Health & Wellness

Can I fly with CBD?

By Melena Gurganus

Just as you’re about to go through the TSA checkpoint and head to your gate, it hits you—is it even legal to fly with CBD oil? It’s already packed in your carry-on, and there’s really no turning back at this point. Surely it shouldn’t be an issue since it’s legal to sell, purchase, and consume CBD in almost all states, but don’t be so sure. CBD is a cannabis extract, and it’s in a legal grey area that leaves some room for doubt when it comes to traveling across state lines.

What to know before you board a plane with CBD

First, ask yourself why you are traveling with CBD oil. Do you have severe anxiety, chronic pain, or a particularly heightened fear of flying? These conditions may warrant an uncompromising need for CBD that might make it difficult to leave behind. However, your intended purpose for using CBD does not affect its flight carry-on eligibility.

The TSA guidelines are clear: “Possession of marijuana and cannabis infused products, such as Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, is illegal under federal law. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and cannabis infused products.”

Although CBD oil is legal in almost every state, the previous statement makes it clear that you are automatically taking a risk by choosing to bring CBD oil on a plane. Other sources, like POPSUGAR, suggest that it is fine to fly with CBD as long as the THC percentage does not exceed 0.3 percent. With that being said, there is no clarification available from the TSA that validates this statement. There are also no explicit guidelines for other CBD products, such as gummies, vapes, or topicals, but it seems as though any “cannabis infused products” are not allowed in either carry-ons or checked baggage.

CBD is extracted from hemp plants, which are a sub-strain of cannabis sativa. Regardless of its limited amount of THC, CBD is a derivative of cannabis and has the potential to be flagged if found by airport security.

How to travel with CBD oil

Plan Ahead

If you are wary about flying with CBD oil, there’s always the option of getting something delivered to you once you reach your destination. This may seem a bit impractical, but it’s worth the extra steps to ensure that you aren’t barred from traveling altogether due to a cannabis extract found in your luggage.

Use CBD Beforehand

For those with a fear of flying, you can still use CBD as a way to calm your nerves. Before you enter the airport, consider consuming CBD via capsules, gummies, or by adding CBD oil into your morning coffee. Once you ingest CBD, the effects will take longer to set in as the product goes through your digestive tract before being absorbed into the bloodstream. This also means that the benefits of CBD will last longer, have a steady release over the course of a few hours, and hopefully ease your flight-induced stress.

Alternate Traveling

While this may not work for every circumstance, it’s plausible to use other modes of transportation such as trains, buses, or cars to get from one place to the next. With these alternate options, you won’t have to go through TSA or security checkpoints, and it should be legal to bring your CBD oil along with you. Just make sure you aren’t headed to one of the few states where it may be unclear if this cannabis extract is legal.

Don’t travel out of the country with CBD oil

There are no doubt stricter regulations when you enter or exit any country, including going through customs and added security measures. CBD may be legal in the U.S. and several other countries, but not every region has the same standards. For instance, European countries require that CBD products contain no more than 0.2 percent THC. If you pack CBD oil with 0.3 percent THC, this could be classified as an illegal substance since it exceeds the European Union’s legal amount of THC.

What are the risks?

It’s undoubtedly more pertinent for TSA officers to concern themselves with immediate security threats rather than CBD oils, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll make it to your destination without your CBD oil being found. According to the TSA’s official website, “TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but in the event a substance that appears to be marijuana or a cannabis infused product is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.” If you choose to bring your CBD oil with you and find yourself in this predicament, the product may be cleared as long as it meets legal CBD standards. However we do not recommend ignoring any rules set forth by the TSA, and you should be ready to face possible consequences if transporting CBD oil while flying.

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