CBD has gained much momentum in recent years. People are using CBD to improve their sense of wellbeing, or in some cases they are giving it a go to reduce pain from a medical condition because quite simply - nothing else is working.

If you’ve tried to purchase CBD oil, you’ll see there is a wide variety of brands and strengths available. You’ve probably also noticed, there is a considerable difference in the cost of products which seem to hold the same product. Why?

Here, we will discuss why the cost of CBD oil can vary so much and what you should look out for when purchasing a product. If you’re a budding entrepreneur, or run a CBD business - you might also want to read on.


What spikes the price?

In most cases - especially with reputable CBD brands - there is a good reason for oils, or topicals, being so expensive. First and foremost, you might want to look into the cost of growing the cannabis plant and extracting the CBD.

Growing hemp in the UK is legal under a hemp cultivation licence, however growers are unable to process the valuable flowers and leaves which contain the highest concentration of CBD. Unfortunately, these are considered controlled parts of the plant and must be lawfully disposed of. So, most CBD products in the UK are currently imported from a legally grown source. The cost of growing, farming and importing the product is only increasing with demand, and extracting CBD is an expensive task.

Additionally, the cost of the finished product is heavily increased due to the choice of post-harvest processes, such as extraction, decarboxylation or winterisation. The choice of processes will depend on the desired use of the CBD product. Some consumers want THC-free products, whereas others specifically seek out full-spectrum products.


Testing the product

As more regulations are put into place, manufacturers are having to increase the level of testing done on CBD products, with a third-party lab. The quality of the CBD oil needs to be authenticated, as does the source of the plant and its intent for use.

Some consumers don’t realise how important it is to purchase a product which has been third-party lab tested, with a certificate of analysis available as proof. It shouldn’t be overlooked - and soon, it won’t need to be. As the Novel Food Regulations come into place from 31 March this year, any CBD product without the appropriate license won’t make it to the shelves.

Thorough lab testing ensures CBD companies cannot falsely label their product. This ensures the consumer can understand the quality, strength and dosing requirements of the product they’ve purchased.


Why do the prices vary?

Full spectrum, broad spectrum and CBD isolate products can differ in price as they have been through different layers of post-extraction processes. It’s also important to note that some products use synthetic lab-made CBD which comes at a reduced cost. Most consumers report feeling more benefit from full or broad-spectrum products as they contribute to the entourage effect – this is where the plant compounds work together synergistically in the body after consumption and the scientific evidence to support this effect is mounting.

Some CBD companies may also charge more due to the packaging used. For example, some brands use miron glass to protect the oil inside from natural light and to preserve the quality. Others use hemp to create their packaging and labelling, as it is more sustainable.

Consumers looking to purchase CBD oils must know what they are looking for when it comes to purchasing oils. While it will take a few more years for the public to be properly educated on CBD, it is up to manufacturers and wholesalers to correctly label, inform and certify CBD oils and other products.


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We are committed to providing entrepreneurs, job-seekers, academics and GPs with the tools needed to cultivate a career in the cannabis industry. Our range of CPD accredited courses are the gold standard in cannabis learning. We have partnered with leading industry experts to bring you comprehensive cannabis education you can trust.

Enrol in your next CPD accredited, CBD course today; or get in touch with us for more information.