Is CBD Safe to Carry on a Plane?

With the ever-growing popularity of cannabidiol 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. 

Even though there are many brave travelers who do not care about the possible risks in taking CBD on a flight, there are many who are also wondering: Will my CBD get past Transportation Security Administration (TSA)?

Earlier this year, a 71-year-old woman was arrested 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.”

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. 

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.

So who will get the final word? According to the TSA website: The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.

That seems simple enough, however, there are other complicating factors. One is that some states may have more restrictive laws regarding CBD. In Virginia, for example, you can only purchase CBD with a prescription.

Here’s what we suggest:

If you are traveling with medical marijuana, take your prescription with you in case there are any questions. Keep the prescription marijuana in its original packaging.

If you have CBD products, find the products’ Certificate of Analysis, or COA.

Our COAs are listed right on the front page of our website. Or, once you have purchased one of our products, the QR code on the label will take you right to our COA page. In case you don’t know already, a COA will list the percentage of CBD and other cannabinoids, when it was tested, and the name of the lab that tested it.

Besides packing your Certificate of Analysis, print out the latest regulations that TSA has posted, or have a link to the latest regulations on your phone. That way, if you encounter a new TSA agent or one unfamiliar with all the regulations, you have support.

Other Options

If the anxiety of wondering whether you will get through TSA with your CBD is too overwhelming, it might be better to buy some and ship it were you’re going as long as it is legal at your destination. One source for state laws on CBD is right here on the Pure Science Lab Website State Laws Map.

Unfortunately, not all law enforcement officials are familiar with the differences between hemp-derived CBD and cannabis-derived CBD.

As for marijuana, medical or recreational, the best advice is to probably just leave it all at home, that is, if you’re flying since it does remain a Schedule I drug on the federal level.

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