Now that use of recreational marijuana is legal in eight states, more people are finding themselves questioning what the law says about traveling with marijuana. Complicating matters, the TSA has issued somewhat uncertain measures about what is allowed and what is not allowed on flights. And most of the difficulty has to do with the status, not of dried flower, rather the oils, and concentrates. Take CBD oil, for example, some types of which are legal everywhere. Can you bring CBD oil on a flight with you? For the most part, yes.
Flying can be stressful. Even if the idea of hurtling through the environment in a steel bird doesn’t make your hands sweaty, the craziness of most airport terminals—the long lines for TSA screenings, the lost luggage, the irate travelers—is enough to fray anyone’s nerves.
As a result, many individuals have their own guilty pleasures that help with the anxieties and stress of air travel. It could be getting a buzz from a few drinks in an airport bar. Maybe it’s taking a medication. Perhaps, it’s getting extraordinarily stoned on marijuana.
But high-altitude and low pressure make the effects of these drugs somewhat unpredictable. Take for example the case of a Delta passenger who claimed in court that eating pot brownies made him freak out and attack flight attendants and passengers.
The point is, sometimes the high from marijuana edibles can be too much, making an already unpleasant situation—flying—worse. But cannabis can help reduce anxiety and stress without psychoactivity. Thanks to CBD, a cannabinoid that, unlike THC, won’t get you high.
In a survey of the extant cannabis-related research, neuroscientist Carl Stevenson (University of Nottingham) says that evidence suggests CBD reduces fear by changing brain activity. When fear evaporates, so does anxiety.
The safe, antipsychotic benefits of CBD can be so beneficial, that some health gurus call it, “liquid Xanax from Mother Nature.”
So if you’re seeking relief from anxiety the next time you fly but are worried about certain side-effects, CBD oil might be the way to go. Since CBD can provide such safe and effective stress and anxiety relief, many are curious about bringing it on flights.
Luckily, following these few guidelines will help to keep you on the right side of the law. Even though recreational cannabis use is legal in some states, the TSA is a federal agency and airports are subject to federal laws. And as we all know, marijuana is still prohibited federally. That’s why TSA can stop you for attempting to travel with edibles, dried flower or other forms of cannabis that contain THC.
However, CBD is somewhat of an exception, especially if it is derived from the hemp plant. That’s because the DEA and the FDA do not think CBD made from hemp to be the same as psychoactive cannabis. As long as the THC content in the CBD oil is under 0.3 percent, you are good to go.
The problem can be that the CBD oil purchased in medical dispensaries is often made from cannabis, not hemp. As such, THC concentrations can be much higher. That and the source of the CBD oil would thus technically make it illegal under federal law.
The truth, however, is that CBD oil falls in a legal gray area, which companies that produce and sell it have taken advantage of for years. It would take a very determined TSA agent to flag your cannabis-derived CBD oil. Of course, that’s not completely outside the realm of possibility.
Ultimately, the safest move is to check your labels. If your CBD oil says it came from “industrial hemp,” or if it keeps quiet about the actual levels of THC in it, you’re very unlikely to have a problem.