Given the gray area of the legality of cannabis, it is common to wonder whether you can bring CBD products on your carry-on bag. After all, CBD products are technically legal across the United States and Canada, although cannabis has more of a patchwork legality.
The good news is that you may be able to carry some CBD products in your carry-on or checked bag, but it is a bit more complicated.
Earlier this year, the TSA officially announced that passengers could carry on certain CBD oils that meet specific requirements. Before this, it was assumed that you could not carry on CBD oils or other CBD products. The problem stems from the lack of clarity with concerning these requirements.
It seems that the TSA changed the rules regarding CBD oil around Memorial Day this year. The change in rules also applied to the FDA-approved cannabis-based medication for treating childhood epilepsy.
The changes occurred to the TSA’s page called “What Can I Bring?” Previously, the page included information that passengers could not bring medical marijuana or CBD oil. That ban on these items applied to both checked bags and carry-on items. The previous page explained that those substances, including CBD, are banned under federal law. Not only were those items not allowed on planes, but TSA officers had to report anyone who has marijuana or products that are infused with cannabis, including CBD products.
However, the page now mentions that the transportation of medical marijuana and CBD products in either checked bags or carry-ons is allowed, provided you follow the “special instructions.”
The New Official Stance
Now, the TSA page indicates that products or medications that the FDA has approved as legal and contain hemp-derived CBD are allowed. These products, however, must be produced under the regulations of the Agricultural Improvement Act 2018.
But Do Your CBD Products Qualify?
Unfortunately, the fact that you can now carry approved CBD products in your carry-on does not mean much if you do not have those products. The CBD products that you already own are unlikely to qualify.
TSA Probably Does Not Know the Difference
Even if your products do not qualify, there is also the fact that the TSA agents are unlikely to be able to tell the difference between CBD products that qualify and those that do not. That leads to a messy situation that could have you spending more time than you planned at the airport.
TSA Does Not Search for Illegal Products
The other point to consider is that the goal of the TSA is not to find illegal items or CBD products. Instead, its focus is more on detecting potential threats, both to passengers and aviation.
In other words, the TSA will not actively search for your medical marijuana or CBD products. However, if the officials notice any illegal substances as they screen your items, then the situation will get referred to law enforcement.
The One Item the Policy Is Clear On
There is one product that the new TSA policy is clear on, Epidiolex, the cannabis-based drug that treats childhood epilepsy. It can now be carried in carry-on or checked bags. This is the FDA-approved drug that the new phrasing from the TSA specifically refers to.
Oddly enough, it took the TSA almost a year to update its website to indicate that passengers could legally bring Epidiolex on planes.
The Federal Requirements
Assuming that the TSA notices your CBD product in your carry-on, and the product in question is not the FDA-approved Epidiolex, what are the official requirements it must meet to be legal?
Maximum THC Content
The first obstacle is the THC content in your CBD product. THC is the psychoactive component in cannabis. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, legal hemp cannot have over 0.3 percent THC. This means that if your CBD product has more than 0.3 percent THC, it is not hemp-derived and is instead cannabis-derived. That would automatically make it illegal.
This is further complicated by the fact that the TSA agents have no way of truly knowing the THC content of your CBD oil or another item. Even if it comes in a labeled bottle, there is no regulation regarding CBD labels, so the figures could be fudged.
The part of the requirements that makes carrying CBD on a plane nearly impossible is the need for federal approval. The 2018 Farm Bill says that for hemp and hemp-based products to be legal, the plans for hemp production from the state need federal approval. As of June 2019, no CBD meets that requirement.
What This Means to You
When it comes down to it, this means that you can technically bring some CBD products with you in your carry-on bag, but you are not going to be able to find any CBD products that meet the strict requirements for allowance. The only exception is if your CBD product is Epidiolex.
For now, you should take particular care before bringing CBD products in your carry-on bag, and it would still be wise to avoid bringing them with you. That said, if you do bring them and your products are legal, meaning they have less than 0.3 percent THC, you are unlikely to face serious consequences. However, there is still a possibility of problems occurring if you try to bring these items on a plane. In the best-case scenario, you may just miss your flight, but since the TSA agents are responsible for determining what gets through based on regulations, you may face other consequences.
If You Do Decide to Travel With CBD Products
If you decide that you want to take the risk and travel with CBD products, then you should at least do so in a discreet manner. Remember that the TSA will not go out of its way to look for CBD products or even illegal items like cannabis. As such, if you do so discreetly, you will probably be fine. To stay safe, however, just ensure that your CBD products are hemp-derived.