Generally, yes, you can bring CBD on a plane so long as the THC content is under a certain percent, and the place you're traveling to allows Can you take CBD oil on a plane? Now that hemp-derived CBD is legal on a federal level, people are asking about the rules surrounding traveling with CBD. Here you’ll learn everything you need to know about safe travels with CBD products. While some CBD products are now legal, what will happen if you carry them on a plane?
Can You Travel with CBD? Yes, With Some Caveats
More information about the remarkable benefits of CBD (also known as cannabidiol) over the years has catapulted this alternative medicine into the mainstream world. When it comes to travel, CBD has proven to be especially popular. It’s been touted for its benefits including helping alleviate the fear of flying to nixing anxiety from travel, as well as helping to eliminate pain and inflammation and more. Naturally, one of the most-asked questions regarding CBD is if people can travel with it.
What is CBD?
CBD is a chemical derived from cannabis. Although both CBD and THC are derived from cannabis, THC creates a “high” or euphoric effect, while CBD does not.
CBD is used to help control seizures, anxiety, pain, Parkinson and Crohn’s diseases and more. Consumers can purchase CBD as a flower to smoke, cartridge for vaping, as well as tinctures, gummies, supplements, lotions, patches, and more.
Is CBD legal?
First, you’ve got to understand the difference between hemp and marijuana—both of which come from the cannabis sativa plant. They both produce CBD. With hemp, the amount of THC is virtually non-existent; it’s another story when it comes to marijuana. In the US, marijuana is federally illegal because of the high THC percentage (though more and more states are decriminalizing it).
In 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act was passed, making hemp-derived CBD products legal on a federal level. It also removed hemp as a Schedule I substance and moved it to an “agricultural commodity.”
So, if the CBD is coming from hemp, then it is legal federally. In addition, the CBD must contain less than .3 percent THC. Hemp-derived CBD can be transported freely across state lines so long as it meets the criteria passed in the bill.
That being said, although CBD is legal on a federal level, not all states consider it so. For example, it’s fully illegal in Idaho (only legal with 0 THC and from mature stalks of plants), Nebraska, and South Dakota as of 2022. And, it’s only legal for medicinal use in Alabama (must contain less than .3% THC), Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee (must contain less than .6% THC), Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The benefits of traveling with CBD
CBD can be particularly beneficial to people when they travel.
For starters, since CBD is known to ease anxiety, it can help people with travel anxiety. It’s been shown to lessen the body’s response to stress. In addition, it also quiets the part of the brain that registers threats, making flying a more relaxing experience. For those who have never taken CBD before, make sure to use it a few weeks before flying to see how the body reacts.
Aside from CBD helping with travel anxiety, there are other benefits as well. Lotion can help alleviate dry skin, especially when flying. It helps nourish the skin and prevents dry skin, cracks and more. Plus, if inflammation and joint pain are an issue, it can also provide relief when applied topically.
Finally, CBD can help with jetlag, too. Take some at night to relax and unwind before going to sleep (you can also read our tips for sleeping on a plane).
Choosing the right CBD for traveling
What CBD is the right one for you when it comes to traveling?
If you’re looking for a slight euphoric feeling, grab the full spectrum CBD. While the THC percentage is still normally less than .3 percent, it’s made with many other cannabinoid compounds and low levels of THC. While it’s not enough to get someone “high,” it can give a euphoric effect. Because it contains terpenes from the cannabis plant, it also may smell like the plant. Skip the full spectrum CBD if you have to take drug tests, as it could show up.
Broad-spectrum CBD delivers all the calming effects of CBD, minus the euphoric feeling. Like full-spectrum, it contains other cannabinoid compounds, but has zero (or only traces) of THC. So, in a place where THC is illegal, this is the CBD to choose.
For nearly instant gratification to combat anxiety, tinctures/oils are the way to go as they get to your bloodstream the quickest. However, this wears off the quickest of all delivery methods, so you’ll need to take it every four to six hours.
CBD gummies are easy to dose and provide relief to your entire body since they are metabolized and spread throughout your entire body. Plan for when you want the gummies to kick in, as they take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours to feel the effects. Most single servings last up to 12 hours.
You’ll want to use a CBD cream or lotions, balms, patches or salves for aches and inflammation, as well as for dry skin.
Because vaping isn’t allowed on planes, it’s probably best to leave that at home or only bring it out once you’ve arrived at your destination (assuming it’s legal where you’re traveling).
No matter which method of CBD you choose, always check the label to make sure the percentage of THC is lower than .3 percent for traveling to destinations where it’s legal to use.
Can you bring CBD on a plane?
Generally, yes, you can bring CBD on a plane so long as the THC content is under that magic .3 percent. If you’re carrying a liquid or cream form of CBD, it must be less than three ounces if you want to take it in your carryon. If you’re traveling with a CBD vape pen, then it can only go in your carryon, not your checked baggage.
When traveling, know the state laws for your destination and understand that, ultimately, it’s up to the TSA officer to let you through with CBD. Sometimes they get it wrong, and will confiscate your CBD. A handful of states only allow CBD for medicinal use. It is illegal to have CBD in Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Internationally, always check the laws before departure. CBD is illegal in countries including Singapore, Bolivia and Armenia, as well as most countries in Africa (except South Africa).
Can You Take CBD Oil On A Plane?
CBD is enjoyed by people around the world, and since for many users CBD oil is a traveler’s best friend, they are wondering whether it’s possible to take CBD on a plane — be it for domestic flights or international travels.
What are the rules of traveling with CBD oil on a plane?
How does the TSA treat hemp-derived products?
Are there any special provisions for cross-state transportation, international flights, or land travel?
Read on to find out!
CBD in Domestic Flights
Hemp-derived CBD oil is legal on a federal level under the 2018 Farm Bill and thus allowed to be transported across state borders.
This includes flying with CBD oil.
Yes, you can fly between states with CBD products without having to worry about having troubles with federal or state law.
However, other types of CBD, like the one derived from marijuana, are still illegal on a federal level despite some states legalizing the recreational use of marijuana — so it’s not recommended to travel with those types across state borders.
You can distinguish between marijuana-derived and hemp-derived CBD oil by reading the product’s label and identifying the amount of THC in it. Legal CBD oils must contain 0.3% of THC or less; it’s also important that while CBD is approved by the federal government, certain states may put their own restrictions on the sale and possession of CBD products.
For years, the TSA banned traveling with any type of cannabis. However, the recently updated policy has made it clear that people can travel with CBD oil in terms of their flights.
Why the sudden change?
Here’s more to the story.
TSA Guidelines for CBD
In general, products that are FDA-approved or contain hemp-derived CBD with THC levels below 0.3% are legal to travel within the United States.
As long as the product you have is produced within the regulations drawn out by TSA, you can rest assured that you won’t be bothered at the airport.
The TSA’s statement (from January 2020) provides the following information for traveling with CBD oil:
“Marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products, including some cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law except for products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by the FDA. (See the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115–334.) TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law to local, state, or federal authorities.”
“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 a screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”
In other words, if you can prove that your CBD oil contains 0.3% THC (or less), you’re good to go. That’s why we always stress the importance of third-party lab testing and Certificates of Analysis when shopping for CBD.
Can You Fly Internationally with CBD Products?
The international rules and regulations on CBD are unclear and vary by country, so the best thing you can do is to research CBD laws in your destination place — including the laws in any planned stopovers.
Although CBD is legal in most countries, most professionals advise against taking CBD-infused products on a plane, especially if the country you’re traveling to has stricter cannabis laws. Getting into trouble in a new country is never a good idea, so if you insist on having CBD with you, it may be easier to ship your CBD oil to your final destination — or do some research on local vendors to see if they’re selling high-quality products.
Here’s a list of countries where CBD is illegal or its status is, at least, murky:
CBD is also illegal in most African countries except for South Africa. Some Asian countries, such as Japan, have banned full-spectrum CBD, so if you’re traveling there with CBD, you need to make sure you’re taking pure isolate with you.
How to Pack CBD when Traveling
When traveling on a plane, you need to be more cautious if you’re planning to pack CBD in your hand or checked luggage. Below we briefly cover a must-do list for each type of storage:
Can You Fly with CBD Oil in Your Checked Luggage?
Yes, checked luggage is actually the best for traveling with CBD oil. The most important thing to remember is to pack your CBD wisely so that it can be easily accessed by airport authorities; you should also bring your certificate of analysis, and have it readily available to prove that your CBD oil doesn’t contain more than 0.3% of THC.
CBD in Hand Luggage
If you’re traveling with a liquid form of CBD oil, such as a tincture or vape juice, pack it in shatter-resistant travel bags and check the product’s volume to make sure it doesn’t exceed federal limits for onboard liquid travel sizes.
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at different types of CBD products — and which are the best if you travel by plane.
Best Types of CBD to Travel With
If you’re looking to buy CBD oil for travel, the “FLOW” acronym may come in handy. Here’s what it means:
F: Flowering strains of hemp or cannabis
L: Lab tested for purity and potency (proven with a certificate of analysis)
W: Whole Plant
The above features will help you determine the quality of CBD oil and ensure its safety when it comes to traveling.
You can choose from the following CBD formats:
- CBD oil
- CBD capsules
- CBD edibles (e.g. gummies, honey sticks)
- CBD vape oil
- CBD topicals
Both CBD oil and vape oil should fit within the federal limits of on-board transportation. Their volume must be kept within 100 mL; otherwise, your product may be confiscated without the option to return it to you.
For those traveling with hand luggage, the best type of CBD oil to carry on a plane is either CBD capsules or edibles, as they aren’t subject to the aforementioned limits. CBD topicals are another option worth considering — especially if you use CBD to fight localized problems.
Regardless of the product type, always bring a certificate of analysis for the sake of your safety.
Will You Get Arrested for Traveling with CBD Oil?
As mentioned earlier, you can travel with CBD oil (and take it on a plane) as long as it contains less than 0.3% of THC. Otherwise, the authorities will treat you as if you’re trying to travel with a marijuana product, which is federally illegal.
We’ve made a quick comparison between the two plants.
Traveling with Hemp- vs Marijuana-derived CBD Oil
The 2018 Farm Bill introduced significant changes to how different cannabis plants are perceived by federal law.
“Marijuana” is a term referring to all flowering cannabis that has a concentration of THC above 0.3%. So, if your CBD oil contains 1% of THC, it is considered illegal, and traveling with such products is considered a federal felony. Marijuana usually contains between 5–30% of THC, which can get the user high.
Marijuana plants are bred specifically for medicinal or recreational use; they can be purchased only in states with a legal marijuana market. Nevertheless, traveling with marijuana-derived CBD oil — even between two neighboring states that have legalized marijuana — remains illegal until federal legalization.
Hemp is a different pair of shoes.
This type of cannabis is a non-psychoactive cannabis Sativa L. substrain that has been grown for thousands of years for its strong fiber and industrial versatility. Today, hemp is also cultivated to yield high-CBD plants, which are then used for the extraction of CBD oil and other hemp supplements.
As stated by the new Farm Bill, all products made from hemp are legal on a federal level — including CBD extracts.
Traveling with CBD Using Different Means of Transportation
- In the Car – if you’re planning a holiday trip by car, there’s little to be concerned about. Unless you’re a backpacker, you won’t be traveling between state borders with your CBD, so all you need to do is check with the local law. As long as the THC content of your CBD oil doesn’t exceed 0.3%, you’re safe. You also don’t need any special containers for carrying CBD oil around or declare your possession if you get stopped by the police.
- Mass Transit – you can expect similar rules when traveling with CBD by bus, train, or other means of mass transit. Hemp-derived CBD with a legal concentration of THC is fine to bring on trains and buses if you’re traveling within the borders of your country. If you take buses and trains using international connections, we recommend checking with the laws surrounding hemp CBD products in your destination because some countries may place their own restrictions on traveling with CBD oil.
Benefits of Taking CBD Oil on a Plane
CBD has many health benefits. It can help travelers regulate their endocannabinoid system, immune system, and neurotransmitter communication between different systems in your body, which can help ease some of the pesky problems associated with flying, such as stress, jetlags, and sleeplessness.
For long flights, we recommend CBD oil for those who are looking to decrease soreness and stiffness in the muscles, as well as regulate sleep patterns and improve stress response before the flight.
If you’re nervous about flying with any of these products in your possession, then it may be simpler to order CBD oil right to your destination.
Tips for Traveling with CBD Oil
- Check the CBD policy for your destination before departure. It may sound obvious but should be on the top of your priority list if you don’t want to end up having troubles with the local law.
- Research additional restrictions of CBD oil. Can you bring full-spectrum products to your destination? Do your airlines allow CBD on board? Like we said, CBD may be federally legal, but that doesn’t mean you can go all out using every form of CBD out there.
- Bring your certificates of analysis (COA). The COA is a lab report confirming the CBD potency, cannabinoid profile, and product purity. It’s the only way to prove that your CBD oil contains the legal amount of THC during a security check.
- Look for travel-size CBD. This is especially important for the hand luggage limits. Since most people supplement CBD in the form of oil drops, they will have to meet standard airport restrictions; airports usually allow 100 ml bottles on board. You may also consider another form of CBD, such as a vape pen or capsules.
- Leave your CBD at home. If you’re not sure about the laws surrounding CBD and hemp in your destination, you can leave CBD oil at home and research your alternative options or buy CBD oil upon arrival.
Final Thoughts on Traveling with CBD Oil on a Plane
CBD oil may help travelers cope with stressful air travels. However, facing legal challenges could be even more stressful, so it’s important to research the legal status of CBD oil wherever you travel — be it your country, your region, or another continent. Due diligence will help you prevent getting jailed for traveling with CBD around the world.
CBD is legal on a federal level in the United States, so you can take CBD oil on a plane when taking domestic flights, as well as when traveling by car, bus, train, or other means of transport.
For international travel, regulations can be more complicated. You should always have a certificate of analysis at hand, and most of all, check with the laws surrounding CBD at the place of your arrival.
Now you have all the necessary information in one place. We hope this article will help you clear any doubts about traveling with CBD oil.
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.”