HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Federal agents have a warning for people who use CBD oil. The popular hemp extract could land you in a lot of trouble if you try to take it with you to the airport.
At least 41 travelers at Bush and Hobby airports had their CBD oil seized by federal agents in fiscal year 2018, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.
On international flights, airport security is in the lookout for your bottle of CBD oil.
"The passenger should know that if they are carrying CBD oil, they may face a delay," said Alicia Tellez, a watch commander for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol At Bush Airport. "Travelers crossing through our ports of entry may have their luggage searched, their carry-ons searched."
On domestic flights, TSA officials say illegal drugs are not the focus of their search, but if they happen to see something suspicious, they do call police.
The cannabis product is rising in popularity—touted as a natural remedy for pain and anxiety—but many CBD oils contain trace amounts of THC, the illegal substance that gives marijuana users a high.
Airport Customs and Border Protection agents are armed with kits and ready to test the purity of a bottle of CBD oil on the spot.
“If a passenger is suspected of carrying a controlled substance, we will test that substance,” said Tellez. “It only takes a few seconds to get a positive or a negative response.”
If THC is detected, Houston Police narcotics officers are called to the scene. Arrests are possible.
“We will seek prosecution,” said Tellez.
At a federal level, trace amounts of THC in CBD oil are now legal at .3 percent or less, but Texas law does not allow for any presence of THC in your cannabis oil.
Customs and Border Protection agents did not clarify what percentage of THC they test for but said you may risk getting pulled aside for testing if you are discovered to be carrying CBD oil.
“We strongly suggest that the passengers inform themselves before they travel,” said Tellez.
Fox 26 asked Houston Police about arrests and seizures related to CBD oil at Bush and Hobby airports. They did not readily have that information available, but said they were working on getting it.