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Traveling with CBD

Are you planning a domestic or international trip? If you are, this article will help you figure out whether your mode of travel will be friendly to bringing CBD along for the journey – or not.

Flying with CBD

Can you board a flight with CBD? For domestic travel in the US, the answer is yes, with a few considerations. TSA spells out their CBD policy quite clearly on their site:

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. (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, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer. (TSA)

TSA references the “Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” aka the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill states that the use and sale of Hemp and Hemp-derived products is federally legal in all 50 states, provided that they contain under .3% THC.

What’s tricky is that some states, such as Oregon, have subsequently banned CBD state-wide. Therefore, based on TSA guidelines, when travelling with CBD domestically, you may need to do one or more of the following:

1. Make sure that if you travel with CBD that it is at or below the federal limit of .3 % THC (that’s “point three percent,” meaning three tenths of one percent, maximum THC).

If you use a CBD product that has an accompanying COA (Certificate of Analysis), having that with you, or available via an online link, may help since you will be able to verify the product’s compliance with federal regulations.

2. Make sure the state you’re visiting allows CBD. Oregon doesn’t allow CBD at all, so if you happen to be flying there, it would be better to leave your products at home. Idaho, however, allows broad-spectrum and isolate CBD products, but not full-spectrum (which contain THC). Doing a little research before your trip will ensure that you have the most current information.

3. Make sure you’re also apprised of the regulations of any state that you may visit due to a layover or flight delay.

4. Remember that TSA’s rule of no more than 3.4 liquid ounces per container still applies to all carry-ons. Therefore, any cream or salve over 3.4 ounces will have to go in a checked bag. There are a few exceptions to the “liquid volume rule,” however, as given on TSA’s site.

Somewhat of a catch-22 is vape products. If the device includes an igniting element (i.e., a battery), it will need to go in a carry-on due to its fire hazard potential (even if the cartridge is less than 3.4 oz).

Therefore, most vape pens should go in a carry-on. If you have a container of vape fluid over 3.4 ounces (with no battery), it will need to go in a checked bag. Vape fluid cartridges of 3.4 ounces or under with no battery can go in either bag.

5. If you’re taking a prescribed CBD formula, such as Epidolex®, special rules may apply. If this applies to you, check with TSA and the commercial agencies involved with your trip.

6. For international travel, verify ahead of time that it’s legal to bring CBD into the country or countries to which you’re traveling, or traveling through. Doing this as close to your travel date(s) as possible is recommended since these regulations can change at any time.

Cruising with CBD

Can you bring CBD on a cruise? For most major lines, the answer is usually “no.” This is because cruises often go to countries and/or territories that have laws that are very different from those in the US.

Calling the line you’re traveling with to confirm their policy is a good idea. This is recommended even if you have a prescription, since you may be required to check the medication in with an on-board medical facility.

Train travel with CBD

One of the most memorable travel experiences I ever had was a cross-country trip by train. Every day was an adventure, with changing dining options, changing scenery, and different people to sit and talk with at meals.

According to Marc Magliari, Amtrak’s Senior Public Relations Manager, even though Amtrak has no specific policy on CBD, items brought onboard that are not explicitly prohibited must nonetheless be legal within the areas through which the train passes – they provide a list of specifically “prohibited items” on their website.

Amtrak has a strict policy regarding smoking. There is no smoking allowed on trains, in stations, or while using thruway services such as buses or shuttles. This includes vaping of all kinds, including CBD vaping: "The use or transportation of marijuana in any form for any purpose is prohibited, even in states or countries where recreational use is legal or permitted medically."

The Bottom Line

If you’re planning to bring CBD on a trip, make sure to check the regulations of both your travel method and destination. This will allow you to enjoy your products while on your trip (and legally so).

Written by S.W. Afton

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