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CBD Oil and Medications on Planes? TSA Says It’s Cool

The change was prompted by the only FDA-approved drug that contains CBD oil, Epidiolex, which is used to treat seizures in children with epilepsy.

The Transportation Security Administration quietly changed its cannabis policy over the weekend to allow passengers to bring some forms of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, plus an FDA-approved marijuana based drug, on flights.

All forms of marijuana were previously prohibited in both checked and carry-on bags. But Sunday, the agency updated TSA.gov to reflect new regulations that allow FDA-approved medical marijuana and products that contain hemp-derived CBD oil. The CBD oil is allowed “as long as it is produced within the regulations defined by the law” under the 2018 Farm Bill, which federally legalized hemp and hemp derivatives.

There’s no denying that the rules surrounding CBD (and all the oils, gummies, lotions, and lattes that the THC-free cannabinoid is included in) are incredibly confusing. Just ask the grandma who was arrested for trying to bring her doctor-prescribed CBD into Disney World. Or the people who had their CBD treats confiscated by the police, even though Whole Foods can sell them on its shelves.

Now the TSA has announced that it will allow people to fly with CBD and hemp products. Even though CBD is not legal under federal law, the TSA, a federal agency, is trying to change with the times, updating its “What Can I bring?” guidance to address the changing drug rules.

According to the update, families can bring the hemp-derived drug Epidiolex, which is used to treat epilepsy in children, as well as CBD products, “as long as it is produced within the regulations defined by the law” under the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp and hemp derivatives.

The TSA’s new rules still ban other forms of marijuana, including the gummies you picked up in California, the brownie your aunt in Oregon made you, and the joint you artfully tucked into your tampons after a trip to Colorado. That said, the TSA admits that its officers “do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs.”

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At the same time, CBD oils that have THC are still illegal under federal law, and as such, are not allowed on planes. And since at least one of the most popular field tests used by authorities can’t tell the difference between CBD and THC products, we’re guessing that flying with them is still a bit risky. Even though the TSA’s guidelines about CBD have changed, the agency warns that “the final decision rests with the TSA officer” on duty.

In short, in the absence of federal level guidance, it’s still the Wild West when it comes to CBD.

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