A 20ml bottle of CBD can cost between £10 and £200, depending on the strength of the oil and where you purchase it.
Prices this high will make many people wonder what exactly they are buying and how it can possibly cost so much.
We get it. It isn’t cheap.
But why is CBD oil so expensive?
But once you learn more about CBD, where it comes from and how it makes it into small bottles ready for sale, you quickly learn that you probably wouldn’t want it to be cheap.
If it’s cheap, then it typically means that someone has cut corners.
In this blog, we’re going to pick apart the factors that contribute to the cost of CBD oil, so we can understand why £30 for a small bottle of earthy-tasting oil is actually very reasonable.
What's in this Guide?
Why is CBD Oil So Expensive?
When you understand the work that goes into preparing a single bottle of CBD oil, you will quickly appreciate that it really isn’t that expensive.
Since CBD is a natural product, you want it to be as pure as possible.
It would be possible to make it cheaper, but the finished product wouldn’t be anywhere near as effective or useful. These are some of the factors that contribute to the price of CBD oil.
Cultivation and certification
CBD is extracted from hemp plants. Since commercial hemp plants are controlled by strict laws to ensure they do not contain high levels of THC, growing and harvesting them is a skilled and expensive process.
And if you want your CBD to come from organic sources (trust us, you do) then this is an added cost as certification certainly isn’t free.
One hemp plant is capable of producing about 1lb of crude oil which will then need to be distilled into the finished product.
The best method for extracting CBD from hemp plant material is supercritical CO2 extraction. This uses CO2 as a solvent to extract the full-spectrum CBD oil from the plant.
It is by far the most efficient and safest method, but it is also very expensive. It requires specialist equipment and skilled operators to use it. There are also a limited number of facilities capable of carrying out this task.
Once the full-spectrum CBD oil is extracted from the plant material, it is then distilled to create the finished product.
Again, this process requires special equipment and a lot of expertise.
Quality control and lab testing
Before a responsible company can sell their CBD oil, they need to know what is in the bottle.
Third-party lab testing is the best way to achieve this.
Lab testing every batch of CBD oil across a wide product range isn’t cheap, but it is an essential step that no reputable CBD brand would ever skip.
This stage of quality control ensures that the finished product is safe and free from all traces of pesticides and heavy metals.
Red tape and importing
Since the UK doesn’t currently have the facilities to cultivate and process commercial hemp on a large scale, we rely on overseas growers and manufacturers.
Importing CBD oil is not without its costs in the form of red tape.
Companies must declare their imports to customs, and it is typically easier to hire someone to handle this step for you.
Get it wrong, and your precious CBD will be trapped in customs, unable to enter the country.
Is CBD Oil Overpriced?
Some CBD is certainly overpriced, but not all CBD oil products should be dismissed just yet.
As with anything in life, you get what you pay for.
By choosing the lowest price oil, you might be compromising on the factors that keep us safe.
Some CBD oil may be more expensive in places where cannabis is legal – when this is the case, you need to ensure you’re buying hemp oil instead of cannabis oil, else it could contain THC.
Is it Better or is it Branding?
Sometimes, CBD is more expensive simply because of the branding on the bottle.
Boutique CBD companies will try to position themselves as a superior brand, but a certificate of analysis and glance at their ingredients will reveal that they are offering something very similar to their competitors.
Sometimes, the branding is worth it. For example, if you know that a company is dedicated to organic farming methods to produce superior products, it’s well worth sticking with your chosen brand.
Even if they are forced to hike up their prices.
Because that’s another thing about CBD oil pricing. Since it’s a natural product, it’s all linked to the harvest. If hemp plants fail or cannot be harvested due to the THC content, this can impact the supply and prices will increase.
What To Look For in a Quality CBD Oil
When choosing your CBD oil supplier, look for transparency and clarity. You should be able to access a certificate of analysis to understand exactly what is in your CBD product.
You should also look for a brand that clearly cares about CBD education.
Since CBD has a high price point, it is a lure to those looking for their next “get rich quick” scheme. It’s quite simple to sell low-quality CBD oil for high-quality prices and make a quick profit.
But these companies are unlikely to put any effort into their education resources.
You should also look for reviews of the company to check that they are legitimate. Sites like Trustpilot are a great place to start.
New companies might only have a few reviews, but they will have a claimed profile, which means they are capable of responding to reviews. Companies that want to fly under the radar may have unclaimed profiles.
How Much Should I Pay For CBD Oil?
The price of CBD oil is typically determined by the strength of the oil.
An entry-level CBD oil would have around 300mg per bottle and should cost around £20. For a 500mg bottle of CBD oil, expect to pay around £30.
For a 1000mg bottle of CBD oil, expect to pay around £60.
And for a high-strength oil at around 2000mg, expect to pay in excess of £100. In general, organic certified oils will cost more than non-organic oil.