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With recreational and medical marijuana becoming legal in more states, knowing what you can and cannot travel with on an airplane is essential.

Even though most Cannabidiol (CBD) products are specifically designed not to produce psychoactive effects, some are still considered illegal under federal and international law. 

You can take CBD on a plane as long as it contains no more than 0.3% THC or is an FDA-approved medication.

However, it’s important to note that while some CBD products are legal at the federal level, specific state and international laws vary in terms of possession of any CBD.

Many travelers embrace the benefits of CBD because of its potential to ease symptoms associated with the stresses of air travel.

In addition, some passengers may find that taking a dose of CBD before or during a flight helps minimize their distress or unease.

However, before you pack your favorite CBD product into your carry-on or checked bag, it is essential to familiarize yourself with your local and federal regulations regarding cannabis-derived products. Understanding these policies is the best way to stay out of trouble with TSA. 

CBD and the TSA

Anytime you step foot on an airplane, you automatically fall into the federal jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Until recently, the Federal Government classified all cannabinoids, such as CBD, as controlled substances, with all the restrictions and prohibitions attendant to that classification. 

In December 2018, with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, derivatives of cannabis with extremely low concentrations of THC were removed from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act.

Shortly after this bill was ratified, the TSA updated its public policies to clarify that passengers can now fly with some forms of CBD and hemp-derived medications approved by the FDA.

As of this writing, the first and only FDA-approved cannabis-derived medication is EPIDIOLEX, a prescription CBD.

It has been approved to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome, or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in patients one year of age and older.

Because the TSA’s primary function is to ensure the safety of air travelers, they are much more concerned with weapons or explosives getting onto a plane than they are with CBD or even marijuana products.

They have gone forth to state as much on their official Instagram page. 

However, they note on the post above and the official TSA website that their officers are required to report any suspected marijuana products that they find that are not legal under federal law.

With this consideration, it is also essential to be cautious when traveling with CBD because of shifting legal regulations and the often unclear distinction between hemp-derived and marijuana-derived CBD amongst the general public.

How to Travel with CBD

The most significant consideration is how you decide to travel with your CBD. For example, CBD oil in your carry-on bag still falls under the same restrictions as any other liquid you travel with.

According to TSA guidelines, all liquids, oils, lotions, and gels in any carry-on baggage are limited to 100-ml (3.4oz) containers at all security checkpoints.

While you are not required to declare your products individually, you should also make sure not to appear like you are trying to hide them. Grouping them with other liquids will also help ensure they do not appear suspicious to the agents. 

For exemplary purposes, it is highly recommended to print out the product’s Lab Testing Report and have it readily available, just in case you need to verify the product’s cannabinoid content with airport security.

Furthermore, if you decide to store your CBD products in your checked luggage, it may be helpful for TSA officials to have specific information about the materials in your bag.

Including the Lab Testing Report inside your luggage may help airline inspectors understand what they are looking at. Here is an example of a report that might dissuade an airline employee from flagging your luggage:

These reports are typically readily available on the manufacturer’s website or upon request.

These lab results are crucial because, besides providing necessary information regarding the product you are about to buy, they also allow you to see that a company is worthy of your trust because they have been transparent about their product.

Traveling Internationally with CBD

Even as countries worldwide effectively legalize recreational and medicinal cannabis in its various forms, it is essential to remember that even if CBD is legal in your country, traveling internationally with CBD oil is not always as straightforward as you might think.

If you feel you cannot be without CBD, thoroughly research any applicable regulations.

The most straightforward method of finding out whether or not CBD is legal in the country you are traveling to is to speak to a customs agent or an embassy official.

Airline employees may also be able to offer some assistance and answer questions. As CBD gains more acceptance across the globe, laws are subject to change, so checking them regularly is also highly recommended.

For example, in Europe, the exact threshold of allowable THC content will differ from country to country. However, products containing less than 0.2% THC generally are low enough to be considered safe in most areas.

In addition, most CBD products prominently display their cannabinoid content and will typically point out that the product is under the legal threshold for THC content.

There is no way to know how accurate THC content-related claims are without third-party lab testing.

Therefore, it is crucial to only travel with CBD products produced by a reputable and trustworthy brand. Transparent brands like PureKana will always provide you with test results to back their claims.

It is safer to travel with a brand you can trust to produce legal CBD oil.

Traveling from. Traveling to. Legal Status…
United States Canada Both medical and recreational cannabis are legal in Canada, and there is no limit on the amount of THC that a CBD product can contain.
Mexico All CBD products containing less than 0.2% THC are widely available over-the-counter in Mexico. As long as your supplements meet the legal THC limit, you can also bring your own CBD there.
United Kingdom To travel to the UK, CBD products must not contain any THC, and they must be safe for human consumption.
Spain You can travel with CBD to Spain if your product contains less than 0.2% THC. However, bringing marijuana-derived CBD on an international flight is considered a violation of international agreements regarding drug trafficking.
France CBD is legal in France only if the product contains 0% THC. Any trace of THC and the product will be regarded as a narcotic by the authorities.
Italy As long as they contain 0.6% THC or less, you can safely bring CBD products into the country.
Germany As long as the CBD product contains less than 0.2% THC, you can safely bring it into the country.
The Netherlands If your CBD contains less than 0.05% THC, you can safely bring it to the Netherlands.
South Korea Although CBD is a common ingredient of topical products in South Korea, you cannot use it for recreational purposes. In addition, you can bring CBD to South Korea only if you have medical documentation.
Japan Although CBD has been fully legal in Japan since 2016, you are not permitted to travel into the country with CBD products containing any amount of THC. This is because traveling to Japan with a THC product could be classified as drug trafficking.
Russia Although hemp is widely cultivated throughout the more significant part of the country, any extraction process is prohibited. Therefore, we don’t recommend bringing CBD products to Russia.

 

Best CBD Products for Travel

Finally, as an airline passenger traveling with CBD, you will have to ask yourself which types of CBD products you should take.

CBD Gummies and CBD Capsules are a good travel option since they are not liquid, which the TSA is notoriously strict about.

Also, keep all of your products in their original packaging, so if a TSA agent does happen to stop you, you’ll be able to clearly and quickly identify what you’re carrying.

As mentioned above, oils, lotions, gels, or any liquids are also an option and should always be packed according to FAA guidelines.

Furthermore, it is probably best to avoid traveling with dried CBD flower products. With those types of CBD, you are almost guaranteed to get stopped by an attentive TSA agent who suspects it to be an herb.

The only realistic way to distinguish THC-rich cannabis and CBD flower involve lab testing equipment that TSA agents will not access at a security checkpoint. This misunderstanding might lead to you missing your flight entirely. 

Conclusion

On domestic flights in the United States, passengers can travel with CBD products so long as the THC content is below 0.3%. CBD containing a THC concentration above 0.3% is still illegal under federal law.

If any unlawful substance is discovered during security screening, the TSA must report any suspected violations to a law enforcement officer.

Always follow TSA guidelines regarding liquids when traveling with CBD oil, lotion, or cream products.

It is also wise to travel with a CBD product in its original packaging, where the THC concentration is explicitly mentioned on the label or in the documentation.

Because of the complex nature and ongoing research about these products, traveling internationally with hemp or marijuana-derived CBD is generally not advised.

In addition, hemp and marijuana are heavily regulated in some parts of the world, and importing even personal use products could result in severe criminal punishment.

CBD may help passengers cope with stressful air travel, but facing legal consequences would be even more stressful.

So, before you fly with CBD, do your research and make sure you understand and follow all FAA guidelines from your point of origin to your final destination.

Sources

Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/hemp-production-and-2018-farm-bill-07252019

TSA Security Screening — What Can I Bring? — Medical Marijuana

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/medical-marijuana

Official TSA Instagram Post Regarding Marijuana or Cannabis-infused Products 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwfOvpnHWOr/

TSA Security Screening — What is the 3-1-1 liquids rule?

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/frequently-asked-questions/what-3-1-1-liquids-rule#:~:text=Each%20passenger%20may%20carry%20liquids,of%20liquids%2C%20gels%20and%20aerosols.

CBD Travel Guide: The Only Guide to Traveling with CBD Oil You’ll Ever Need

https://www.mydosage.com/cbd-guide/cbd-travel-guide-traveling-with-cbd-explained

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