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Why is CBD so expensive?

Why is CBD so expensive?

From $35 to $350, CBD ranges in price dramatically. But what accounts for that? Why is some CBD so expensive, and does more expensive equal better?

There are many factors that affect the price of CBD—but expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better! Here’s how to understand the pricing of a CBD product, and how to choose the best value. 

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of the compounds in the cannabis plant. CBD supplements and health products are now available in a number of countries around the world without a prescription. They are made from low-THC varieties of the cannabis plant, which means you won’t get ‘high’ from taking them. 

CBD can be used to manage inflammation, anxiety, stress, and for general well being. It’s available in a variety of forms, including oils, tinctures, gummies, and even treats. What many people don’t realize is that CBD is processed in different ways, which affects not only the price of the product, but also the quality.  

Factors that contribute to CBD pricing

It’s important to remember that more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. There are a number of different factors that affect the price of CBD.

Quality control

Some of the most important factors that drive up the price of CBD include regulation and quality management processes. These are necessary to ensure the quality of the product is at an optimum level. The hemp plant can absorb toxins from the soil it grows in, so it’s crucial that the plant is purified and tested before being processed. This, however, adds to the overall cost. 

Specific rules regarding the regulation of CBD products helps to reduce the risk of fraudulent or illegal production of THC strains. 


Like with alcohol and liquor, taxes push up the price of CBD products. In the US, the cost of a product depends on tax rates imposed by authorities. Retailers factor in the tax with their sale price, which can mean that the price of the same CBD product varies between states. 


Yet another major contributor to price is the methods used by the company to position their products in the marketplace. The product may go through many different channels before it reaches you—and each time the product changes hands, the price goes up. 

Extraction method

The specific extraction methods that ensure optimal potency and effectiveness may mean the finished product costs more. This includes the way the plant is grown to the methods used to refine it into CBD oil, then the careful extraction into resin or crystalized CBD.

A broad-spectrum CBD product is made from the whole plant. This means the extract contains not only CBD, but also other cannabinoids, terpenoids, and other plant chemicals.

CBD isolate requires even further processing, which produces a pure substance that’s free from other plant chemicals. While CBD isolate is generally more expensive, it’s believed to be less effective. Products containing CBD isolate are often marketed as ‘premium,’ even though the cost of making them is usually lower than the cost of making full- or broad-spectrum CBD products.

Unfortunately, not all manufacturers state which extraction method they used, so you can’t be sure how potent the product is. 

What to look for when purchasing CBD

It’s important to note that the label on a CBD product isn’t always accurate. Tests conducted by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis revealed that 62% of CBD products in the UK didn’t contain the cannabidiol content stated on the label. 

That’s why the most important thing to look for on a CBD product is a certificate of analysis. A certificate will show that the product has undergone a third-party lab test. This means it has been checked for contaminants such as heavy metals, microbial (bacteria and fungus), pesticides, and so on. This testing will also ensure that the THC levels are within legal limits. 

Once you’ve found a product that has this certification, look for the number of milligrams of CBD in the entire bottle. Then check the number of milligrams of CBD per dose. This will indicate the potency of the product, which is the best indicator of its effectiveness. 

Is more expensive CBD better than cheaper CBD?

Like any product, a cheap CBD oil may not be very safe. The manufacturer may have taken shortcuts during the process to reduce costs, which can mean it hasn’t gone through the correct purifying and safety procedures. Worse still, the end result may be an oil that contains substandard raw material—and little or no CBD at all. 

The higher the price of the CBD product, the more likely it is to have gone through proper processing and manufacturing. A quality product will be sold through legal channels and should have quality assurance from third parties. 

Essentially, you get what you pay for. The more you pay for a CBD product, the better the medicinal benefits are likely to be. The risk of impurities is lower, and the more value you are likely to get out of the product.

A complete CBD guide for customers and health industry professionals
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