Disclosure: When you buy through links on our website we may earn a commission.

How Does Weed Show Up On TSA Scanner – Be Aware

Airports are probably the busiest and have the most stringent security measures, given the range of threats facing many countries worldwide today. If you try to smuggle weed into your baggage, and the security scanner detects it, then it’s too late to ask, “how does weed show up on TSA scanner?”

As I’m sure most know, TSA is responsible for passenger security at the airport. They have a screening process to ensure that passengers arrive at their destination safely, with or without marijuana, aka weed. And due to TSA’s rigorous screening process, you may wonder which airport scanners can identify prohibited substances such as marijuana.

What Do Airport Scanners See, And How Does Weed Show Up On TSA Scanner?

Why is it that every time you go through TSA, you wonder if there’s something in your checked or carry-on baggage that the scanner will detect and get you in trouble? It’s only natural to worry about a machine checking all your belongings. What does the scanner see?

One time when I was in the airport, the bags in front of me were flagged. The guy had to open his bags and let security look at the contents. Now I don’t know what made the alarm go off, but I’m sure many of us thought it had to be something bad. But then again, maybe it was just some everyday thing that triggered concern.

Airport scanners can spot metallic and non-metallic objects, such as drugs and gold, concealed in your clothing or luggage. However, they cannot identify the exact material in most cases, so they use visual indicators represented by different colors.

show up on tsa scanners 1

Can TSA Airport Scanners Find Weed Or Drugs

Airport TSA scanners are there to screen passengers and their luggage. As your baggage passes through the scanner, TSA officers on duty will screen your luggage and look at the images on a screen. They will look for items in your carry-on or checked baggage that look suspicious such as weapons, chemicals, or liquids.

The main concern is checking whether passengers are carrying illegal or prohibited items. If you don’t have banned items in your luggage, you won’t be asking, “how does weed show up on TSA scanner?” If anything suspicious appears on the screen, TSA security personnel will conduct a further investigation for clarification.

How Does Weed Show Up On TSA Scanner – Do They Know It’s Weed?

When passing through an airport scanner, x-ray waves bounce off your bag’s contents and are present in different colors. Any biological materials in the bag, such as weed or grass, will appear orange on the screen.

According to airport guidelines, organic material will appear orange on the airport scanner, while non-organic material will appear green. Metals and hard plastic materials will appear blue or black when scanned.

Explosives contain organic materials such as potassium nitrate and glycerin, so TSA officers handling the X-ray scanner will pay close attention to orange-colored items on the screen. That answers the question, “how does weed show up on TSA scanner?” They were looking for explosives and other dangerous objects, and your weed came up orange, the same color as possible explosives.

TSA Does Not Look For Weed, So How Does Weed Show Up On TSA Scanner?

TSA checks the scanner monitor for liquids, C-4s, and crossbows, not weed. So how does weed show up on TSA scanner if they are not looking for it?

Your baggage will become a subject of interest if the scanner detects something that appears orange on the screen. When this happens, the TSA officer will ask you to open your luggage for further inspection.

So What Happens Next If They Find Weed In Your Bag?

Under federal law, marijuana and other derivative products, including those used for medical purposes, are illegal and must be confiscated and reported to the authorities. When a scanner detects something TSA thinks is marijuana, and it is proven true, TSA will report it to the police.

In states where marijuana is legal, you can bring it across the state line, but not all airlines will allow it on a plane. At LAX airport, you can carry up to 28.5 grams, meaning there is no need to worry about how does weed show up on TSA scanner.

On the other hand, in Texas, possessing weed inside or outside the airport is an offense and will be subject to punishment.

how does weed show up on tsa scanner 4

What To Do About If It Shows Up?

If caught with marijuana in your possession at the airport, the TSA officer will confiscate it. TSA will refer the incident to local authorities for further action. Punishment or penalties imposed will depend on the state you are in but may range from fines or, in other cases, imprisonment or both.

Law enforcement officials will decide whether to open a criminal investigation.” Don’t bother asking, “how does weed show up on TSA scanner” because they’ve already found weed in your luggage.

To avoid conflicts with the law, do not bring marijuana or weed when you travel, regardless of which state you are leaving. Under federal law, possession of weed is still illegal.

FAQs About How Does Weed Show Up On TSA Scanner

Here are some commonly asked questions about how does weed show up on TSA scanner.

Is it legal to fly with marijuana in checked luggage?

Even though some states have legalized weed, the US Federal law clearly states it is illegal to fly with marijuana in checked luggage, carry on baggage, or personal bags.

Can TSA spot marijuana?

Not necessarily. TSA does not screen your bags for drugs. However, if the scan detects a suspicious item in your bags, searches them, and finds weed, they must enforce the law.

What does weed look like on an airport scanner?

Biologic materials, including cannabis, are visible as orange on a security scanner in the airport. Since explosives are organic material like glycerol and potassium nitrate, a TSA agent may pay special concentration to any element that is shown up orange through scanning.

Read Next: Can I Bring A Bong On A Plane – The Naked Baffling Truth

How Does Weed Show Up On TSA Scanner – Conclusion

TSA does not look for weed in your luggage; however, it may appear orange on the scanner and require further inspection. The safe bet is not to take weed in your luggage and into an airport, so you don’t have to ask, “how does weed show up on TSA scanners?

Happy Travels, my friends.

Photo of author

Laura Fuller

My name is Laura Fuller, I am a fanatic about luggage and all types of travel. I will be your luggage pilot to help you make the right choice for your travel needs.

Leave a Comment

Hey, wait!

Before you go, don't forget to sign up for all the latest news and updates.