Can You Travel with CBD Oil? Laws are Murky, But Here’s How to Protect Yourself Is it legal to fly with CBD products within the United States? If it’s a certain type—yes. If it breaks the Do you use CBD oil and are planning a trip over state lines or internationally? Read out guide to find out the dos and don’ts of carrying CBD Even though many people aren’t flying nowadays, the question still arises: can I fly with CBD? Here's what's currently allowed and in compliance with state and TSA guidelines.
Can You Travel with CBD Oil? Laws are Murky, But Here’s How to Protect Yourself
Is it legal to fly with CBD products within the United States? If it’s a certain type—yes. If it breaks the rules—no. Here’s how to make sure your CBD can be transported legally.
We probably don’t have to tell you, but cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become a firm favorite among alternative treatments in anxiety, epilepsy, skin care, nausea, and more. What’s not so firm is the legality of traveling with it.
We’ll be honest: The legality of CBD is still muddy. The government has done a terrible job making standards clear, leaving the door wide open for local law enforcement to put everyday people through a legal wringer with no outcome. If you run across a security officer who’s in a bad mood, there aren’t many cut-and-dry regulations that will spare you grief.
A central problem is confusion about what CBD is and what it does. Think of cannabis as having two major components. CBD is the compound that is responsible for the major health effects of cannabis—it’s the part that’s increasingly legal. The other part, delta (9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the chemical that gives you a high and makes law enforcement freak out. Smoking a joint delivers both compounds, but products can be manufactured to exclude THC, eliminating the high. Those are generally what are referred to as CBD products, although even those may still contain trace amounts of THC, sometimes by accident.
Two important questions will determine whether your CBD product is legally protected: Was this derived from hemp or from marijuana? and What is its concentration of THC?
Know its origin
CBD can be derived from two major sources: hemp (totally legal) or marijuana (legality differs by state).
Traveling with hemp-based CBD can be fine. That’s because the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (“Farm Bill”) removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, and in late 2019, the USDA affirmed that you have the right to transport hemp-based CBD across state lines.
Before you travel with marijuana-derived CBD, check the legality of medical marijuana at the state you’re visiting. A majority of American states have legalized it, so that gives you protection at the state level, so you shouldn’t encounter issues as long as you don’t pass through other states that ban it.
Will the TSA care?
There’s one more factor you must consider when traveling with CBD oil: the trace amounts of THC it contains.
The TSA’s official site says CBD oils “remain illegal under federal law except for products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA.”
So according to the TSA, you may travel with CBD if its THC content is under that 0.3% threshold. (And, of course, if the amount you’re carrying conforms to the usual 3-ounce limit that applies to all liquids and lotions.)
The TSA says it’s not interested in policing illegal drugs. It’s concerned about passenger safety, so it’s not going to search your bags for drugs. But if its agents do happen to come across any illegal substance in the course of normal screening, they still might refer you to the police.
It may be legal federally, but you might have to deal with zealous local officers who are keen to enforce their state’s tighter rules. In 2019, a 69-year-old woman was arrested by a sheriff deputy at the gates of a Disney World park as she tried to enter with her family. The CBD oil that she used to soothe her arthritis tested positive for THC content despite the fact its label claimed it had none. While CBD is legal federally and she had a doctor’s note, the state of Florida had not caught up and the deputy wouldn’t let it go, so she spent 12 pointless hours in jail before she was released.
The furor was for nothing. Charges against her were dropped, and two months later, CBD was legalized in Florida. It’s unlikely her arrest would happen today, but the incident highlights how labeling standards and police education will be key until the law becomes clear and definite.
In the United States, law enforcement officers are often just as confused by the law, so if you’re polite and don’t look like a high-volume drug trafficker, they are more likely to look the other way—but still, that’s no guarantee.
For maximum confidence, make sure the product was obtained from industrial hemp and contains less than 0.3% of THC; that generally covers you on the more stringent federal level, and no state will bust you for a hemp-based product. Now that the USDA is monitoring THC content, labeling accuracy for trace amounts of THC should improve, too, so you’ll be much less likely to get caught out.
It’s all so confusing and needlessly stressful that we could use a good anti-anxiety treatment. Anyone know of something that would work?
Guide to Flying with CBD Oil
Flying with CBD oil may hinge on a technicality: whether your CBD products are derived from hemp or cannabis. But even then, federal authorities can confiscate your CBD and there have been some arrests .
If the CBD product you’re carrying with you contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD derived from the stem of hemp plants, then it should be legal to bring to any state. But CBD oils and other CBD products derived from cannabis containing higher amounts of psychoactive THC are considered illegal substances.
Here is everything you need to know about traveling with CBD oil and other CBD products. Before heading to the airport for your next domestic or international flight, know the rules.
Note that this article does not constitute legal advice. For specific legal guidance, we recommend consulting a lawyer.
Flying with CBD Oil in the U.S.
The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp legal in the United States, but with certain nuances and restrictions. The bill outlines that hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC may be transported across state lines. The products covered in the bill include CBD oil, CBD tinctures, CBD edibles, and other hemp-based items.
But what if your CBD oil comes from cannabis and has more than 0.3% THC? The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has said, to paraphrase, ” We’re not looking for your weed .” However, suppose TSA agents spot any suspected law violations, as in something that may look like cannabis or a cannabis-containing product. In that case, they are required to notify the local authorities.
Depending on the cannabis-friendliness of the authority (or whether or not their arrest targets need to be met), this can mean either a lucky escape or prison time. Also, as flying with cannabis is against federal law, you may face penalties even if you’re going between two legal states.
However, we strongly advise against carrying cannabis or cannabis-based CBD products onboard a flight.
Current TSA Guidelines
The TSA explicitly states that it will report any suspicious items to the local authorities. If you’re caught with a cannabis product with a higher than 0.3% THC concentration, you may have legal issues to handle. But if you travel with a bottle of hemp-derived CBD oil in its original container, the TSA most likely will not detain you.
Flying Internationally with CBD Oil
Different countries have vastly different laws, and it’s not possible to state everywhere in the world, you may be able to carry your hemp-based CBD oil with you. But here are some global highlights concerning CBD laws:
Canada does not permit people to bring cannabis or CBD products.
If you’re wondering, “can I take CBD oil to Mexico?” The answer is, no, you cannot. But you can purchase CBD products legally once you are in Mexico.
Some countries in Central America, like Costa Rica, allow you to travel with a CBD product if it contains less than 0.3% THC.
Laws vary across South America, but you may take your CBD products to Brazil if they contain less than 0.2% THC.
Europe’s laws vary between countries, but it is generally legal to possess CBD products with trace amounts (0.3% or less) of THC.
The Middle East has extremely strict laws on cannabis and CBD possession, and Dubai, a party playground for the wealthy, issues severe penalties for having CBD. A man from London was recently sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for possessing CBD in Dubai .
Asia has strict laws on cannabis and other drugs. But Thailand allows you to possess a thirty-day supply of CBD oil if you have a permit from FDA Thailand. India has more lenient CBD laws, and you can possess CBD products without a permit.
You can have CBD oil in Australia only with a medical prescription.
The laws on CBD in Africa are emerging. South Africa permits CBD possession but with a strict caveat: it must contain less than 0.001% THC.
Tips for Flying with CBD
Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re traveling with CBD products:
- Be aware of the laws of each destination country if traveling internationally
- Carry your medical marijuana card with you if you have one
- Keep the CBD product in its original packaging
- Carry any prescription information with you
- Make sure the CBD product is genuinely a CBD product and contains no more than 0.3% THC (even less than that in some countries)
Following these basic guidelines will help you adhere to the law of the land wherever you go.
What About Bringing CBD on Other Modes of Transportation?
Avoid carrying cannabis-based CBD products with you in the car over state lines. Hemp-based CBD products should be fine to travel with by car.
The Subway/Commuter Trains
It may be legal to travel with CBD on the subway or train, but you should check the rules of the specific transportation authority before doing so.
Boats and Cruise Ships
If the boat or cruise ship travels over waters where CBD is outlawed or docks someplace where the substance is illegal, you should leave your product at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I pack CBD oil in my checked luggage?
Yes, you can pack hemp-derived CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC in your checked luggage, provided that it meets all other requirements , including size, weight, and packaging.
Do airlines test for CBD?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not consider CBD oil an acceptable treatment for working pilots, even those with a medical card.
Does CBD oil pass the security airport checks?
On CBD products, unless you have a prescription for approved medications such as Epidiolex, then it may be best to leave your CBD product at home and buy one when you get to your destination. You may not get arrested for possessing CBD, and if caught, are more likely to have your CBD-containing product confiscated, but is it worth the risk?
Access legal cannabis and CBD products with a medical marijuana card. Speak with one of Leafwell’s trained physicians to apply for your MMJ card.
Flying with CBD: What is Currently Allowed?
The short answer: generally yes, as long as it is hemp-derived.TSA’s short answer to this question on Twitter is perhaps the most informative answer: “Products that contain hemp-derived CBD oil or are FDA-approved are generally legal & can fly.”
The longer answer is a bit more complicated!
TSA Guidelines for Traveling With CBD
According to the TSA’s official website, hemp-derived or FDA-approved CBD oil is generally allowed on planes. The product may contain no more than 0.3% THC, which is the legal requirement for CBD products. Since most commercial CBD products follow these strict guidelines, theoretically you should be able to fly with your CBD.
Of course, a TSA agent will not be able to immediately tell if a CBD product contains less than 0.3% THC. No on-site testing is done on the product. If you really want to fly with your CBD oils, CBD creams, or CBD gummies, but are worried they will be confiscated even though the guidelines have been followed, you can print off the official testing done by the company to prove the amount of THC. (All the products at Highline Wellness are independently tested and the results can be found on each product page.)
(By the way, did you know the TSA actually has an entire section called “What Can I Bring?” It’s very specific, from bug spray to blenders and everything in between!)
At the end of the day, it’s up to the TSA agent’s discretion whether or not they’ll inspect and allow the product. TSA says that they do not actively search for drugs, but if they are discovered during screening they can turn it over to law enforcement officials.
So can you travel with CBD oil? Yes!
And can you travel with CBD cream? Also yes!
But can you travel with CBD gummies? Yes, of course!
This is only true as long as you follow all proper storage guidelines and amounts as described by the TSA, of course. When it comes to CBD gummies, the less than 0.3% THC rule applies on a dry weight basis, which means they’re perfectly legal to bring onto a flight in either carry-ons or checked bags. (Don’t forget to bring the test results that prove it, just to be safe!) And in terms of proper storage, our CBD Oils come in 1oz bottles and our CBD Cream comes in a 1.7oz jar, which means they both pass the 3.4oz rule – more on that below!
We’re not totally in the clear for a full return to pre-COVID traveling just yet, but with rising vaccination rates and declining hospital cases across the country, many people are slowly but surely getting back into the travel game. Naturally, the big question is this: what are the rules around traveling with CBD? And more specifically, what about flying with CBD oil?
The answer to whether or not you are allowed to fly with CBD might be a little more complicated than you’d expect, but we’re here to break it down for you and let you know what is currently allowed and in compliance with state and TSA guidelines.
The Stress Factor
Now that traveling is becoming a safe activity again, CBD can be even more of a help when it comes to managing the potential stress around the uncertainty of traveling. The statistics about prevention and protection from vaccines, masks, and social distancing speak for themselves, but it’s still perfectly natural to be on higher alert.
Whether you’re jetsetting or hitting the road this long weekend, for many of us, this is the first time we’ll be traveling in over a year! While we’re sure we’re all beyond ready to finally get out of town safely again, there may be some stress and anxiety that come along with it.
Enter CBD! Many people choose to fly with CBD because they might use it to calm normal flying nerves or just as a part of their daily routines. It stands to reason that CBD can help promote a sense of calmness when faced with the new anxieties of traveling in a world that has been largely grounded for the past year.
Some of our favorite CBD gummies and oils for daily stress management include our CBD Day Gummies, CBD Anytime Gummies, and CBD Day Oil. Not sure which type of CBD is best for your needs Take our quiz to find out!
It’s not just us, either! We were thrilled to find out that our CBD Anytime Gummies were chosen as one of Travel + Leisure’s most-loved products by readers, stating that these “calming cannabidiol chews are not worth missing.”
Traveling With CBD Oil Vs. CBD Gummies Vs. Vapes
When it comes to traveling with CBD oils or CBD gummies, the TSA does allow both in checked bags and carry-ons, as long as the CBD is hemp-derived and contains less than 0.3% THC, as is true of all our products. If you’re traveling with any electronic vape devices or vape batteries, you must know that they cannot be packed in checked bags. Due to the potential fire hazard of these items in the cargo hold, they must be stored in your carry-on bags.
When it comes to the actual vape liquids and vape oils, the classic liquids rule apply: they must be in travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or even smaller. They should also be easily accessible in order to facilitate the screening process! If you’re bringing more liquids or oils than can be fit into these small containers, your best bet is to pack it in your checked luggage. We mentioned this above as well, but the liquids rule applies to creams and gels, too – something to keep in mind when traveling with CBD topicals.
State Guidelines for Traveling With CBD
However, you also have to take into account what state lines you will be crossing. CBD is still illegal in some states, so depending on where you are flying to and from, you might not be able to legally hold any form of CBD, regardless of its THC content. In this case, if you don’t want to risk your CBD being confiscated, it might be better to leave it at home.
Currently, Iowa, Idaho, and South Dakota are the only states in the entire US that do not allow CBD in any form. Other states, such as California, Michigan, and Georgia, do not allow CBD in food or beverages.
Tips for Flying with CBD
Bring a printed version of the ingredient list and independently tested analysis results, to prove that the product contains less than 0.3% THC. (Note: CBD Oil from Highline Wellness contains broad-spectrum CBD, which means it contains absolutely no THC.)
Research the states or countries you’ll be flying into, as their regulations may be stricter around CBD, regardless of the THC content, especially when it comes to international travel. Plan accordingly.
Plan to buy CBD when at your final destination, if it’s legal. Alternatively, you could ship your favorite CBD brand to your final destination so it’s there when you arrive!
Keep in mind that for the most up-to-date information on traveling with CBD, it’s always best to double check the medical marijuana page on the TSA website or even give your specific airline a call to find out their rules around flying with CBD oil, CBD cream, CBD gummies, or any other form of CBD!
Traveling With CBD Internationally
We’ve discussed flying with CBD domestically, but what about traveling with CBD internationally?
International rules and regulations on CBD are much less clear cut than domestic traveling with CBD, so the best course of action is to do your own research into the laws of the country you’re planning to visit. That being said, it’s best to be as cautious as possible when it comes to international travel as there is a great variance among drug laws from country to country.