“TSA was made aware of an FDA-approved drug that contains CBD oil for children who experience seizures from pediatric epilepsy,” TSA regional spokesperson Mark Howell said in a statement. “To avoid confusion as to whether families can travel with this drug, TSA immediately updated TSA.gov once we became aware of the issue.”
Keep in mind that the possession of marijuana, certain cannabis-infused products and some CBD oils are still illegal under federal law, and TSA officers are required to report any suspicions of legal violations, the policy stated.
As long as a product is approved by the FDA and meets that THC threshold, it’s not considered an illegal substance under federal law, which means it’s legal to own, manufacture and sell CBD products.
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Typically, TSA officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs during screening because their function is to detect threats to passengers, however, if illegal drugs are found during a security screening, the matter will be referred to law enforcement.
The Transportation Security Administration recently updated its medical marijuana policy to allow fliers to bring FDA-approved products and medications that contain hemp-derived cannabidoil, more commonly known as CBD, with them when they fly.
TSA’s recent change was made in compliance with the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which removed FDA-approved hemp and cannabis derivatives with “extremely low” levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC, from the Controlled Substances Act. For hemp-derived CBD products to be legal under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, they must contain less than 0.3% of THC, the compound found in marijuana that creates a high.
TSA officers were briefed on the updates, but because the update is new, some may not recognize the FDA-approved version of CBD products. Chances are, if you bought your CBD oil legally, it contains little-to-no THC because of the federal standards.
International rules and regulations on CBD are less clear, so if you’re looking to travel abroad with CBD oil you’ll need to research the laws of the country you’re traveling to. However, professionals strongly advise to err on the side of caution and leave products with any cannabinoids (including hemp-derived oils) at home, especially because some countries have much stricter drug laws.
F: Flowering Strains of Hemp or Cannabis
The Benefits of CBD Oil for Travelers
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.
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 a more light-hearted explanation from TSA’s Instagram:
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.
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.
Alternatives to Bringing CBD Oil on Plane
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.
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.