Traveling With CBD

Because so many people find relief from anxiety with CBD products, it's natural that they want to bring them along when they fly. But with the high levels of security at airports, this brings up the question of whether or not it's legally permitted. The answer to that question is a little complicated. Here's what you need to know.

Traveling With CBD

What TSA Says About CBD

Recently the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) changed its rules regarding CBD. While marijuana and all marijuana-derived products remain illegal, hemp-derived products are allowed, as long as they are approved by the FDA or "contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis" These products can be brought in either carry-on or checked luggage.

This seems pretty clear: CBD products that are derived from hemp are legal to travel with. But it's a little more complicated than that.

Cannabis, hemp, and marijuana - the differences matter

Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants. The main difference between them is the levels of THC. If a cannabis plant has more than 0.3 percent THC it is considered marijuana. Hemp has less than 0.3 percent, a level that's considered undetectable. While the Farm Bill of 2018 made hemp legal (more on that later), marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. It doesn't matter if the state you're in has legalized it, federal law agencies still consider it a Schedule 1 drug, in the same category as cocaine. For further information, read about the differences between CBD and THC and the differences between hemp and marijuana.

Legality of CBD

If hemp is legal, and your CBD is derived from hemp, doesn't that make CBD legal too? The answer to that is yes - mostly. CBD must come from hemp that is grown in accordance with certain regulations. As mentioned before, all CBD that's derived from marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, even if it contains no THC at all. To complicate it, different states have different laws surrounding CBD. Some states have made all cannabis products illegal, with no exceptions. Other states allow some cannabis products as long as they are doctor prescribed. Of course, some states have made all cannabis products legal.

2018 Farm Bill

The 2018 Farm Bill brought an important change to the cannabis world. Although marijuana remains a controlled substance under federal law, this law removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. As far as the federal government is concerned, hemp is legal to grow, possess, sell, and distribute. It does give states and native tribes the right to regulate the production and sale of hemp products within their borders, although they cannot prevent other states from shipping hemp products through their territory.


If you are found to have CBD products that are derived from marijuana, you can be arrested and charged with a felony offense. This is true even in states where marijuana is legal because the TSA is a federal agency. If you're carrying a hemp-derived product that has higher levels of THC than allowed by federal law, you can face the same charges. You can also be charged by the laws of the state you're in, even if you have a federally legal CBD product.

Bottom Line

Packing CBD

Hemp-derived CBD is usually legal to carry when you're flying. To be sure you're safe, research the laws of the state you're in and the state you're traveling to. When carrying CBD products, keep them in their original packaging to demonstrate clearly that they are derived from hemp.

This is one of the situations where it's important to know your CBD producer and your product. Some less reliable companies have been shown to have higher levels of THC in their CBD oil. If a field test shows detectable levels of THC, it is automatically illegal. Take a look at the Certificate of Analysis (CoA) that shows the results of independent testing. This will tell you exactly how much THC is in the product. It's a good idea to print out the CoA and bring it with you. If a company won't provide a CoA, look elsewhere for CBD products.

Flying Internationally

When flying internationally it's best to leave any cannabis products at home. International laws vary widely and can be extremely harsh in some areas. Although the recent legal changes around hemp should make it worry-free to travel with CBD, a little extra caution is in order. With some research and preparation, you can stay on the right side of the law.

Happy travels!

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