Everyone loves a relaxing vacation, but I think we can all agree flying is stressful. Bag checks, the fear of missing your flight (even though you arrived early), and overpriced airport food can leave anxiety levels running high. Even deciding what to pack before you head off to the airport can be stressful. Can I bring my nail clippers? What about this bottle of shampoo? And one of the biggest questions; can I bring my CBD oil?
While CBD is federally legal, each state has its own regulations surrounding hemp products. Some states may have strict guidelines on what products are considered within the legal boundaries. But before you even think about landing in another state with CBD in your carry on, you need to consider if you can bring it on the plane to begin with.
Before getting on a plane, each passenger checks in with the TSA. The TSA is the regulatory body that enforces what products can and cannot be taken on a plane. We all know the routine; please remove your shoes and belts, place your belongings in the bin on the conveyor belt, and follow the TSA agents’ directions.
With all the confusion surrounding not only the legal complexities state to state, but also the TSA loops to jump through, it can be a nightmare to figure out. However, untangling that messy ball of yarn isn’t as hard as one might think.
According to the TSA website, “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.”
What this means is that products that fall under the legal definition of hemp can be transported. However, the TSA website stresses that the final decision is up to the TSA officer at the checkpoint. To help make your journey through TSA go by a little quicker and more smoothly, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Carry a copy of your products’ COA
While you may know your CBD product meets all requirements, do not assume everyone does. Having a copy of the COA can save a headache or two when in line at the airport. A COA will help a TSA agent that your CBD product is in fact derived from hemp and is not a marijuana product. At the time of this writing, passengers cannot transport marijuana products on flights, no matter the legality of the state you are flying from or flying to.
A Certificate of Analysis, or COA for short, will contain information such as potency, terpene profiles, batch numbers, and other information to help verify the hemp products’ legitimacy. All hemp brands are required by state and federal laws to submit their products to a third party laboratory for testing to verify that the products fall within the legal definition of hemp.
You can get a copy of the COA for your product on the brand’s website or from the retailer you purchased the product. Keep the COA with the product when going through the checkpoint for easy access. Doing this will help prevent a headache or two when going through the security checkpoint.
Make sure the containers meet TSA requirements
While the TSA rules surrounding CBD products leave a lot up to the call of the individual agents, their rules on liquids, aerosols, gels, and creams are very clear cut.
According to the TSA website, there are two sets of rules when it comes to carrying any of these items that fall under TSA requirements.
When carrying liquids, gels, and any other products listened by the TSA, containers 3.4 oz and below that fit in a quart-sized resealable bag are allowed to pass through the checkpoint.
However, the TSA website warns, “Liquids more than 3.4 oz or 100 ml not in a secure, tamper-evident bag must be packed in checked baggage.”
If you have a checked bag, you can pack larger containers over the 3.4oz limit. However, keeping a copy of the COA with the product in case of bag checks can potentially save you and the airport a headache or two.
Additionally, keeping your CBD product in a clear sealable bag is always a good idea. The pressure changes when flying could create leakage, making a mess. Putting any item that may leak into a sealable bag can help prevent headaches in the long run.
Inbound International Flights
Like most things with the TSA, the rules are never as simple as they first may seem. There are additional rules to keep in mind when traveling internationally.
Liquids can be packed in carry-on luggage in secure and transparent tamper-evident bags by the retailer and do not show any signs of tampering when going through a TSA checkpoint. The original receipt for the purchased product must also be present and show that the product was purchased in the last 48 hours.
Be Pleasant and Positive
Finally, remember to be pleasant and positive. Going through a TSA security checkpoint is stressful for everyone involved. Keeping a pleasant and positive attitude can go a long way to helping make the process as easy as possible.
At the end of the day, we are all human beings trying to do the best we can. Showing empathy and being pleasant can help get you, and your CBD products, through a TSA checkpoint a little quicker.
The Bottom Line
While the TSA website has a very complicated yes policy when it comes to CBD products, the decision ultimately lies with the agent performing the bag check. Flying is never easy, no matter if your destination is Kansas City, Paris, or New York. But by taking a few extra steps, you can help speed up the check process and help eliminate some of the stress.
For more guidelines on what is allowed in both your carry on and checked luggage, please visit the TSA website for assistance.