The Legal Way to Travel With CBD Beauty Products

Young woman traveler in international airport with backpack holding suitcase or baggage in her hand, Beautiful young tourist girl with backpack and carry on luggage in airport terminal, on travelator

CBD — a cannabis extract — has become a trendy ingredient in beauty and skin care products such as lotions, balms, salves, and even mascara. You may have found a CBD product you can’t live without, even on vacation. But because nobody wants to end up like Piper from Orange Is the New Black — who got sent to prison for smuggling drugs — you might wonder if bringing your CBD moisturizer can earn you a spot on a no-fly list. We reached out to two CBD experts to get the skinny on how to safely transport your goodies through TSA.

Is it illegal to travel with CBD products?

Even if you’re flying out of states where cannabis use is perfectly legal, all airports are subject to federal law. That means it’s illegal to travel with marijuana, even if it’s for medical purposes. That said, CBD itself isn’t considered marijuana, as it’s not psychoactive and doesn’t contain the extract THC (which is what gets you high).

To determine if your CBD is legal, it’s up to you to read the label. “Many CBD beauty products use hemp-derived CBD, which is legal to bring to all 50 states,” said Claudia Mata, cofounder of Vertly. “Plus, many CBD products, such as our lip balm, are packaged quite discretely. That means unless you are personally pointing out that it’s CBD-infused, it’s unlikely anyone will know.” Of course, if your CBD products are liquids, you should make sure you’re not bringing in anything that’s over the TSA’s maximum of 3.4 ounces.

Will a sniffing dog know I’m carrying CBD?

For the most part, that dog keeping us all safe while we wait at a security checkpoint won’t notice your rose-scented CBD lotion. According to the New York Times, canines who guard domestic US flights are searching for bombs and other explosives, which have a different scent than marijuana. As Mata put it, “I live in Northern California, so if dogs could sniff out cannabis, they would be really busy here!” However, if you’re flying into the US from another country, dogs who accompany customs and border protection agents can be trained in sniffing out all forms of illegal drugs.

What else should I know about traveling with CBD products?

While your CBD products will make it through TSA unharmed, you want to make sure they survive your trip, too. “CBD-infused products shouldn’t be treated any differently than any other natural, clean products,” Mata said. “Since CBD is plant matter, I don’t keep it in direct sunlight, and I store it in a cool place.” So if you’re a lucky soul headed off to a beach vacation, be sure to keep your balm or moisturizer out of the sweltering heat. If you don’t, the products could melt away. In Mata’s words, “Why would you want to waste all that wonderful CBD?”


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