Can You Bring a Vape on a Plane?

Can You Bring a Vape on a Plane?

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Can you bring a vape on a plane? Perhaps not an age-old question, but it's increasingly one cannabis lovers are thinking about as they pack for their next flight or summer vacation. Figuring out what's allowable in the nexus of federal, state, and airline regulations isn't exactly straightforward.

The general rule of thumb is that, yes, you can bring a vape on a plane, provided it's in your carry-on bags and contains only hemp. But, as with all things cannabis, there are nuances to this rule you might want to research before you take off.

Legality of THC Vapes

We live in a country where state laws and federal laws are often at odds. Despite being federally banned, marijuana is legal for medical purposes in 40 states and approved for recreational enjoyment in 24.

Hemp, on the other hand, is federally legal. Still, various state legislatures have set restrictions on certain hemp-derived cannabinoids. 

When it comes to the legality of any cannabis product, state laws should be considered. But generally, it all boils down to whether the product contains hemp-derived cannabinoids in a legally compliant concentration of Delta-9 THC.

Hemp vs Marijuana

judge's gavel on cannabis leaves to indicate legality

In 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act (also known as the 2018 Farm Bill) legalized hemp (and "any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids…"), provided it contains no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis. Thanks to this change in definition, hemp is no longer classified under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

On the other hand, marijuana is a legal term that defines plants and products that do contain over 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis. Although many states have legalized marijuana for medicinal and/or recreational adult purposes, as of this writing,  at the federal level, marijuana is still illegal and regulated under the CSA.

Technically, both marijuana and hemp are the very same species of plant — Cannabis sativa L. However, hemp has been bred specifically for its naturally low THC levels, which means hemp is now legally cultivated, sold, and enjoyed across the country.

How is THC Legal?

Here is where it gets confusing. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and its derivatives are federally legal if they contain no more than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC by dry weight. 

Importantly, this regulation doesn't limit the actual milligram amount of THC, only its proportion relative to the product's dry weight. This is especially pertinent to hemp products like edibles and gummies. 

But what about vapes? Many hemp-derived vapes contain alternative cannabinoids. Think HHC, Delta-8, THCA liquid diamonds, and the like. Regulations for other hemp-derived cannabinoid products like Delta-8 THC or THCA liquid diamonds are less stringent than they are for Delta-9. Both of these compounds are still in the THC family of cannabinoids but are structurally different enough that they don't fall under the same restrictions at any concentration

Just keep in mind that state laws may impose additional restrictions on these hemp-derived cannabinoids, so you'll want to do your research before takeoff.

Flying with Hemp Products: General Guidelines for Vapes on Planes

man with his luggage about to depart on a plane

Based on the rules outlined by the 2018 Farm Bill, it is legal to travel within the United States with a hemp or hemp-derived product. But a vape isn't just another pair of socks to toss in your suitcase. You'll want to follow a few guidelines to ensure that your next trip is a smooth one.

Carry-On Luggage Only

According to the TSA rules, "Electronic smoking devices are allowed only in carry-on baggage." This rule applies mainly because of vape batteries. All electronic devices, vape-related or not, must also abide by it. 

The TSA mandates that lithium-ion batteries not exceed a watt-hour rating of 100 Wh or a lithium content of two grams for lithium metal batteries. These rules cover 510 threaded-type vapes.

Separate the Battery

The TSA recommendations for traveling with a vape also suggest taking additional "effective measures" to prevent accidental activation. 

As per the TSA suggestions, you can separate the battery from the cartridge, place it in a protective case, or secure it to prevent it from accidentally turning on in your bag. Whether it's a disposable vape or a rechargeable one, separate the battery or place it inside a carrying case for the flight.

Hemp Only

Due to the patchwork of legislation governing THC-rich cannabis (aka marijuana) products from one state to the next, only travel with hemp-derived products. Even if you are flying between two legal states, airports, and airlines technically fall under federal law. To prevent any confusion with airport security staff during your pre-flight baggage screening, only fly with clearly labeled hemp vapes. 

Fortunately, Hometown Hero’s line of disposable vapes is made with only hemp-derived cannabinoids like mood-lifting HHC, Delta-8 THC, THCA liquid diamonds, and THCP, all in a specially formulated 2-gram or 5-gram blend. With a variety of cannabis and botanical extracts to enjoy, you don’t have to compromise on a potent, euphoric experience in order to comply with the rules.

Interstate Only

If you want to bring a vape on an international flight, you'll want to think again. Even if you are flying in a cannabis-friendly country like Canada, crossing international borders with any cannabis products (hemp included) is completely illegal and will land you in hot waters with federal or local authorities. 

With that said, it’s also recommended to double-check the cannabis and hemp regulations at your destination. As mentioned, certain states have adopted legislation to ban hemp-derived cannabinoids.

Save it Until After You Land

woman vaping in a beautiful summer vacation spot santorini beach

For the duration of your time in airports and onboard your flight, you’ll want to keep your vape device tucked away in your carry-on. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has banned vaping on planes, and airports have similar stipulations. Don’t take it out to charge it or, worse, take a few puffs, at any point. 

Beware of Specific Airlines' Rules

Before hopping on your next Delta or American Airlines flight with a stash of vapes in your carry-on, double-check the specific airline rules. Regulations can change anytime, and you wouldn't want to miss your boarding time because of a security screening snafu.

Can You Bring a THC Vape on a Plane?

hhc vape closeup

Short answer: Yes! You can bring a THC vape on a plane. But the longer answer is that you can only fly with hemp-derived vaping devices and must always pack them in your carry-on luggage. We'd also recommend double-checking the airline regulations before your flight to ensure you and your vape pens are cleared for takeoff.

Until next time, safe travels, and mind your mind.

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