People throughout the UK are using CBD oil as a natural way to support their health and wellness goals. But finding the right CBD is difficult because it’s not necessarily the case that a higher price is better quality. Some CBD products are comparatively cheap, whereas others are more expensive than actual gold. We’re here to help you understand why CBD oil is so expensive and why price is correlated with quality, but you need to do your research before buying the product.
Why Is CBD Oil Expensive?
If you’re looking at CBD prices in the UK and wondering if the world has gone mad, you’re not alone. But, if you break down the contributing factors, it quickly becomes apparent that there is a lot more to CBD oil than meets the eye.
There are strict laws that govern the growth of industrial hemp (from which CBD is extracted) in Europe. Farmers have to comply with a number of legislated requirements along with many others. For example, industrial hemp is a bio-accumulator, so the ground that it’s planted in needs to be free from contaminants. Additionally, products such as fertilizers and insecticides that would normally be used cannot be used to help increase the crop’s yield. So, in most cases, hemp grown in Europe is grown organically.
This is different from other areas that produce hemp such as China, where the soil standards required are much less exacting and lower labour prices mean that the hemp can be grown and harvested more cost-effectively. The main issue here is that hemp is a bio-accumulator, taking up toxins from the soil, so when purchasing a CBD oil, you’ll want to buy one made from CBD from organically grown hemp.
As with other agricultural farming, there is the cost of land, seed, labour, cultivation equipment and licenses. And in addition, there are the extra reporting and testing costs that are particular to hemp crops.
The plant requires farming that has its own costs but what adds to the basic cost is the fact that it is illegal in most countries of the world. So, it must be imported from countries where it is legally grown. The import costs a lot because it must go through the government’s approval along with transportation costs.
There are a number of different extraction methods whereby CBD is removed from the stalks, stems, and seeds of the hemp plant. The two most costly, but more effective and gentle, are CO2 extraction and ultrasound extraction. This has a significant impact on the price of the end product but will produce a higher quality, safer product compared to CBD that is extracted with the use of solvents.
From the process of extraction, the CBD extract undergoes a process of decarboxylation, the end result of which is full-spectrum CBD oil and from there the product will need to be packaged, incurring a new set of expenses.
Third-Party Lab Testing
Once the finished product is available, it needs to be sent away for third-party testing to prove product purity and concentration. These tests are necessary as they provide a reference for end consumers to check that the product that they’re interested in purchasing is safe and good quality. But, they’re also expensive and will add to the end cost of the CBD.
Once the end product is ready for sale, there are still a number of different expenses that will be incurred. Operating costs that need to be factored into the end-price include insurance, payment gateway integration, banking, in-house compliance, and legal advice. In all cases, because CBD is a higher-risk product, these costs will be higher.
CBD sellers will usually face higher transaction fees as lower-cost transaction options such as Stripe and Paypal are not available. And compliance and legal assistance will mean working with individuals and firms that are highly specialized and able to assist businesses in the CBD niche.
Does a Higher Price Indicate Higher Quality?
Well, yes and no. In general, cheaper CBD oils need to be treated with caution. Here you’ll want to look at the source of the CBD, and the results of the third-party lab tests. In some cases, the CBD oil will be made from hemp sourced in China and other areas where the growing of crops is not carefully regulated, and there is the potential for plants to have higher levels of toxins. The extraction process will also be a factor as solvent extraction is a cheaper option, but traces of solvents may remain in the end-product which is harmful to humans. Also, the concentration of CBD labelled on the bottle may not match the concentration of the product and some have even been found to contain no CBD at all.
In comparison, CBD produced from organically grown hemp in the EU, that has been extracted safely using CO2 or ultrasound is a higher-quality product and, because of the additional costs involved in the manufacturing process, will have a higher price point. Premium CBD sellers are also more likely to offer the results of third-party lab testing and be conducting on-going research internally to improve the quality of the products that they offer.
But just because a CBD oil is expensive, it doesn’t mean it’s good. Here the best advice is to choose a brand that have a good reputation, check the source of the product (it should either be from a member country of the European Union or from the United States) and remember to read the results of the third party lab tests before purchasing the product.
Buying CBD oil in the UK is a minefield as there are not many requirements that CBD sellers need to fulfil in order to sell their CBD products. And, while it’s clear that in general you should be opting for higher-priced CBD oils, you will still need to do your homework to ensure that you buy a product that is genuinely high-quality.