Last Updated on August 17, 2021 by Maxwell Harris
Most CBD users have, at some point, asked themselves “why is CBD so expensive?”. CBD oil is one of the market’s most expensive products that are having an increased popularity year after year despite the high cost. CBD is a naturally occurring compound in the flowers and leaves of the Cannabis Sativa plant, also known as hemp. CBD’s popularity has grown as a result of CBD product’s purported medicinal properties from cancer treatment to anxiety relief, anti-seizure, pain relief and many more. Thanks to all these benefits, the demand for CBD is at its peak, and CBD manufacturers are taking advantage of the situation through a variety of CBD products like CBD oil, CBD snacks, CBD drinks, CBD beauty products and many more. However, the common complaint among CBD products users is “why is CBD so expensive?”
CBD products will always carry an expensive price due to the massive difficulties and the added cost to their production: from sourcing CBD raw materials to distribution and sale of the CBD based products. Additionally, both CBD and Hemp products are heavily taxed, increasing the final price even more.
If you have ever tried to purchase CBD or you are a frequent CBD user, you must have noticed that the cost is higher than anticipated. The price of CBD seems to be unnecessarily high compared to other non-cannabis related products that go through similar production and distribution processes. So, are the CBD sale prices and cost of production justifiable? Below are some of the answers to the common question among CBD users.
Cost of growing CBD-Rich Strains
If you are among the CBD users complaining about how expensive the CBD products are, think about the cost of CBD in terms of the process of producing a single bottle of quality CBD based oil. Manufacturers must make sure they work with reliable cannabis suppliers, who can guarantee their crops only contain CBD-rich strains. This process is complicated because of the legal issues that control the growing and use of cannabis. Some states may allow the use of medicinal CBD, but the process of growing CBD cannabis is limited.
Most countries see the CBD industry as a source of income, so hemp and cannabis cultivation attract heavy taxes and huge government oversight. If you knew the license fee that the licensed CBD cannabis growers pay, then you would change your view that CBD is expensive.
Low Supply vs High Demand
The raw material for producing CBD products is high CBD low THC cannabis plants. As said earlier, these plants are only grown by licensed cannabis farms that may not meet the ever-growing demand for CBD oil. Unlike other crops that receive some forms of incentives, cannabis growers get little support from the government.
The process of growing quality hemp can be expensive as it requires specific environmental conditions like moisture content and temperature to get the best quality products. If the weather does not allow for it, such conditions require indoor growing and sophisticated and expensive support systems. Since the legal status of CBD is still a taboo in many places around the world, many farmers prefer not to get involved with it, often leaving the actual supply of hemp lower than the demand. This allows the active hemp farmers to charge a premium price for their crops, which ultimately affects the final price of the finished product.
Labour Intensive processes in CBD Production
Labour is another factor that contributes to the high cost of CBD products. A proper CBD extraction undergoes a lot of processes that require both CBD extraction machine operators and other CBD professionals. Each of the steps in the CBD oil extraction process takes a considerable amount of time, and yet the end product produced is minuscule compared to the amount of CBD plant raw material used. The CBD-rich plants growing and harvesting process also require human labour which adds to the cost of CBD production.
The CBD extraction process is necessary to isolate CBD and other cannabinoids in the high CBD cannabis as well as the hemp plant. This extraction method of producing pure CBD oil requires capital investment in expensive equipment and highly-paid professionals who operate them.
For example, co2 extraction in CBD production uses high levels of heat and pressure to change carbon dioxide from its natural form to a supercritical state (with properties of both a gas and a liquid). You need the co2 extraction process in CBD oil production as it is the process that enables the extraction of phytochemicals such as Cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant.
The CBD production process does not end at extraction as the CBD extract needs further purifications, especially if you are making a CBD isolate (a CBD isolate is a form of CBD oil made of only CBD). All the processes of producing CBD isolate and CBD oil require a tremendous amount of steps and high-tech machinery that are expensive to operate and maintain.
The Effect of Long Time Cannabis Prohibition
The things that are hard to get are always expensive. The supply and demand greatly influence the price of any commodity, and the CBD oil industry is no exemption. The main reason why cannabis has strong prohibition measures is the high chances of misuse by people who use it for recreation purposes. Most countries classify it as an illegal drug if it is not produced for high CBD low THC medicinal use.
Most countries are now accepting CBD oil sales within their borders, but the industry still suffers from the effects of decades of prohibition. These challenges have also contributed to the high cost of CBD oils and other CBD products.
Another reason why the cost of CBD oils never comes down is the extended supply chains. While a fraction of the CBD manufacturers make sure that they eliminate middlemen by their CBD product directly to the CBD users, most of them rely on CBD retailers to sell their products. The retailers will increase the price of CBD to earn a profit, hence increasing the total CBD oil Cost. The increase in the cost of CBD due to retailer’s expenses applies to both online and land-based CBD stores.
Good CBD Manufacturing Practices and CBD Quality Control Costs
CBD companies can only ensure the quality of their CBD oil product by abiding to the current good CBD manufacturing practices and through stringent CBD quality control measures. These measures make sure that defective CBD products are eliminated before they get to the CBD supply chain. All these initiatives are meant to make sure that a CBD company only produces quality CBD based products with an extra cost of additional staff and sophisticated CBD quality control equipment.
Due to the massive difficulties and the added production cost, on top of high taxes, CBD related product that appears to be overpriced.
A high-quality CBD product is, however, worth the price, given that most cannabidiol goods have demonstrated that they can offer medicinal benefits for several conditions. The fact that CBD is naturally extracted from a plant makes it a preferred drug, especially for chronic conditions that require prolonged use of drugs.
Also remember that you only need a small amount of CBD oil, meaning the expensive CBD based oil bottle will last a long time. If you are required to take CBD medication every day, you will only purchase the CBD bottle a few times a year, making the cost of the CBD cheaper if calculated per day. Generally, the cost of CBD products might seem expensive, but it is a good deal.