TSA Will Now Let You Take Some CBD Oils and Medications on U.S. Flights

By Andrea Romano / Updated: June 03, 2019

Traveling with medical marijuana and marijuana-derived products has been a tricky subject in recent years, but it looks like there’s just been a major move forward.

According to Fox News, the TSA just updated its policy on travelers carrying medicinal CBD (cannabidiol) oil in both checked and carry on luggage. Until now, the organization has emphatically told travelers to leave their CBD at home, but now that the FDA has approved the first CBD oil drug (Epidiolex) for seizures, the TSA seems to be following suit in order to allow travelers access to their medications — even though marijuana itself is illegal under federal law.

Contrary to myths and rumors: No, CBD is not the chemical in marijuana that causes euphoria or “gets you high,” so to speak. The drug’s other active ingredient, THC, is the only chemical that causes this reaction. CBD, on the other hand, can have a variety of other benefits without psychoactive side effects — like treating pain, inflammation, and anxiety, according to Harvard Medical School.

Along a similar line, cosmetic grade CBD oils can be found in makeup and skincare products, hailed for their inflammatory and moisturizing properties. Mascaras, face masks, lotions, and lip balms, in particular, have become holy grail beauty items and sought-after products for busy travelers who want to maintain their fresh look while spending their days and nights in crowded, dry plane cabins.

But CBD beauty products are usually less dicey to take on a plane than pure CBD oil, though there are some exceptions. This new policy change is certainly good news for people who need the drug for medical reasons, and not just for their face moisturizer.

But since CBD and medical marijuana laws can vary from state-to-state, there are still strident rules you must follow if you have a prescription for CBD. All CBD being taken through security must be compliant with the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018, according to the TSA website. It’s also important to keep your oil in its proper packaging and a note from your doctor nearby.

If a TSA agent is suspicious of anything found in your bag or on your person, they’re within their right to take the matter further.

“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,” it says on the TSA website.

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