While the 2018 Farm Bill made it federally legal to produce, purchase, and use cannabidiol (CBD) under certain regulations and requirements, namely if it is derived from hemp, flying with the same was pretty clear cut as well: not allowed. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website prohibited certain items from being brought on the aircraft, one of which was medical marijuana and its derived products.
However, this was changed in May 2019 when the TSA website quietly updated its “What can I bring?” page on medical marijuana and noted that passengers could now travel with some forms of CBD and the one hemp-derived medication that is approved by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration). This medication is called Epidiolex and it is used to treat seizures in children with epilepsy. It has also been theorized that this change in the TSA regulations has only come about to accommodate this FDA-approved drug and its transportation.
Marijuana-Derived CBD vs. Hemp-Derived CBD
Marijuana and hemp are both varieties of the cannabis plant. The only major difference is that they are classified differently under the law due to their differing concentrations of tetrahydro cannabidiol (THC).
Marijuana is still considered an illegal substance under federal law due to its psychoactive effects. As hemp contains no more than 0.3% THC whereas marijuana can contain over 30% THC, hemp was reclassified as an agricultural commodity under the Agricultural Improvement Act and is no longer a controlled substance, meaning that hemp-derived CBD products are now legal under federal law.
Can You Bring CBD On a Plane?
Thus, this means that hemp-derived products are now legal to carry on board. Earlier, the TSA did not differentiate between marijuana and hemp-derived products, but now they do as hemp contains little to no THC. This rule, therefore, does not change the TSA’s ban on other forms of marijuana, including cannabis-infused products and CBD oils that contains high levels of THC.
At the same time, it is unclear how the TSA is supposed to make the distinction as they do not conduct on-site testing. However, the agency does warn that “the final decision rests with the TSA officer” on duty.
Tips for Traveling with CBD
Here are some easy tips you can follow if you’re planning on carrying CBD with you on your next flight.
1. Research the States You Are Traveling To and From
While hemp-derived products are legal under federal law, laws and regulations vary from state-to-state, and certain states have stricter laws regarding CBD products. Thus, it would be important and helpful for travelers to research the varying rules of both the state being departed from and arriving to.
2. Review the Certificate of Analysis (CoA)
Ensure that you comply with TSA regulations towards liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, gels, and pastes while you carry CBD products with you. This will ensure that you are not trying to hide anything and will, therefore, help you go through security easily.
What about Cruises Lines?
Most cruise lines such as the Carnival Cruiser Lines and Disney Cruise Lines prohibit any and all CBD products. They are also banned while visiting any national park, even if it’s in a state that has legalized cannabis use, as public lands fall under federal jurisdiction. This is due to the exception states are provided with regard to CBD, meaning they are allowed to impose more stringent laws than those referenced in the 2018 Farm Bill.
It would be best to keep your CBD products at home to avoid any situation where you are restricted from boarding the ship or are removed from the cruise.
How About Road Trips?
While it is totally fine to travel with CBD products as long as you stay within state lines, precautions should be taken if you are planning on crossing state lines as each law has differing laws about cannabis and CBD products.
Thus, even if you're traveling by road, you will be subject to the corresponding state’s rules and regulations as soon as you pass the border. To avoid any sticky situations with law enforcement, it would be wise to research the state’s laws beforehand.
What About Traveling Overseas?
While traveling overseas, it is generally recommended that you do not carry any CBD products as hemp and marijuana are both heavily regulated and can lead to great penalties and severe criminal punishments.
While traveling with CBD products can seem daunting due to the constantly changing nature of hemp and CBD regulations, educating yourself and taking adequate precautions should help ease your worries before traveling.