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If you are new to buying CBD, you probably wonder why the prices seem prohibitive. After all, doesn’t everyone say that you can’t put a price on health? So why would a wellness product like CBD, with so much ubiquity and promise, seem to cost this much?

The price of a month’s worth of protein powder will cost you at least $30 to $40. A gym membership is about $20 on a good day. A day at the hair salon is about $100; a facial is $80, and a trip to a quality barber is around $50.

CBD fits in somewhere between. Are you getting what you are paying for? When taking stock of CBD’s intricacies, you may look at its price with a new lens.

Read on to get an idea of how the CBD market, ever in demand, is still adjusting to its exploding popularity as it navigates a market that isn’t always accommodating to its success. 

1. Extraction and Refinement Affect the Cost of CBD

When you bite into your Double-Double at In-N-Out, you are probably not thinking about how that beef got from the cow to the processor, the truck, the fridge, the grill, and then into your hands.

Or who knows, maybe you have thought about it (and more power to you if so)! However, it is safe to say that the average consumer is not filled with these thoughts when they have a newly purchased product in their hands.

CBD’s manufacturing process involves a complex process of extracting CBD (cannabidiol) from the sourced harvested hemp plant – a time-consuming, laborious process requiring a significant budget and technical expertise.

Using specialized chemical processes involving ethanol and CO2 and state-of-the-art equipment, as well as the labor involved with isolated CBD, which requires even further purification, you can see how this could drive up costs. 

2. Farmers Work Extra Hard

Farmers are the backbone of the hemp industry, rise to the challenges of starting a new crop, and hemp presents its specific requirements – not least of which is the infrastructural components, like the necessity of a combine, which is expensive.

Then we are getting into the hiring of workers to manage the process, then the maintenance of the hemp crop, and the labor involved with seeing the process through. This also means–you guessed it–lots of money. 

3. Cultivating the Best CBD Strain – At a Cost

This one is self-explanatory; how can you ensure that you start off the gate with a quality strain of cannabis that’ll produce quality CBD?

Producers have done an excellent job with their limitations, including the regulatory structures that disallow the cultivation of certain types of cannabis plants.

Taxes are also enforced on this plant’s growth, which adds up in the end. 

4. Legal Issues Present Challenges for Marketing

Let’s face it – the word “cannabis” needs a few more years to cool off from its very loaded past.

Used as a battering ram by politicians convinced the war on drugs needed to target the plant like a laser, cannabis is only beginning to emerge from the struggle of the 1980s as a far more nuanced substance – one with healthful properties that produce compounds like CBD. 

The United States has made great strides since, with 36 out of all 50 states legalizing cannabis.

However, that still leaves 14 states, some of whom have decriminalized cannabis and some who remain steadfastly opposed to its legal use.

Hemp, and by extension, CBD, are federally legal–however, age restrictions and the taboo nature of anything cannabis-related make CBD a problematic product to market. Not even Amazon allows its sale. 

5. Classic Supply and Demand

The aforementioned taxation on hemp crops by many governments at the local and state level, the iffiness on the part of many stakeholders to get involved with the cannabis industry, combined with a very curious consumer base, means that there is a lot of demand and less supply.

You don’t need to be an economist to understand what this does to CBD prices!

6. Financial Institutions Are Weary 

Think of all the necessities of a business venture with a solid online footprint. Appealing to skeptical investors, getting payment processors and a bank to help handle business.

At the same time, rumors swirl that the government may reassess its relationship with cannabis altogether sometime in the future, or at the very least drag its feet concerning the schism between state and federal cannabis rules.

This regulatory stasis is not particularly helpful for getting CBD products out into the market, and once again, time is money. 

7. Distribution Hurdles

In late 2018, the US Congress passed that year’s farm bill that federally legalized hemp, opening the floodgates for the CBD market.

I know – it feels like an eternity ago, what with a global pandemic, political chaos, and the everyday distancing from the “before times” (anytime before February 2020, let’s say).

But in governmental and regulatory time, 2018 may as well have been last week.

Producers, businesses, and entrepreneurs are still working out the kinks with CBD and best practices for distribution and marketing.

While they have made significant progress, you can expect the market to balance out once things stabilize, both in the broader economy and within the wellness industry. 

8. Ripoffs Will Break The Bank

With any new industry, especially one boasting a newly legalized compound linked to a very famous source plant, there will be a clamoring of egos to cash in.

The chances of you running into several bad apples are pretty high. 

The novelty of CBD means no enforcement, no standards, and next to no oversight.

This creates an environment ripe for abuse and scamming – and they’ll charge you an arm and a leg for their snake oil.

In addition, their mere presence in the industry drives up costs because when fraud goes undetected, it affects not only the consumers but also the producers and stakeholders. 

9. A Question of Perception

The efficacy and popularity of CBD aren’t debated at this point; its sales and widespread fanbase are the fruits of hard labor by innovative entrepreneurs and producers who know the benefits of this compound and are willing to hustle to get their products out there.

CBD seems expensive because perhaps, it is –but a night out for dinner is costly, and so are those iced coffees you get in the morning.

It’s just a question of the expense compared to the reward. 

At the beginning of this blog, I mentioned other staples of American “self-care,” like the barber, facials, fitness supplements, and gym memberships.

While these things are not wholly necessary in our lives, and you can create compromises to extract them from your budget, you in all likelihood enjoy the privilege of getting to put at least them into your budget in the first place.

If only for a month, making room for CBD may help your body and mind – enough to where the price tag fits in quite well with your budget. 

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