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What the TSA Says About Flying With CBD

A view out a window at a jet’s wing, mountains, and clouds below

If you’re a frequent world traveler, you’ve gotten used to not flying with your CBD. That’s about to change as the TSA has released new guidelines related to flying with CBD products. While this policy change will be a welcome relief to users who have come to rely on CBD in their day-to-day lives, caution will still need to be taken. Let’s take a look at the new guidelines, what they mean, how you can protect yourself, and where you’ll still need to be cautious.

Why CBD Was Grounded

Since the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 listed cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance, marijuana and industrial hemp have been considered identical under the law and highly illegal. Because flying with illegal substances is illegal, flying with CBD was as well. Anyone who has tried CBD can tell you hemp-derived CBD is far different than its psychoactive cousin, but legally both were the same plant. As American’s attitudes toward marijuana have changed, they began to reevaluate their relationship with hemp, a plant grown by the founding fathers that had served as an American cash crop since colonial times.

With the Farm Bill of 2018, industrial hemp was once again recognized as a separate plant, effectively descheduling it and allowing it to reenter polite society. Many travelers immediately assumed that as it was now federally legal, flying with CBD was an option. The TSA promptly confiscated their products and, in some cases, referred them to the local police for investigation. While the law had changed, TSA guidelines for what was permissible to bring with you on a plane had not. It took six months, but new guidance has finally been released about flying with CBD products.

TSA’s Medical Marijuana Guidelines

While it still rankles that the TSA lists guidelines related to industrial hemp-derived CBD under their Medical Marijuana guidelines, the fact that they’ve issued guidance to allow flying with CBD is progress.

The TSA medical marijuana guidelines as of 06/30/2019

Excerpted From TSA Guidelines

In short, industrial hemp-derived CBD can be packed in your checked or carry-on bags as long as they contain the federally legal limit of 0.3% THC concentration by dry weight or less or are FDA approved (such as the pharmaceuticals Marinol or Epidolex). Any product they believe to be outside these guidelines will be reported to the local police stationed at most major airports.

Precautions You Need to Take

While on the surface this seems pretty clear, there are still some potential snares you need to watch out for when flying with CBD in order to make sure your vacation or business trip doesn’t take a nasty turn.

  • Make Sure Your Products Comply—Because they use the federally accepted distinction of 0.3% THC or less, as long as you are using hemp-derived CBD, you should fall within these guidelines. Care should be taken, especially in states that allow recreational marijuana sales, that you don’t inadvertently purchase a THC/CBD product that would fall outside these guidelines.
  • Know the State and Local Laws for Every Point in Your Destination—While federal standards may allow up to 0.3% THC, some states and municipalities restrict THC, not just marijuana. In those states, you will want to make sure your CBD is THC-Free or you risk arrest. While the TSA goes on to say that their concern is aviation safety—not local law enforcement—in practice, anything suspicious could be reported.
  • Choose Clearly Labeled Products—Understand that the visual difference between hemp-derived and non-hemp products is negligible in many cases. A clearly labeled product container is your best bet for successfully flying with CBD. If available from the manufacturer, also carry a printed copy of the certificate of analysis. This gives you further evidence of your product’s compliance with federal law and TSA guidelines.
  • Choose Products That Are Flight-Friendly—The TSA frowns on glass and metal containers. Vapes are also not allowed to be used on planes. Choosing liquid products in small, plastic bottles of less than 3 ounces or clear plastic jars of dry CBD products like gummies fall within TSA guidelines and should make flying with CBD products easier.
  • Be Aware International Laws May Vary—The TSA is concerned with American guidelines, not international laws. While it’s always good to check your destination’s guidelines on CBD, international flights deserve special attention. In many countries, CBD is considered the same as marijuana still, and arriving at your destination’s customs checkpoint with CBD could lead to you being charged with smuggling drugs. Depending on the country, that means flying with CBD could become a felony at your destination, carrying the potential for prison time or harsher punishments.
  • TSA Agents Always Have Discretion—Even if you do everything right, an overzealous agent could keep you from making your flight. Rather you are held for additional screening or referred to law enforcement for an investigation that you know you’ll be released from, it takes additional time. To be on the safe side, plan for potential delays when flying with CBD. Arrive at the airport and go through the screening process early. This ensures that if there is additional discussion required, you have time to present your documentation and still make your flight.

Preparing for Your Trip

When getting ready for a trip, start by making sure you’re getting compliant CBD products from a reputable source. We’re proud to offer premium products that are THC-free with documentation from third-party labs that verify both their purity and potency. We have a wide selection that lets you pick the right dosage form for your needs, whether you need something for the plane or something before and after boarding. If you have any questions about our products and what would be best for flying with CBD, call our experts at (888) 519-2445. Order your premium CBD products online from CBD Choice today.

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