Can I go through TSA with CBD OIL?

Cannabidiol is a compound that is also classified as cannabis or hemp in the Cannabis sativa plant. 

More than 80 chemicals have been identified in the Cannabis sativa plant, known as cannabinoids. While delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main active ingredient in cannabis, it is also derived from hemp, which includes only minimal amounts of THC. 

CBD is cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of cannabis (marijuana) active ingredients. The CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana; it is derived directly from the hemp plant, a marijuana crop relative. Although CBD (one of the hundreds) is a part of cannabis, it does not induce a high on its own.

What does CBD do?

There are antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol.

The exact cause of these effects is not clear. Yet cannabidiol tends to stop chemical degradation in the brain that causes pain, appetite, and mental function. Preventing this chemical’s degradation and growing its blood levels tends to reduce psychotic symptoms linked with disorders such as schizophrenia. Cannabidiol may also inhibit some of the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) psychoactive properties. It also appears that cannabidiol reduces pain and anxiety.

CBD has been recognized for a broad range of health problems.

Still, the best scientific evidence is its efficacy for curing some of the cruelest syndromes of pediatric epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which usually do not respond to antiseizure drugs. CBD has been able to reduce the frequency of hallucinations in numerous studies, and in some instances, it has been able to prevent them altogether.

CBD can provide an option to treat various types of chronic pain.

A study by the European Journal of Pain showed that CBD applied to the skin using an animal model could help reduce pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study showed the pathway by which CBD reduces inflammation and neuropathic pain, two of persistent pain’s most complicated forms to manage. In this field, further human study is needed to substantiate CBD proponents’ statements regarding pain control.

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Can I pass TSA Checkpoint with CBD?

Recreational and medical marijuana in some states is legal, but the TSA has always made it clear that marijuana is illegal when flying on a plane.

The TSA has quietly updated it’s “What can I bring?” page on medical marijuana to note that passengers can now fly with some forms of CBD oil and one FDA-approved hemp-derived medication.

Although CBD oil is legal, not everyone at TSA is up to speed on how to distinguish between CBD and marijuana, so for additional screening, you may find yourself delayed in security. If you are traveling internationally, it is up to you to determine if CBD oil is legal both at your starting point and at your destination.

Ultimately, if you plan to put the CBD tincture in your carry-on, you need to make sure that it falls within the 3.4 ounces or less.

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What TSA’s website states on CBD?

The approved CBD rule of TSA, revised in May 2019. Their website states:

“Marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law, except for products containing no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or approved by FDA.”

Under this policy, the guidelines of the TSA are consistent with those of the federal government. So long as the hemp-derived CBD product contains 0.3% and fewer of THC, you can fly with it. Because cannabis naturally absorbs high amounts of CBD and minimal amounts of THC (always 0.3% or less), some CBD oils are derived from hemp.

Not all CBD oil comes from hemp, though.

It is also possible to extract CBD oils from marijuana. Many people prefer to have more THC content, and marijuana is legal in many states.

Do not make the mistake of bringing it with you on a flight if this fits the CBD oil. CBD oils derived from marijuana were prohibited under the rule of the TSA.

On the other side, hemp-derived CBD oil is allowed in both checked and carry-on baggage; it is 3.4 ounces or fewer for carry-ons. Though, that doesn’t guarantee you’re not going to run into any problems. The TSA points out that their screening procedures center on risks to safety, not detecting marijuana.

TSA officers are not seeking CBD oil.

But if they find any marijuana traces as part of your security screening, they can tap into a law enforcement officer to better assess the situation— even if what you’ve got is Cannabis oil and not marijuana:

“TSA’s screening procedures rely on protection and are intended to identify potential threats to aircraft and travelers. Accordingly, TSA security officers are not searching for marijuana or other illegal drugs. Still, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer if any illegal substance is found during security screening. TSA officers are required to report to local, state, or federal authorities any suspected violations of law.

The TSA has not differentiated between marijuana and some items extracted from hemp in the past. Hemp derivatives produce little to no THC, the high-producing psychoactive agent in cannabis.

The new rule does not alter the TSA’s ban on other forms of marijuana, including THC-infused cannabis products and CBD oils. But as the TSA does not conduct on-site screening at airport security checkpoints, it is unknown whether TSA officers will determine if a drug contained THC. If a doubt arises, a spokesman for the TSA said that the matter would be referred to local law enforcement.

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The Bottom Line

If you’re traveling with CBD oil derived from hemp, you’ll probably be fine.

You may need to undergo additional screening and answer product questions, but you can finally get on your flight.

The thing is, not all TSA agents are well versed in the difference between CBD oil and marijuana, and testing might take longer than you anticipate, leading you to miss your flight and stress you out at the very least. The ultimate decision is based on whether an object is approved through the checkpoint with the TSA agent.