CBD users can’t praise CBD highly enough, and if you’ve decided to try it, it probably didn’t take you long to realize the greatest problem with CBD: the cost. After you’ve loaded your cart with your favorite CBD products, you could be looking at hundreds of dollars for just a few products that only last a month!
It’s not an affordable lifestyle to maintain, and many people struggle to come up with the money for their regular CBD needs. They might ration out their CBD products sparingly, minimizes the effectiveness of the product.
It begs the question: Why is CBD hemp oil so expensive? There are many factors that go into this determination. Let’s look at a few factors.
Average Cost of CBD
New CBD products are being produced every day, so it’s hard to determine a solid average price for CBD products. However, it’s important to understand the average cost of CBD to avoid overpaying.
There are lower-end CBD oils that cost between 5 and 10 center per mg, mid-range oils that are 11 to 15 cents per mg, and high-end oils that are 16 cents or more per mg. In any case, remember that you get what you pay for.
How Hemp is Grown
CBD comes from hemp, and the hemp must be grown to certain specifications to successfully produce quality, safe CBD. It must be 100 percent organic with no use of fertilizers, chemicals, metals, or other toxins. This is a more expensive form of growing crops.
After the Farm Bill was passed, the USDA got involved in the regulation of industrial hemp farming, and they have very strict regulations that must be followed, no matter the cost.
How CBD Is Extracted
CBD is extracted from hemp using CO2 extraction. Unless you’re a chemist or engineer, it’s hard to fully comprehend the processing that goes into CO2 extraction. This is a very precise method of extracting a compound from a substance, and you’re paying for the quality.
CO2 extraction machines use incredibly high heat and pressure that turns carbon dioxide into a supercritical substance—in other words, the CO2 takes on properties of both liquid and gas, which allows it to permeate solid plant matter and remove certain phytochemicals. This is how they are able to take out the CBD and leave the THC.
These machines as well as the knowledge to operate them is in very high demand and very short supply, so, naturally, the price is driven up. As CBD becomes a more socially and legally accepted substance, manufacturers will develop more machines and further the knowledge needed to operate them, helping to bring costs down.
Once the CBD is extracted, it’s often put into oils, creams, beverages, and other products. With such a valuable substance, you can’t create products with low-quality ingredients—the cost of additional ingredients also contributes to a higher price point.
How Legislation Affects Costs
Like many products, legislation and legalities often dictate fair market value. With CBD, the laws surrounding its creation are very complex, and prices for CBD products are often high as a result.
The most notable cause of high CBD prices is owed to the laws before the Farm Bill of 2018, also called the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018) was signed into law. Before then, hemp farming was only allowed in certain states and most farms were designated for research. Now, we have industrial hemp farms that must be grown to particular standards, including organic growth and a very low THC content.
The cost of farming hemp is high as a result, although the relaxing legislation will make it possible to decrease prices on the best CBD oils thereafter.
There are also laws about testing, researching, transporting, advertising, and selling hemp products both online and in states where it’s legal. This adds on to the costs retailers and manufacturers must pay, driving up consumer pricing.
Additionally, given the complexity of laws, misconceptions, public perceptions, and environmental factors that enter the CBD market, many manufacturers and farmers are unwilling to enter the CBD market because they see it as a significant risk. This makes it a rare and valuable industry that consumers must pay well for.
A Word of Caution
It’s important to note that you can overpay for CBD. Additionally, some manufacturers or retailers of CBD do not honestly advertise their products. Their products might imply CBD is present, a misrepresentation of products that leaves consumers feeling no effects. They might also purchase products that have lower CBD content than the label says it does.
In some cases, a CBD retailer might cut corners in this fashion and sell their products at market price—it’s clear that you’re overpaying for your products in this case. In other instances, CBD retailers might drop their prices to reflect their wide profit margins on products purchased cheaply because they were made cheaply. It’s always a red flag when the CBD is marked at significantly lower than the average for similar products.
Good News: The Cost Is Coming Down
Regular CBD users will be pleased to know that the high price of CBD will not linger. We’ve already seen prices begin to lower, and with time, CBD prices will continue to drop. Right now, we’re experiencing a heavy demand for CBD, which is keeping the prices high, but with more hemp farms, CBD manufacturers, and CBD retailers cropping up all over the internet, the supply of CBD will soon balance out the demand.
Additionally, the technology involved in the CO2 extraction process is still new. There’s a shortage of processors, which makes it very expensive for retailers to purchase their CBD. If you’re looking at a low-priced CBD product, chances are the sellers did not use an ethical CBD processor to supply their CBD, and it’s likely that the CBD products you purchased will have gunk in them or contain less CBD than the label says it does.
In all, supply and demand for CBD products is certain to level out. Government legislation will likely soon regulate the industry as well, minimizing risks for monopolies and improving extraction processes to bring prices down.