Narrator: But because of lax regulations in the industry, this fundamental difference in CBD oils is often disguised by manufacturers. The front of this premium $300 bottle, for example, does not display that it is, in fact, made from isolate.
Brett Heaps: So, what we’re not allowed to do with our products is make any medicinal claims, ’cause they’re not medical products. All our products that we sell are wellness products to improve sleeps and moods. We see CBD as a homeostasis product, which balances the levels in your body to get you into a normal state and balanced mind.
Gordon: A full- or broad-spectrum product is made from the whole plant extract. They take the flower and they process it, and they come up with an extract that not only has CBD, but it has other plant chemicals, other cannabinoids, other terpenoids, other things in the plant that work together in this, what’s called this herbal synergy, this entourage effect. And what you get is greater than the sum of its parts.
Narrator: But even high-dosage, full-spectrum CBD doesn’t have the approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA says it “recognizes the significant public interest in cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, particularly CBD. However, there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing CBD.”
Narrator: CBD is a new and rapidly growing phenomenon, with sales tripling in the last three years. But the line between what consumers are using it for and what manufacturers can say to attract them is increasingly blurred.
3. Inferior CBD is an issue. Given the shortage of domestically produced CBD, much of the CBD in the US has been sourced from overseas markets, such as China. Hemp is a bio accumulator, meaning it absorbs everything in the soil in which it is planted. If the soil is not properly tested, soil contamination from prior crops is quite likely. This could include herbicides, pesticides and metals.
CBD oil is the most popular ingredient on the block this year. If this is news to you, let's quickly clear up what it is: CBD is one of the many naturally occurring chemical compounds present in the flowers and leaves of cannabis plants, found in both marijuana and industrial hemp. Unlike THC (the psychoactive element of cannabis), CBD cannot get you high, no matter how much you take.
On the demand side, consumers are increasingly looking for natural treatments for supporting health and wellness. A product that the National Library of Medicine reports was first used for therapeutic benefit in 400 AD, that has never been associated with overdose or death, certainly appeals to this consumer interest.
How can we tell if we’re overpaying or underpaying for CBD?
Another factor driving the cost of CBD is the extraction process. Currently, the extraction of CBD crude from hemp biomass is a bottleneck in the production cycle. There are a limited number of processors equipped to extract hemp biomass. The shortage of processors and the actual cost of extraction is keeping the cost of extraction high. The laws of supply and demand are quickly rebalancing this function as well. Many new extraction providers are coming in to the market, and innovations in the extraction process are already on the horizon which will drive down extraction costs.
And if you’re wondering whether the price of CBD oil will drop, you’re in luck.
1. Some products imply CBD content. Certain online retailers are notorious for misrepresenting products in the CBD market. Amazon, for instance, does not allow the sale of CBD products, but a search for CBD at Amazon will present numerous “hemp seed oil” products which have no CBD. When it comes to CBD, everyone should be cautious and do their research before buying online.
“On the supply side, the imbalance is due to the fact that hemp farming was generally illegal prior to the passage of the Farm Bill of 2018 (Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018), signed into law on December 20, 2018,” he says. Prior to that, hemp farming was only permitted in several states and mainly for research purposes. The Farm bill authorized the farming of “industrial hemp,” that is, hemp with less than 0.3 percent THC (the psychoactive element of cannabis).
There are some great deals available but sometimes low prices can mean that corners have been cut. For example, most cheap CBD products are made with isolate , which is an almost pure form of CBD that is less expensive to produce.
Because the UK CBD industry is still largely unregulated, tests conducted by third-party labs are essential for customers to be able to verify that what’s in a container matches its label. The tests are a detailed analysis of the contents of a sample, including how much CBD and THC it contains.
Some labs just investigate the cannabinoids but now many more include a terpene profile and a screening of contaminants. Because the tests must be repeated with a sample from every batch of every product, it adds an extra ongoing cost.
Why are some products so cheap?
Any CBD brand that applies for organic certification must meet rigorous standards . Their fields and farm premises are subject to regular inspections and everything from the fertilisers to harvesting practices must come from an approved list. While it’s expensive to set up a farm to reach these standards, the result is a high-quality product that has been grown without the use of artificial pesticides or fertilisers.
Ultimately the amount you should pay for a CBD oil comes down to how effective it is and your budget. But, if you find one that is significantly cheaper or more expensive than suggested here, there is a chance that it may not be genuine, and it is worth exploring further before spending your money.
The high price of CBD reflects the processes, equipment and legal requirements necessary to produce it. Other factors like marketing and packaging do play a role but don’t have as significant an effect on the final price point.
Once the hemp has been harvested the manufacturers must extract the CBD. The most effective way to do this is by using supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 is heated and pressurised and then introduced to finely milled hemp plant material.