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Read this before traveling anywhere with CBD!

Have you ever had the experience of finding out that you may have done something illegal by accident? It’s mortifying.

I had one of these experiences not too long ago when I was traveling to Spain. Since traveling can be a very stressful experience, I decided to bring my bottle of phytocannabinoids to help with the stress of traveling. 

Now if you know anything about phytocannabinoids/cbd, you understand that it is derived from the hemp plant – a plant only recently taken off the list of schedule 1 controlled substances in the United States. So, upon checking into TSA, I am pulled aside by one of the officers for a bag check. This large TSA officer dressed in black pulls me aside and sets my bag down on the counter. “Before I open this bag, is there anything illegal like explosives, narcotics or anything of that sort?” To which I respond, naively I might add, “depends on your definition of illegal”.

He looks at me completely unamused and says, “I’m going to begin searching your bag, one of the guys saw something that we want to ask you some questions about.” Once he finds the bottle of phytocannabinoids he escorts me to a back room with a table and places the bottle at the center of it.

Now at this point, anybody would be scared, especially if they didn’t do their research beforehand. Thankfully, since I work for Twinlab, I know the ins and outs of everything on and in that bottle.  When the supervisor walks in 3 minutes later, he sits down and asks me some background questions and when he learns that I work for the company that makes that bottle of phytocannabinoids, he immediately loosens up.

After I clarify that hemp-derived phytocannabinoids are 100% legal and contain less than 0.3% THC (not nearly enough to get anyone high), he has no reason to hold me and ultimately lets me go (after a quick fact check). I also miraculously made my flight. Now, since phytocannabinoids are still up and coming in the United States, many people don’t understand the ins and outs of it. If you want to avoid an unpleasant experience like this one here are a couple of things that you need to know before your next trip.

Domestic Travel (USA)

I don’t need to tell you this because you’ve probably heard this from one of your parents a million times: Always make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. That being said, the United States is good news (for the most part). That is, since hemp has been legalized by the amending of the Farm Bill, a lot of companies have begun manufacturing CBD. Now it is important to clarify, CBD isolate IS NOT LEGAL. To be 100% clear, the amending of the Farm Bill makes hemp legal, not CBD. In fact, the FDA still lists CBD as an illegal dietary supplement ingredient. So, companies that are currently producing CBD-isolate (and not Phytocannabinoids) are doing so illegally.

What does that mean for travel?

This means you need to be extra careful about who you’re buying your CBD from. I got lucky that the company that I work for makes accountable products. In an alternate universe, if I had been met face to face with a less friendly TSA officer, and I was carrying CBD isolate, things might have turned out differently. According to TSA regulations, officers are required to report any suspected violation if they encounter one. However, both the DEA and the FDA recognize non-psychoactive CBD products as long as the THC content is below the federal limit of 0.3% THC. And so, as a traveler and CBD consumer, there is ONE THING that you should do before any travel that will save you the unpleasant experience of nearly being arrested, and more importantly, missing your flight: 

Check your COA’s!

This is the quickest way to figure out what’s actually in your bottle of CBD. COA stands for Certificate of Analysis. Most accountable companies will make this available to the public under wherever they are listing their product. This is a test that the manufacturer does to ensure that dosages are all accounted for. For example, a company will test their CBD content to make sure that it matches up with what they’re saying on their label (if they don’t specify their dose to begin with then that should be a red flag). COA’s for CBD/Phytocannabinoid products will typically test for dosages, harmful metals, and THC content. If a company does not have this displayed on their product page, try reaching out to the company to request a copy of their COA. If not, consider buying from a more reputable company to make sure you’re getting more bang for your buck.

An important distinction

It’s important to clarify that each country has different laws. So, if you’re traveling across international borders, make sure that you research that country’s laws to make sure that you’re not smuggling an illegal substance into their borders. In most of Europe, their federal THC limit is .2%, which is less than the US limit. But this is all subject to change! So, make sure that you’re getting this info from a reliable source!

Ultimately, don’t let this scare you off from traveling with Phytocannabinoids. Traveling with phytocannabinoids can make your stressful commute easier, just take simple precautions before you depart.