CBD oil prices quietly hit a historical low recently, and nobody is talking about it. We dug through the archives of cannabidiol prices to see just how major the change is, found the events which caused these changes, and attempt to predict the future of CBD product pricing.
The first mainstream CBD product
The year is 2012. CBD is such a well-kept secret that even a Google search renders virtually no results on the topic. Unless you’re ready to trek through pages of scientific research reports, looking up the definition to every other word that even the deepest depths of your biology class memories won’t help you decipher.
There is one good (ish) thing about CBD in the year 2012. There’s only one CBD product on the market, so you aren’t trying to compare multiple different brands.
The one CBD product available was a little ½-ounce bottle containing 100 milligrams of CBD. Although, there were no lab tests available to prove that CBD content, so it was on the honor system.
The price tag? $90.
CBD Oil Prices are 88% less expensive today than in 2012
Today, the price of CBD is 88% less than it was in 2012. Coming to that conclusion requires a little math, as we’re not comparing apples to apples. CBD products are larger in size and significantly more potent today.
To start, let’s compare a typical CBD oil tincture price in 2012 versus 2019.
- 2012: 0.5-ounce (100mg CBD) $90
- 2019: 1-ounce (1,000mg CBD) averaging about $110
Sure, the 2019 tincture costs $20 more, but it’s double the size and contains 5x more CBD by volume. So, we can’t just look at the overall price tag.
In order to accurately compare the price of CBD products, you must calculate how much it costs per milligram of CBD. This way, you know exactly what you’re paying for the CBD content, which is what we care about.
To break the price down, it’s 11¢ per milligram of CBD as compared to 90¢ in 2012.
To get those numbers, take the product’s price and divide it by the total amount of CBD.
- 2012: $0.90 per milligram of CBD
- 2019: $0.11 per milligram of CBD
Even though the price of a bottle of CBD oil hasn’t changed that much, the bottles are much larger and contain an exceptionally higher amount of CBD. You won’t find a bottle the same small size and low potency as in 2012. The closest you can get is typically a 1-ounce bottle with 300 milligrams of CBD, which runs at around $50. That’s still 17¢ per milligram of CBD instead of 90¢.
You get what you paid for
There is no truer time to say, “You get what you paid for,” than with CBD oil prices.
Even though the price of CBD products has dropped significantly in recent years, that doesn’t mean we should be looking for the cheapest option possible. It’s okay to compare prices, but always be suspicious of abnormally cheap prices.
The raw hemp extract that’s used to craft CBD products is not inexpensive for business to make or purchase. So, when a product costs less than even that raw material they claim is in the product, something is wrong. Either there’s no CBD in it, or it’s made with CBD isolate. Isolate isn’t bad, but when you’re specifically shopping for a full-spectrum hemp oil product, misleading labeling can be very frustrating.
To protect yourself from snake oil as you compare CBD prices, always ask for a certificate of analysis (COA) and find out where the hemp oil is sourced from. If it’s sourced from overseas, you should take the extra step of asking for a third party lab test of the hemp oil, which will prove that there are no pesticides or heavy metals.
Snake oil products can look very convincing on a website. However, as soon as you start asking the manufacturer questions, you can quickly sniff out a sketchy company.
CBD is still a very new supplement. Eventually, it will become much more regulated to prevent snake oil from being the problem that it is today. Until then, either stick to a reputable company or do your due diligence to inspect a CBD product before purchasing.
Why have CBD prices gone down, while demand has gone up?
The reason CBD saw such a major drop in price is thanks to the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, which opened the doors for farmers in the United States to grow hemp. Before those bills, CBD had to be sourced from hemp grown in other countries.
Most companies sourced from Europe, where growing standards are very top-notch and organic. The quality is excellent, especially as compared to cheap hemp from China that never seems to test well, be it contaminants or lower than advertised CBD content.
As U.S.-grown hemp became more readily available, it was an obvious switch for CBD manufacturers. Not only is the quality fantastic and reliable, but it’s also cheaper than sourcing from Europe because you’re skipping the expensive import fees.
Future CBD price prediction
Sourcing hemp oil from U.S. farmers is helping to lower the price of CBD and will most likely continue to cost less over the next few years. Farmers haven’t been growing for long on U.S. soil. Currently, in the US, there are only 26,000 acres of hemp being farmed. A number we expect to rise in the coming years and thus decreasing the overall cost.
Larger hemp fields paired with new and improved equipment will also increase efficiencies to grow and harvest hemp, again helping to decrease CBD product prices.
On top of this, there are not many reliable hemp farmers in the U.S. right now due to the previous laws around the plant. As the competition grows, the prices will go down because, finally, there will be enough supply to meet the demand from CBD manufacturers.
Price isn’t all that’s changed
The legality of CBD was very muddy in the early days because the law wasn’t written clearly enough to draw a line between hemp and marijuana. Yet, it was readily available for purchase on major e-commerce sites, like Amazon and eBay. There were no rules against CBD because nobody knew what it was.
Now, everyone has heard about CBD and the law has cleared up its legality. Yet, it’s now that there are rules against CBD on major e-commerce websites, social media, and banking solutions.
To be fair, a lot of things happened in between. In the early days of CBD’s popularity spike, companies and law enforcement freaked out because they weren’t educated on the difference between hemp and marijuana, and in turn, CBD and THC. Even in 2019, a grandmother was arrested at Disney World for having CBD oil, which law enforcement thought was the same as marijuana.
Over the next couple of years, we expect companies to become more educated on CBD laws and remove CBD from their list of banned substances. Education is key for this to happen, and the hemp industry is on the right track to make a comeback for CBD that will make it a staple product in everyone’s home.