Skip to main content

Travelers Can Now Bring Some CBD Products on Airplanes (Sort of)

airport security bag suitcase luggage
Spyderskidoo/Getty Images

The legality of marijuana and CBD-infused products in the United States is, in technical terms, a big ol’ mess. While one could argue that the situation is getting better, it’s still very, very complicated for anyone without an advanced law degree. However, for air travelers, flying with CBD teas, tinctures, edibles, and more just got a little easier thanks to new TSA regulations.

If you weren’t too busy celebrating 4/20 this year, you might have noticed that we reported on whether or not it’s possible to fly with legally bought weed and CBD. To be clear, the federal government still considers marijuana — even medical marijuana — a Schedule 1 drug (just like LSD and heroin). It doesn’t care that you might have purchased it “legally” in a pot-friendly state, but thanks to the mind-numbing bureaucracy of federal, state, and local governments, and the failure of agencies to work together, it can be surprisingly easy to fly with legally purchased weed. We recommend reading the post above for the full details.

CBD products, on the other hand, are legal at the federal level — sort of. The 2018 Farm Bill “ensures that any cannabinoid … that is derived from hemp will be legal, if and only if that hemp is produced in a manner consistent with the Farm Bill, associated federal regulations, association state regulations, and by a licensed grower.”

While this has been true since 2018, the TSA was slow to edit its policy. Prior to Memorial Day 2019, the agency’s official stance read: “Possession of marijuana and cannabis-infused products, such as cannabidiol (CBD) oil, is illegal under federal law. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and cannabis-infused products.” Such products were not allowed in carry-on or checked baggage under any circumstances.

However, the agency revised its policy near the end of May to reflect federal law. It currently reads: “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.”

Let’s look at that last line first. Only one such pharmaceutical, Epidiolex, is currently approved by the FDA. If you happen to be a child suffering from epilepsy and have a prescription for that drug, you can stop reading now. If not, however, there are two significant stipulations to be aware of before jetting off with a suitcase full of CBD goodies. Those goodies must have been produced in accordance with the Farm Bill, and they must contain 0.3 percent or less THC.

That sounds easy enough since most reputable CBD product manufacturers stamp their packaging with clear ingredient and origin labels, but that doesn’t mean those figures are accurate and, more importantly, air travelers have no way of proving them either way. Some manufacturers are flat-out misrepresenting their products as “legal” while others don’t perform sufficient testing to know one way or the other. If airport security doesn’t want to take a package’s numbers on faith, they’re within their right to confiscate your wares, deny you boarding, hand you over to airport police, or some combination of all three.

In short, if you must travel with CBD products, be sure that the THC content is 0.3% or less and that figure is clearly indicated on the packaging. And be aware know that the TSA may still confiscate those products if they’re at all suspicious of the validity of the packaging.

Editors' Recommendations

Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
Travel report says this surprising spot is where you can find the bluest water
Which beaches topped the list?
Blue waters

Have you ever wondered which corner of the globe boasts the most mesmerizingly blue waters? The answer might just surprise you. In a quest to uncover the world’s bluest waters, CV Villas embarked on a unique study. To find this information, the company scrutinized unedited Google Maps screenshots of 200 beaches worldwide, employing a color dropper tool to unveil the RGB code of each body of water. They then cross-referenced these findings with the RGB code of the world’s bluest shade of blue, YInMn Blue, a hue that was officially declared the bluest shade by Oregon State University in 2016. 

Using a color calculator, CV Villas determined which locations’ waters came closest to the coveted YInMn Blue, thus crowning them as the beaches with the world’s bluest waters. Contrary to the assumption that tropical paradises like the Caribbean or Bora Bora would dominate the rankings, CV Villas’ findings paint a different picture altogether. Nearly all of the destinations on the list are located within Europe, which is a surprising revelation to many. 
The world’s bluest water

Read more
Travel tips: Why you need to set a flight alert even after you book a flight
Set a flight alert (even after you book) so you won't miss out
man holding smartphone in white shirt

When you finally book those plane tickets after weeks of research and price tracking, it can be tempting to kick back and stop monitoring flight prices. After all, you locked in your airfare and your travel dates, so why keep checking?

Here's why -- setting flight alerts for your booked itinerary can end up saving you a good chunk of money, preventing a lot of hassle, or both. Airlines constantly adjust pricing, and sometimes lower fares become available even after you purchase tickets. 
How do flight alerts work?

Read more
This luxury cruise is perfect for Aston Martin, F1 fans
Aston Martin and F1 take to the seas
Side view of Aston Martin Formula 1 car

The Aston Martin nameplate evokes images of style, sophistication, and performance. From the legendary DB5 to today’s Vantage, the company’s vehicles have a combination of muscle and verve that’s hard to match. Sultry bodywork and roaring powerplants make a scene, whether on the road or track.

Similarly, Formula 1 inspires passion and excitement like few sports can. Racecars on the leading edge of tech compete on storied circuits, requiring lightning-quick reflexes from the world’s best drivers. Each race brings tension and drama, as drivers and machines explore the limits of performance. 

Read more