
The only "fear" to have is that a TSA officer may want to inspect your CBD or ask you questions to determine if it is indeed non-psychoactive.
Prepare for Potential Questions
- pack your bags and your CBD as stated by the TSA and airports in other countries you'll visit
- put your CBD in your carry-on
- choose CBD products that look the most like medicine
- make sure you are buying a CBD product with no THC
- bring proof: receipts, lab results, medical prescriptions or recommendations, anything
- try to arrive early in case they do decide to question you
The Future of Flying with CBD Oil
CBD oil products of any kind are a new concept, and ones derived from hemp without THC are even newer. As their popularity grows, more studies have been conducted on it, and it potentially gains FDA approval, the current confusion about CBD oil will diminish and there will be less of even these small considerations. Other countries around the world are also becoming more tolerant of all kinds of cannabinoids. Things will just get easier.