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Plan on Traveling or Flying with CBD? What You Need to Know Before Packing Your Bags

Written By Ellese Symons Jul 13th 2022
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In 2015, researchers found a genetic variant they believed explained why some people seemed destined to wander. This intriguing discovery was immediately dubbed the “wanderlust gene” because of its ties to adventurousness, impulsivity, and novelty-seeking behavior. Although the scientific community cautioned that no single gene determines any complex personality trait on its own, 40-60 percent of us are thought to have this variant.1,2

Maybe, just maybe, that explains why we feel so exhilarated planning for long-overdue jaunts to vacation hot-spots, international travel, and extended road trips. Now that the promises of warm-weather travel are clearly on the horizon, you’re likely making plans to indulge the more adventurous side of your nature.

While going through your list of what you should bring and what gets left behind, you might naturally wonder if you should pack your CBD. That’s understandable. The cannabinoid has many potential benefits for travelers, yet there have been a few too many unnerving stories about CBD users ending up on the wrong side of the law. If you’re trying to decide if CBD fits into your travel plans, we’ve got the information you need, and a few tips that will help boost your confidence while traveling with your favorite products.

Why Is There So Much Confusion About Traveling with CBD?

When the hemp industry was just getting started, there were many more gray areas about traveling with CBD than you’ll find today. Back then, many unsuspecting travelers were detained (or worse) because hemp was still classified as a federally controlled substance.

In 2018, our government lifted all federal restrictions on hemp cultivation and removed the plant from its list of federally controlled substances. With CBD federally legal in all 50 states, many domestic travelers were still running into trouble because they assumed hemp-derived products were legal nation-wide. Many were unaware that the federal government left that all-important decision to state legislators.

Today, CBD is legal in most states as long as the THC content falls at or below the legal limits of 3%. But there are a few exceptions. Some states only allow products with 0% THC, and others don’t allow CBD at all. That’s not just an issue in the United States. The same holds true in other countries.

Planning a Trip by Land or Sea? – Here’s What You Need to Know

If you live in one of the many states where CBD use is allowed and travel within state lines, there’s little cause for concern. However, if your journey takes you through a state that prohibits CBD use, you may have issues with law enforcement if they find hemp-derived CBD products in your vehicle. In more stringent states, you could even face criminal charges.3 That’s why it’s so important to do your homework. Once you know which states prohibit or restrict CBD use, you can plan accordingly.

But other forms of travel can present challenges you may not have considered. If you plan on traveling by bus, train, or boat, it’s a good idea to contact the transportation company before your departure date. Most major cruise lines, railways, and bus companies do not allow passengers to travel with CBD products, even those boarding in CBD-friendly states.4 If the thought of not having your daily serving of CBD makes you uncomfortable, taking to the skies may be the better option.

Traveling the Friendly Skies with CBD

Most people flying with hemp-derived CBD find the experience relatively stress-free once they know the rules and regulations. Although the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) includes medical marijuana and CBD on the list of articles not allowed through security, the statement posted on the official TSA website makes it clear that hemp-derived CBD is permitted as long as the THC content falls within federal standards.5

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.gov

The following suggestions could help resolve, or prevent, any unexpected snags along your journey.

Print the Third-Party Test Results for Every Product

The most reputable CBD companies rely on test results from an independent lab to ensure the purity and potency of their products. The results of those third-party tests are also used by CBD users to verify CBD levels, terpene profiles, and THC content. At CBDistillery®, we provide this valuable piece of information, the Certificate of Analysis (COA), on our product pages. Before you head to the airport, print a copy of the COA for each of your products and keep your CBD in the original (labeled) container. If a TSA officer has any questions about the THC content of your CBD, you’ll be ready.6

Pack Your CBD According to TSA Regulations

TSA regulations require that all liquids, creams, gels, pastes, and aerosols in carry-on luggage are transported in small amounts. When packing your travel-sized containers, be sure to verify that your CBD meets TSA requirements. No single container can hold more than 3.4 ounces, and every toiletry and personal care product in your carry-on must fit into one clear, quart-sized bag, including your CBD tincture, topical, or e-liquid. If your CBD skincare products are sold in containers larger than 3.4 ounces, they’ll need to be packed with your check-in luggage.7

Why Are So Many People Traveling with CBD?

Indulging the more adventurous side of your nature isn’t always easy. The stress of unexpected delays can make it difficult to relax, changes in routine can cause sleep difficulties, and even a few hours of sightseeing can cause tender joints and muscles. That’s likely why so many CBD users want to take their hemp-derived CBD products with them while traveling.

Based on the survey responses of nearly 2000 CBDistillery® customers, most CBD users report using our pure, potent CBD products to feel more relaxed, for better sleep, and for inflammation, stiffness, and discomfort after physical activity.

Traveling Comfortably with CBDistillery® Products

Traveling with CBD is much easier today than just a few years ago. However, it’s important to know every rule, regulation, and restriction you might encounter along the way, particularly when traveling out of the country. Being caught unaware of local cannabis laws could turn a long-anticipated retreat into a vacation nightmare.

Even when traveling between CBD-friendly states, you’ll still want to be sure to pack clearly labeled products from a reputable brand and print the Certificate of Analysis. When you choose CBDistillery® products, you can access the documentation you need on our product pages or by scanning the QR code on your product label. A quick view of those third-party test results will confirm that all CBDistillery® products contain .3% THC or less, so you can pack them with confidence.

Additional Sources:

  1. Bustle. JR Thorpe. (2018 June 26) There’s Actually a Scientific Reason You Feel the Urge to Travel.
  2. HuffPost. M Happy (2017 December 06) Is There Really a “Wanderlust Gene?
  3. My Dosage. (2019) CBD Travel Guide: The Only Guide to Traveling with CBD Oil You’ll Ever Need.
  4. Weedmaps. T Koslow. (2019 July 16) Everything You Should Consider When Traveling with CBD in the US.
  5. TSA.gov. (2021) Medical Marijuana.
  6. Medium. A Cadena. (2019 March 13) Traveling with CBD: What to Consider When Traveling by Air [Updated].
  7. TSA.gov. (2021) Liquids Rule.