Can I Travel with Cannabis? [Hemp vs Marijuana, CBD vs THC, Personal/Recreational vs Medical]

There’s so much to see and do in this world of ours. But, can CBD, THC, or delta-8 be your trip companion? Is it legal to travel with cannabis?

It’s not so simple of a question to answer. Whether or not your favorite CBD gummies or pet’s CBD tincture can come along on the adventure depends on the:

  • Destination — domestic or international
  • Type of cannabis — marijuana- or hemp-derived
  • Cannabinoids —THC, delta-8, or (isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum) CBD
  • Product formulation — edibles or other preparation
  • Intended use — personal/recreational or medical
  • Mode of transport — by land, air, or water

In this post, we’ll make a stop at each of these factors. You’ll get the basic details (as of March 2023) that you need to know sooner than you can say, “Are we there yet?” Now, let’s get this show on the road!

Washington Post travel reporter Natalie B. Compton breaks down what travelers need to know about flying with cannabis products on Fox 13 Seattle.

Where Are You Headed? (Within the USA or Abroad)

Your destination — and the route you take to get there — is a big part of whether or not it’s OK to tote your cannabis along with you, too.

It’s important that you read up on any states or countries you’ll be visiting or passing through. We recommend you do this before each travel experience because laws are fluid and the legal status of cannabis could change.

Hemp-Derived CBD (≤ 0.3% THC)

In the US, it’s legal to transport hemp-derived CBD with no more than 0.3% THC across state lines.

However, some states have additional restrictions or permissions.(1) For example, different locations have different possession limits and only some states may allow CBD-infused foods and beverages.

Internationally, it’s a mixed bag as well. There are several countries — like the UK and Canada — that are CBD-friendly zones.(2) But there are plenty that are definitely not.

Other CBDs

Any CBD that’s over the Farm-Bill-legal 0.3% threshold and/or isn’t made from hemp is under this umbrella.

These renditions of CBD are still federally illegal in the US. Legality at local levels varies. Some jurisdictions allow higher-THC CBD products — perhaps as part of their medical cannabis programs — while others go so far as to have legalized all forms of marijuana, including high-CBD strains.

Similarly, foreign countries are all over the map when it comes to the acceptance of marijuana-derived CBD and high-THC hemp CBD.

Marijuana & THC-Focused Products

At the national level, marijuana is currently illegal. You’re not allowed to posses (or own) it let alone carry it with you as you move about the globe. Pending legislation in Congress may change this, though — so it’s worth keeping tuned into this if you want to travel with marijuana.

Several states have flashed the green light for marijuana products, though.(3) If your compass is guiding you to one of those areas, you’ll be free to enjoy cannabis when you reach your destination (or along the way if you’re driving through marijuana-loving jurisdictions).

Heading farther afield, like across a border? While most countries are anti-marijuana, there are many that have legalized weed. Probably the most famous in the Netherlands. More recently, our neighbors to the north gave this variety of cannabis two thumbs up. So, you can’t take your own stash with you — but you can partake once you hit terra firma in some countries.

Delta-8

Delta-8-THC is technically legal at the national level as long as it comes from hemp and has less than 0.3% THC (the D9 kind). And most D8 in the US is in this category as it’s usually made from federally-approved hemp CBD. This means that — as far as Uncles Sam is concerned — you can take delta-8 with you from state to state (as long as it’s permitted by your transportation provider — see the next section).

Again, rules vary by state. Some states have outlawed delta-8 because it has psychotropic properties.

There are very few other countries where D8 is legal. As of late 2022, only five other countries grant delta-8-THC legal status: Canada, Uruguay, South Africa, Mexico, and Georgia. Again, beware of traveling with your stash — and while it’s OK, at this point in time, to use delta-8 once at these destinations., it’s important to stay up to date on the rules and regulations.

To Sum It Up….

Where's Cannabis Legal Within the US?

Legal Status
Isolate CBD
(Hemp)
Federally legal
Legal in all states, some with conditions
Broad-Spectrum CBD
(Hemp)
Federally legal
Legal in all states, some with conditions
Full-Spectrum CBD
(Hemp)
Federally legal, if no more than 0.3% THC
Legal in all states, some with conditions, if no more than 0.3% THC
CBD
(Marijuana)
Recreational – some states
Medical – several states
THC
(Marijuana)
Recreational – some states
Medical – several states
D8
(Hemp)
Federally legal
Most states
D8
(Marijuana)
Some states
Medical Cannabis
(Hemp or Marijuana)
Some states
Where in the US is cannabis fully or conditionally legal for travelers?

How Are You Getting There?

It’s impossible to speak to every mode of transportation in every country. So, we’re focusing on travel originating in the US and on common forms of conveyance.

As you’ll see, there are some gray areas with different kinds of transport. If the vehicle that’s getting you from A to B isn’t your own, we recommend that you to speak with a representative of the transportation provider to ensure your federally-legal hemp CBD, medical marijuana, etc. will be allowed.

By Car or Bus

As long as you’re allowed to have the cannabis product in question in the places you’re going — you should be ready to get on the route without a problem. As a courtesy, if you’re traveling in a private vehicle that’s not yours, you may want to make sure the owner/driver is OK with cannabis on board.

If you’re hopping on a bus, you should check the bus line’s policies, just to be certain. For example, Greyhound prohibits all drugs but permits medications.(4)

In a Plane

You are cleared for takeoff with any of your federally-approved hemp CBD oil products with a max of 0.3% THC.(5) All other marijuana and CBD items are banned from the airport and airplanes. You’re free to use federally-lawful CBD during your flight — just FYI….

On a Cruise

This probably won’t float your boat, but most cruise lines prohibit cannabis products.(6) You have to read their terms and conditions, but they’re usually fairly explicit. And, the punishment for breaking the rules can be pretty steep — like being kicked off the cruise.

By Rail

Traveling on the train? You’ll want to confirm what’s permissible with the rail company. As for Amtrak, it’s official policy states that marijuana is forbidden even if you’re in states where it’s legal.(7) But the carrier does let you bring your meds on board….(8)

A person reaching over an open suitcase on a bed holding a paper airplane and notebook with a bottle of CBD oil next to the suitcase

Travel With Cannabis May Be on the Itinerary

Can you travel with CBD, marijuana, or delta-8 products? It really depends on where you’re going and how you’re getting there. Different locales permit different kinds of cannabis. Most don’t really distinguish between or care whether you’re consuming for personal/recreational purposes or for prescribed medical use.

This means you need to check each state or country you’ll be traveling to or through to see if it’s OK for you to pack your (or your pet’s!) cannabis goods. Moreover, you’ll want to refresh your knowledge each trip because laws are changing all the time.

That said, hemp CBD with 0.3% THC or less is federally legal and legal in all US states (some with additional restrictions or permissions). Legality — and therefore transportability — of other cannabinoids varies a great deal by jurisdiction.

If you’re headed abroad — be prepared for a stew of different positions on cannabis. There are certainly places that welcome cannabis. So, if you are adamant about keeping cannabis on your packing list, you can find plenty of foreign destinations.

FAQs Buzzin’ Through the Hive

Can I travel with marijuana?

As a rule of thumb: No. Marijuana is not federally legal in the US and it’s illegal in most other countries. If you’re circulating around a state where marijuana is permitted, it’s probably OK to have on hand.

Can I bring CBD through TSA?

Yes, as long as it’s federally-legal hemp-derived CBD with less than or equal to 0.3% THC. This doesn’t mean it’s OK to have the CBD oil product at your origin, destination, or transit locations, though — so beware.

Can you fly with delta-8-THC?

If your D8 is made from federally-legal hemp-derived CBD with less than 0.3% THC, you can take your delta-8 on the plane. Just make sure that the D8 is permitted in your origin, destination, or transit locations to avoid any trouble.

References

  1. Ashton, L. (2020). Is CBD Oil Legal? Legal Status of CBD in 50 States in 2023. CFAH.
  2. Stocker, V. (2021). In What Countries Is CBD Legal? [2021 Update]. Hemppedia.
  3. Speights, K. (2020). A Guide to Marijuana Legalization in the United States. The Motley Fool.
  4. (2023). Your Rights & Rules on Board. Greyhound.
  5. (2018). Medical Marijuana. Transportation Security Administration.
  6. Golden, F. (2021). Can I bring marijuana on a cruise ship? The Points Guy.
  7. (2023). Smoking Policy. Amtrak.
  8. (2023). Personal Food, Beverages and Medication. Amtrak.
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About the Author

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GBL Staff Writer

Green Bee Life is your resource for accurate, transparent, and up-to-date content and products related to cannabis.

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