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Are You Breaking the Law by Taking CBD on Vacation?

Written by Steven Bridge

Most people know that’s it’s not a good idea to travel internationally with cannabis in their possession. Since 9/11, airport screening has increased dramatically around the world, and that means that anyone could get in trouble for carrying a controlled substance.

CBD is legal – sort of –  in some countries in Europe, but can you take it with you on vacation? Even though cannabis and CBD are legal in some states in America, they are still prohibited by the 1930’s prohibition act, according to Federal law. But what about a patient who has legally been prescribed cannabis or a CBD product by a medical professional, but is scared to travel abroad or even domestically due to multi-layered airport security measures?

The TSA’s official policy in the States is clear on this; no cannabis can be taken through security and onto a flight even if a doctor prescribes it. To say that cannabis legislation has become a quagmire is an understatement as innocent people are left wondering if or how they can travel with their medication. But what about CBD – a compound inside the cannabis plant that’s non-psychoactive and completely legal in some countries? CBD – short for Cannabidiol – has gained in popularity over the past few years, used by people wanting to treat anxiety, chronic pain or insomnia, among other difficult conditions but without the high or disorienting feelings associated with cannabis.

cbd airport

A 71-year-old woman was jailed on felony drug charges for 1 vial of CBD at DFW airport

Herein lies the proverbial rub as the legality of CBD depends on the jurisdiction you’re in. Another issue is that CBD Flowers, for example, look smell and taste much like conventional cannabis and a TSA agent would have to be a cannabis expert to even have a chance of telling the difference.

According to recent news reports, the confusion over the matter from CBD consumers had led to some severe consequences for some travelers as CBD confiscations and even arrests have “skyrocketed” according to Cleatus Hunt Jr.,  – port director for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.

One LA-based lawyer, Griffen Thorne, said “Until the law is very, very clear, people are going to get arrested for possession of things that aren’t explicitly illegal. Federal authorities, in general, are much less likely to let people off the hook,” he said, according to a report in The Atlantic.

Sadly, there’s no end of confusion when it comes to the mysterious world of CBD. Lower Jurisdictions are just another example of how people can get in trouble for CBD. The New York City Department of Health, as just one example, has made it crystal clear that it will prosecute any restaurants selling CBD on their menus. Then again, stores there are permitted to sell oils and creams which contain CBD. Clarity and direction are needed to resolve the graveness of an issue caught in murky waters that has some real consequences for everyday people.

cbd airport

Airport K-9 unit on partrol

On top of all that, there’s no governing body for CBD or cannabis when it comes to standards like purity, efficacy, and safety.  Some CBD Oils could contain tiny trace amounts of THC – the compound that does get you high – and that could be picked up by sniffer dogs or drug tests carried out at the airport.

To cut a long and unfortunate story short, people are advised not to travel through any airport with CBD (or any cannabis product) as it could end them up in some unnecessarily hot water with law enforcement. The overall gist of this story may be that it’s no surprise that everyone’s confused when it comes to cannabis legislation after so many years of prohibition have been in place.

The good news is that the CBD and legal cannabis trends are unstoppable and are gaining popularity all the time. That means it’s only a matter of time and money before regulatory boards and procedures are put in place to clear up all the confusion; hopeful for the mutual safety and benefit of everyone concerned.

For more information on CBD regulations, make sure to subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter, the top source for all things cannabis-related.

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About the author

Steven Bridge

Having been a cannabis and CBD aficionado for many years, Steven spends much of his time opposite a shiny MacBook, researching, exploring, understanding and creating interesting reading for people interested in knowing more about CBD, Vaping, Cannabis Strains and Delivery Methods, and just about anything related to magical green herbs that help people with anything from sleepless nights to pain.