Can You Travel With CBD Oil?

September 27, 2019

CBD oil has gained a considerable amount of momentum in the wellness world as well as the scientific community. All this buzz is mainly because CBD or Cannabidiol has the potential to relieve pain, stress, and several other common ailments. 

Sadly though, the federal law prohibits the use or possession of CBD based products as it is extracted from cannabis or marijuana, a Schedule I drug. 

In the past few years, authorities have relaxed the restriction on CBD as scientific studies are confirming its medicinal properties. Just recently, boarding a flight with CBD oil was made a lot easier than before. Let us understand what these relaxations actually mean and how you can enjoy the benefits of CBD products without breaking the law. 

What is CBD oil?

CBD or cannabidiol is one of the nearly 400 compounds found in the cannabis plant. These plants commonly known as hemp or marijuana are also the source for THC, a psychoactive compound that gets people ‘high’. CBD, on the other, is more famous for its therapeutic properties which relieves stress, muscle pain, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and so on. 

CBD Oil is a product which is easily available online or near you. Several companies are coming up with varied combinations of essential oils mixed with CBD extract to boost wellness. Using different extraction methods, manufacturers derive highly concentrated CBD from industrial hemp, which has a higher percentage of CBD than marijuana. This concentration is mixed with common carrier oils like coconut oil, sesame oil, and so on to be bottled for the consumers. 

Is CBD legal in the USA?

When it comes to any product derived from marijuana, federal law is stringent and considers illegal. Contrary to this, several state governments have the use of marijuana and all its products legal for recreational and medical purposes. It is phenomenal to know that 33 out of 52 states in the USA have legalized the use of CBD in one form or the other. Riding on the popularity of cannabis products, the Farm Bill of 2018 legalized the farming of industrial hemp under specific regulations. And now flowing with CBD oil is made a lot easier too. 

What does the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018 say about CBD oil?

Cannabis products, be it marijuana and hemp-based substances are illegal under the law in the USA. The restriction is mainly on the percentage of THC ( a psychoactive compound) in the products, which gets people high. CBD, on the other hand, does not have such effects on people; on the contrary, it helps treat several health issues, including seizures. But the fact to be noted is that the presence of THC in CBD products makes them more effective. 

According to Farm Bill or the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, the permitted limit for THC in CBD based products is less than 0.3%. Going further the bill deregulated CBD as a Schedule I narcotics and legalized farming of hemp in the USA. Although CBD is promoted as a supplement or food ingredient, FDA is yet to give it a stamp of approval. 

Flying with CBD oil — What does TSA say?

As a pleasant surprise to the people who love using CBD oil, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) updated its regulations regarding traveling with CBD. The updated rule essential states that people can now carry CBD oil or medications within the regulations defined by the law. 

Until May 2019, TSA considered flying with any form of marijuana as illegal, be it in the checked-in luggage or carry-on bags. The list included CBD based edible products, spays, CBD oil, pills and everything else. The ‘What can I bring’ page on the TSA website clearly stated, “Possession of marijuana and cannabis-infused products, such as cannabidiol (CBD) oil, is illegal under federal law.” Any suspected violations of law in this regard would be considered a criminal and thus, subjectable to prosecution. 

The updated information on this page reads, “Products/medications that contain hemp-derived CBD or are approved by the FDA are legal as long as it is produced within the regulations defined by the law under the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018.” 

Although the statement gets you excited, upon reading carefully, the language is unclear and confusing to some extent. It is evident that the passengers can now carry Epidiolex, the only medication approved by the FDA that contains CBD in purified form. But what about CBD oil, are we now allowed to take it onboard a flight? How will the TSA officers determine which oil is legal and which is not? We may have to wait for a while to get these questions answered because the authorities themselves are confused. TSA says that it is consulting its attorneys regarding such regulations and will soon elaborate on the rule regarding CBD products.  

For now, you can enjoy the benefits of CBD oil if your state government deems it legal. As for flying, you may not be able to fly with your favorite CBD oil just yet, but you certainly can in the near future, thanks to this change in the TSA’s policy.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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