People worldwide enjoy traveling, but some suffer from flight anxiety. This phobia can keep even the most adventurous people grounded. For some travelers, the use of cars, trains, buses, and boats is an acceptable alternative. For others, a means to reduce the fear and anxiety around flying is needed to broaden their travel experiences.
Luckily, there are several methods for tackling the fear of flying. One of them is cannabis-infused products; CBD and THC strains can help, depending on which consumption method you choose.
Perhaps you’ve wondered if taking edibles before flying works, whether or not it’s legal to fly with edibles, and if you’re allowed to bring cannabis products onboard domestic and international flights or eat edibles mid-flight.
Read on for the answers to these crucial questions and more.
How many Americans use weed?
According to an August 2021 poll:
- 49% of Americans have tried marijuana, up from 45% in 2017 and 2019
- 12% of U.S. adults say that they smoke marijuana
- Smoking weed is most common among younger adults
Can weed help with flight anxiety?
Recent studies prove that CBD and THC cannabinoids can help to reduce anxiety. This is due to the unique way that these cannabinoids react within the endocannabinoid system. The ECS controls and regulates the way that human beings feel and perceive anxiety and fear.
Here are a few ways that cannabis can help relieve unpleasant symptoms while flying:
- calming and relaxing
- anxiety reducing
- decreasing nausea
- boosting appetite
- promoting sleep
- relieving pain and stiffness
CBD and anxiety
CBD has been shown in research to affect different forms of anxiety disorders positively. It has been shown to reduce stress. CBD has beneficial effects on general anxiety disorder and other severe conditions of anxiety, including post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
Studies in mice and rats showed lower heart rates and less stress when CBD is used during a large portion of their entire life.
TSA and Marijuana
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website states:
“Marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law except for cannabis products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA. ( see the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L 115-334.) A TSA officer is required by federal law to report any suspected violations of law to local, state, or federal authorities.”
“TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers and dangerous items. Accordingly, TSA officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs. Still, if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA security officers will refer the matter to a local police officer.”
Federal Airport Laws
- The FAA strongly prohibits pilots from transporting marijuana on a plane
- Secure areas of the airport, beyond TSA security, are federal property and marijuana is not allowed according to federal law
- The United States federal government does not allow marijuana on any airline and can search your bag and take the weed in possession
- Passengers are allowed to have drug paraphernalia- used to consume, conceal, or produce marijuana
- Medical marijuana and recreational have the same federal provisions and this applies across state lines, regardless if they are legal states, flying with edibles is prohibited
- CBD with low THC and hemp-derived products are federally legal, thus allowed in your bag and on a plane
State and City Airport laws
The Los Angeles International Airport states the following about flying with edibles and other weed products:
“As of January 1, 2018, California law allows for individuals 21 years of age or older to possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana for personal consumption. With the change in state law, the city updated the Los Angeles Airport Police Division (APD) regarding marijuana to reflect this change. California Peace Officers have no jurisdiction to arrest individuals if they are complying with state law.
However, airport guests should be aware that Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening stations are under federal jurisdiction. Also, passengers should be aware that marijuana laws vary state by state, and they are encouraged to check the laws of the states in which they plan to travel.”
As for other U.S. airports, marijuana is still federally illegal, and the federal government runs post-security areas at airports. So, in legal states like Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Alaska, and Nevada, bringing legally purchased pot past a security checkpoint can still trigger a TSA or local police response. This response could risk confiscation of the weed in your possession if found by drug dogs, a fine, or even worse if you get caught in most states.
What other items can I fly with?
Per TSA’s screening procedures, carry on and checked bags may contain the following:
- small bottles/containers of toiletries
- Electronics and other valuables
- Prescription or over-the-counter medications
- Clothing and personal necessities
- Just food and drink after airport security check
Tips for flying with Weed
When you fly with edibles, flowers, concentrate, CBD oil, it’s vital not to get caught with it in your bag. Here are a few tips for bringing cannabis-infused food and other cannabis products on the plane.
How much weed should I bring?
In your checked bag, you risk the weed getting searched and seized by TSA or police, so it’s recommended to store cannabis in a plastic tube or something discreet and place a small amount in your carry-on luggage.
It doesn’t seem smart or safe to fly on an airplane with a large amount of cannabis in your bag. Bring edibles and keep them out of your checked luggage for best results on the plane.
Airport security is a time-consuming yet necessary safety step before flying on a plane. It can be made more accessible with slip-on shoes, less jewelry, and by following the proper steps given by the TSA officer.
While scanners nor security agents are focusing on weed or any other drugs in carry-on bags, they are required by law to report it if seen. That being said, there are many ways to fly with weed discreetly. Be smart.
Edibles vs Vape, Concentrate, Flower
When it comes to bringing weed on a plane, flying with edibles is the easiest. Passengers are allowed to bring food for personal use on planes, so it’s a simple packaging situation, and you’re gummy bear or other edibles can take off alongside you in your carry-on bags.
Vape carts can be easily placed in a carry-on; however, be sure to keep it below three ounces. Cannabis tincture and concentrate can also be concealed, but flowers would be difficult to get by TSA agents due to smell and size.
Can I drive to another state with weed?
Although you won’t have to deal with TSA, driving with weed across state lines can be a big risk. It can also put your other passengers in harm’s way, even if they know about your weed possession. Some local police in illegal states have targeted incoming vehicles with plates from those from other states more lax state laws regarding marijuana. Breaking local laws about drugs can result in a hefty fine and possibly a court date.
If you’re going to travel with weed, don’t bring cannabis flowers along for the trip; the smell will be your downfall. Pack some gummies, edibles, CBD oil, or a vape pen in the bottom of a bag, grab some food for sitting in the car, hit the road, stay on course, and stick to the speed limit.
Best Edible Recipes for the Plane
This is the perfect cannabutter recipe because it can be the building block for many edibles.
- Melt butter in a saucepan (add a tsp of water to keep from burning)
- Add your ground, decarboxylated weed and simmer for two or three hours
- Strain the butter into an airtight container using cheesecloth
- Refrigerate jar of cannabutter
Wake-n-Bake Breakfast Sandwiches
Two slices Bread
Two Large Eggs
Two slices Bacon
Two slices cheese
In a large pan, cook the bacon and scrambled eggs. Assemble the sandwich as follows: 1 slice of bread, canna-buttered side up; 1 slice cheese; 1 slice bacon; scrambled eggs; 1 piece bacon; 1 slice cheese; and one slice of bread. Press the sandwich together and place in the oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Enjoy!
Top Weed Strains for Travelers
These strains range from high CBD high THC to a perfect balance of both. However, they are all known for reducing anxiety, promoting sleep, or providing happiness and euphoria.
There’s sure to be a helpful strain on this list for everyone.
- Blue Dream
- Northern Lights
- King Louis XIII
- Sour Tangie
- Tahoe Cure
- Durban Poison
- Blueberry Cookies
- Zkittles Glue
- Nightingale High CBD
At Leafy Mate, we are not suggesting you attempt to sneak weed past the transportation security administration or any other airport security or break any federal laws. We based this information provided on the TSA.gov official ruling on flying with edibles or weed in checked bags or carry-on luggage.
Since most travel laws are regarding medical marijuana, we wanted to educate people who are curious about recreational laws and how and when to legally bring weed or edibles on an airplane without a medical marijuana card.
Technically, per their government website, the TSA says you can put marijuana edibles in your carry-on bag along with your medical card. It’s not advised to put it in your checked baggage because the TSA agents do random searches on checked luggage. Legally, we always recommend checking local and state guidelines as well as federal laws before traveling.