Why is CBD so expensive?

The worldwide popularity of CBD continues to quickly rise. As the demand for CBD oil spikes, so does the cost. However, demand is not the only factor that makes CBD an expensive product.

To understand why CBD is so expensive, let’s first discuss what it is. CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound that exists in hemp and marijuana. It contains no THC (the active ingredient in cannabis), meaning even the most significant dosage cannot get you high. Instead, people use CBD almost entirely as an alternative to conventional medicine.

As marijuana usage becomes legal both medicinally and recreationally in more and more states across the United States, the health benefits of both THC and CBD become increasingly popular. In the last couple of years, CBD has effectively treated conditions such as anxiety, body pain, insomnia, and several others in both people and dogs. With a basic understanding of what CBD is, let’s look at seven reasons why CBD is so expensive.

#1: CBD Is Brand New

Any newly introduced product will experience price inflation in its first couple of years on the market. CBD is no different, as the production of hemp, from which processors extract CBD oil, was only legalized in 2018.

Because the product and the process of manufacturing and selling CBD are still new, the cost of CBD oil is and will remain relatively high for the next few years. However, once we nail down and streamline the farming and distributing CBD method, the costs will drop.

#2: Hemp Is a Difficult Crop

As CBD is new to the market, farmers are just beginning to transition to growing industrial hemp on a large scale and realizing the agricultural challenges that go along with it. For example, governmental regulations require farmers to destroy any hemp plants that produce more than the legal amount of THC, meaning that farmers need to closely monitor and inspect their crop as it grows.

Another challenge lies in harvesting hemp. The easiest and most efficient way to do so is through a combination. Unfortunately, combines are expensive, and farmers who switched from crops that did not require combine harvesting do not typically own one.

Once farmers harvest the hemp, they must dry it in a large, sheltered setting that provides the proper conditions. This entire process is both time-consuming and labor-intensive. Owning the right machinery or hiring enough workers to grow and harvest the hemp manually is costly, thus showing why CBD is so expensive.

#3: The CBD Extraction Process Is Also Difficult

extracted liquid from a hemp

Processors must extract the cannabidiol to produce CBD after growing, harvesting, and drying the hemp. As the method of growing and harvesting hemp, this hemp extracting process is challenging, expensive, and time-consuming. Extraction and refinement utilize specialized machinery and either ethanol or supercritical carbon dioxide.

While the former is far cheaper than the two, the latter can produce more significant quantities and higher quality CBD extract. Both methods initially produce full-spectrum CBD, which contains CBD along with THC, hemp seed oil, and other cannabinoids and plant compounds. To create broad-spectrum CBD free of THC, processors must further process and refine the extract, creating additional costs.

From hemp growing to extract the final CBD product, the process requires time, labor, chemicals, and machinery. Completing this process is highly expensive and, as those involved in the process must make a profit, results in CBD that is expensive for the consumer.

#4: Popularity and Demand

As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons why CBD is so expensive is the rising popularity and high demand for the product. According to Grandview Research, researchers assessed a global value of the cannabidiol market size at 2.8 million U.S. dollars in 2020; they expect that number to experience a compound annual growth rate of 21.2% from 2021 to 2028. As the market value and demand for CBD continue to increase, the costs will likely do the same.

Since CBD oil legalization in 2018, researchers continue to discover an array of health benefits, contributing to its growing demand  Many people suffering from trouble sleeping, chronic pain, inflammation, and anxiety experience relief with CBD treatment. CBD’s use in alternative and conventional medicine will only increase as the research surrounding its health benefits becomes more expansive, meaning demand will continue to rise.

We can also attribute CBD’s exponentially growing popularity to its many consumption styles. Some CBD products include:

  •       Gummies and other edibles
  •       Oils
  •       Tinctures
  •       Smokeable
  •       Vape pens
  •       Topicals (creams, lotions, ointments, balms)
  •       Capsules and pills
  •       Mist sprays
  •       Dog treats

The vast selection of CBD products appeals to a broad consumer group, meaning there’s a style for everybody and every need.

#5: Distribution of CBD Is Still Small-Scale

hemp leaves in a farm

Although the demand for CBD products continues to rise, the distribution end of these products remains small-scale. Health and supplement stores, major retail chains, and even online platforms such as Amazon refuse to sell or prohibit the selling of CBD. Such stores view the distribution of CBD products as a liability due to regulation or the misunderstanding of what CBD entails.

When major retailers carry a product, its distribution becomes widespread, and the costs for consumers drop. Since many large retailers have yet to carry and distribute CBD, the prices remain high.

Limited marketing further contributes to the high costs of CBD products. CBD advertising is restricted or banned entirely by many social media platforms and search engines, causing CBD companies to spend more money at the marketing stage. The hindrance of CBD distribution and marketing by many major retailers and outlets causes CBD products to remain an expensive purchase for consumers.

#6: Higher Fees

Relative to almost any other product type, CBD products include significantly higher fees for growers and sellers. Even after four years of becoming legal, CBD products are still under significant amounts of government scrutiny and inspection. Attaining a licensing fee to grow hemp and a certificate of analysis for a CBD product can take a while and include added expenses.

#7: Fake CBD Sellers and Shady Companies

Though some major online retailers, such as Amazon, prohibit the sale of CBD products on their sites, you may still find them. In most cases, these products are fake and meant to scam the buyer. With multiple sellers of counterfeit CBD on Amazon and elsewhere, it is essential to check CBD products for quality, safety, and effectiveness.

Since sellers must routinely check these products to ensure they are genuine, the costs rise again. On the other hand, some companies that sell legitimate CBD products know that they can raise their prices higher than they should. Due to the lack of information circulating about a reasonable price for a CBD product, these sellers often profit by ripping off consumers.

Until online retailers allow and regulate the sale of CBD products on their sites and more information about general CBD prices becomes common knowledge, we may continue to see fake products and abnormally expensive CBD costs. In the meantime, do your research about legitimate sellers and how much the CBD product you’re buying should cost.

Will CBD Prices Ever Drop?

a blank price tag

If you ever wonder, “Why is CBD so expensive?” you may also be wondering if the cost of CBD will ever decline. While the long answer may be more complex, the short version is “yes.” As previously discussed, there are various reasons why CBD costs are currently so high.

Many of these factors can and will see a change in the coming years. Manufacturers and growers will eventually sharpen and streamline the processes of growing and harvesting hemp and extracting CBD oil. Once retailers better understand the holistic benefits of CBD, they may begin to distribute the product.

Both of these factors will contribute to lower prices for all CBD products. So, while demand may remain high, the increased ease and reduced expenses of the manufacturing and distribution process will prevent costs from rising.

CBD Products from The Other Path

We hope this article helped you understand why CBD is so expensive and gave you hope that it will soon become a more affordable product. If you’re interested in purchasing CBD products to relieve anxiety or pain or help with your sleep woes, visit The Other Path’s convenient and reliable online store. The Other Path sells various CBD products ranging from smokeable to edibles and even carries CBD products for your dog.

Unlike sketchy retailers, when you buy from The Other Path, you can be sure you’re receiving the highest quality product at a reasonable price. If you are new to CBD and unsure about what product is suitable for your needs, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced CBD experts.

Why is CBD so expensive? We are happy to answer any questions you have.

CBD could be your path to a life of reduced anxiety, fewer chronic pains, and better sleep. Visit The Other Path today to see what CBD products can do for you.