It’s a sad truth that every single person who has ever considered taking CBD oil, has had the exact same reaction – “Why is this CBD oil so DAMN expensive?!”
For those new to the CBD scene, it might seem like CBD oil is just unnecessarily overpriced. It always seems to cost an overwhelming amount of money for such a small little bottle, with some products that contain a significant quantity of CBD costing well over a hundred dollars.
Surely these prices can’t be right?
Let’s take a look at the behind the scenes reasons why CBD oil can tend to be way more expensive than you think it should be.
Breeding CBD Rich Strains
Though you see CBD oil as a convenient little bottle of hopefully medicinally beneficial liquid, the process that goes into making that small bottle is actually a long and expensive process.
For starters, producers have to breed just the right CBD-rich strain of cannabis. This is exceptionally difficult, in part due to the various and sundry legalities that exist about cannabis. Though CBD is now legal in some parts of the USA for the treatment of a few specific conditions like epilepsy, it is still illegal to grow the plant across the country.
Instead, CBD-rich plants can only be grown in specific states or specific countries, meaning that the actual number of places you can grow it is very limited. Legal cannabis cultivation is also heavily taxed, requiring a huge amount of oversight from state governments that can often necessitate paying large licensing fees.
This issue is only compounded in other countries, for example in the United Kingdom. In the UK, the government only allows a specific number of growers the official license necessary to legally grow cannabis. This license is extremely coveted, often going to those friends and family of the UK government – most infamously, the husband of a UK minister tasked with discussing cannabis policy is actually the largest cannabis grower in the entire British isles.
This is especially bad for hemp farmers, as many other crops are taxed more favorably or farmers are outright monetarily rewarded for growing them. This means that fewer and fewer farmers are ever incentivized to grow cannabis or hemp over other produce, reducing the available supply of hemp and driving the price up even further.
Even if you take care of the legalities, the actual process of making great quality cannabis can be very expensive. Though cannabis is a very hardy plant, hence its common name of ‘weed’, it still requires a certain temperature and level of care that, in some localities, is simply impossible to provide. In those places, cannabis needs to be grown indoors in temperature controlled environments, along with artificial lights and extensive feeding setups.
All this can get surprisingly expensive extremely quickly, which is not an insignificant reason for the cost of the resulting CBD oil.
The actual sale of cannabis for the purpose of making CBD oil is also heavily taxed, resulting in quite a lot of monetary taxation at several steps along the production chain.
Even once the cannabis is grown and harvested, the actual process of making it into CBD oil itself has its own costs.
What it Takes to Manufacture CBD Oil
CBD oil might seem like a simple medicine at first glance; inert oil with CBD inside it can’t possibly cost that much to make, right?
Well, the extraction process necessary to isolate the CBD and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant requires a significant amount of setup, as well as expensive equipment. For starters, the cannabis needs to be hit with an extremely heated and pressurized burst of carbon dioxide.
This burst of CO2 is treated with intense heat and pressure, creating what is known as supercritical CO2.
This means that the CO2 has both the properties of a liquid and a gas, allowing it to permeate through solid matter and extract various compounds.
This is what allows it to retrieve the cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds within the plant and extract them.
Once this is done, the resulting mix needs to be purified from other, unwanted compounds. This is especially the case if you’re trying to make CBD isolate, a form of CBD oil that contains only CBD and nothing else.
The resulting mixture is frozen and purified in a process known as winterization, allowing the manufacturers to separate the desired compounds from the unwanted components of the Cannabis plant.
This final mix is then suspended in inert oil for the purpose of easy transport and application.
The cost is often increased at this step due to the choice of oil for the CBD product, as many consumers wouldn’t be happy with plain old vegetable oil.
Instead, coconut or hemp oil is used, both to provide taste and texture, and to also promote a few interesting health benefits associated with using these type of fatty oils, such as coconut oil’s ability to encourage CBD intake in the body through Intestinal Lymphatic Drug Delivery, which is a unique quality of fatty oils. This allows the CBD Oil to become ‘stuck’ in the intestines and thus be absorbed more easily by the bloodstream.
From this stage, the CBD oil is then transported and bottled, ready for shipment and consumption.
You might think that should be it; that there are no other steps necessary to creating high quality CBD Oil. If this were the case, CBD oil production wouldn’t cost much more than many other products available.
Well, it sadly doesn’t end there.
What Goes in to Getting CBD Oil Ready for Market & CBD Legality
CBD, as well as cannabis in general, is in a very interesting position regarding its legality.
Though it is well known that CBD is in no way psychoactive or at all addictive, many people still treat it with the same dubiousness and fear that they do regular cannabis. For this reason, many countries have extremely stringent rules regarding how CBD oil is to be tested, as well as numerous regulations that the product itself must conform to.
This essentially involves the CBD oil being tested extensively, both in laboratories and by governmental food and drug spot checks. These tests cost a huge amount of money, because the CBD oil is required to be tested against a great deal of different criteria, such as individual efficacy, THC content and more.
Certain organizations, such as Provacan in the UK, have even gone so far as to get their CBD oil certified as Kosher, a process that is as expensive as it is arduous.
Part of the reason for all these accreditations and tests is to ensure the product’s final efficacy for the consumer, but it’s also to try and encourage people to actually pick up and try CBD oil. Due to its significant negative public image due to its association with cannabis, people still look at CBD oil with fear. By obtaining a variety of accreditations and accolades, CBD producers hope to try and court a wider audience.
The sheer variety of legal challenges and taxation issues is made worse by the fact that it is legally difficult to try and sell CBD oil across international or even state borders, as the legality of it differs depending on where you are.
What’s more, cannabis is still technically federally illegal in the USA, meaning that people think they constantly run the risk of endangering themselves by using it, even if CBD is not controlled in the same way marijuana is.
Final Thoughts on Why CBD Oil is so Expensive
CBD oil is one of those products that is always going to seem expensive. You look at the tiny bottle sitting there on the shelf, with a seemingly massive price tag and very little apparent reason for it, but it’s important to remember that CBD oil production is full of innumerable difficulties from start to finish. CBD oil is not only difficult to grow and produce in the first place, it’s also extremely difficult to get people to actually try it.
CBD oil producers not only need to contend with their governments for the purpose of trying to make CBD oil for the consumer, they also need to contend with the fickle attitudes of the public and their negative mental image of CBD.
What’s more, CBD and hemp products in general also heavily taxed regardless of their usage. Though this high taxation issue has been lessened in recent years, it still costs a lot to get CBD oil products to market due to the significant stages of taxation.
All of this produces a final product that seems extravagantly expensive for what it is.
However, if the prospect of shelling out a large sum of money for CBD seems daunting for you, focus on this; it could really work. CBD has been demonstrated, time and time again, to potentially offer medicinal benefits for a variety of conditions. This makes that small vial of CBD oil not only useful, but also extremely versatile.
Another important thing to remember is that, whenever you take CBD oil, you only really need a very small amount of it. Even though you’re spending a large amount of money each time, remember that it’s going to last you a long time; if you take it every day for a year, you might only buy each individual bottle a few times a year, making the price actually only pennies a day.
CBD oil might seem damn expensive, but sometimes, it’s actually a pretty good deal.