Can a CBD cartridge get caught in your flight?

Many air travelers who are struggling with anxiety and jet lag have adopted CBD as a remedy. Although researchers are still investigating CBD as an effective remedy for anxiety and jet lag, the treatment has proved effective for many people. Other travelers like to carry CBD with them in skincare or beauty products, but many people also want to know: Will my CBD cartridge pass the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)?

Flying with a CBD cartridge

Following the passage of the 2018 farm bill, the TSA loosened its regulations on CBD products. TSA spokesperson Carrie Harmon once said that cannabis and certain cannabis-infused products, including cannabidiol (CBD) oil, are still illegal under federal law and will not pass government tests. However, according to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD products made from hemp do not exceed 0.3% THC, which is legal. Unlike CBD, THC is the psychoactive/ intoxicating component of cannabis that can make you feel high. Furthermore, the FDA recently warned companies against adding CBD to food or dietary supplements because CBD has not been declared as GRAS and is not generally considered safe.

The updated TSA regulations allow passengers to carry the following products into their flights legally: 

  • Medical marijuana 

  • Products containing no more than 0.3% THC

  • FDA-approved products. Currently, the only FDA-approved CBD-based product is Epidiolex (cannabidiol), which can treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.

After arriving at the TSA checkpoint, what can travelers carrying a CBD cartridge expect? 

According to the TSA, the focus of the inspection is the safety and security of passengers. TSA security personnel will not look for marijuana or marijuana-infused products. However, if a substance that appears illegal is found during a security inspection, TSA officials will refer the matter to law enforcement. The law enforcement personnel then follow the appropriate legal procedures.

As stated by Harmon, you should expect no TSA dogs sniffing on your luggage or purse. TSA K9s only looks for explosives and the components that make explosives. 

The final decision depends on whether the CBD vape cartridge can pass the airport checkpoint lies with the TSA officer. 

Unfortunately, some states may have more restrictive laws on CBD. For example, in Virginia, you can only buy prescribed CBD. 

Experts recommend that if you want to board a flight with medical marijuana, such as a CBD cartridge, or any FDA-approved substances, you should carry your prescription with you in case you find any questions. Also, carry the medical marijuana and prescription drugs, including the CBD cartridge, in their original packaging. 

If you have a CBD cartridge, you should find its certificate of analysis (CoA). Usually, the certificates of analysis for the specific batch of CBD cartridges are found on the manufacturer's website. For some CBD cartridge manufacturers, you can access the certificates of analysis via the QR code on the label, which should be scannable to guide customers to the product's website and CoA. 

Finding the CoA for your CBD cartridge is very important. The CoA lists the percentage of CBD and other cannabinoids at the time of the test, as well as the name of the laboratory that tested it (usually a third-party lab). 

You should then print a copy of the CoA for the CBD cartridge you are carrying in your flight to have the official documentation of the product. You can also print out the latest regulations issued by the TSA or have a link to the latest regulations on your phone. This way, if you find a new TSA agent or an agent who is less familiar with all the new regulations, you will get support.

Key takeaway

CBD and cannabis-related laws vary from one state to another. Consequently, you should always read and understand the cannabis laws of your flight destination. If using CBD with an electric dab rig is legal in your flight's destination, you can alternatively shop for a CBD cartridge online before the trip and ship it to your destination. This way, you do not necessarily have to carry a CBD cartridge on your flight.

Carrying a CBD cartridge, having a distillate with less than 0.3% THC (hemp-derived CBD distillate) when flying domestically in the US is less risky. Nonetheless, there are risks that not everyone knows. For example, not everyone is conversant with TSA's new regulations. At the federal level, CBD is not regulated. However, you can expect some law enforcement officers who are not familiar with the difference between CBD extracted from hemp and CBD extracted from cannabis.

Must Read: Best Vape Pens for E-Liquid, Wax, Oils, and Dry Herb


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  1. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Tomas Mandy

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    1. author
      27 Aug 2019
      Britney Millner

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  2. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Simon Downey

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