Home TRAVEL TIPS Can You Fly with Edibles? What’s the Risk?

Can You Fly with Edibles? What’s the Risk?

Transporting edibles on a plane, especially those containing cannabis, presents legal challenges and considerations. Within cannabis-legal regions, domestic flights may permit edibles if local laws are adhered to. However, crossing international borders introduces complexities, with many countries strictly regulating or prohibiting cannabis importation.

Airlines play a crucial role, with varying policies on edible transportation. The risk of confiscation exists, even in cannabis-legal areas, if edibles are not declared or violate airline rules. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) focuses on security threats, potentially complicating flying with edibles, especially during international travel.

What are Edibles?

Edibles refer to cannabis-infused food products such as cbd gummies, often containing THC, the compound responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects. These products vary from baked goods and candies to beverages, offering a smoke-free option for cannabis consumption. 

The effects of edibles, which differ significantly from smoking, include a longer onset time and extended duration, factors to be mindful of when considering edibles on a plane. This distinct metabolic process can impact how one experiences edibles during a flight. Moreover, the legal status of edibles varies globally, directly influencing their permissibility in air travel. For those traveling with edibles, understanding their nature and legal implications is crucial for a safe and legal trip.

Can You Bring Edibles On A Plane?

The question of whether you can bring edibles on a plane is complex and depends heavily on various legal and regulatory factors. When considering flying with edibles, it is crucial to understand that laws regarding cannabis products, including edibles, vary widely from one jurisdiction to another. In some regions, possessing cannabis-infused products is legal, but this legality does not necessarily extend to air travel.

When carrying edibles through regions where cannabis is legal, it’s vital to recognize that airspace and airports are often subject to federal laws, where cannabis might still be illegal. This permitted disparity presents a significant risk. Consequently, transporting edibles, even in areas where they are legal at the departure point, can lead to legal complications upon discovery.

Moreover, when traveling with edibles internationally, the risks increase dramatically. Many countries have stringent drug laws, and being caught with cannabis products, including edibles, can lead to severe penalties. It is not just the risk of legal repercussions; there are also considerations about the effects of edibles during a flight. The altitude and pressure changes in an aircraft can potentially alter how your body reacts to THC.

Is It Safe to Pack Edibles in Your Checked Baggage?

When considering flying with edibles, many travelers question if packing them in checked baggage might be a safer option However, the viability and lawfulness of packing edibles in checked baggage depends on several key considerations. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) primarily identifies security threats, not explicitly seeking out drugs. Yet, their thorough screening procedures can inadvertently uncover edibles. In such cases, the legal consequences are as if the edibles were detected in your carry-on baggage.

Additionally, when flying with edibles, the risk doesn’t just lie in the act of transportation and the potential legal repercussions upon arrival. Edibles, like other cannabis products, are subject to the laws of the destination. Even if they are legal in the region you depart, they might not be in your destination. This discrepancy can result in legal issues, regardless of whether the edibles are in checked baggage or carry-on.

Packing edibles in checked luggage doesn’t necessarily mitigate the risks. It is essential to be fully aware of and compliant with the laws and regulations of both your departure and destination points to ensure a hassle-free travel experience.

How to Bring Your Edibles Through Security

Flying with edibles can be a stress-free experience if you plan ahead and follow these essential steps to ensure a smooth journey through airport security.

Use Discreet Packaging

Go for discreet packaging to avoid drawing attention to your edibles. Repackage them in airtight, odor-proof containers or vacuum-sealed bags. Consider using familiar snacks or store-bought packaging to make your edibles blend seamlessly with other food items.

Know Local Laws

Research the laws regarding cannabis and edibles at your destination. Understanding the legal landscape will help you make informed decisions and how to navigate potential issues upon arrival.

Labeling and Documentation

Clearly label your edibles with ingredients and potency levels, especially if you’ve made them yourself. This readily available information can expedite the security check process and may be required in certain jurisdictions.

Follow TSA Guidelines

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) provides guidelines for traveling with medications and other items. While they do not specifically mention edibles, following their general guidelines can help you move through security smoothly. Remember to declare your edibles if asked by security.

Pack in Carry-On

Consider packing your edibles in your carry-on bag rather than checked luggage. This way, you have better control over their safety, and you can quickly access them during security checks if needed.

Limit Quantities

To reduce the likelihood of any issues, only bring the amount of edibles you’ll need for your trip. Avoid excess quantities that may raise suspicion during security screenings.

Choose Non-Liquid Edibles

Opt for non-liquid edibles to simplify the security process. Liquids can be subject to additional scrutiny, so choosing solid or gummy edibles may help avoid unnecessary delays. 

What Happens if You’re Caught with Edibles at Airport Security?

A journey with edibles involves potential legal risks, and understanding the consequences if caught at airport security is crucial. The phrase “flying with edibles” encapsulates the challenges and considerations of transporting such items.

If a security person discovers edibles during screening, outcomes can vary based on several factors. In regions where cannabis is legal, especially for medical use, having a reasonable quantity may result in confiscation but little more. However, international travel, even between legal regions, raises complexities due to differing laws.

Airports often collaborate with local law enforcement. If caught with edibles in a non-legal jurisdiction, legal consequences may follow. This could include fines, confiscation, or, in severe cases, arrest. Ignorance of local laws is not a valid defense, highlighting the need for thorough research before flying with edibles.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) primarily focuses on security threats, not specifically searching for drugs. If edibles are detected, they may refer the matter to law enforcement. While the TSA does not enforce drug laws, they cooperate with authorities who do.

Certain airports, like Las Vegas’ McCarran International, offer “amnesty boxes” for travelers to safely discard cannabis and related items. Meanwhile, Denver International Airport (DIA) maintains a strict cannabis prohibition, with a notable increase in confiscated items from 115 in 2017 to 635 in 2018. 

Passengers facing confiscation typically undergo interviews with Denver police officers. Amnesty boxes are also available at O’Hare International and Chicago Midway International. These designated disposal points provide a solution for passengers unintentionally carrying cannabis into airports, allowing compliance without legal consequences, reflecting the varied approaches among airports.

Tips for Safely Traveling with Edibles

Traveling with edibles requires careful planning to ensure a smooth and trouble-free journey. Whether you’re carrying cannabis-infused treats or other types of edibles, consider the following tips to navigate the process safely.

Ensuring legal travel with edibles involves maintaining a Delta 9 THC content below 0.3% on a dry weight basis. TSA requires substantial evidence of this compliance. To navigate this, adhere to the following steps:

  • Packaging: Keep edibles in their original, sealed packaging, clearly stating ingredients and meeting legal requirements. Unopened packaging reduces the likelihood of TSA questioning the contents.
  • MOOD Packaging: Simplify the process with MOOD Packaging, incorporating a QR code on all products. TSA can scan this code to access 3rd party lab test results, verifying legal compliance for flying with edibles.
  • THC Limits: Abide by the 0.3% Delta 9 THC limit and ensure the absence of illegal substances like THC-O. Proving THC content, displaying no intent to traffic, and traveling between legalized destinations enhance the likelihood of a smooth boarding experience.
  • Check Airline Policies: Familiarize yourself with the policies of the airline you’ll be flying with. Different carriers may have specific rules regarding the transportation of edibles, so knowing these in advance will prevent surprises at the airport.
  • Use Discreet Packaging: Opt for discreet packaging to avoid drawing attention to your edibles. Consider resealing them in airtight, odor-proof containers or using inconspicuous packaging to blend them with other snacks.
  •  Know TSA Guidelines: Understand the general guidelines provided by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). While they don’t specifically search for edibles, knowing their guidelines can help you navigate security screenings more smoothly.
  • Pack in Carry-On: Consider packing your edibles in your carry-on bag rather than checked luggage. This way, you have better control over their safety, and you can easily access them during security checks if necessary.
  • Choose Non-Liquid Edibles: Opt for non-liquid edibles to simplify the security process. Solid or gummy edibles are less likely to cause delays or additional scrutiny.
  • Stay Informed During Layovers: If you have layovers, be aware of the regulations at each airport you pass through. Stay informed to navigate different security protocols seamlessly.
  • Be Courteous and Cooperative: If security personnel have questions about your edibles, remain calm and cooperative. Being transparent and courteous can contribute to a smoother experience.

So, Can You Travel With Edibles?

Yes, you can travel with edibles, but it requires careful consideration. Research and adhere to the specific laws at your departure and destination. Ensure edibles comply with legal THC limits, pack them discreetly in original, sealed packaging, and be prepared to declare them if asked by airport security. Following these guidelines increases the likelihood of a smooth and trouble-free travel experience with edibles.

FAQs About Flying With Edibles

Q. Can you consume edibles before a flight?

It’s generally legal, but the timing is crucial. Consider the duration of the flight, potential delays, and the onset of effects. Be mindful of local laws at your departure and arrival points.

Q. Can Drug Dogs Smell Edible Gummies at the Airport?

Yes, Drug dogs can detect cannabis, but well-packaged edibles may reduce the likelihood of detection. However, it’s not foolproof.

Q. How Should I Pack Edibles for a Flight?

Pack edibles in original, sealed packaging with clear ingredient labels to ease security checks. Consider discrete containers to avoid drawing attention.

Q. Do I Need to Declare Edibles at Airport Security?

Yes, declare edibles if asked. Transparency is key to a smooth screening process.

Q. Will edibles get through TSA?

While TSA primarily focuses on security threats, they may discover edibles. Following guidelines and declaring them enhances the chance of a hassle-free experience.

Q. Can I fly with Delta 8 gummies?

Delta 8 THC legality varies. Research and comply with laws at departure and arrival locations to avoid legal issues during travel.