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Traveling with CBD: CBD Laws In Canada & the US

The industry surrounding cannabis and CBD has exponentially grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Of course, the legalities of cannabis and CBD laws are changing in both the United States and Canada, as well as around the world.

This means that the laws around traveling with CBD and cannabis will continue to be discussed as more places decide how to classify cannabis. Many places don’t exactly know what CBD actually is. Then, you have to deal with airport security, who also struggle to identify what CBD is, and they also might not have the means to test properly, for now, anyway.

Hemp-Derived CBD and Marijuana-Derived CBD: What's the Difference?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of 113 identified cannabinoids. CBD is the second most prevalent active ingredient next to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike THC, which is the cannabinoid responsible for producing psychoactive effects, CBD is the non-intoxicating chemical compound best known for its therapeutic properties. 


The word cannabis is where things start getting a little confusing and why CBD is often misunderstood. Cannabis is a classification term for a family of flowering plants called Cannabaceae. Cannabis is often used interchangeably with the term marijuana, when, in fact, cannabis is a broader category that includes both marijuana and hemp. 


Hemp-Derived CBD


Hemp-derived CBD is sourced from industrial hemp plants that contain no more than 0.3% THC. Hemp is grown for a variety of purposes, including fabric, paper, building materials, food, and CBD-infused items, such as oils and skincare products. Brands like Sunday Scaries perform extensive laboratory tests and are transparent about their results to guarantee that their products contain zero THC.


Marijuana-Derived CBD


Marijuana-derived CBD is extracted from marijuana plants that are typically grown and consumed primarily for the intoxicating properties. THC is often the most predominant cannabinoid in marijuana plants, but there are several strains that contain high levels of CBD. 


So, how do you navigate traveling with CBD? We will focus on the United States and Canada, considering the legal status for CBD worldwide varies in the areas of possession, distribution, and cultivation. A slew of countries in Europe have legalized (or at the very least, decriminalized) CBD, as long as it has a THC percentage of no more than 0.2%. However, there is still a list of counties where it is illegal, except when prescribed by a doctor. And we wouldn’t recommend flying through Asia, Australia, or South and Central America with CBD, either due to extreme restrictions. You should definitely do some thorough research and get familiar with the CBD laws of your travel destination before planning your adventures. 

The United States

Of course, with 50 states, there will be a lot of moving parts when it comes to legislation and procedures for traveling with CBD. Currently, the medical use of marijuana (with a doctor’s recommendation) is legal in 34 states, and recreational use has been legalized in 11 states. 


What are the CBD laws in the U.S.?


In the United States, while CBD from a marijuana plant is legalized at a state level, it is classified as a Schedule l drug and remains illegal at a federal level under the Controlled Substances Act. CBD derived from hemp is legal in all 50 states, if and only if that hemp is produced in a manner consistent with the 2018 Farm Bill and contains less than 0.3% THC.


Traveling with CBD in the U.S. 


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the authority of traveling throughout the United States, and their official website states the following:


“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 the 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. Still, if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”


In layman’s terms, anything over 0.3% THC is classified marijuana, and anything under 0.3% THC is classified as hemp. And if there is nothing that says what the THC content is on the container, TSA can take it from you. Also, the container has to be sealed.


CBD products like extract, dried flower, and edibles can give off an odor you don’t want radiating from your carry-on or seeping into your clothes in checked luggage. Storing your goods in a travel-friendly container with an airtight seal, like the Ultraviolet Herb Jar from Herb Guard and other high-end accessories will help lock in the smell and keep your CBD products fresh.

Cannabis in Canada

Canada is far more straightforward to deal with when it comes to traveling with CBD. Adults who are over 18 or 19 years of age (depending on the province or territory) are legally permitted to purchase, use, possess, and grow recreational cannabis across Canada. In some provinces, such as Ontario and Nova Scotia, cannabis products have even become sold out of government-run stores (although there are still some private dispensaries in service).


What are the CBD laws in Canada?


CBD derived from hemp and marijuana are legal at a federal level since the 2018 Cannabis Act came into effect. Adults can legally possess and share up to 30 grams of legal dried or equivalent non-dried cannabis. Cannabis products must be purchased from a provincial or territorial retailer. Depending on the province or territory, it is also legal to grow up to four plants per residence from legally acquired seeds or seedlings. 


Traveling with CBD in Canada 


The liberal CBD laws in Canada make it much easier to decipher the travel restrictions for cannabis. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority states that the legal amount for recreational cannabis permitted in your carry-on or checked luggage is 30 grams or less. Cannabis oil is subject to the liquid restrictions of 100 ml (3.4 oz) or less in a carry-on. If an amount greater than the legal limit is discovered during screening at any checkpoint, protocol requires the police to be notified. However, if you are using medical marijuana and have the official documentation you need, you can take 30 times your daily amount, up to 150 grams.


CBD Edibles


On October 17, 2019, the production and sales of edible cannabis became legal in Canada under the Cannabis Act. Edibles are a delicious way to enjoy the benefits of CBD and super convenient to travel with. Companies like JUST CBD have a full lineup of pure CBD edibles, featuring gummies, honey sticks, protein bars, and more.


You should also know that if you are traveling with CBD within Canada, but you are diverted to the United States for some reason, your cannabis is now illegal. So, it is recommended that you do not have it on you. Also, you cannot bring cannabis back to Canada, even if you were in a place where CBD and cannabis are legal. This is also true when flying internationally. As previously mentioned, there are some countries in which cannabis is extremely illegal (from fines to prison to the death penalty), and the situation could get very serious. Ensure your travel stories are memorable in ways that don’t include broken laws and do your research. 

While there are plenty of green states where you can purchase cannabis for recreational use – Only a few allow cannabis delivery services.

Wondering how to buy legal weed California? Learn more about three primary ways to find your favorite products.

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