TSA Update: Flying With Some CBD Oil Is Now Okay
The TSA says some CBD oil and FDA-approved medications are cleared for take-off.
Recreational and medical marijuana is legal in some states, but the TSA has always been clear that flying with any form of marijuana was illegal. But that changed over the weekend, when the TSA quietly updated its “What can I bring?” page on medical marijuana to note that passengers can now fly with some forms of CBD oil and one hemp-derived medication approved by the FDA.
Yesterday on Twitter, the @AskTSA account advised a traveler that ” Products that contain hemp-derived CBD oil or are FDA-approved are generally legal & can fly.”
The TSA said the change was prompted by the only Food and Drug Administration-approved drug that contains CBD oil, Epidiolex, which is used to treat seizures in children with epilepsy.
The notation on medical marijuana now reads:
“Possession of marijuana and certain cannabis infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and certain cannabis infused products.
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 2018.
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 security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”
In the past, the TSA did not differentiate between marijuana and some hemp-derived products. Hemp derivatives contain little to no tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that produces a high.
The new rule does not change the TSA’s ban on other forms of marijuana, including cannabis-infused products and CBD oils that contain THC. But it’s unclear how TSA officers would know whether a substance contained THC, since the TSA does not do on-site testing at airport security checkpoints. If there is a doubt, a TSA spokesperson said the matter would be referred to local law enforcement.
“This is an interesting development, but demonstrates several things,” says David Bannard, an attorney with Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP in Boston, who consults with airports on marijuana and other regulatory issues.”First, this confirms the split between the federal regulatory regime and those states that have legalized marijuana for certain uses, especially for recreational use. Second, it also shows that Congress is beginning to follow the general public and may presage the devolution of regulation of marijuana to the states. Lastly, it does not mean that it is legal to fly with marijuana products in one’s possession — that remains impermissible under federal law.”
As the TSA’s “What can I bring?” page notes, “The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.”
TSA turnaround: Some CBD oil and FDA-approved medications are now cleared for take-off.
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