One of the topics we frequently cover on this legal blog is drug charges. We post on various topics, and one recent popular post focused on whether the Transportation Security Administration could charge you if they find drugs on you. However, the natural follow up question is, “what about CBD?”
For context, the TSA does not look for drugs. Their airport dogs are not even trained to sniff out drugs. Instead, they are only looking for TSA-prohibited items that could harm airplanes and their passengers. This is why they simply make referrals to airport and local police when they find drugs, and when those drugs are not illegal locally, they just force passengers to throw them away. This is important as it relates to Cannabidiol (colloquially known as CBD), which is a cannabis derivative, but does not impair you.
Is CBD legal?
By itself, CBD is legal because it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, it must contain less than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the cannabis derivative that does make you high. If the CBD product contains a percentage of THC over this allowable amount, it is not legal.
Can I fly with it then?
Yes. As long as the CBD product has less than 0.3% THC, it is legal. However, if it is a liquid, it must be less than 3.4 ounces to pass the TSA checkpoint. Since TSA officers are not actually looking for illegal drugs, even CBD products with higher percentages may not be flagged by TSA. As such, in practice, even though you are breaking federal law, the New York City TSA agent may not stop you.