Traveling With CBD In The United States
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp cultivation and removed some cannabis from Schedule 1 status by creating a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Under U.S. law, hemp is classified as cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana is classified as cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC. Marijuana is categorized as a Schedule 1 substance. Therefore, any CBD derived from marijuana is considered federally illegal.
Inevitably, with 50 American states and stringent cannabis laws, there are many moving parts when it comes to traveling with CBD. In 2019, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) changed its cannabis policy to allow passengers to bring some forms of cannabis-infused products on flights. The TSA acts as the authority of travel and security in the United States and has outlined their approach to cannabis and CBD on flights.
The official TSA website states, “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. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law to local, state or federal authorities”.
In simpler terms, any cannabis product containing more than 0.3% THC is officially considered marijuana, including CBD, and thus not permitted on any flights. If traveling with CBD, the THC percentage must be visible on a sealed container. A TSA agent has the authority to confiscate the container otherwise.
The report details further that “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.”
Although some states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use, it is still prohibited at the federal level. The U.S. federal government does not currently allow marijuana on airlines or in secure airport zones.