Can You Travel with CBD Oil? What’s the Best Kind?
Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.
After interning at SmarterTravel, Ashley joined the team full time in 2015. She’s lived on three continents, but still never knows where her next adventure will take her. She’s always searching for upcoming destination hotspots, secluded retreats, and hidden gems to share with the world.
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The Handy Item I Always Pack: “A reusable filtered water bottle—it saves you money, keeps you hydrated, and eliminates waste—win-win.”
Ultimate Bucket List Experience: “A week in a bamboo beach hut on India’s Andaman Islands.”
Travel Motto: “Travel light, often, and in good company.”
Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: “Window—best view in the house.”
You can get CBD oil in your coffee, buy CBD oil bath bombs, CBD oil lotions, and even CBD oil dog treats. It’s a buzz-worthy topic in the health and wellness space, but many travelers are left confused about its legality, especially when they’re considering taking certain products on a plane or traveling internationally.
First off, let’s define what CBD oil actually is. According to Merriam-Webster, CBD is “a nonintoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp,” and that CBD oils contain cannabidiol. The types of oils that we’re referring to are oils derived from the hemp plant (not marijuana) and contain only a minimal amount (less than 0.3 percent) of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the intoxicating or psychoactive compound of the plant that makes users feel “high.” It’s common knowledge that this minimal amount of THC does not produce noticeably intoxicating side effects.
Thanks to some recent legal changes around CBD at the federal level, it’s becoming a bit more straightforward. Here’s what I learned about traveling with CBD oil after speaking with Sherri Tutkus, BSN-RN and founder/CEO of the GreenNurse Group, and Joshua Bauchner, a lawyer for the Canafarma Corporation.
Traveling with CBD Oil Domestically
The type of CBD oil that’s derived from hemp oil is what’s legal at a federal level (as of the 2018 Farm Bill) and therefore allowed to be taken across state borders, and, yes, on flights. Other CBD oils, like the type that’s derived from marijuana, are still illegal in some states—so it’s not recommended to take those types across state borders.
You can tell the difference between the two types of CBD oil by reading the product’s label and identifying the amount of THC in it. Only hemp-derived CBD oils (with THC levels below 0.3 percent) are legal to fly with or be taken across state borders in the U.S. It’s also important to note that while CBD oil is legal at the federal level, certain state laws vary in terms of possession of any type of CBD oil.
Here’s the status of flying with CBD oil in the U.S. as of January 2020, according to the TSA’s website:
“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. (See the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-334.) TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law to local, state or federal authorities.
“TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”
Here’s a more light-hearted explanation from TSA’s Instagram:
Many travelers are left confused on CBD oil’s legality, especially when flying. Here’s what you need to know about traveling with CBD oil.
Can You Bring CBD Oil on a Plane?
Posted on June 22nd, 2020
CBD is enjoyed by people all around the world. However, in some areas, CBD is still a banned or controlled substance. And, even if CBD is legal in your country, you may face challenges if you try to fly out of the country with your CBD.
Recently, it became legal to fly with CBD oil in the US. However, in other countries, that may not be the case. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a compound found in varieties of the cannabis plant, both hemp, and marijuana; although CBD that’s legal in the United States contains less than 0.3% THC concentrations, which means it won’t cause a psychoactive reaction, many countries still consider this compound a controlled substance.
Still, many CBD lovers want to fly with their products because of their potential to ease symptoms of anxiety, among other problems. Some people who get anxious while on a plane may wish to take a dose while flying, hoping to minimize their distress. But before slipping your CBD into a carry-on bag, or even in your checked luggage, it’s crucial to read up on all the regulations. That’s the best and easiest way to stay on the right side of the law when flying with CBD. So, can you bring CBD oil on a plane? Let’s take a deeper look at the factors to consider before flying with CBD oil.
What Does the TSA Say About Flying With CBD Oil?
For years, the TSA banned traveling with any form of cannabis product. Recently, however, they updated the information on their website, making it clear that you can now travel with CBD oil and hemp-derived, FDA approved medication. In short, products that are FDA approved or contain hemp-derived CBD oil are generally legal in the United States, so passengers can legally carry these items on their flights.
Why the sudden change? The TSA update was a result of the FDA approving a drug, called Epidiolex, that contains CBD oil. (Epidiolex is an effective treatment for seizures in children with epilepsy.) Basically, when traveling within the United States, you can fly with your CBD oil, as long as the product you have is produced within the regulations set out by TSA.
But, keep in mind: your CBD oil should have less than 0.3% concentrations of THC, which is the cannabinoid responsible for the high sensation you experience after using marijuana. This is the legal threshold for CBD in this country because THC concentrations below that level will not produce any psychoactive effects. It’s also important to note that only hemp-derived CBD oil is legally permissible in the U.S. So you should not attempt to fly with CBD oil derived from a marijuana strain of the cannabis plant.
What Happens if You Want to Travel With CBD Oil to Other Countries?
Since the international rules and regulations on CBD are unclear and vary by region, the best thing to do is to research CBD laws of CBD in your destination country (as well as the laws in any planned stopovers). Even if CBD is legal in the country where you’re heading, however, most professionals advise against carrying CBD infused products on a plane, especially if the country you are traveling to has stricter drug laws. You don’t want to get into trouble in a new country, so it may be simpler to ship your CBD oil to your final destination than to risk confusion and complications at the airport.
Things to Look for When Buying CBD Oil for Travel
When you are purchasing CBD oil for travel, you need to be cautious. Remember, you have to purchase an approved product that meets all federal guidelines. When choosing the CBD, one good strategy to use is the FLOW acronym, which helps you choose CBD oil that is of high quality. First, check whether the CBD oil has flowering strains of hemp or cannabis. Next, confirm whether the product has undergone lab testing for potency and purity. Also, confirm that the product is organic. If your product has met all the above requirements, it is considered safe for use. Another good rule of thumb when buying CBD? Examine the CBD extraction process that was used to derive the oil. While there are various modes of extraction, if possible, choose a CBD oil derived using CO2 extraction, since this method produces the safest and most pure CBD oil.
Alternatives to Bringing CBD Oil on Plane
If you are still concerned about flying with your CBD oil products, here are some lower-risk alternatives for you: First, you can take a CBD capsule, tincture, or any other edible before your flight. This is a great option because you won’t have to go through the airport checkpoints with your product, but you will still enjoy the desired effects for most if not all of your travel experience. It could also be fun to discover a new CBD supplier in your point of destination. Or, as we suggested earlier, purchase your cannabidiol from an online CBD store, and have your product shipped to your ultimate destination.
Benefits of Carrying CBD Oil on the Plane
Potential Anxiety Relief
One of the main reasons people carry CBD oil while traveling is because they feel like doses make it less nerve-wracking to fly. It’s just a fact: some people get anxious when they travel. Taking CBD may help you cope with those anxious feelings during your travel hours. And it’s a safer option than drinking alcohol while you travel since drinking on a plane can speed up your dehydration and potentially alter your behavior. Even if you do not have aviophobia (fear of flying), tasks such as getting through the security lines may exacerbate your stress levels and cause anxiety, and many people report that CBD may help cope with these symptoms.
Using CBD to Manage Other Flying Woes
Airplane travel can also take a toll on other elements of your health. The air in the airplane can hurt your skin. The humidity levels in an airplane cabin tend to be lower than normal, so your skin may dry out and even produce excessive oil to combat that dryness. This is why when you fly, especially at extremely high altitudes, you may land with a new acne breakout, a puffy face, and dry skin. Here’s where a CBD lotion may help: research suggests that cannabinoids can affect acne breakouts and inflammation, while the hydrating lotion can target dry skin conditions.
Additionally, long and international flights can trigger jet lag, especially if you are not well-rested prior to your travel. Here again, CBD may be a useful item to pack in your suitcase, since many people report improved sleep after using CBD.
When traveling by air, you need to be more cautious, especially when you plan to carry CBD oil in your carry on or checked luggage. First, pack wisely so that your CBD oil is easily accessible should airport authorities ask to see them. Make sure to bring your certificate of analysis, and have it readily available, as proof that your CBD oil is within the legal federal limits.
Also, if you’re traveling with a liquid form of CBD oil, like a tincture, pack it in shatter-resistant travel bags, and make sure your volumes don’t exceed federal limits for onboard liquid travel sizes.
CBD For Pets
Flying is a very stressful experience for animals because their movement is restricted and they are in an unfamiliar environment. Recently, the Humane Society suggested that giving your pets a dose of CBD when traveling could help them cope with the stress of air pressure changes, rough handling, and other stressful situations. Just be sure to discuss any new supplements with your veterinarian before providing any CBD to your pet.
CBD oil may help humans and animals cope with stressful air travel. But facing legal challenges would be even more stressful. So, before you fly with CBD oil, do your research and make sure you follow all legal guidelines in your point of origin and at your final destination.
Can you bring CBD oil on a plane? Recently, CBD has become legal to fly with in the US. However, that may not be the case in other countries.