Can you take CBD oil on a plane?
The legality of CBD
Once people have gotten their heads around the basics of what CBD oil is (and if you still haven’t, you can introductory guide to CBD) the questions that follow are normally concerning legality. Since cannabidiol shares both the root of its name and the root of its creation with cannabis, it can seem like a taboo topic.
One of the most common queries we get concerning legality is whether or not you can take cannabidiol on a flight. Since people get used to the daily routine of buying CBD and taking CBD, the prospect of not being able to take it abroad for business or on holiday can be frustrating. As ever, given the relative flippancy with which CBD’s legality is often handled, the question isn’t a simple yes or no situation.
Liquid laws & CBD
Before getting into the specifics of your Broad Spectrum CBD E-liquid and whether you can or can’t fly with it, the most universal impediment is the size of the liquid container you’re carrying. If you’re intending to bring it in your carry-on, then you’ll be subject to the 100ml liquid rule.
The confusion here stems from the fact medicines aren’t limited by the 100ml rule if accompanied by a prescriptions or doctor’s note. As such, if you’ve been prescribed a CBD tincture you can ignore the liquid limit, but that’s unlikely in the UK.
CBD oils and THC
The main point of contention to consider when debating taking your CBD oils abroad is THC content. Since the market is poorly regulated, some products might not have been extracted properly. That’s why Vitality CBD provide independent batch reports here to guarantee you peace of mind.
Meanwhile, for full spectrum and whole plant products, the trace amounts of THC can raise red flags at airports where staff aren’t properly informed on the distinction between CBD products and medical cannabis. Likewise, it might be that the country you’re flying to has a lower THC threshold than the one you’re flying from.
For example, in the UK the maximum levels of THC in the hemp extract are 0.2%, whilst in the U.S. they can reach 0.3%. That means that even if a CBD oil is legal in your home country, and legal in your destination, you still need to confirm that the laws follow the same guidelines.
UK laws about flying with CBD
Since the majority of our users are UK based, you’re probably already aware that buying CBD is legal in the UK, especially given that it’s now being stocked in national supermarkets and stores. However, the laws around flying with CBD can seem a little confusing.
The CBD oils you’ve been purchasing are most likely being sold as nutritional supplements due to the nature of the law as it stands. Furthermore, the CBD you’re using will have been extracted from hemp containing lower than 0.2% THC, since it’s not covered by the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, and is therefore legal in the UK.
As such, given its legal status you should be able to bring CBD products on board domestic flights within the UK, and international flights to the UK. We still recommend contacting your flight provider and customs in advance though.
Flying internationally with CBD
As mentioned above, the easiest solution is often just to contact your flight provider, and the incoming customs department for your destination. Having said that, it definitely helps to be informed on CBD law ahead of time, especially given that not all staff may be aware of its legal designation.
Changeover flights & cannabidiol
So, you’ve established that the country you’re flying to allows travellers to bring CBD oil across their borders, but have you also considered your changeover along the way? Even if you’re only dropping off in a country for a half-hour sprint across to your next flight, you still fall under their jurisdiction.
Generally laws are tighter in Asian and African countries, but there are exceptions across the board. As ever with CBD, research is key. Either visit the Visa HQ Customs site, or, if you’re flying in the U.S or Europe, you can check Alternative Airlines for a breakdown of CBD laws by region.
Final tips for flying with CBD
We haven’t provided individual country reports because simplified information can cause issues in and of itself. Broadly speaking, for example, European constituents are tolerant of hemp-derived CBD oils due to the mass legalisation of industrial hemp, but there are still grey areas in more hardline countries like Sweden.
The best solution to any headaches you may be having about whether you can fly with CBD or not is to be upfront. That means taking it in your carry-on, carrying the batch report with you to prove your THC levels (if you’ve bought your CBD with us you can find your specific one here) and contacting customs in advance to ensure you’re on the same page.
Learn more about CBD
If you’re looking to discover more about how to use CBD, read about it in our beginner-friendly CBD guide, or if you want to know more about the difference between different CBD oil classifications, check out our article here.
We also have category pages that cover each of our product ranges, including CBD e-liquids, CBD oils, CBD cosmetics, as well as CBD topicals and CBD edibles. That way, you’ll be totally ready to buy CBD.
If you want to ask us about your specific journey, our experienced CBD team are always on hand to field any questions. You can reach out to us on our contact page.
The legality of CBD Once people have gotten their heads around the basics of what CBD oil is (and if you still haven’t, you can introductory guide to CBD) the questions that follow are normally concerning legality. Since cannabidiol shares both the root of its name and the root of its creation with cannabis, it can see
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.”
Griffen Thorne, attorney, Harris Bricken, Lost Angeles.
While some CBD products are now legal, what will happen if you carry them on a plane?