Traveling with CBD: Tips and Legislation

Updated: at
man on lake

CBD is rapidly emerging on the dietary supplement market due to its potential health benefits and applications in treating various medical conditions. If you regularly take CBD supplements, you may be tempted to pack them with you when getting ready to go on a trip. However, the laws regarding transportation of CBD are somewhat complex. Here is the essential information you should know if you are considering traveling with CBD products.

Is Hemp CBD legal?

Although hemp-derived CBD is now federally legal with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill with varying degrees of restriction, some federal agencies still consider CBD to be in the same class as marijuana (and therefore, in the same category – Schedule I drug), but does not routinely enforce it.
Since hemp plants have very low concentrations of naturally-occurring THC (0.3% by dry weight or less), CBD derived from hemp plants is legal, since it has no psychoactive effects.

When travelling with CBD products, such as tinctures and capsules, each product must not exceed the limit of 0.3% of THC content in order to be cleared. To avoid complications and potential problems, CBD users are advised to purchase their products exclusively from reputable suppliers, which can provide a Certificate of Analysis from a reliable laboratory which explicitly outlines the product contents.

Is it legal to fly with CBD products?

The short answer is no, it is not legal. Since the TSA does not distinguish between hemp and marijuana, under federal law, it is illegal to transport by air all medical marijuana, and hemp-based supplements such as CBD. The TSA website states: “Possession of marijuana and cannabis infused products, such as Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, is illegal under federal law. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and cannabis infused products.” In addition, the TSA website states “Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but in the event a substance that appears to be marijuana or a cannabis infused product is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”
TSA operates under federal law, and although it does not check specifically for marijuana or other illegal drugs, if a TSA agent discovers what is considered to be an illegal substance, the agent is obligated by law to inform local law enforcement.
What happens next depends on your location. If you are not breaking any state laws regarding cannabis possession, the police will likely not prosecute (even though you might be asked to dispose of your CBD before you go through security). However, if cannabis is not legal in the state, you could be prosecuted.
Therefore, we do not recommend to travel by air with CBD products, especially if you are taking an international flight, as some countries have zero tolerance for cannabis possession, and carrying CBD could result in being arrested with serious legal issues.

Can you travel by land with CBD products?

If you are driving or traveling by bus or train, traveling with CBD is safe as long as you stay within state lines. However, crossing borders between states while carrying CBD can get complicated, since laws for possession of cannabis and CBD products differ from state to state. For example, some states will require a registration card for your CBD product, or a certificate outlining that it contains less than 0.3% THC. Therefore, it is important to do your research regarding state laws on CBD possession prior to crossing any state borders.

What are some tips for traveling with CBD products?

Here is some practical information to help you avoid complications or potentially getting into legal trouble while traveling with CBD products.

1. Make sure your CBD product conforms to legal requirements

Prior to traveling with it, make sure your CBD product has THC content of below 0.3% and is derived from hemp, and not cannabis. It is also a good idea to bring the Certificate of Analysis which states the exact content of your CBD product.

2. Take your CBD supplement prior to your flight

Instead of flying with your CBD product, take your CBD tincture or capsule before your flight to avoid traveling by air with it. Do some research of CBD suppliers in the location you will be traveling to, and purchase your CBD product after arriving at your destination.

3. Bring your documentation

If you’re using CBD for medical purposes and have documentation from your doctor, you should bring it with you.

4. Do your research

Prior to travel, you should check state laws pertaining to possession of CBD-containing products in the state you will be traveling to. If you have any doubts about traveling with CBD products, there also could be the option of getting your CBD product delivered to you once you reach your destination.