Flying with a THC vape pen can be a concern for all kinds of reasons.
After all, you need some awareness of the rules when you’re flying with liquids or electronics. Vapes, of course, contain both of those.
Plus, there’s the added concern of the THC inside. That might be legal and fine in the state you’re departing. But you also need to consider the place you’re going to.
So, can you take THC vapes on a plane? What about disposables? In this article, we’ll check out everything you need to know.
Can you bring vapes on a plane?
Depending on where you are in the world, it’s important to understand what the local laws say about what you are and are not allowed to bring onto an aircraft.
In the US, the TSA is the body in charge of deciding what those rules are. TSA rules currently say:
“Battery-powered E-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape pens, atomizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems may only be carried in the aircraft cabin (in carry-on baggage or on your person).”
That’s pretty clear. Yes, you can fly with a vape pen. But you need to put it and all other spare components you might have – in the form of other cartridges, batteries, your charger – all need to be in your carry-on or hand baggage.
It’s good to remember that the TSA isn’t just saying this for fun. Most vapes are powered by a lithium battery that can, under certain very unlikely circumstances, ignite. It takes a lot of heat or strange conditions to make this happen. But you are on a plane, so it’s best to keep yours where they can be easily accessed.
Can you fly with a weed pen?
Okay, that’s the machinery of a standard vape out of the way. But what about the THC inside? Well, the TSA is a federal agency. That means when you’re flying across the US, you’re under federal jurisdiction.
While THC and marijuana, in general, might be legal in the state you were just in, it is currently still illegal at the federal level. This means that even flying with a disposable THC vape pen is a bit of a risk.
You won’t be actively searched for marijuana before getting on a plane. But if you’re searched for any other reason and there is any sort of suspicion around what’s in your vape, you’re likely to get turned over to local authorities. In short, it’s probably not a risk worth taking.
That said, this is a situation most likely to occur if you are trying to transport large quantities of marijuana or multiple vapes and it looks like you’re intending to distribute in some fashion – especially if you’re traveling from a state where marijuana is legal to one where it’s not.
How to go through TSA and airport security checkpoints
As long as you’ve got your vaping equipment in your carry-on luggage and you’ve left the THC at home, you should have no worries going through any airport security checkpoint. But do be aware that you might have to:
1) Explain what your vape is
Most people – especially TSA agents – have now come across vapes and vaping equipment multiple times.
As long as yours is pretty standard, you shouldn’t have a problem. But do be prepared to answer any questions they might have about it, particularly if yours is in any way custom.
2) Prove that it is what you say it is
Picture how your vaping equipment looks to your standard TSA agent. If you’re taking disposable vape pens on a plane, that’s one thing. Everything is self-contained within the slim casing.
But what if your vape contains random spare coils, bits of wire, or other complicated components that all look a little bit – dare we say it – bomb-adjacent.
If your vape is any way suspicious looking, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to activate and use it to prove it is what you say it is.
That’s why it’s normally a good idea to charge and load your vape before getting on a plane, remembering you’re under federal law as far as THC and other liquids are concerned. Blowing a cloud of sweet-smelling smoke into a TSA agent’s face is not a way to prove your innocence.
If you can’t quickly demonstrate that everything is on the level to your friendly neighborhood TSA agent though, you might have a problem.
How to pack vape cartridges for a flight
The other important thing to remember about your vape is that it contains liquid. That means vape oil or e-liquid and the carts containing them need to be considered according to TSA (in the US) guidelines on liquid.
For your carry-on baggage, this normally means being no more than 100ml in quantity and being able to fit in a resealable plastic bag with your other liquids.
You should also remember that items on a plane are in an environment where pressure changes. This means you don’t want your vape carts to be anywhere near full, in case the liquid in them expands.
For complete safety, you might want to wrap your cart in cloth and put it in a resealable plastic bag. Then if anything breaks, the rest of your baggage is protected.
Can you take disposable vapes on an airplane?
Yes, you can disposable and reusable vapes on an airplane. As long as you follow TSA rules and are prepared to answer questions if asked, you are good to go.
The only sticking point is the THC in your vape. Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. If you only have a tiny amount in your safe-looking disposable – which might be for nicotine from a TSA agent’s point of view – you might be alright. You could also fully empty and deep-clean your reusable vape before transporting it.
Vaping during a flight is bad manners and illegal. Taking your vape on a plane to countries and states where marijuana is illegal is just a plain bad idea. But as long as you follow those TSA rules and behave sensibly, it is possible to bring a disposable THC vape pen on a plane if you really need to. However, it is illegal and probably isn’t worth the risk.