CBD is enjoyed by people around the world, and since for many users CBD oil is a traveler’s best friend, they are wondering whether it’s possible to take CBD on a plane — be it for domestic flights or international travels.
What are the rules of traveling with CBD oil on a plane?
How does the TSA treat hemp-derived products?
Are there any special provisions for cross-state transportation, international flights, or land travel?
Read on to find out!
CBD in Domestic Flights
Hemp-derived CBD oil is legal on a federal level under the 2018 Farm Bill and thus allowed to be transported across state borders.
This includes flying with CBD oil.
Yes, you can fly between states with CBD products without having to worry about having troubles with federal or state law.
However, other types of CBD, like the one derived from marijuana, are still illegal on a federal level despite some states legalizing the recreational use of marijuana — so it’s not recommended to travel with those types across state borders.
You can distinguish between marijuana-derived and hemp-derived CBD oil by reading the product’s label and identifying the amount of THC in it. Legal CBD oils must contain 0.3% of THC or less; it’s also important that while CBD is approved by the federal government, certain states may put their own restrictions on the sale and possession of CBD products.
For years, the TSA banned traveling with any type of cannabis. However, the recently updated policy has made it clear that people can travel with CBD oil in terms of their flights.
Why the sudden change?
Here’s more to the story.
TSA Guidelines for CBD
In general, products that are FDA-approved or contain hemp-derived CBD with THC levels below 0.3% are legal to travel within the United States.
As long as the product you have is produced within the regulations drawn out by TSA, you can rest assured that you won’t be bothered at the airport.
The TSA’s statement (from January 2020) provides the following information for traveling with CBD oil:
“Marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products, including some cannabidiol (CBD) oil, 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 the FDA. (See the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115–334.) TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law to local, state, or federal authorities.”
“TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during a screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”
In other words, if you can prove that your CBD oil contains 0.3% THC (or less), you’re good to go. That’s why we always stress the importance of third-party lab testing and Certificates of Analysis when shopping for CBD.
Can You Fly Internationally with CBD Products?
The international rules and regulations on CBD are unclear and vary by country, so the best thing you can do is to research CBD laws in your destination place — including the laws in any planned stopovers.
Although CBD is legal in most countries, most professionals advise against taking CBD-infused products on a plane, especially if the country you’re traveling to has stricter cannabis laws. Getting into trouble in a new country is never a good idea, so if you insist on having CBD with you, it may be easier to ship your CBD oil to your final destination — or do some research on local vendors to see if they’re selling high-quality products.
Here’s a list of countries where CBD is illegal or its status is, at least, murky:
CBD is also illegal in most African countries except for South Africa. Some Asian countries, such as Japan, have banned full-spectrum CBD, so if you’re traveling there with CBD, you need to make sure you’re taking pure isolate with you.
How to Pack CBD when Traveling
When traveling on a plane, you need to be more cautious if you’re planning to pack CBD in your hand or checked luggage. Below we briefly cover a must-do list for each type of storage:
Can You Fly with CBD Oil in Your Checked Luggage?
Yes, checked luggage is actually the best for traveling with CBD oil. The most important thing to remember is to pack your CBD wisely so that it can be easily accessed by airport authorities; you should also bring your certificate of analysis, and have it readily available to prove that your CBD oil doesn’t contain more than 0.3% of THC.
CBD in Hand Luggage
If you’re traveling with a liquid form of CBD oil, such as a tincture or vape juice, pack it in shatter-resistant travel bags and check the product’s volume to make sure it doesn’t exceed federal limits for onboard liquid travel sizes.
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at different types of CBD products — and which are the best if you travel by plane.
Best Types of CBD to Travel With
If you’re looking to buy CBD oil for travel, the “FLOW” acronym may come in handy. Here’s what it means:
F: Flowering strains of hemp or cannabis
L: Lab tested for purity and potency (proven with a certificate of analysis)
W: Whole Plant
The above features will help you determine the quality of CBD oil and ensure its safety when it comes to traveling.
You can choose from the following CBD formats:
- CBD oil
- CBD capsules
- CBD edibles (e.g. gummies, honey sticks)
- CBD vape oil
- CBD topicals
Both CBD oil and vape oil should fit within the federal limits of on-board transportation. Their volume must be kept within 100 mL; otherwise, your product may be confiscated without the option to return it to you.
For those traveling with hand luggage, the best type of CBD oil to carry on a plane is either CBD capsules or edibles, as they aren’t subject to the aforementioned limits. CBD topicals are another option worth considering — especially if you use CBD to fight localized problems.
Regardless of the product type, always bring a certificate of analysis for the sake of your safety.
Will You Get Arrested for Traveling with CBD Oil?
As mentioned earlier, you can travel with CBD oil (and take it on a plane) as long as it contains less than 0.3% of THC. Otherwise, the authorities will treat you as if you’re trying to travel with a marijuana product, which is federally illegal.
We’ve made a quick comparison between the two plants.
Traveling with Hemp- vs Marijuana-derived CBD Oil
The 2018 Farm Bill introduced significant changes to how different cannabis plants are perceived by federal law.
“Marijuana” is a term referring to all flowering cannabis that has a concentration of THC above 0.3%. So, if your CBD oil contains 1% of THC, it is considered illegal, and traveling with such products is considered a federal felony. Marijuana usually contains between 5–30% of THC, which can get the user high.
Marijuana plants are bred specifically for medicinal or recreational use; they can be purchased only in states with a legal marijuana market. Nevertheless, traveling with marijuana-derived CBD oil — even between two neighboring states that have legalized marijuana — remains illegal until federal legalization.
Hemp is a different pair of shoes.
This type of cannabis is a non-psychoactive cannabis Sativa L. substrain that has been grown for thousands of years for its strong fiber and industrial versatility. Today, hemp is also cultivated to yield high-CBD plants, which are then used for the extraction of CBD oil and other hemp supplements.
As stated by the new Farm Bill, all products made from hemp are legal on a federal level — including CBD extracts.
Traveling with CBD Using Different Means of Transportation
- In the Car – if you’re planning a holiday trip by car, there’s little to be concerned about. Unless you’re a backpacker, you won’t be traveling between state borders with your CBD, so all you need to do is check with the local law. As long as the THC content of your CBD oil doesn’t exceed 0.3%, you’re safe. You also don’t need any special containers for carrying CBD oil around or declare your possession if you get stopped by the police.
- Mass Transit – you can expect similar rules when traveling with CBD by bus, train, or other means of mass transit. Hemp-derived CBD with a legal concentration of THC is fine to bring on trains and buses if you’re traveling within the borders of your country. If you take buses and trains using international connections, we recommend checking with the laws surrounding hemp CBD products in your destination because some countries may place their own restrictions on traveling with CBD oil.
Benefits of Taking CBD Oil on a Plane
CBD has many health benefits. It can help travelers regulate their endocannabinoid system, immune system, and neurotransmitter communication between different systems in your body, which can help ease some of the pesky problems associated with flying, such as stress, jetlags, and sleeplessness.
For long flights, we recommend CBD oil for those who are looking to decrease soreness and stiffness in the muscles, as well as regulate sleep patterns and improve stress response before the flight.
If you’re nervous about flying with any of these products in your possession, then it may be simpler to order CBD oil right to your destination.
Tips for Traveling with CBD Oil
- Check the CBD policy for your destination before departure. It may sound obvious but should be on the top of your priority list if you don’t want to end up having troubles with the local law.
- Research additional restrictions of CBD oil. Can you bring full-spectrum products to your destination? Do your airlines allow CBD on board? Like we said, CBD may be federally legal, but that doesn’t mean you can go all out using every form of CBD out there.
- Bring your certificates of analysis (COA). The COA is a lab report confirming the CBD potency, cannabinoid profile, and product purity. It’s the only way to prove that your CBD oil contains the legal amount of THC during a security check.
- Look for travel-size CBD. This is especially important for the hand luggage limits. Since most people supplement CBD in the form of oil drops, they will have to meet standard airport restrictions; airports usually allow 100 ml bottles on board. You may also consider another form of CBD, such as a vape pen or capsules.
- Leave your CBD at home. If you’re not sure about the laws surrounding CBD and hemp in your destination, you can leave CBD oil at home and research your alternative options or buy CBD oil upon arrival.
Final Thoughts on Traveling with CBD Oil on a Plane
CBD oil may help travelers cope with stressful air travels. However, facing legal challenges could be even more stressful, so it’s important to research the legal status of CBD oil wherever you travel — be it your country, your region, or another continent. Due diligence will help you prevent getting jailed for traveling with CBD around the world.
CBD is legal on a federal level in the United States, so you can take CBD oil on a plane when taking domestic flights, as well as when traveling by car, bus, train, or other means of transport.
For international travel, regulations can be more complicated. You should always have a certificate of analysis at hand, and most of all, check with the laws surrounding CBD at the place of your arrival.
Now you have all the necessary information in one place. We hope this article will help you clear any doubts about traveling with CBD oil.