The legality around flying with Delta-8 is complicated. Delta-8 is already a controversial chemical compound before you add in the restrictive rules and regulations that come with airline travel.
The short answer is yes – you can fly with delta-8, as long as you’re flying domestically in the US to and from states where it is legal.
What is Delta-8?
Delta-8 is a naturally occurring minor cannabinoid that’s closely related to delta-9 THC. It’s gained popularity recently by exploiting a legal loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill and exists in a legal gray area. Despite this, delta-8 THC is not explicitly federally legal and legality varies by state.
Furthermore, this hemp-derived psychotropic cannabinoid market has not avoided regulatory scrutiny, and the FDA continues to issue warnings to the public and also to delta-8 makers around the safety and claims associated with these products.
It’s always a risky decision to fly with cannabis products, and delta-8 is no different because it’s nearly indistinguishable from regular THC products. If you are flying with delta-8 products, carrying lab test results or a certificate of analysis (COA) certifying the contents may help mitigate any issues that may arise.
What types of Delta-8 products can I fly with?
Federal regulations state that no hemp-derived product can exceed 0.3% THC – meaning delta-9 THC. Since delta-8 products are produced from legal hemp plants that technically comply with this regulation, you can (in theory) take them with you on a plane. We do not recommend doing so.
In practice, things get tricky. Getting caught with any kind of cannabis product in an airport can land you in hot water with local or federal authorities, and “how hot” will likely depend on local laws and jurisdiction. Because delta-8 falls in a federal gray area, there is always some risk associated with possession and use. Additionally, delta-8 laws vary from state to state and the compound is illegal in several states. It’s important to know the regulations of the state you’re flying out of and to before getting to the airport.
However, if you use common sense and discretion, you can likely get from point A to point B with your delta-8 products.
Some forms of cannabis are more discreet than others.
Flying with cannabis flower is the riskiest choice, due to the easily indefinable shape and smell of the plant. Prepare to be flagged if you fly with delta-8 flower; have your COA ready as it may be challenging to explain to TSA or police officer that your weed is technically hemp and not marijuana. Gummies and other edibles are more discreet, so long as the packaging doesn’t scream cannabis or your edibles have a pungent aroma stinking up the security line. You’re allowed to go through TSA screening with outside food, and snacking on a gummy or two is unlikely to raise suspicion. Oil and tinctures are also discreet, and easier to hide in your luggage – but make sure you don’t exceed the liquid limit or you could be flagged, and you may consider a ziplock bag to avoid a mess if it leaks. Vape cartridges are also fairly easy to pass through airport security, thanks to the popularity of tobacco vape cartridges. Be sure to keep these in your carry-on, as vape batteries are not allowed in checked luggage, and ensure your cartridge is also under the liquid limit. Once again, a COA could be handy if you do end up having to explain yourself to authorities.
What happens if you’re caught with delta-8 products? According to the 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, they’ll pass it along to the police in the airport.
Even if you’re in a state where delta-8 is legal, you still run the risk of having your product confiscated and thrown out, especially given the likelihood of confusion with delta-9 products, the lack of clear guidance under federal law, or if you’re dealing with a cranky agent. But if you’re in a state where it isn’t legal, you could be in hot water.
Airline & Airport Rules
Not all airlines have a written cannabis policy, but most prohibit it on flights due to federal prohibition.
Airline Does not allow cannabis No written policy SouthwestXAmerican Airlines XDelta XUnited XSpirit XAlaskaXJetBlue X
In some states where weed is legal, you can fly with cannabis products. These airports include O’Hare and Midway in Chicago as well as airports in California and Massachusetts. But this doesn’t apply to all legal states – no cannabis is allowed in airports in Nevada or Colorado.
Flying domestically vs internationally
While there is some risk because delta-8 is not explicitly legal under federal law, you may be safe flying domestically in the US with delta-8 products as long as you’re flying to and from a state where delta-8 is legal. However, there are a number of states where delta-8 is illegal, and even more where products are restricted. And the laws are always changing. Always research local laws for your destination before you travel.
Delta-8 is currently banned or restricted in at least 20 US states, including:
AlaskaArizonaArkansasCalifornia ColoradoConnecticutDelawareKentucky Idaho IowaMichiganMississippi MontanaNew YorkNevadaNorth DakotaRhode IslandUtahVermontWashington
It is not recommended to fly internationally with any form of cannabis or hemp products, delta-8 included. Many countries have far more restrictive laws on cannabis than the US, and penalties can range from a hefty fine to jail time. Customs is a high-risk area for getting caught with weed, so skip the stress and just leave it at home. Traveling and not sure about the local cannabis laws? Check out The Cannigma regulation pages.
Using Delta 8 products at the airport
While you absolutely cannot smoke or vape cannabis products in any US airport, you may still be able to take your tincture or edibles. Police officers and TSA agents aren’t patrolling the airport looking for people eating gummies or dropping tinctures, but use common sense and discretion. Don’t use your vape or try to light up until you’re outside of the airport.
You can fly domestically with delta-8 to certain states. If you do, bring your product’s COA and proof of purchase with you – both will make it easier to prove what you’re carrying is legal if you get flagged. (If your delta-8 product doesn’t come with a COA, don’t buy it.)
Don’t take unnecessary risks by flying to states where delta-8 is illegal, and never try to leave the country or enter another country carrying cannabis products – the risk simply isn’t worth it.