Article written by
Tina MagrabiSenior Content Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
Flying with CBD oil may hinge on a technicality: whether your CBD products are derived from hemp or cannabis. But even then, federal authorities can confiscate your CBD and there have been some arrests.
If the CBD product you’re carrying with you contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD derived from the stem of hemp plants, then it should be legal to bring to any state. But CBD oils and other CBD products derived from cannabis containing higher amounts of psychoactive THC are considered illegal substances.
Here is everything you need to know about traveling with CBD oil and other CBD products. Before heading to the airport for your next domestic or international flight, know the rules.
Note that this article does not constitute legal advice. For specific legal guidance, we recommend consulting a lawyer.
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Flying with CBD Oil in the U.S.
The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp legal in the United States, but with certain nuances and restrictions. The bill outlines that hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC may be transported across state lines. The products covered in the bill include CBD oil, CBD tinctures, CBD edibles, and other hemp-based items.
But what if your CBD oil comes from cannabis and has more than 0.3% THC? The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has said, to paraphrase, “We’re not looking for your weed.” However, suppose TSA agents spot any suspected law violations, as in something that may look like cannabis or a cannabis-containing product. In that case, they are required to notify the local authorities.
Depending on the cannabis-friendliness of the authority (or whether or not their arrest targets need to be met), this can mean either a lucky escape or prison time. Also, as flying with cannabis is against federal law, you may face penalties even if you’re going between two legal states.
However, we strongly advise against carrying cannabis or cannabis-based CBD products onboard a flight.
Current TSA Guidelines
The TSA explicitly states that it will report any suspicious items to the local authorities. If you’re caught with a cannabis product with a higher than 0.3% THC concentration, you may have legal issues to handle. But if you travel with a bottle of hemp-derived CBD oil in its original container, the TSA most likely will not detain you.
Flying Internationally with CBD Oil
Different countries have vastly different laws, and it’s not possible to state everywhere in the world, you may be able to carry your hemp-based CBD oil with you. But here are some global highlights concerning CBD laws:
Canada does not permit people to bring cannabis or CBD products.
If you’re wondering, “can I take CBD oil to Mexico?” The answer is, no, you cannot. But you can purchase CBD products legally once you are in Mexico.
Some countries in Central America, like Costa Rica, allow you to travel with a CBD product if it contains less than 0.3% THC.
Laws vary across South America, but you may take your CBD products to Brazil if they contain less than 0.2% THC.
Europe’s laws vary between countries, but it is generally legal to possess CBD products with trace amounts (0.3% or less) of THC.
The Middle East has extremely strict laws on cannabis and CBD possession, and Dubai, a party playground for the wealthy, issues severe penalties for having CBD. A man from London was recently sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for possessing CBD in Dubai.
Asia has strict laws on cannabis and other drugs. But Thailand allows you to possess a thirty-day supply of CBD oil if you have a permit from FDA Thailand. India has more lenient CBD laws, and you can possess CBD products without a permit.
You can have CBD oil in Australia only with a medical prescription.
The laws on CBD in Africa are emerging. South Africa permits CBD possession but with a strict caveat: it must contain less than 0.001% THC.
Tips for Flying with CBD
Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re traveling with CBD products:
- Be aware of the laws of each destination country if traveling internationally
- Carry your medical marijuana card with you if you have one
- Keep the CBD product in its original packaging
- Carry any prescription information with you
- Make sure the CBD product is genuinely a CBD product and contains no more than 0.3% THC (even less than that in some countries)
Following these basic guidelines will help you adhere to the law of the land wherever you go.
What About Bringing CBD on Other Modes of Transportation?
Avoid carrying cannabis-based CBD products with you in the car over state lines. Hemp-based CBD products should be fine to travel with by car.
The Subway/Commuter Trains
It may be legal to travel with CBD on the subway or train, but you should check the rules of the specific transportation authority before doing so.
Boats and Cruise Ships
If the boat or cruise ship travels over waters where CBD is outlawed or docks someplace where the substance is illegal, you should leave your product at home.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can I pack CBD oil in my checked luggage?
Yes, you can pack hemp-derived CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC in your checked luggage, provided that it meets all other requirements, including size, weight, and packaging.
Do airlines test for CBD?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not consider CBD oil an acceptable treatment for working pilots, even those with a medical card.
Does CBD oil pass the security airport checks?
On CBD products, unless you have a prescription for approved medications such as Epidiolex, then it may be best to leave your CBD product at home and buy one when you get to your destination. You may not get arrested for possessing CBD, and if caught, are more likely to have your CBD-containing product confiscated, but is it worth the risk?