Industrial hemp was one of the very first domesticated crops, a plant harvested throughout history for its protein-rich seeds and durable fibers.
Now that the federal government has legalized industrial hemp cultivation, farmers are eagerly converting their fields to accommodate growing consumer demand for hypoallergenic hemp fabrics, biodegradable plastics, and a wide range of health and wellness products.
If you've spent any amount of time shopping for CBD, you've likely wondered why retailers are charging so much more for hemp-derived products than other plant extracts and natural supplements.
Maybe you're concerned because low-cost products didn't deliver the benefits of CBD you were hoping for. Once you understand some of the many factors driving the market, you'll be in a much better position to determine if you're being charged a reasonable price for a product worthy of your investment.
Industrial hemp is a tall, weed-like plant with the ability to thrive in a wide range of climates. Now that hemp cultivation is legal in most states, many farmers are cultivating agricultural hemp for the very first time.
But hemp farming is not without risk.
Farming methods commonly used on other agricultural crops to protect the bottom line are not appropriate for hemp cultivation.
That's because industrial hemp has a remarkable ability to draw environmental toxins and heavy metals from the soil as it grows. Any potentially harmful chemicals absorbed by the plant will end up in its extracted oils. That's why hemp fields are tested for contaminants BEFORE planting and farmers rely on natural farming methods.
Hemp farming is labor-intensive. Harvesting, extraction, processing, and production are costly. Those expenses are reflected in the cost of hemp-derived CBD products. Some of the many other factors that contribute to seemingly high product pricing include:
The federal government has strict guidelines for hemp cultivation. To ensure crops meet federal and state requirements for THC content, tissue samples must be submitted for testing prior to harvest. Once analyzed, crops must be harvested within 15 days. If test results reveal THC levels higher than 0.3 percent, the sample fails. In most states, cannabis plants that test higher than 0.3 percent are legally classified as marijuana and must be destroyed, even in states where medicinal cannabis is legal. Crops must be closely monitored to prevent catastrophic loss.
Once crops are harvested, the cannabinoid-rich oil must be extracted from the plant matter. Product manufacturers tend to rely on two food-safe extraction methods: ethanol and CO2. Both require expensive, highly calibrated equipment. Although ethanol extraction is less expensive, many companies prefer CO2 extraction, a method less likely to leave chemical residue in the final product. With processing facilities in short supply, CBD companies pay premium prices for cannabinoid extraction.
Although hemp plants do not synthesize enough THC to cause intoxication, many retailers are still hesitant to carry hemp-derived products. While consumers are more open to using CBD, retailers that agree to keep CBD in stock typically offer a limited selection. That means CBD companies are most often restricted to small-scale distribution. Since many banks and credit card processing companies still consider CBD high risk, CBD companies tend to pay more for financial services.
Although CBD tends to cost more than other natural health and wellness products, purchasing high-quality CBD is far more cost-effective than spending less on questionable products unlikely to deliver favorable results.
There are far too many companies willing to take advantage of unsuspecting customers looking for a bargain. Once you know how to read between the lines, you'll be less likely to make a costly mistake.
As you look for a manufacturer worthy of your trust, be on the lookout for some of the following deceptive practices:
Most often, companies offering large bottles of CBD at impressively low prices are selling hemp extract diluted with large amounts of oil. That's why it's important to remember that CBD tinctures are not priced per ounce.
Reputable cannabis companies charge for CBD by the milligram. A 2oz bottle of a 500 mg tincture contains the same amount of CBD as a 6oz bottle of a 500 mg tincture. The higher the CBD concentration, the less tincture you will need per dose.
Cost per milligram is a better indication of product value. You can determine the cost per milligram of any CBD product by dividing the unit price by the total amount of CBD in the bottle or package.
While the terms CBD oil, hemp oil, and hemp extract are used interchangeably throughout the industry, it's important to know that there are two distinctly different types of hemp oil.
CBD (cannabidiol oil) is extracted from the stalks, stems, and flowers of the plant. Hemp seed oil does not contain CBD. Before you buy CBD from a company you're not familiar with, take a look at the product ingredients. Legitimate CBD companies will list “full spectrum hemp extract,” “hemp extract (aerial parts),” or “cannabinoid-rich hemp extract,”.
The most reputable CBD companies ensure the purity and potency of their products through quality assurance testing performed by an independent lab. Since any company can claim their CBD products are third-party tested, you'll want to reserve your trust for product suppliers that provide access to their certificates of analysis. You can use those results to verify the CBD content of the products you select, ensure THC levels fall within acceptable parameters, and confirm that your CBD products have been screened for heavy metals, solvent residue, and microbial contamination.
Consumer interest in natural health and wellness products is stronger today than ever before, particularly products that support physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. While CBD sales have nearly tripled in the past three years, many people are initially surprised by the comparatively high cost of CBD.
Once you recognize some of the factors influencing production costs, it's easy to see why companies charge more for CBD than other active plant botanicals.
When you're shopping for hemp oil products, keep in mind that reputable CBD companies price their products according to the amount of CBD they contain. Most often, you'll pay significantly less per milligram when purchasing higher potency products.
To compare prices and determine product value, divide the purchase price by the total amount of CBD in the package to calculate the price per milligram. While the popularity of CBD is not expected to diminish any time soon, industry leaders anticipate an eventual drop in prices when supply catches up with demand.
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