Flying with CBD Oil—Is It Legal?

By Melena Gurganus
Jeshoots Com, Unsplash

Just as you’re about to go through the TSA checkpoint and head to your gate, it hits you—is it even legal to fly with CBD oil? It’s already packed in your carry-on, and there’s really no turning back at this point. It’s legal to sell, purchase, and consume CBD in the states, so it shouldn’t be an issue—right? Well the fact is, CBD oil is a cannabis extract, and it’s in a legal grey area that leaves some room for doubt when it comes to traveling across state lines.

Can You Fly with CBD Oil?

Yes, it is fine to fly with CBD products as long as the THC percentage does not exceed 0.3 percent. These hemp-derived products are allowed as long as they are produced within the regulations defined by the law.

You can find more information from the TSA’s guidelines, which clearly state that it’s legal to fly with CBD oil: “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 FDA.”

This policy came into affect in May of 2019, and it’s a major change from the previous TSA rules. In the past, no medical marijuana products (including anything CBD oil relate) were considered appropriate for travel. However, there is now a caveat to this rule that denotes special exceptions in the case of CBD products. This change comes after the first CBD oil medication, Epidiolex, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

How to Travel with CBD Oil

TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but they may do so if there are suspected violations of law. To avoid any issues, here are a few tips to make your next trip with CBD oil go smoothly.

Pack Your CBD Oil Smartly

While it’s unlikely that the presence of CBD oil will result in any airport issues, it is important to stick to the TSA liquids rule that says containers 3.4 ounces or larger are not permitted. Most CBD oil tinctures come in a 1 ounce bottle, so this is an easy rule to follow.

However, some people worry that their CBD oil may leak out or break during the flight. We recommend placing your CBD oil in a clear plastic bag to protect other items in your luggage, just in case.

Bring the Right Products

In addition to bringing CBD oil, you can also pack CBD gummies or capsules that are easy to take on-the-go. Although when it comes to CBD vape products, these are not a good option to bring on a flight since any vape/smoking is strictly prohibited.

Use CBD Beforehand

Instead of taking CBD oil on your flight, use it beforehand so the effects have already started to set in by the time you take off. Alternatively, ingesting a CBD capsule or an edible is a great option since the benefits of CBD will last longer as the products steadily release over the course of a few hours.

The Benefits of Using CBD While Flying

Do you have anxiety, chronic pain, or a particularly heightened fear of flying? These conditions may warrant an uncompromising need for CBD that might make it difficult to leave behind.

According to reports, nearly 20% of adult Americans are anxious about flying, and another 12% are afraid to fly. With about 1.8 million American passengers boarding a plane each day, that equates to a lot of jittery flyers.

In a survey we conducted on traveling with CBD, 97% of respondents said CBD made their travel experience better. Some of the most promising benefits for using CBD oil while flying include:

  • CBD may help you fall asleep—This is especially helpful for those red-eye flights where you need to get some shut-eye, but can’t seem to actually fall asleep.
  • Reduces anxiety and stress—Whether you’re on edge about the flight or anything else, CBD is well-known for its ability to promote calmness and improve feelings of anxiety.
  • Alleviates aches and pains—Flights always seem to cause some kind of pain after sitting in an stiff chair at 10,000 feet in the air. CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help you feel a little more comfortable, no matter how long your flight is. 

Can you travel out of the country with CBD oil?

There are no doubt stricter regulations when you enter or exit any country, including going through customs and other added security measures. CBD may be legal in the U.S. and several other countries, but not every region has the same standards for what qualifies as a “legal” CBD product. For instance, European countries require that CBD products contain no more than 0.2 percent THC, and you should take this into account before bringing a CBD oil along with you. The legal limit of THC for CBD products in the U.S. is 0.3 percent, so just be aware that if you pack a CBD oil that exceeds the legal limits of the country you are visiting this could present some issues at customs.

Parting Words on CBD and the TSA

While CBD oil is legal to fly with, it is still under scrutiny on a federal level. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of the law, potentially involving law enforcement officers. This can present further issues since the testing technology used by officials makes it difficult to tell CBD apart from THC products. All in all, you don’t have much to worry about when taking CBD oil on a plane, but keep in mind there are potential risks you might run into if you aren’t carrying the right products.

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