While some CBD products are now legal, what will happen if you carry them on a plane? Now that international travel has resumed, we are seeing many people (especially those visiting our London CBD Store) ask if they can travel internationally with CBD oil even more frequently, especially given increased need for help with anxiety and the huge growth in the number of CBD users around the world. Flying wi
Is CBD Safe to Carry on a Plane?
Nov. 26, 2019 — 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. Other travelers like to tote along CBD in skin care or beauty products.
But many also wonder: Will my CBD get past the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)?
Earlier this year, officials arrested a 71-year-old woman 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.”
In addition, the FDA recently warned companies that adding CBD to foods or dietary supplements is illegal because it has not been declared to be GRAS, or generally recognized as safe.
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. The only one currently approved is Epidiolex (cannabidiol), which treats two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
At the Airport
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,” Harmon says.
Who gets the final word? The TSA website posts: The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.
The other complicating factor is that some states may have more restrictive laws regarding CBD. In Virginia, for example, you can only purchase CBD with a prescription. And CBD of any type is not allowed in dietary supplements or food, the FDA says.
Here’s what experts suggest:
If you are traveling with medical marijuana or an FDA-approved drug, take your prescription with you in case there are any questions. Keep the marijuana and the prescription drug in original packaging.
If you have CBD products, find the product’s certificate of analysis, or CoA.
CoAs are listed on manufacturer’s websites. Or, once the product is purchased, the QR code on the label should be scannable, taking customers to the product’s webpage and the CoA. A CoA will list the percent of CBD and other cannabinoids, when it was tested, and the name of the lab that tested it (outside labs are preferred to company testing, experts say.)
“Print a copy of the certificate of analysis (or CoA) of the CBD product you are carrying so you have formal documentation of what that product is,” says Alex Wolfe, vice-president of business development for ShopCBD.com, an online specialty store representing 32 companies that sell hemp-derived products.
“Any good brand should be able to show you the CoA,” agrees Gary Avetisyan, who is co-owner of two Topikal stores in the Los Angeles area selling CBD products. That way, he says, it will be clear there is no THC or it is below the required 0.3%.
Besides packing the CoA, ”print out the latest regulations that TSA has posted, or have the link to the latest regulations on your phone,” Wolfe suggests. That way, if you encounter a new TSA agent or one unfamiliar with all the regulations, you have support.
If the anxiety of wondering whether you will get through TSA with your CBD is too overwhelming, it might be better to check out whether it’s legal at your destination and simply buy it there. One source for state laws on marijuana, CBD, and hemp is norml.org.
Another option is to shop online or at a store before the trip, then ship the CBD to your destination, Avetisyan says.
Los Angeles attorney Griffen Thorne, who is familiar with cannabis issues, urges passengers to be cautious. He recommends not taking CBD on international flights.
“The laws in the jurisdiction you are flying to can be drastically different. Flying domestically with a CBD product is obviously less of a risk, but I still think there are risks.” Not everyone is up to date on the new TSA stance, he says. Hemp is not a controlled substance federally, he says, but people transporting it across state lines get pulled over. Law enforcement officials are not all familiar with the differences between hemp-derived CBD and cannabis-derived CBD.
As for marijuana, medical or recreational, the best advice, he says, is ”leave it all at home” if you’re flying, since it remains a Schedule I drug on the federal level.
Carrie Harmon, TSA spokesperson.
TSA: “Medical Marijuana.”
Gary Avetisyan, co-owner, Topikal CBD, Los Angeles.
Alex Wolfe, spokesperson, ShopCBD.com.
NBCDFW.com: “Traveling Grandmother Jailed for CBD Oil: ‘I Slept on the Floor… Next to the Toilet.’”
Citizen Truth: “What is a CBD Certificate of Analysis (COA) (And How to Read It).”
Marijuana Policy Project.
TravelLatte: “Traveling with CBD.”
Brookings: “The Farm Bill, hemp legalization and the status of CBD: An explainer.”
Can You Take CBD Oil On A Plane? 2022 Update
Now that international travel has resumed, we are seeing many people (especially those visiting our London CBD Store) ask if they can travel internationally with CBD oil even more frequently, especially given increased need for help with anxiety and the huge growth in the number of CBD users around the world. Flying with CBD oil is something many people are keen to be able to do!
Fortunately, the answer is… in most cases yes, you can travel with many CBD products, provided they meet a few important requirements! There are however some no-go zones where you should NEVER travel with CBD oil including places like China, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
In some countries laws also vary depending on whether the CBD is ingestible (like a CBD oil) or topical (like a CBD Balm). For example, in the UAE topical CBD is permitted, but CBD oil is banned. In these instances, using products like CBD patches instead of CBD oil may be helpful.
Laws on Cannabis and related substances are changing quickly around the world, so our key advice is to always check with the embassy of the country you are traveling to or through to ensure you have the most up to date information for that destination.
To elaborate further, of course it all depends what type of CBD you have.
Under UK law, CBD products must contain less than 1mg THC or CBN, which is effectively none (it’s incorrect to say that products can contain less than 0.2% THC, that law relates to the source material not finished products). And you must be absolutely sure of this. If your CBD oil contains these banned cannabinoids, you’re holding a controlled substance, and that doesn’t tend to end well at airports.
All KLORIS CBD products are blended in the UK under strict controls to guarantee they contain no THC or CBN.
We’ve covered a few common flight zones below and how they fare in terms of carrying CBD oil and other CBD products on a plane.
CAN YOU TAKE CBD OIL ON A PLANE WITHIN EUROPE?
Industrial Hemp (Cannabis Sativa L) derived CBD like KLORIS is 100% legal in all European countries, provided it contains no THC – some countries allow low levels of THC, generally up to 0.2% but sometimes up to as much as 1% (in the case of Switzerland).
Always choose a reputable CBD company that is transparent about its products, especially when you’re flying with CBD oil. Make sure you’re carrying a brand that states the CBD content on the label and shows the source as hemp derived CBD clearly. Ditch any CBD products with no labels.
There are also still general rules around carrying liquids that you must be aware of. A 10ml bottle of KLORIS CBD Oil is under the limit for carry-on liquids.
TAKING CBD ON A PLANE IN THE USA
In the USA, CBD Oils come with and without THC. So it’s a little more complicated here. Although medical cannabis (with THC) is legal in some states in the USA, all airports are controlled under federal law. This means that if, for example, you bought CBD Oil with THC in Colorado, you can’t fly with it. That’s because under federal law THC is illegal in the USA.
However, the good news is that CBD has been removed from the controlled substances list by the DEA so if you’re flying with a THC-free CBD Oil made from hemp, like KLORIS CBD, you aren’t breaking any laws. It’s still going to be important that your product clearly states this. There’s also a chance that a misinformed officer at the airport doesn’t understand the difference between the two products. It won’t land you in jail, but it could slow you down and they may take it off you.
TAKING CBD ON A PLANE IN ASIA, AFRICA & REST OF WORLD
This is where things get really interesting. CBD laws vary considerably around the world and are often confused with cannabis laws originally intended for marijuana and cannabis oils, which don’t make much sense for hemp derived CBD products that aren’t intoxicating.
Take Thailand for example. There have been cases of people getting 5 years in a Thai jail for carrying substances that were legal in their home country, only to find they are a criminal when they land. Prescription drugs like Tramadol. Thailand has now legalised many CBD products but only those manufactured within Thailand, importation is still prohibited.
There was also a case of Mostafa Soliman, an America citizen who was imprisoned in Egypt in 2010 for importing organic hemp seed oil, used mostly in salads. If convicted he would have faced the death penalty. Thankfully he was released following protests.
Although these horror stories do exist, there are also plenty of people on TripAdvisor forums saying they’ve traveled happily across borders with a single bottle of CBD Oil in their hand luggage, still we can only suggest everyone follows whatever the local law is of their destination, especially when flying internationally.
CHECK WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES BEFORE YOU TAKE CBD OIL ON A PLANE IF YOU’RE NOT SURE
So we’ll end this article as we started and say if you’re not 100% sure, check with authorities in the country you are traveling to before you leave. Don’t forget to include any countries where you might be changing flights, although you’re not leaving the airport, you’re still landing there and subject to their laws.
If you’re flying via countries like Singapore, make sure you’re fully aware of the laws in those states before you take off. Another great tip is to ask your airline if you can take CBD Oil on the plane, as they may be able to help.