Why Is CBD Oil So Expensive?

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, February 28, 2024


Why Is CBD Oil So Expensive?



Without a doubt, CBD has become one of the most popular products in the supplement world – and when you think about it, that’s kind of an interesting fact because CBD is also incredibly expensive. There aren’t many other supplements available at your local health food store that, depending on your dosage, can cost upwards of $200 for a 30-day supply. That’s really a lot of money, and yet, people all over the world are paying it; CBD has become a multi-billion-dollar industry.

So, why is CBD oil so expensive? As it turns out, there are several reasons, and we’re about to explain them. The next time you shop at a retailer like Pittsburgh CBD seller Vapor Connection, take a moment to appreciate the great amount of time and effort involved in bringing CBD from the field to the bottle.

The Farmer’s Investment
CBD is a natural product that can’t be synthesized in a laboratory and comes from a plant that’s notoriously challenging to grow. Hemp isn’t a plant that you can just plant, water and harvest, and if you’re cultivating hemp for its CBD content, a single mistake can potentially render the entire crop worthless. Growing hemp, in other words, is a very risky decision that can either make a farmer wealthy or broke.

Buying the Seeds or Seedlings
It all begins, of course, with the seeds. In extreme bulk, seeds for CBD hemp typically cost around $1.00 each. In smaller quantities, seeds are around $2.00 each. A farmer makes a huge investment, in other words, before the plants are even in the ground. It’s possible to skip some of the initial effort by buying seedlings and transplanting them instead of planting the seeds. Buying cloned hemp plants from a reliable breeder, though, can be very expensive. Some farmers have attempted to save money by buying seedlings from less expensive breeders, and they were horrified to discover that many of the plants were actually male.

Monitoring the Crop for Male Plants
Why are male hemp plants such a problem? It’s because the bulk of the cannabinoid content in hemp comes from the flowers of female plants. If male plants fertilize the flowers, the cannabinoid content of the flowers drops to almost nothing. One male plant can pollinate most of a hemp crop, and if that happens, the entire crop becomes very expensive fodder for hempseed or biodiesel production. Even when using “feminized” seeds or transplanting “clones” made from female plants, hemp farmers must monitor their crops closely and pull any male plants. Hemp breeders sometimes make mistakes.

Harvesting the Crop
When it’s time to harvest a crop of CBD hemp plants, the effort required really begins to skyrocket because you can’t just harvest hemp with a tractor as you can with many other cash crops. Hemp stems are too strong for that, and even if you could harvest hemp that way, you’d damage the flowers. Much of the hemp flower’s cannabinoid-rich resins are concentrated in the delicate trichomes, which fall off easily if the flowers are mishandled. The only practical way to harvest a CBD hemp crop is usually with machetes and shears, and that means hemp farmers usually have to hire extra help at harvest time.

Drying the Hemp Flowers
After the hemp is harvested, it’s still not ready for sale. First, the flowers have to be cured to reduce the moisture content and concentrate the cannabinoids. The curing process usually takes place in a barn or other structure with a fairly consistent temperature and plenty of airflow. The draws the moisture out of the flowers and helps to prevent the released moisture from stagnating and encouraging mold growth. Like so many other potential problems that hemp farmers face, mold contamination can render an entire crop worthless.

For farmers who navigate all of the potential pitfalls of hemp cultivation successfully, a big payday awaits at the end. Farmers who grow high-quality hemp for CBD extraction can potentially sell their crops for tens of thousands of dollars per acre – and that’s where the hemp processors come in.

The Processor’s Investment
A hemp processor is a company that buys hemp biomass and extracts the CBD from the biomass before turning it into finished products. Given the immense demand for CBD – and for THC-containing products in states where medical cannabis is legal – some hemp processors have become major companies.

Entering the hemp processing industry, however, requires an enormous investment. As mentioned above, it costs tens of thousands of dollars to buy the harvest from just one acre of hemp plants. Extracting the CBD from those plants requires a carbon dioxide extraction machine that can cost well over $100,000 – and what the machine produces is just raw hemp extract; it’s not a finished product.

Many CBD brands buy finished goods from hemp processors and put their own labels on those goods before marking them up for resale. So, just owning a CO2 extraction machine isn’t enough to make a hemp processor successful. CBD brands that work with outside hemp processors expect that they’ll be able to buy many different types of finished products ranging from oral CBD oil to CBD-infused gummies. Each type of CBD product requires its own equipment and production process. Building a hemp processing company capable of providing those products in sufficient volumes for resale requires an investment of hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of dollars.

The Brand’s Investment
Once hemp processors have finished making their products, those products are ready for sale. While a few CBD brands do produce their own products, most brands buy their products from hemp processors and put their own labels on them. As you’ve learned from reading this article, though, it’s a long and expensive process getting from hemp seeds to finished bottles of CBD oil. For that reason, the wholesale prices charged by hemp processors are often not as attractive as you’d think.

CBD brands need to have the appropriate capital to buy finished products in bulk. They also need to design and produce professional packaging for those products, set up websites and market themselves to the public. Just like everything else in this article, all of those things are very costly. So, the next time you wonder to yourself why CBD oil is so expensive, think back on what you’ve read today. Maybe then, you’ll wonder why you aren’t paying more.










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