Updated: Jul 30, 2022
I get asked all the time about traveling by air with CBD oil and CBD products. This has always been a gray area with no real definitive answer….until now. Recently, over this past weekend, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) updated its website’s “What Can I Bring” section on medical marijuana.
The “Special Instructions” section is a little bit confusing, so here’s a little paraphrasing. Text: “Possession of marijuana and certain cannabis infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law.”
Translation: Sorry folks, marijuana prohibition is still federal law according to the Controlled Substances Act. So, technically, you can still be busted for CBD. We here at TSA don’t do it, but other law enforcement agencies can.
Text: “TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and certain cannabis infused products.”
Translation: We’re a federal agency, we must follow the law, but we have tons of discretion.
Text: “Products/medications that contain hemp-derived CBD or are approved by the FDA are legal as long as it is produced within the regulations defined by the law under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.”
Translation: Popular CBD brands, like Charlotte’s Web, can go through airport security. So can new cannabis prescription drugs approved by the FDA. At TSA, we don’t care. All we care about is the security of airplanes. The farm bill (aka the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) removed the federal ban on hemp, which is cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC. If you can extract CBD from hemp, which many companies do, then that CBD is legal under federal law. But, some states still have old laws that outlaw hemp and, hence, CBD.
Text: “TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers.”
Translation: The TSA is overwhelmed with the task of keeping guns and knives off planes, folks. We found 176 firearms in just 13 days this month, and 54 of those guns were loaded, with a round in the chamber, for god’s sake. Personal amounts of CBD—which has no addictive profile and no lethal overdose—just don’t rank.
Text: “Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.
Translation: Don’t get cocky. If you fly with 50 pounds of marijuana, and a TSA agent finds it, you’re going to the local jail and will probably be charged with drug trafficking. If you’re travelling with a small, personal amount of CBD gummies, we’re not looking for it. And if we find it, we don’t care. If we find less than an ounce of cannabis—and you’re in a legal state—it’s also cool.
Also, the TSA does not like liquids, glass, and metal—so save us all time and avoid keeping your CBD in those materials. Just be discreet. We all have a plane to catch. Good day.