Ready or not, the holiday season is riding up our rears like a good old fashioned prison romance. It’s so close, in fact, that we can actually feel its hot, stank breath gnawing at the back of our necks. Wait, that’s not the holidays, it’s just some strange bearded bastard wearing a Santa suit that was probably pulled out of a dumpster out behind the American Legion. All he wants is some spare change, and he’ll leave us alone. Sure, why not. Here’s a nickel or two, you ho-ho-hobo, get yourself a bottle of the good stuff. It is Christmas time, after all. No man should go sober.
Man, that bum reminds us just how rough the holidays can be. It’s a stressful time of year, and not just for the poor slobs out there dancing for dimes and a bottle of hooch. There are holiday schedules to keep, family to visit, presents to buy, wrap and ship, and, hell, some of us even get to experience the torture that is holiday travel. And there is nothing worse than being in an airport this time of year. Except maybe for the aforementioned prison romance. But it’s a close call.
To combat the perils of the season, we suspect a butt-load of you plan to take along your trusty CBD (cannabidiol) to help tame all sorts of shit-eating woes. There are those inevitably vicious bouts of anxiety that come after Uncle Joe goes on a tirade about Trump, right down to those hangovers that strike after we are forced to spend more than 10 hours in an airport bar waiting for a flight.
But before you toss that bottle of CBD in your baggage this holiday season, there are a few things you should know before you reach the terminal. Otherwise, you could find yourself on the naughty list.
The first thing is that CBD is now mostly legal in the United States. That was made possible when Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill. But it’s only permitted if the substance contains no more than 0.3 percent of the stoner compound known as THC. Typically, this criteria can be met relatively easy with most of the hemp-derived products that are now available on the market. It’s the stuff manufactured from the cannabis plant (available mostly in legal dispensaries) that has a tendency to jam people up. So, you’re going to want to make sure that the CBD in your bag is made from hemp (preferably labeled as such) to avoid any unnecessary shakedowns at the security checkpoint.
“Marijuana and certain cannabis infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law, except for products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA,” reads a medical marijuana explainer on the TSA website.
Still, regardless of how much THC is in your CBD product, traveling with it can sometimes be problematic. TSA agents are not exactly professionals when it comes to distinguishing between this legal substance and our old friend marijuana. But they are there to stop terrorists from sneaking things like bombs and firearms onto planes, so, quite honestly, they do not give two flying squirts about people and their CBD. Travelers can pack CBD in their carry on or in checked baggage. Just be sure that any liquid form of it follows the 3.4 ounces or less restriction, and you’ll be okay.
That doesn’t mean TSA won’t snitch you out to the local cops if they find your CBD bottle questionable. There have been a handful of cases over the past year where travelers with CBD have incurred problems with the law. But that’s happening less since TSA made a clarification earlier this year.
“Products that contain hemp-derived CBD oil or are FDA-approved are generally legal & can fly,” the agency said in a Twitter post.
But maybe try not to pass off marijuana oils or edibles as CBD to sneak it on the plane. TSA still says that’s not cool, and it could make for a not so happy holiday. It’s not that TSA sets out to bust people for cannabis-related violations or anything, but they probably won’t let them slide either.
“TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer,” the TSA website reads.
However, international travel is an entirely different beast. Sure, U.S. officials are still struggling with the legality of CBD, but it’s pretty cut and dry in other regions of the world. They don’t like cannabis. Some countries, like China, Egypt, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Saudi Arabia, are still executing people who get busted with anything derived from the cannabis plant. These blood thirsty fucks do not care that your CBD is made from hemp or that it’s for medicinal purposes. Not a chance. They’ll just toss you in the slammer and string you up from a tree someplace for drug trafficking. Even the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs advises people this season to leave CBD at home when traveling out of the country.
“Make sure your gift isn’t a fa la la la la la la la la fail,” reads a recent Twitter post. “Bringing along gifts like drones, CBD oils, and firearms can land you in trouble in foreign countries. Research what is and isn’t allowed before you travel.”
There will come a day, eventually, when CBD no longer lingers in some kind of strange federal purgatory between legal and not. But for now, just know there could be hassles for those who travel with this substance. And another thing. If you happen to feel the holidays breathing down your neck this year, please consider that it might just be some old bum trying to cozy up to you for a quarter.