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 Weed Looks 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 Weed Looks Like on an Airport Scanner
Source: tsatestprep

What 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.

What Weed Edibles Look Like on an Airport Scanner
Source: Wired

Related: Can You Fly With Edibles?

What Happens When 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.

TSA Agents Don’t Really 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.

Airport Scanners Can’t Ouright 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.

Robert is an expert in commercial air travel with decades of experience in the travel industry, and has spent countless hours in airports and on planes for work.
Robert therefore has an unrivaled understanding of everything related to commercial air travel, and has been quoted or mentioned in major publications, such as Insider, Trip Savvy, ZDNet, and Bored Panda, showcasing his extensive knowledge and expertise in the field.