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Once you’ve started experiencing the benefits of CBD — whether you use it to combat everyday stress, relieve aches and pains, or help you catch better shut-eye — the prospect of taking a trip without your favorite CBD product can be less than appealing.
But can you take CBD oil on a plane? After decades of prohibition, nearly everyone is paranoid about traveling with cannabis. While hemp is legal under federal law as a form of cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, what is the TSA’s stance on traveling with hemp-derived products?
What adds to the complexity is that regulations can vary from state to state and country to country. CBD oils and CBD gummies are relatively new supplements, and navigating the complex web of cannabis laws can be confusing.
Considering the above, many people find themselves wondering if flying with CBD is possible and how to go about it. Keep reading to learn what you should know about flying with CBD in the U.S. and Europe, from how to pack your bags to what to expect when taking CBD products through TSA checkpoints.
Can You Take CBD Oil on a Plane? What You Should Know
CBD Oils Can Go Through Airport Security If They’re Made From Hemp
According to the TSA's website, cannabis products "that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA" are approved for travel. Cannabis products, including CBD products, that are derived from marijuana or contain more than 0.3 percent THC are considered illegal under federal law, and are therefore subject to confiscation and potential legal consequences if discovered during airport security checks.
This is why it’s important to fly with only hemp-derived CBD products with a QR code on the packaging that allows access to lab reports to verify the THC level is below 0.3&, in the unlikely event that a TSA agent may ask questions.
What About Traveling with CBD Gummies?
The TSA’s guidelines — which allow passengers to fly with CBD products as long as they contain no more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight — apply not only to CBD oils but also CBD gummies and CBD creams, as well as medical cannabis. Just as with CBD oil, make sure to bring Certificates of Analysis with you to confirm your CBD products meet their guidelines, or make sure your CBD product packaging has a QR code that displays the Certificate of Analysis.1
You Should Know the Difference between Hemp-Derived CBD Products vs. Marijuana-Derived CBD Products
Understanding the difference between hemp-derived CBD products and marijuana-derived CBD products is essential when it comes to flying with CBD, as it can impact your compliance with TSA rules.
Hemp is one of two varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant — the other one is marijuana. The main difference between these two plants is their relative amounts of CBD and THC (the cannabis compound that gets you "high”). Hemp has much higher amounts of CBD and much lower amounts of THC compared to marijuana. Under federal law, hemp must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight in order to be considered legal — and hence approved by the TSA.
Does The TSA Check for CBD?
According to the TSA’s website, TSA officers don’t search bags for marijuana or other illegal drugs.1 Still, if an illegal substance is discovered during a screening, the TSA official will refer the matter to law enforcement.
It’s a good idea to keep a receipt and even a certificate of analysis, or COA (a document that confirms the specific contents of a product), for your CBD supplement, just in case its legality comes into question. Some brands offer QR codes on their packaging, which link to COAs for this very purpose.
Can Sniffer Dogs Smell CBD Oil?
The days of a K-9 unit finding marijuana in someone’s luggage, leading to that person’s arrest, are long gone. TSA canines are primarily trained to detect explosive threats3 and sometimes to alert their handlers to flora or fauna that may be invasive to the area. While their keen sense of smell will surely allow TSA canines to detect CBD and other hemp-based substances in your luggage, that’s not what they’re looking for, so you don’t need to worry about taking legal CBD products on domestic flights.
Traveling with CBD Oil on Domestic Flights
Hemp-derived CBD may be legal on a federal level, but individual states have their own laws regarding the sale and use of cannabidiol. Before hopping on a plane to an out-of-state destination, it’s important to know the laws of the state you’ll be visiting.
Below is a breakdown of where the states stand with regard to CBD laws.4 Just remember that things can change, so always double-check before you travel.
States Where CBD Is Fully Legal
Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington
States Where CBD Is Conditionally Legal
Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Here are a couple of examples of how states may restrict the sale or use of CBD:
In Idaho, CBD oil and other CBD products are permitted as long as they don’t contain any detectable levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
In Kansas, CBD oil must not contain traceable amounts of THC. However, THC levels up to 5% are legal in medical CBD oil, but this requires a license and is only permitted for use by individuals with specific conditions.
Traveling with CBD Oil on International Flights
Can you take CBD oil on an international flight? You may be able to take CBD on a plane out of the country, but each country has its own laws and regulations regarding cannabis-derived products. Before packing CBD oil for your vacation, it’s important to do your due diligence by researching and understanding the laws of each country you’ll be visiting — even if only for a layover.
Let’s take Europe for example. Below are some basic guidelines for the five most popular European destinations for American travelers.5
1. Portugal: CBD Oil Is Legal for Medicinal Use With a Prescription
In Portugal, CBD is legal for medicinal use with a doctor’s prescription.6
Possessing recreational hemp substances or preparations in quantities that don’t exceed that required for average individual consumption during a 10-day period is not considered a crime in Portugal.8
Bringing CBD into Portugal without a prescription is not recommended.
2. Spain: CBD Oil Is Legal for Topical Use
CBD is not legal for sale or use as a consumable and is only permitted for sale as a cosmetic product (think topical versus edible). As a result, CBD oil is only legal in Spain if it’s labeled “for external use only.”7
3. Italy: CBD Oil Is Legal if It’s Derived From Industrial Hemp
CBD is legal in Italy8 if it comes from industrial hemp and doesn’t have more than 0.6% THC during any stage of production.
4. United Kingdom: CBD Oil Is Legal if It Has Less Than 1 mg THC Per Container
CBD is legal in the United Kingdom if it contains no more than 1mg of THC per container9 (essentially undetectable). CBD products must also be approved by the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA).
CBD floral material isn’t allowed in the UK.
5. Greece: CBD Oil Is Legal If It’s Derived From Hemp
CBD is legal in Greece, but it must not contain more than 0.2% THC10 during any point of production — which means it must be derived from hemp and not marijuana.
Tips for Flying With CBD Oil in the U.S. and Abroad
Additionally, there are certain steps you can take to help ensure that traveling with CBD oil goes smoothly:
Always keep receipts and certificates of analysis with your CBD products.
The certificate of analysis (or COA) will make it easy to prove your CBD oil meets the local regulations of wherever you’re going. Pack the COA and proof of purchase with your CBD, whether it's in your carry-on or checked luggage. CBD products with a QR code that links to lab reports will save you the hassle of bringing along a print-out of a COA.
Don’t hide your CBD oil from travel agents.
If you’re packing CBD oil in your checked luggage, pack it in an obvious location (with your toiletries or cosmetics, for instance). Packing it in an odd or hidden place within your carry-on or checked luggage could generate unwarranted suspicion and lead to your CBD oil being confiscated or, at the very least, unnecessary delays in the security line.
Pack vaping devices in your carry-on luggage.
If you have a CBD vape pen, you’ll have to carry it with you on the plane. The TSA doesn’t allow e-cigarettes or vaping devices to be packed in checked luggage. There are additional TSA restrictions regarding the lithium-ion battery in such devices, which can be found on the agency’s website.11
If you have more than one vaping device, you’ll want to check with your airline before heading to the airport, as some carriers may limit the number of vapes allowed per passenger.
Pack your CBD oil with other liquids.
If you want to bring your CBD oil on the plane with you, be sure to pack it according to official guidelines. According to the TSA,12 you may bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, gels, creams, aerosols, and pastes in your carry-on luggage. Each must be in a travel-sized container with a capacity of no more than 3.4 ounces (or 100 milliliters).
Ship your CBD oil instead of flying with it.
If you’re worried about having your CBD oil confiscated in transit, consider shipping it to your final destination instead. If you choose to go this route, be sure to pack the bottle in plenty of packing paper or other cushioning material to prevent it from breaking, and include any receipts and COAs in the package. Finally, ensure the CBD oil meets the local laws and regulations of the state or country to which it's being shipped.
Travel-Friendly CBD Oil
At Cornbread Hemp, we understand the importance of high-quality CBD that you can count on whether at home or on vacation. This is why we offer the highest-quality CBD products, which all come in travel-size containers. All our CBD oil products contain the full spectrum of cannabis compounds, including 2 mg of THC (which is no more than 0.3%). Our CBD products are made from the flower only and are USDA-certified organic through every step of the process, and our packaging includes a QR code that links to lab reports, in case there’s any question about our products and their THC content. Shop our CBD collection now.