With an estimated 20% of Americans using weed at least once a month, there are many people out there who want to know if they can bring weed on their next flight.

Unfortunately, as weed is illegal on a federal level and as airports and airplanes are under federal jurisdiction, you are not allowed to bring weed on a plane.

But are there exceptions if you have a medical marijuana card or when flying between two states where weed is legal?

What happens if the TSA finds your weed?

Can you bring a dab pen on a plane?

These are just a few of the questions we answer in this article.

You Can’t Fly With Weed Even If You Have Medical Marijuana Card

Even if you have a medical marijuana card, no exemptions are made.

You still won’t be able to fly with weed.

Weed is illegal on a federal level, so there are no exemptions for marijuana outside of the state in which the exemption is issued.

The only exception is FDA-approved medical marijuana, such as Epidiolex, which is legal to bring on a plane.

And Even If You Fly Between Two States Where Weed is Legal

Even though there are no exemptions for marijuana outside of the state in which the exemption is issued, this still doesn’t mean that you can bring weed on a plane between two states where weed is legal.

Again, weed is illegal on a federal level, so the legality of weed in the state makes no difference.

Leave the Edibles At Home

At this point, we think you get the picture.

You cannot fly with edibles because weed is again illegal on a federal level.

However, though we would not recommend it, there is less chance of getting caught with edibles.

This is because if you take edibles out of their original packaging and package them like any other common food item, you only need to worry about the smell.

Keep in mind that dogs have no problem sniffing out the weed contained in edibles, so if there is a TSA dog at the airport, you will likely be caught.

What Happens if the TSA Finds Weed

If a TSA officer discovers that you are trying to bring weed on a plane, they have a duty to report you to law enforcement.

However, depending on the state you are in when your weed is discovered can make a big difference.

If in a state where weed is legal, such as California, and if just a small amount of weed is found, the TSA agent may simply confiscate your weed unless there is a large amount of weed involved.

If in a state where weed is illegal, law enforcement will very likely be involved and there will be much more severe consequences.

TSA Agents Don’t Actually Care About Weed

It may surprise you to hear that the TSA doesn’t actually really care about weed.

The TSA state that:

“TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers.

Accordingly, 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.”

In other words, while the TSA are not actively looking for passengers who bring weed on a plane, they will still report you because it is their duty to do so.

The TSA have far more important things to look for and be worried about that are much more of a direct threat to aviation safety.

Related: What Happens if the TSA Finds Weed in Your Checked Luggage?

You Can Bring a Dab Pen on a Plane

You can bring a dab pen on a plane as long as it does not contain any illegal substance.

You can only pack an empty dab pen in your carry on and not your checked bags.

As Well as Some Types of CBD Oil

Unless the CBD oil “contains no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or is approved by FDA”, it is illegal to bring CBD oil on a plane.

This means that Epidiolex, which is the only FDA-approved cannabis-derived medication, is legal to bring on a plane and cross state lines while flying.

And CBD Gummies

As long as the CBD gummies don’t contain more than 0.3% THC, you can bring CBD gummies on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.

And Even a Grinder

According to the TSA, you can bring a grinder on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags, though you will definitely want to make sure that it is completely empty of any weed residue.

We recommend only flying with brand new grinders.

Never Bring Weed on an International Flight

Weed is still illegal in the vast majority of countries worldwide, so you should not even think about trying to bring weed on a plane when flying internationally, as the consequences will be even more severe than in the USA.

In Canada, though, as long as you are flying domestically, you are allowed to bring up to 30 grams on a plane.

It is still illegal to transport cannabis and all products containing cannabis (including products containing CBD) across the Canadian border, though.

What Weed Looks Like on an Airport Scanner

The way an airport scanner works is that when an item passes through the scanner, it either comes up as orange, green, or blue.

This represents organic material (orange), non-organic materials (green), or metals and hard plastics (blue/black).

As weed is organic matter, it comes up as orange.

Because explosives are often composed of organic materials, at least in part, they also come up orange, which means a TSA officer may pay closer attention to your luggage and will then discover your weed.

If flying with edibles, they will look like any other food item, though.

We go in more depth in our What Does Weed Look Like on an Airport Scanner article.

What Happens If An Airport Scanner Detects Weed

An airport scanner can’t outright detect weed.

Airport scanners only function as a tool for TSA officers to take a closer look at a passenger’s luggage is they suspect something suspicious.

But when a TSA agent opens up your luggage and finds out that you are trying to bring weed on a plane, they will report you to law enforcement as is their responsibility.

The Best Way of Hiding Weed When Flying

The best way of hiding weed when flying is to either hide a small amount of weed in body cavities or to carry edibles.

This is because airport scanners are largely unable to detect items inside the human body, and TSA officers also only conduct body searches during bombs or weapons searches, which are rare.

As long as you take edibles out of their original packaging and are only carrying a small amount, there is more chance of being able to successfully hide weed when you fly.

Other potential ways of hiding weed include placing small quantities inside shampoo or moisturizer bottles.

Of course, all this rests that there isn’t a TSA dog present that will be easily be able to sniff out your weed.

Airport Scanners Can’t Outright Detect Pills and Other Drugs

Just like with weed, airport scanners aren’t able to outright detect if a passenger is attempting to fly with an illegal substance, like pills and other drugs.

An airport scanner is just a tool that airport security officers will use to take a closer look at your luggage if they spot something suspicious on the scanner.

Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.

Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.

Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).