Narrator: But in the age of anxiety, it’s no surprise that CBD has become a hot ticket for manufacturers, who infuse all sorts of products with cannabidiol, shrewdly tapping into its perceived wellness benefits and bumping up the price of otherwise standard items, like gummies, sportswear, tampons, and even dog treats. But how do we assess the value of CBD oil, which is actually produced in two different ways?
Gordon: Sometimes you have to dig into the nitty-gritty of the ingredients. And sometimes you even have to, you might have to call the company and see what they’ve actually used. But in general, the labeling criteria are becoming a little bit stricter, so more and more consumers will be able to know what is a CBD isolate product and what comes from a full- or broad-spectrum source.
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: These products can also be measured by the amount of cannabidiol in each bottle.
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.”
Given the reality that hemp is a “crop,” we are just now in the first full growing season for new crops. “This first season is limited due to the lack of defined hemp farming guidelines issued by the USDA. Each state must then either implement the federal guidelines or develop their own plan for regulating hemp farming,” Baum explains.
What’s drawing both consumers and product manufacturers to CBD oil are its highly promising purported health benefits, from reduced anxiety to help with nausea, inflammation, and insomnia. And though we still need more comprehensive research on the effectiveness of CBD oil, the World Health Organization has reported that “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Will the price of CBD come down over time?
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.
According to Baum, there are several factors driving the price of CBD. The most significant is the limited supply vs. the overwhelming demand.
2. Some products contain quality CBD but their concentrations are so low that they offer no therapeutic benefit. "For example, a 30 milliliter (1 ounce) full-spectrum CBD tincture listed with 50 milligrams of CBD. An average dose of 0.75 milliliters would contain about 1.1 milligrams of CBD. At that level, consumers would not see any CBD benefits."
The costly processes involved in production drive up the price. To make a high-quality CBD oil takes specialist equipment, expertise and top-grade hemp plants.
The legal status of hemp remains complicated throughout the world, but in the UK it’s particularly tangled. Currently, hemp grown in the UK cannot be used to manufacture CBD. As a result, it’s must be imported from elsewhere. Most often, UK products contain hemp extract from plants grown in Europe or the US.
What raises the cost of CBD?
Another reason CBD may be cheap is that it could be a scam. Hundreds of unscrupulous sellers attempt to pass off hemp seed oil, or other low-cost oils, as CBD so they can bump up the price. We recently explored Amazon and eBay and found numerous products designed to mislead people into paying for something that looked genuine but contains no CBD and is most likely just hemp seed oil .
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.
While those made with isolate can be a good option if you’re strapped for cash, they don’t contain any of the other beneficial cannabinoids and plant substances found in broad and full-spectrum items. The entourage effect theory suggests that the presence of other substances may modify the effect of the CBD to produce broader, more potent effects.