Why is CBD Oil So Expensive? The Cost of Making a Quality CBD Product

For its health and relaxation benefits, CBD oil is a joy to use. But it can also be pricey, especially if using it as part of your daily routine.

Despite its price, the popularity of CBD for human and pet consumption is still on the rise. That’s because no matter how expensive it gets, its value and benefits will always surpass its price tag.

But since you are willing to spend so much on CBD, it’s only fair that you know why its price tag is what it is. To help with this, we’ll be answering the question of, “why is CBD oil so expensive?”

By the end of this article, you’ll have a good idea of what affects the pricing of CBD oil and how to get the best deal on CBD products.

Is the Law to Blame for the Price of CBD?

Current US legislation is partly to blame for the high prices of CBD.

For now, the legislation is still not well defined, especially regarding production and sale. Because of this, key players within the industry, especially financiers, aren’t enthusiastic about investing in CBD. That’s because, without proper laws and regulations, the industry remains volatile, making it difficult to forecast getting a healthy return on investments.

Until the right laws are put into place, it will remain difficult to convince investors that the CBD craze is here to stay and that they can profit from it.

But how exactly does this affect the price of CBD?

With fewer investors willing to step into the market until the law takes a clear stand on CBD, producers have to make do with what they have. For many producers, that means less funding to find ways to simplify and reduce the cost of producing and marketing CBD. And until the cost of production reduces, the price of CBD will remain what it is.

Aside from affecting the willingness of investors to step into the CBD industry, the lack of well-defined CBD regulation also affects the supply chain. Each extra step in the supply chain adds a bit more to the eventual price of CBD oil until it reaches the hands of the consumer (more on this later).

Why is CBD Oil so Expensive? The Cost of Farming and Extraction

For now, creating high-quality CBD isn’t cheap. In fact, the higher the quality of a CBD product, the higher its price usually is.

The process of creating the final product, such as tinctures, capsules, or oils, all starts with the cannabis plant itself. The higher the quality of the plant, the more potent the CBD you can extract from it.


It can cost around $300 to $600 to harvest just a single acre of premium hemp. That’s not counting the cost of preparing the land, sowing the plant, and maintaining it until harvest time. Also, harvesting hemp requires unique equipment that’s quite different from what farmers use for harvesting other products. Clearly, growing and harvesting hemp isn’t cheap, but there’s still the cost of extracting CBD to worry about.

Every cannabis or hemp plant contains a wide variety of compounds, including CBD. The process of extracting these compounds, removing the unwanted compounds, and converting into CBD oil or other products is a lengthy and expensive process.


The best quality CBD products contain mostly CBD and contain little to no THC or other compounds. The more refined the product is, the higher the cost of extraction and production will be.

Some manufacturers sell only full-spectrum CBD oil, which requires minimal refining and contains all the compounds available in a whole hemp plant. But such products can’t be sold in states that restrict CBD sale to products that contain less than 0.3percent THC.

To keep the THC content of CBD oil below 0.3percent, more refining is needed, resulting in a broad-spectrum CBD product, CBD distillate, or CBD isolates – All of which cost more than full-spectrum CBD because of their higher level of refinement.

Because of the high cost of refining hemp into CBD oil, most farmers simply sell their harvest to manufacturers who handle the processing. These manufacturers have various extraction processes, but the most effective processes with the best results aren’t cheap to run.

The most commonly used extraction process is winterization, which requires wide-ranging and costly equipment. The process first uses supercritical CO2 to separate a hemp plants various compounds and uses CO2 extraction to remove the unwanted compounds.

After this step, the process of winterization performs the final filtering to ensure the quality of the final product before mixing it with food oils for consumption.


Finally, there’s a shortage of US hemp farmers. It wasn’t until recently that the farming of hemp became legal. That means current hemp farmers had to repurpose their farms and tools to start growing hemp. Performing such a switch isn’t cheap, considering that hemp farming and harvesting requires specialized equipment.

As if that’s not enough reason not to get into hemp farming, most farmers have a slim profit margin. As such, they tend to play it safe by only growing products that they are certain to sell and make a profit. With hemp laws still up in the air, not many farmers can afford the long-term investment of switching to hemp farming when the legal future of the industry is still uncertain.

Because of the uncertainty involved, there is still a shortage of farmers that are willing to take the risk of adding hemp farming to their repertoire. That’s just another of the many contributors to the price of buying and using CBD oil.

Third-Party Lab Testing Adds to the Cost of CBD

The process of farming the hemp and shipping it to a manufacturer who will then refine it before sending it to a store for sale or other uses, all add links to the supply chain.

Each link adds to the final cost of CBD oil by the time you buy it. But there is one more step in the chain that adds to its price and that’s the testing. And trust us, you want your CBD to go through third-party lab testing before you buy it. If not, you could end up with a product that’s far different from what it claims on the label.

Third-party lab testing is an extensive and rigorous process that verifies the contents of CBD oil before it reaches the customer. Without it, you could end up buying a batch of CBD that contains more THC than you want.

Sadly, third-party lab tests are expensive. Depending on the state, it can cost between $100 and $400 per CBD oil sample.

Sure, the testing would be cheaper if it were left to the manufacturer, but that’s like asking a student to score his/her own exam.

Generally, lab testing for food and drinks is fairly quick. But the same can’t be said for CBD oil. That’s because CBD oil contains hundreds of cannabinoid compounds, which makes the testing process more time-consuming and costly.

Aside from verifying the quality of a CBD product, third-party lab testing also ensures the product is safe for consumption. That’s important because oversights during the farming or extraction phase can lead to a batch of CBD oil containing things it shouldn’t. For example, tests in the past have caught CBD oil batches containing pesticides, residual solvents, mold, and even fungus.

Since the high price of CBD oil implies you are indirectly paying for third-party lab testing, make sure you only buy a product that has actually been lab-tested. Manufacturers that sell third-party lab-tested products typically list their certificates of analysis on the packaging of their products and website.

How Much Should Good Quality CBD Cost?

We’ve seen the answer to “why is CBD oil so expensive”. But we haven’t talked about a fair price to pay for CBD.

The cost of CBD oil depends on its quality and purity. The purity of CBD oil refers to how much actual CBD is in the product. The more refined and purer forms cost more because of the cost of the extraction process we discussed earlier.

The purest forms contain 80 to 90percent CBD with the remaining content consisting of other cannabis compounds. That’s why pure CBD oil/CBD isolate and CBD distillate products cost the most.

It’s also why broad-spectrum CBD typically costs more than full-spectrum/whole plant CBD. Full-spectrum undergoes minimal refining and contains all the compounds in a typical hemp plant. Broad-spectrum, on the other hand, is more refined, containing more CBD and less THC and other compounds.

So, if you want top-notch pure CBD, you have to be ready to pay more for it.

How to Get the Best Deals on CBD?

CBD might be pricey, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get a good deal on a top-quality batch. Some tips for snagging a good deal include:

  • Shopping from reputable brands
  • Shopping with coupon codes
  • Taking advantage of discount offers and periodic sales

But when looking for a great deal, it’s important that you don’t sacrifice quality for price. Doing so can lead to buying a horrible quality product that your body reacts badly to.

So, instead of looking for the cheapest option, go for the best quality product from reputable sellers offering the best bargain. You can find such sellers by asking your friends or checking out online reviews on independent sites.

Will CBD Ever Cost Less?

While you might find the high price of CBD oil upsetting, it’s not the product’s fault. There are good reasons for the high price and hope for an eventual price drop. But for now, the present production process just isn’t capable of offering the product at more pocket-friendly prices.

Eventually, the regulatory environment and production processes will improve. When that happens, and it will happen, CBD oil prices will reduce and we can all laugh at a time when saving and hunting for CBD bargains was necessary.

FAQs About Why CBD Oil So Expensive

Question: Why is CBD oil expensive?
Answer: The cost of CBD oil depends on its quality and purity. The purity of CBD oil refers to how much actual CBD is in the product. The more refined and purer forms cost more because of the cost of the extraction process.

Question: What is the cost of farming CBD?
Answer: It can cost around $300 to $600 to harvest just a single acre of premium hemp.

Question: Why is Extracting CBD oil expensive?
Answer: The best quality CBD products contain mostly CBD and contain little to no THC or other compounds. The more refined the product is, the higher the cost of extraction and production will be.

Question: How to Get the Best Deals on CBD?
Answer: Some of the tips to make the best deals on CBD are to shop at reputable brands, use shopping codes and take advantage of discount offers.

Question: Will the cost of CBD go down?
Answer: When the regulatory environment and production processes improve CBD oil prices will eventually go down.

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Gene Daniels

Gene is the head of the learning CBD Oil editorial team. He has been active in the hemp community for many years publishing works on hemp-based wellness. Mr. Daniels takes great care to ensure all health-related info is pulled from reputable resources and is free of personal bias.