Can You Take CBD Oil On a Plane? Flying with CBD
Hemp-derived CBD oil hasn’t been illegal under federal law since 2018, so it’s perfectly reasonable to assume you can take CBD oil on a plane. People flying with CBD occur every day.
However, not so fast.
There’s a lot to unpack (no pun intended) before you try to fly with CBD. What’s seemingly innocuous in the U.S. can be a severe crime elsewhere. Some countries are brutal regarding marijuana and certain cannabis products – mainly because their laws don’t distinguish between 0.3 percent THC “hemp” and high-THC “marijuana.”
If you can’t leave your CBD oil at home, it’s crucial to know where your rights begin and, perhaps more importantly, where they end.
Can You Take CBD Oil on a Plane?
Yes, you can take CBD oil on a plane – but your legal protection offered by the Agriculture Improvement Act (Farm Bill) of 2018 only extends to flights within the U.S.
TSA agents won’t actively look for CBD, so nothing prevents you from physically taking it on a plane. But there’s no telling how strict customs agents are at your destination.
There’s no issue with carrying CBD oil onto a domestic or international U.S. flight, as long as the product and its source (“hemp”) contain less than 0.3% THC.
However, once you land in another country, you’re vulnerable to potential “zero-tolerance” policies and other – often severe – legal sanctions. We’ll talk about an extreme (although not isolated) example later.
Considering the risks, it’s best to avoid carrying CBD internationally. Even Canada, which legalized cannabis in 2018, doesn’t allow unregulated hemp-derived CBD within its borders.
So can you travel with CBD Oil?
Yes, you can travel with CBD oil and certain cannabis-infused products. Just make sure they contain 0.3% THC or less.
Can you travel with CBD cream?
Absolutely! You can travel with CBD cream as long as it follows the 0.3% THC limit.
How about traveling with CBD Gummies?
Fortunately, you can travel with CBD gummies, but their THC content can’t exceed the 0.3% limit of “hemp.”
Can You Take CBD Vapes on a Plane?
Yes, you can fly with CBD vapes containing less than 0.3% THC. However, additional rules on e-cigarette products apply. Check the TSA’s policy first.
Can You Travel with CBD Oil Outside of the U.S?
Anyone can pack CBD into their luggage. The question is whether you should. Cannabis and cannabidiol CBD oil remain highly restricted or illegal in most of the world. In some cases, customs may confiscate the product or issue a fine.
However, some countries are extremely tough when it comes to cannabis, as
Countries to Not Travel to with CBD
Cannabis products – including hemp CBD oil, remain illegal under federal law in most countries. If you feel comfortable risking international travel with CBD or any cannabis product, it’s best to avoid the following countries:
Places With the Strictest Cannabis Laws
Sneaking CBD internationally is a bad idea. But in some countries, it could be the worst idea you ever have. American Addiction Centers lists several destinations with strong anti-cannabis laws.
Some examples (in no particular order) include:
- United Arab Emirates
- Costa Rica
- Saudi Arabia
The Cautionary Tale of Billy Hood
So how bad are these locations for CBD users? Pretty bad, as one unfortunate U.K. football coach found out the hard way in October of 2021. According to The Guardian, Billy Hood – a British football coach – was living in Dubai when a friend forgot his CBD vape products in the trunk of Hood’s car.
Authorities detained Hood and, according to him, beat and tortured him until he signed a confession in Arabic (which he doesn’t speak). The man had no access to an interpreter or legal representation (despite Dubai’s claims to the contrary). Interrogators promised to free Hood if he confessed – a lie that landed him 25 years in prison.
Although the U.A.E. government denies coercion, The Guardian advises that such tactics are commonly-used, with police interested in convictions rather than the guilt or innocence.
Hood’s family continues to fight, appealing to advocacy groups and the U.K. government. As of November 2, 2021, the man remains in captivity.
While Billy Hood’s case is extreme, he’s not the first – or last – person to run into legal trouble over hemp-derived CBD.
How Much CBD Can You Take on a Plane?
There’s no limit to the CBD content of your product when it comes to domestic flights. The deciding factor when flying with CBD oil is THC, which can legally be present at levels of up to 0.3 percent.
Joshua Bauchneer, Legal Counsel at Canafarma Corp., explains how the TSA treats cannabis-infused products like hemp CBD.
“Consumers can consider traveling with CBD products to be the same as traveling with any other over-the-counter supplements,” says Joshua Bauchner, Canafarma Corp. Legal Counsel. “TSA guidelines as of January 2020 specifically state that consumers can travel with CBD products as long as they contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis, or that are approved by the FDA.”
However, we again stress that these rules apply to flights within U.S. borders.
Benefits of Traveling with CBD
There’s been a lot of research into CBD’s possible benefits – many of which could apply to some of the less pleasant aspects of travel. Sadly, getting from “A” to “B” is never a smooth experience. But we have reason to believe CBD products can make the process at least marginally painless.
Could Control Anxiety
Whether it’s the stress of packing or pre-flight jitters, research suggests that CBD could offer relief. Unlike THC, CBD won’t induce an intoxicating high known to trigger feelings like paranoia.
There have been several animals and some small human studies on CBD and anxiety. Of particular interest is a 2015 testimony recorded in the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The presenters cite several ways CBD might curb anxiety, including a 2011 experiment in the journal Nature.
According to the publication, human participants who consumed CBD before a public speaking exercise showed less overall anxiety, along with better cognition and verbalization.
If CBD makes it easier for people to get on a podium, there’s a good chance you can apply it to other temporary stressors associated with travel.
May Help With Pain
Traveling is a pain – literally and figuratively. Being crammed into a tiny seat for hours help your muscles, joints, and bones. However, some research suggests that CBD can help with the mental and physical pain of long trips.
According to a 2020 publication from Frontiers in Pharmacology, CBD may have applications for treating joint pain, chronic pain, and neuropathic pain. But the authors admit – as should we – that most of the studies are on animals or small groups of people.
Possibly Reduces Travel-Related Stress
“Stress” is a broad term, but most of us define it as physical and mental tension. Regardless of the cause, many people say CBD products help reduce daily life’s psychological and physical toll.
A 2021 study in the Journal of Cannabis Research collected data from CBD users through an online questionnaire. After examining responses from nearly 400 current and past consumers, researchers noted that stress was a common reason for people to consume CBD.
Because stress involves a variety of symptoms, research focuses on specific stress symptoms, like anxiety. We also have to remember that the data is self-reported and entirely anecdotal.
But if traveling gets under your skin, it can’t hurt to try a small dose of CBD before you leave.
Tips for Flying with CBD
There are a few things to consider that slightly affect how you travel with CBD. We also have some helpful, common-sense practices.
- Liquids in carry-on bags can’t exceed 100ml, including oils, beverages, and e-juice.
- It’s wise to keep spillable CBD products in a sealed container or bag.
- E-cigarette devices must be packed in your carry-on.
- Keep your CBD products in their original containers.
- Don’t bury the product in your luggage if you quickly need to grab it for inspection.
- Federal law only covers CBD-infused products, so dried flower – even “hemp” – is banned from flights.
- It’s illegal to travel with CBD from medical “marijuana” (over 0.3% THC) even if you have a prescription.
- Keep your brand’s third-party tests results on hand, just in case TSA officers search for marijuana.
Still Unsure? Ask TSA
If you’re unsure about what you can bring on a plane, it’s best to get your information directly from the TSA- especially with products that contain controlled substances. According to the TSA:
“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 are approved by the FDA.
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.”
Other FAQs About Traveling with CBD Oil
Navigating (no pun intended) the legal maze of CBD and travel isn’t easy. Law enforcement can be unpredictable with marijuana or other illegal products. Let’s look at a few other common questions.
Can Drug Dogs Detect CBD Oil at Airports?
No. Drug dogs can’t detect CBD oil. Since the substance is federally legal, training dogs to zero in on CBD is pointless.
Do You Have to Declare CBD Oil When Traveling?
No, you don’t have to declare CBD oil when traveling within American borders. In the eyes of U.S. law, CBD is no different than vitamins or other supplements. Whether you have to declare it elsewhere, however, is another story.
Should You Keep CBD in Your Luggage or Carry On?
TSA regulations say you can keep CBD in your carry-on if it contains less than 100 ml of product. Otherwise, it goes in your luggage.
How to Check if a CBD Oil is Legal to Travel With?
To check if a CBD oil is legal to travel with, use the same benchmarks for evaluating quality. Pretend you’re shopping for CBD, and look for the following:
- Is the CBD sourced from safe, regulated hemp?
- Does it contain less than 0.3% THC?
- Are third-party tests available?
- Is the brand reputable?
If the answer is “yes” to these, you likely have nothing to worry about.
Summary: Traveling With CBD Oil
Laws can be fickle, confusing, and flat-out oppressive. Thankfully, the U.S. at least gave hemp-derived CBD a break. Unfortunately, travelers have little control over how other countries feel about hemp and marijuana.
In the U.S., CBD doesn’t matter to a law enforcement officer or TSA official. But as we illustrated earlier, the seemingly innocent product could land you in a world of trouble.
Know your destination’s laws around cannabis and – if possible – leave your CBD in the U.S.
Guide to Flying with CBD Oil
Flying with CBD oil may hinge on a technicality: whether your CBD products are derived from hemp or cannabis. But even then, federal authorities can confiscate your CBD and there have been some arrests .
If the CBD product you’re carrying with you contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD derived from the stem of hemp plants, then it should be legal to bring to any state. But CBD oils and other CBD products derived from cannabis containing higher amounts of psychoactive THC are considered illegal substances.
Here is everything you need to know about traveling with CBD oil and other CBD products. Before heading to the airport for your next domestic or international flight, know the rules.
Note that this article does not constitute legal advice. For specific legal guidance, we recommend consulting a lawyer.
Flying with CBD Oil in the U.S.
The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp legal in the United States, but with certain nuances and restrictions. The bill outlines that hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC may be transported across state lines. The products covered in the bill include CBD oil, CBD tinctures, CBD edibles, and other hemp-based items.
But what if your CBD oil comes from cannabis and has more than 0.3% THC? The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has said, to paraphrase, ” We’re not looking for your weed .” However, suppose TSA agents spot any suspected law violations, as in something that may look like cannabis or a cannabis-containing product. In that case, they are required to notify the local authorities.
Depending on the cannabis-friendliness of the authority (or whether or not their arrest targets need to be met), this can mean either a lucky escape or prison time. Also, as flying with cannabis is against federal law, you may face penalties even if you’re going between two legal states.
However, we strongly advise against carrying cannabis or cannabis-based CBD products onboard a flight.
Current TSA Guidelines
The TSA explicitly states that it will report any suspicious items to the local authorities. If you’re caught with a cannabis product with a higher than 0.3% THC concentration, you may have legal issues to handle. But if you travel with a bottle of hemp-derived CBD oil in its original container, the TSA most likely will not detain you.
Flying Internationally with CBD Oil
Different countries have vastly different laws, and it’s not possible to state everywhere in the world, you may be able to carry your hemp-based CBD oil with you. But here are some global highlights concerning CBD laws:
Canada does not permit people to bring cannabis or CBD products.
If you’re wondering, “can I take CBD oil to Mexico?” The answer is, no, you cannot. But you can purchase CBD products legally once you are in Mexico.
Some countries in Central America, like Costa Rica, allow you to travel with a CBD product if it contains less than 0.3% THC.
Laws vary across South America, but you may take your CBD products to Brazil if they contain less than 0.2% THC.
Europe’s laws vary between countries, but it is generally legal to possess CBD products with trace amounts (0.3% or less) of THC.
The Middle East has extremely strict laws on cannabis and CBD possession, and Dubai, a party playground for the wealthy, issues severe penalties for having CBD. A man from London was recently sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for possessing CBD in Dubai .
Asia has strict laws on cannabis and other drugs. But Thailand allows you to possess a thirty-day supply of CBD oil if you have a permit from FDA Thailand. India has more lenient CBD laws, and you can possess CBD products without a permit.
You can have CBD oil in Australia only with a medical prescription.
The laws on CBD in Africa are emerging. South Africa permits CBD possession but with a strict caveat: it must contain less than 0.001% THC.
Tips for Flying with CBD
Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re traveling with CBD products:
- Be aware of the laws of each destination country if traveling internationally
- Carry your medical marijuana card with you if you have one
- Keep the CBD product in its original packaging
- Carry any prescription information with you
- Make sure the CBD product is genuinely a CBD product and contains no more than 0.3% THC (even less than that in some countries)
Following these basic guidelines will help you adhere to the law of the land wherever you go.
What About Bringing CBD on Other Modes of Transportation?
Avoid carrying cannabis-based CBD products with you in the car over state lines. Hemp-based CBD products should be fine to travel with by car.
The Subway/Commuter Trains
It may be legal to travel with CBD on the subway or train, but you should check the rules of the specific transportation authority before doing so.
Boats and Cruise Ships
If the boat or cruise ship travels over waters where CBD is outlawed or docks someplace where the substance is illegal, you should leave your product at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I pack CBD oil in my checked luggage?
Yes, you can pack hemp-derived CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC in your checked luggage, provided that it meets all other requirements , including size, weight, and packaging.
Do airlines test for CBD?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not consider CBD oil an acceptable treatment for working pilots, even those with a medical card.
Does CBD oil pass the security airport checks?
On CBD products, unless you have a prescription for approved medications such as Epidiolex, then it may be best to leave your CBD product at home and buy one when you get to your destination. You may not get arrested for possessing CBD, and if caught, are more likely to have your CBD-containing product confiscated, but is it worth the risk?
Access legal cannabis and CBD products with a medical marijuana card. Speak with one of Leafwell’s trained physicians to apply for your MMJ card.