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CBD Industry Faces Tighter Regulations In UK

The Steep Price of Wellness: Why Is CBD So Expensive?

Even if you love the effects of CBD oil, you’re probably peeved about it being so pricey. One of the most common questions customers have is “why is CBD so expensive? If hemp ‘grows like a weed,’ shouldn’t it be easy to supply the world’s CBD needs?”

Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this popular question. Many complex factors determine CBD’s retail price. From costly extraction technology to regulatory hassles, CBD manufacturing is an expensive endeavor with many unique challenges.

Due to the continued demand for CBD, this non-psychoactive cannabinoid will likely continue to trade at a premium price. However, there are glimmers of hope as more cultivators are getting involved in the hemp industry.

Why Is CBD So Expensive? – A Few Common Explanations

CBD oil isn’t magically exempt from the invisible hand of supply and demand. Considering hemp was prohibited before 2018, it’s easy to understand how there isn’t enough hemp to meet the surge in demand—hence the exorbitant price tags.

Although supply and demand explain a great deal, it’s not the only answer to our overarching question. CBD companies also have to invest a lot of money in high-tech extraction technology, lab tests, and licenses, jacking prices up further.

To find a definite answer behind CBD’s increased costs, we must address many factors that currently impact the CBD industry.

Taxation & Legislation Discourage Hemp Farmers

One reason there’s a shortage of CBD nowadays is that many farmers don’t want to touch high-CBD hemp. Indeed, there are plenty of excellent farmers who still consider hemp to be a risky and unnecessarily expensive crop.

Since hemp has been criminalized for decades, it’s understandable that some people might feel slightly afraid of adding it to their farms. Moreover, hemp poses unique legal challenges that many farmers simply aren’t willing to take on.

Yes, the CBD market may be red hot, but there’s lots of headache-inducing red tape surrounding hemp. Before they can even start a grow cycle, hemp farmers have to invest a significant amount of cash in federal-approved licenses. There are also steep taxation policies around hemp cultivation.

Until there are more favorable legislation and taxation policies, there likely won’t be enough supply to adequately meet the high demand for CBD.

We Still Don’t Know Exactly How to Grow Hemp

Another issue that affects hemp supply is the fact we don’t really know how to grow it. To be more precise, we don’t know how to grow it well.

Though hemp has been cultivated for centuries, agronomists weren’t even allowed to study it until a few years ago. We’re going to need far more research on hemp’s growing patterns before farmers can fully understand how to maximize CBD production.

Until we get more data from agronomy departments, farmers may struggle to achieve a consistently high yield. Hemp cultivators still have many years of trial and error they need to go through, which could cause fluctuations in CBD supply.

Also, bear in mind that our ancestors did not grow hemp for CBD. For most of human history, hemp was grown for use in textiles, pottery, or as a food source. Growing hemp specifically for a high-CBD count is a contemporary phenomenon, which means there’s still a great lot we don’t know about ideal grow techniques.

However, we do know that growing high-CBD hemp requires more space, time, and care than growing fields of industrial hemp. So, farmers have to spend more money on growing, drying, and curing their plants, which drives up the price of CBD oil.

CBD Extraction Is Extra Expensive

On top of all the costs associated with hemp cultivation, manufacturers have to spend a pretty penny on extraction technology. Plus, since it prevents solvent residue in their final products, they often spend a great deal on CO2 extraction machines. While CO2 is considered the holy grail of extraction, it’s also one of the most expensive procedures. If you see a ‘CO2-extracted’ label on a CBD oil, you should expect to pay a premium price.

Also, keep in mind that extraction technology is only half of a manufacturer’s investment. After all, those machines don’t run themselves! Every CBD manufacturer needs to pay a team of highly skilled technicians to transform hemp buds into CBD oil.

Costly COAs Could Drive Up CBD Costs

If a CBD company wants to be taken seriously, it needs to invest in professional lab screenings. As you could imagine, frequently sending CBD products to third-party labs is pretty costly.

In the best-case scenario, lab certifications are an added expense that can drive up a CBD product’s price. On the opposite extreme, there are severe cases where these reports spell great financial trouble for manufacturers.

If a lab report shows THC percentages just a hair above 0.3 percent, companies cannot legally send their products into the market. This added risk discourages many people from even starting out in the CBD game, which, again, contributes to the supply problem. Hopefully, as we better understand hemp seed genetics, the risk of slightly elevated THC content will be minimized.

While we’re talking about lab tests and COAs, it’s worth pointing out that many CBD companies also apply for other accreditations to bolster their brand name. A few popular labels that companies spend big bucks on include being USDA organic, non-GMO, and fair trade certified. Believe it or not, there are even a few Kosher CBD products! It costs a lot of money to get any of these official labels on a CBD bottle—hence a higher price tag.

Hemp Still Has an Image Problem

Undoubtedly, CBD’s association with cannabis contributed to its popularity. On the flipside, confusion over CBD’s effects has created a stigma that’s been difficult to erase.

Unfortunately, there are still many retailers who don’t feel comfortable offering CBD to their customers. Heck, even online vendors like Amazon prohibit the sale of CBD goods. There are also a few U.S. states that have laws banning the use or sale of CBD.

The stigma surrounding CBD also affects hemp’s prospects with the investing community. There are still many financial institutions that aren’t willing to touch CBD. In addition to hemp’s legal restrictions, some analysts fear CBD oil is merely a fad. To make matters worse, most TV broadcasters consider CBD ads too risky to air on their networks.

In response to these stigma-related issues, CBD companies often spend extra on building professional websites, labeling, and packaging. And of course, since financial institutions aren’t usually willing to take a risk on CBD, hemp companies typically pay for these features out of their own pockets, which leads to a higher retail price.

Lack of FDA Oversight Fuels CBD Stigma

It’s not just CBD’s association with cannabis that gives it a bad reputation. Indeed, a big reason consumers are wary about buying CBD products is because there’s no FDA oversight.

Unfortunately, there have been many bad actors in the hemp industry who pedal products with little to no CBD content. Since these snake oil salesmen want to make a killing, they’re going to jack up the prices, which could contribute to elevated CBD price tags.

Under these circumstances, honest hemp companies have to overcompensate for lax federal oversight, by paying extra fees on detailed labels, authoritative packaging, and lab reports to ensure customers their CBD oil is the real deal.

How Do You Get the Best Deals for CBD?

As you can see, there are many ways to answer the question of “why is CBD oil so expensive?” Nonetheless, just because CBD is usually pricey, doesn’t mean you can’t find some pretty amazing CBD oil deals out there.

Of course, whenever you’re analyzing a new CBD company, you should verify that they have reliable accreditation, lab reports, and trustworthy reviews. If the CBD oil you’re looking into smells more like fish oil (metaphorically or literally), then please research other companies.

Here are a few strategies you should keep in mind when you’re trying to assess a CBD oil’s affordability:

  • Divide the price of your CBD product by the total milligram count. This will give you a sense of how much you’re spending for each daily dose.
  • CBD tinctures tend to offer the highest potency for your money, especially if you take them sublingually.
  • Search on review sites for any info you can find on your chosen company’s reputation.
  • If there’s a business you trust, consider following their social media accounts to receive updates on surprise sales.
  • People who don’t mind smoking or vaping hemp might want to give high-CBD flowers a try. Since these buds don’t go through an extraction procedure, they are often cheaper than tinctures, oils, and edibles.


What is the average price of CBD?

With so many different CBD products available nowadays, it’s impossible to give a precise estimate for the average cost of CBD. However, current market research suggests you could pay anywhere between $0.05 and $0.20 per mg of CBD.

Will CBD oil prices go down?

Thankfully, there are some signs CBD prices could go down in the ensuing years. As more people understand the differences between hemp and marijuana, it should be easier for CBD companies to enter big retail stores. In fact, there are already a few mainstream chains like CVS that have welcomed certain CBD goods into their shops.

Also, it’s unlikely there will be another 500% spike in CBD sales, as we saw in 2018. Remember, a primary reason for CBD products becoming so expensive was the rapid acceleration of demand after the 2018 Farm Bill. Now that more companies are competing in the CBD game, customers will have increased choice, which should bring prices down.

How big is the CBD market?

Current research suggests the global CBD market brings in about $4.6 billion annually. This figure is expected to rise by about 20% year on year until 2025. In fact, a few financial firms are predicting CBD could be worth $20 billion by 2024.

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