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How much does CBD oil cost?

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Contents

  1. How much does CBD oil cost the consumer?
  2. What are the different types of CBD?
  3. Is CBD oil lab tested?
  4. How do you read the labels on CBD?
  5. Will CBD ever cost less?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is one of the hottest wellness trends of 2019, with products popping up in nail salons, spas, big-box retailers, and health stores throughout the U.S.

Though once illegal, the 2018 Farm Bill made industrial hemp,and thus hemp-derived CBD, legal to produce in all 50 states. And now CBD oil is popping up in such unlikely places as Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

But for curious newcomers to CBD, the price might be raising some eyebrows. A 1 ounce, or 30 milliliter, bottle of CBD oil could cost anywhere from $30 to more than $200, leaving many wondering how something so small can cost so much and vary so widely. What accounts for the discrepancies and, perhaps most importantly, how much does CBD oil really cost?

Well, that’s complicated. CBD can be expensive to produce with plenty of added costs and there are multiple formulas available. Plus, the potency of a bottle can greatly affect the price, even if it’s the same size as a cheaper bottle with less CBD overall. Here’s a primer to the different types of CBD and how much you should expect to spend.

How much does CBD oil cost the consumer?

According to Katie Stem of Peak Extracts, a cannabis product manufacturer, CBD as a bulk commodity ranges from $3 to $15 per gram, or a fraction of a cent to 1.5 cents per milligram. This could mean that a 1,000-milligram bottle of CBD tincture could contain $3 to $25 worth of CBD, but that wouldn’t account for production costs, materials, or labor.

Some companies might do all the production work in-house, but many CBD companies turn to “white labeling,” which is when a larger manufacturer makes their products for them. The CBD companies then must market and ship their products. Stem says this can cost around $25,000 to launch, plus a per-unit cost between $2.50 and $12.50.

Full-spectrum, or whole plant CBD, will contain trace amounts of THC and all compounds originally contained in the plant, such as terpenes. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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“Long story short, the range is so broad, it’s hard to make a general statement about what is a ‘reasonable’ price to pay for a CBD product,” Stem said. “That said, when examining a cost analysis from a production perspective, you look at labor, materials, packaging, labels, potency/purity testing, marketing, and shipping/distribution.

“In most other industries, the labor, materials, and profit are often divided into three equal portions. Given the exposure to this industry with regard to legal, regulatory, and testing standards, it stands to reason that the profit margin must be higher to accommodate potential risk. The markup may be closer to 400% rather than the 40% seen in many other packaged goods.”

There may also be significant markups on the retail side, as cannabis dispensaries are not allowed write-offs on their business expenses per Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code.

Stem said that when she is personally trying to decide if a CBD product is a good deal, she goes straight to the source material. Is it grown organically? Is it grown domestically? She also looks for readily available certificates of analysis (COA), which must be issued by a licensed laboratory that tests for potency and safety.

Stem said that those products will probably cost at least $50 to $60 per 1,000-milligram bottle, which comes out to 5 cents per milligram or more.

However, for most brands Weedmaps News looked at, 5 cents seemed to be the low end, while the majority cost between 10 to 15 cents per milligram of CBD and rarely exceeded 20 cents per milligram.

A few examples, using prices found in Los Angeles:

  • Ignite’s Lavender CBD Drops, 1,000 milligrams of CBD. Priced at $60, or about 6 cents per milligram.
  • Topikal CBD’s Sublingual CBD Oil, 1,500 milligrams of CBD. Priced at $140, or about 9 cents per milligram.
  • Icon Extracts’ CBD Tincture, 500 milligrams of CBD. Priced at $45, or about 9 cents per milligram.
  • Smashed’s Homies Anxiety + CBD Capsules, 400 milligrams of CBD. Priced at $40, or about 10 cents per milligram.
  • Ignite’s Lavender CBD Drops, 1,000 milligrams of CBD. Priced at $60, or about 6 cents per milligram.
  • El Gallo Star Anise CBD, 500 milligrams of CBD. Priced at $70, or about 14 cents per milligram.

What are the different types of CBD?

CBD can be derived from either hemp or marijuana. Legally speaking, hemp in the United States must contain less than 0.3% THC; it is generally grown for industrial fiber and other uses. Marijuana may have various amounts of CBD and THC and is typically grown for medicinal or recreational purposes. Broadly speaking, whether CBD is extracted from hemp or marijuana, the distinctions aren’t always relevant.

CBD and weed

CBD can be derived from either hemp or marijuana. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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CBD and weed

“One thing I always say is that a molecule does not know its mother, so CBD is coming from cannabis or hemp, but it’s the same compound,” said Robby Flannery, Ph.D., CEO of California-based cannabis brand Dr. Robb Farms.

The difference might be more relevant when comparing whole plant CBD, which can be full-spectrum or broad-spectrum, with isolate CBD. The latter results from extracting the CBD compound in its pure form, minus other cannabinoid compounds such as terpenes, which may provide flavors, aromas, or enhanced physiological or cerebral effects.

Full-spectrum, or whole plant CBD, will contain THC and all of the compounds originally contained in the plant, such as terpenes. Broad-spectrum hemp is similar to full spectrum, except that the THC is removed.

An ongoing debate in the CBD oil industry currently focuses on whether THC or other compounds are useful. Researchers have identified a synergistic interaction between the plant’s various compounds known as the ensemble effect or entourage effect. That’s one reason some may seek out full- or broad-spectrum CBD, but there are various reasons why a person might prefer one over the other. If, for instance, you dislike the smell and/or taste of cannabis or want to avoid THC entirely, you might choose to stick to isolate.

Flannery notes that “cannabis tends to be a little more resinous, so the entourage effect and ensemble effect that you would be able to achieve [by] including some of those other cannabinoids is more profound. But if you’re just consuming an isolate product, it does not matter [which plant] it comes from.”

peach ring gummy edibles

Many medical marijuana and CBD isolate consumers prefer an edible such as a gummy to receive their dose of cannabinoids. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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peach ring gummy edibles

Whether you end up purchasing hemp-derived or marijuana-derived CBD might actually depend more on where you live than preference. With the passage of the Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD is legal throughout the U.S., while cannabis-derived CBD will be available only to consumers in adult-use states or to patients in states that allow medical cannabis. Cannabis-derived CBD is likely to cost a bit more because hemp is less costly to produce.

Is CBD oil lab tested?

Third-party lab testing ensures a product is safe and correctly measured. A licensed lab will make sure a product’s potency is accurate, meaning you’re actually getting the amount of CBD or THC you’re paying for, or alternatively, that the THC content is zero for those who want to avoid any possible intoxicating effects or drug-testing surprises. These tests also will analyze moisture content and screen for pesticides, mold, fungus, and residual solvents — chemicals that may remain after the extraction process.

CBD oil research lab testing

Third-party lab testing ensures a product is safe and correctly measured. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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CBD oil research lab testing

How do you know you’re getting a lab-tested product? If a company lists its certificates of analysis on its website and packaging, shoppers can usually be assured the product has been lab tested.

“If you are a cannabis consumer and you go to a licensed retailer, you are close to 100% certain that all of that product has been tested by a third-party lab and it passed very stringent restrictions and regulations,” Flannery said.

Testing can get pricey, especially in a state such as California, where testing regulations implemented in late 2018 increased costs as much as 40% to 55% for some manufacturers, according to MJBizDaily. Flannery estimated testing can cost a company between $100 and $400 per sample, and they may have to test several samples. Those that produce flower — from which the oil is derived — have to test incrementally, such as every 55 pounds.

“If you’re a large farm, that’s a lot of testing,” Flannery said. “I know some groups who are spending in the seven-figure range on testing on an annual basis.”

All of these costs are shouldered by the manufacturer and ultimately raise the prices overall.

How do you read the labels on CBD?

The label on any CBD product will tell you several important details. Perhaps the most obvious detail is the name of the company, which you may want to research so you can read reviews of the brand (most are available on Weedmaps) or the individual product. Or, you might want to visit the company website’s FAQ page for additional product information.

The label will also tell you how many milligrams of CBD the product contains. This number may be the total amount or how many milligrams are in each serving.

Topicals and oils usually list the total amount of CBD. Balms, lotions, and other topicals are products you’re likely rubbing into your skin and therefore, you might not be concerned about measuring out a particular dosage.

With oils and tinctures that you’ll be ingesting, you may wish to find out how much CBD is in each serving. To do that, you’ll need to determine the milligrams of CBD within the net weight of the product. So, if you have a bottle that contains 30 milliliters (about 1 fluid ounce) of liquid and 500 milligrams of CBD (divide 500 by 30), that’s about 16.6 milligrams per milliliter. It takes about 20 drops per milliliter.

If your product is an edible — chocolate, candy, etc. — or capsule, you may find that the package lists how many milligrams of CBD are in individual items. If a bottle of capsules says that each capsule contains 30 milligrams of CBD and there are 30 capsules in the bottle, that would be 900 total milligrams of CBD.

CBD oil drop

CBD oil usually comes with a dropper to allow consumers and patients to measure out their dose. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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CBD oil drop

If the product contains THC, the label will tell you that as well. It may tell you the ratio of THC to CBD, such as 18:1, which would be a particularly THC-rich product, or 1:1, which would be more balanced.

The package will also specify whether the product contains full-spectrum, whole plant, or isolate CBD, as previously mentioned. And, like any other product, the label will list what else is in it (coconut or medium-chain triglyceride oil derived from coconuts are common carrier oils), where it was made, and how it ought to be stored.

Will CBD ever cost less?

According to Flannery, yes, the price of CBD will come down, but not for a few years. “I think the primary driver behind [the cost] is just the regulatory environment that we’ve lived in for so long has limited the amount of production we can do,” he said.

Flannery noted it takes time to put together the capital expenditures and build out the infrastructure required. A new hemp farm requires a minimum of two months to produce any crop and in many places, the 2018 Farm Bill marked the first time it was legal. Plus, testing regulations are often much stricter when it comes to CBD and cannabis than to similar herbal supplements or oils.

“CBD is never going to be, in my opinion, as cheap as any off-the-shelf pharmaceutical or herbal supplements, but prices are still going to be going down,” Flannery said. That cost savings may come about, he said, when lawmakers begin to understand that cannabis is not, “the devil’s lettuce we were told it was.”

How much does CBD oil cost? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents How much does CBD oil cost the consumer? What are the different types of CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD)

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C annabidiol, or CBD for short, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. Cannabidiol is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the plant after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It has many potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and seizure-suppressant properties. CBD can be sourced from both marijuana and hemp plants.

CBD is the yang to THC’s yin; it may calm anxiety and elevate your level of chill without intoxication.

Combine THC and CBD to fully enjoy the entourage effect .

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What is CBD?

The phytocannabinoid cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating molecule that results from the heating, or decarboxylation , of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). Most cannabis cultivars have lower concentrations of CBD than THC. However, following an explosive discovery in 2009 , droves of CBD-rich cultivars began cropping up across the US.

CBD oil dropper

(Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps) Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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CBD oil dropper

How CBD works

CBD’s actions within the brain and body are quite complicated. It’s very likely that the beneficial effects of CBD operate through diverse biological pathways, rather than by a single action. More research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which CBD relieves ailments such as seizures .

CBD directly interacts with several proteins in the body and central nervous system, a few of which are components of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) . CBD has an affinity for both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Our bodies have several other receptor proteins that participate in the endocannabinoid system, such as GPR3, GPR6, TRPV1, and TRPV2, for example. CBD binds to all of these, and its possible anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects may occur through these pathways.

CBD has some other very important roles outside the ECS. For instance, CBD mildly activates one of the brain’s predominant serotonin receptors (5-HT1A) in mice, which may explain its supposed effects on depression and anxiety . It also acts at the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) in mice, which may indicate its usefulness in fighting inflammation.

CBD can affect liver function, however. Similar to grapefruit, CBD can inhibit certain drug-metabolizing enzymes in the liver , resulting in much higher levels of some prescription medications in the bloodstream. If you are taking medication, check with your physician before using CBD.

Legality

In the United States

The legality of CBD in the United States depends on whether it is derived from industrial hemp or marijuana plants. Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC became legal. Marijuana-derived CBD remains illegal under federal law, but it is available in states that have legalized marijuana for medical and adult use.

Internationally

The mosaic of laws that govern CBD legality across the globe varies just as much as the legislation across the United States. Most Group of 20 (G20) countries allow CBD extracted from industrial hemp, but not CBD extracted from whole-plant marijuana.

(Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

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Is CBD a drug?

CBD fits the definition of a psychoactive substance as it can subtly alter perception and mood. However, it’s important to reiterate that unlike weed, CBD does not cause intoxication. CBD is a non-intoxicating substance, so it cannot stimulate the level of sensory and psychological effects that THC does.

How does CBD relate to THC?

The relationship between THC and CBD is complex, but in short, CBD appears to minimize some of THC’s less desirable effects, such as paranoia , heart palpitations, and impaired thinking. A combination of THC and CBD may offer enhanced therapeutic value to patients . This phenomenon of cannabis-derived molecules working more synergistically together than they do in isolation is commonly referred to as the entourage effect .

Medical uses

Consumers report using CBD for a huge variety of health and wellness reasons, but significantly more research is needed to determine the symptoms and ailments it can most successfully treat. Currently, there are over 60 clinical trials are examining the effectiveness of CBD for a variety of conditions.

If you’re using CBD, it’s a good idea to do some research to inform your dosage . Young children can tolerate daily doses of up to 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight . For a 175-pound (79.4-kilogram) adult, that’s more than 1,500 milligrams. The most common side effect of large doses of CBD is sleepiness.

Research into CBD has been conducted for the following conditions.

Pain relief and anti-inflammation

According to research , when CBD is introduced to our endocannabinoid system, it prevents the body from absorbing a pain-regulating compound known as anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid. Inhibiting the absorption of this compound shunts excess quantities into the bloodstream that in turn, may reduce pain. CBD may also target specific spinal receptors helping to suppress pain and inflammation. In both human and animal models, CBD seems to have a variety of anti-inflammatory properties.

Epilepsy and seizures

One of CBD’s chief benefits is its anticonvulsant properties. CBD has been documented as a potential antiepileptic since 1881; it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating severe types of childhood epilepsy in 2018. However, its anticonvulsant mechanisms are still not fully understood. One possible explanation for CBD’s perceived neuroprotective effects is its interaction with NMDA receptors , which play a key role in the type of neuronal activity that is a hallmark of epilepsy.

Addiction treatment

In 2015, researchers from the University of Montreal conducted a comprehensive review of CBD as an intervention for addictive behaviors. They concluded that CBD might have a beneficial impact on opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction. In addition, studies suggest that CBD may also be helpful in the treatment of tobacco addiction . One reason may be CBD’s potential ability to ease the anxiety that leads people to crave drugs such as heroin .

Does CBD affect mood?

Existing evidence suggests that CBD could help treat some anxiety disorders. For instance, at doses of 400 to 600 milligrams, CBD can alleviate situational anxiety, such as public speaking . Interestingly, cannabis cultivars that are high in CBD and low in THC may be better than other cultivars for alleviating depression .

(Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

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Single compound vs. whole plant

The Hebrew University of Israel published a study in 2015 that documented the potency of single-molecule CBD extract versus the potency of whole-plant CBD-rich extract. It found that extract taken from whole plant CBD-rich cannabis seemed to be therapeutically superior to single-molecule extract.

The scientists behind this study noticed that researchers had been utilizing pure, single-molecule CBD, which resulted in a bell-shaped dose-response curve. This curve indicates that CBD’s efficacy plummets at very high and very low doses.

Industrial hemp and whole-plant marijuana

Industrial hemp contains far less CBD by weight than CBD-rich cultivars such as Harlequin or Sour Tsunami. A single 10 milliliter dose of CBD requires the cultivation and extraction of significantly more hemp than whole-plant marijuana, thus raising the risk of exposing users to more contaminants. Hemp is classified as a bio-accumulator, or a plant that naturally absorbs toxins from the soil.

Also, CBD derived from industrial hemp lacks the incredibly diverse profile of different cannabinoids and terpenes found in whole-plant marijuana. CBD derived from hemp seems to have a weaker entourage effect.

(Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps) Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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High-CBD strains

AC/DC : A sativa-dominant phenotype of Cannatonic, this cultivar boasts one of the highest ratios of CBD to THC, clocking in at 20:1.

Harlequin : This cultivar was bred by crossing classic landraces from Nepal, Switzerland, and Thailand. Its consistent 5:2 CBD to THC ratio ranks it among CBD-rich staple cultivars.

Sour Tsunami : One of the first strains bred for its CBD content, this cultivar typically sports a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC.

CBD products

Cannabidiol is as versatile as THC, if not more so, and has worked its way into a host of products.

Flower : Combusting or vaporizing CBD weed allows users to feel the potential therapeutic effects of CBD almost immediately.

Isolate : CBD isolate is cannabidiol in its purest form: a fine white powder. This crystalline form of CBD is versatile and allows users to measure precise doses.

Concentrates : CBD can also be purchased in concentrate form, including raw CBD oil, cartridges, vape pens , syringes, and more. Concentrates bridge the gap between CBD flower and CBD isolate.

Infusions : Research and opportunity have driven chefs and chemists to infuse CBD into all sorts of readily usable products, including edibles , elixirs , sublingual sprays, and even topicals.

A non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. After tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the plant, and has many potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety and seizure-suppressant properties.