Airport scanners can detect weed, though not in the way you might think so.
Airport scanners are only able to create detailed images of your luggage that security personnel will then inspect more closely if they see something suspicious.
Based on the range of energy that passes through an airport scanner, images of your items will either come up as orange, green, or blue.
This represents organic material (orange), non-organic materials (green), or metals and hard plastics (blue/black).
What Does Weed Look Like On An Airport Scanner?
On an airport scanner, the color orange represents any biological material.
This includes weed.
A TSA agent will pay particularly close attention to any item that shows up as orange on the scanner because explosives are often partly composed of organic materials like glycerin, and potassium nitrate.
What Do Edibles Look Like on an Airport Scanner?
In this image showing what edibles look like on an airport scanner, you can see that edibles just look like any other food item on an airport scanner.
This is especially true if they are packaged like any other common food item.
If edibles are kept in their original packaging or have a strong smell, it can be a clear giveaway of the contents.
This is how passengers are usually caught when flying with edibles.
Related: Can You Fly With Edibles?
What Happens If An Airport Scanner Detects Weed?
If an airport scanner detects weed, a TSA agent will confiscate the weed and report the passenger to local authorities.
Keep in mind that the process and authorities’ involvement will depend on local state laws and airport ordinances.
Do TSA Agents Even Care About Weed?
It may surprise you to learn that the TSA does not check for drugs. so TSA agents aren’t really concerned with finding your weed.
They are much more interested in dangerous items like explosives and guns.
But a TSA agent has the responsibility of confiscating and reporting any forbidden item to the relevant authorities if discovered, including weed.
How to Hide Weed from Airport Scanners
The best way of hiding weed from airport scanners it to either hide a small amount of weed in body cavities or to carry edibles.
Airport scanners largely cannot detect items inside the human body.
Edibles look just like regular food items as long as they are taken out of their packaging, though the odor can still be an issue.
Other ways passengers have had success hiding weed is by placing small quantities inside shampoo or moisturizer bottles.
States Where Passengers Can Legally Travel With Weed
When it comes to weed, states have their own laws, so the exact process and authorities’ involvement depends on local state laws. Airport ordinances also play a role too.
However, marijuana possession, up to 28.5 grams, is legal in airports like LAX.
In other places, marijuana possession is illegal, inside or outside airports.
Such an example is Texas where if a passenger is caught traveling with weed, they could suffer penalties ranging from fines to prison time.
Airport Future Technology & the Detection of Weed
Terahertz Scanners and advanced CT scanners, which are currently experimental and difficult to mass produce, may be able to detect weed outright.
They use higher frequencies, artificial intelligence and AI, to potentially detect all banned items outright, including weed.
Can Airport Scanners Detect Pills and Other Drugs?
Again, airport scanners are unable to outright detect pills and other drugs.
Detailed images of luggage are created, which security personnel will investigate further if they suspect a passenger is traveling with an illegal or forbidden substance or item.
- What Happens if the TSA Finds Weed in Your Checked Luggage?
- Do Airport Scanners Detect Drugs?
- Can Airport Scanners See Pills?
- What Can Airport Scanners See in Luggage?
- Do Airports Scan Checked Baggage?
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Robert is a seasoned flyer who knows more about commercial air travel than practically anyone else out there due to the time he has spent at airports and on planes over the years for work.