Why is CBD expensive? Can you find it on Amazon? What is "hemp derived CBD"? What should I look for when CBD shopping? We will answer these questions and much, much more in this guide!
The REAL reason CBD is "expensive"
1) Labor and Resale
Besides acquiring the farmland, planting seeds, growing, and cultivating the hemp plant, there is the tedious process of extraction. CBD extraction requires complex equipment and specialists who oversee the entire process. CBD must be separated from all of the other hemp compounds and plant fibers. The refined CBD is then tested and evaluated for potency and federal compliance (<0.3% THC presence in the organic matter, as well as the oil). Read more about the CBD manufacturing process on our blog (coming soon)!
Once the CBD is isolated: it's bottled, labeled, and shipped out - either directly to the customer (that's where the acronym DTC, or direct to consumer comes from), or to a third party re-seller that distributes wholesale CBD batches to retail stores (which marks up the price again).
2) Regulation, Acquisition, Advertising
Certifications to grow hemp are a few hundred dollars depending on the state - not bad. The real cost comes in with what businesses call "cost of acquisition" or how much it costs a company to get a customer. After initial investments, a business spends money on: product, shipping, events, advertising, staff, etc. Money spent divided by sales is your cost of acquisition. Acquisition generally has nothing to do with regulation in most industries, but the legal nature of CBD inflates the business advertising costs.
CBD advertising and sales are soft banned on the following platforms (non exhaustive list): Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Google, Walmart, Target, Facebook, Instagram (and I'm sure many more). What that means is CBD advertising budgets are either spent on expensive ad agencies, or used with smaller and more niche ad platforms that allow CBD. This results in higher cost and risker campaign ventures to reach our target market.
3) 3rd Party Fulfillment & Logistics
While small businesses may run out of a home or small store, larger businesses ship their product directly to a warehouse to hold, and the third party warehouse ships out the product once it's ready. This is not a free service. 3rd party logistics companies charge thousands per month in storage fees alone, and companies afford this by rolling it into the cost of your purchase!
How Hemplus One Saves You Money by Doing Business Differently
Our company is small, which keeps our staff cost low.
We warehouse our own product and ship it out ourselves. This ensures quality and timely shipping without the extra cost.
We are a "direct to consumer" business. This means we sell directly from the manufacturer to you!
We keep our ad costs low using local advertising, events, and "word of mouth" to help us get our product out there.
Shopping for CBD on Amazon
I know we spoke about CBDs soft bans, and this ban includes Amazon. What I didn't tell you is that there are re-sellers slipping through the cracks!
"Hemp Oil" or "Hemp Extract" - which may or may not include CBD is allowed on Amazon. Since they don't bust open every package and test the product, its very possible that these high-risk sellers are distributing CBD against Amazons policy. The problem is that these "hemp" bottles cannot list the actual active ingredients or advertise their greatest selling point on Amazon. The result is an unclear picture of what you're actually getting, where its from, and whether or not the product even contains CBD.
We do not recommend purchasing any CBD products through platforms where CBD is soft banned (including Amazon). Many sellers make outrageous claims as to how much "hemp extract" (read: CBD) is in their product. Some claim there is more extract that could possibly fit in their packaging... The product in the picture above claims to contain 12 million milligrams of hemp extract or oil, just over 26 pounds, clearly an impossible quantity. There is also a high probability that "hemp oil" on Amazon is sourced from China to save the seller money. CBD sourced from overseas are not regulated and are not subject to federally regulated safety standards like American made products.
Safety and Legal Concerns
Hemp plants and marijuana plants are both the same species. Legally, hemp is defined as a cannabis plant that contains 0.3 percent (by weight) or less THC, while marijuana is a cannabis plant that contains more than 0.3 percent THC. During batch CBD processing, the hemp biomass as well as the resulting oil extracted must remain under 0.3% THC.
CBD products that are sourced from marijuana plants at more than 0.3% THC - even if the end result is less than 0.3%. THC extraction is still treated the same way as marijuana in general and is not federally legal.
We recommend buying CBD that's grown, manufactured, and sold in America. This ensures the product you're receiving is 100% legal, safe, and federally compliant.
Delta 8, Delta 9, and CBD Isolate
THC is further measured as Delta 8-THC and Delta 9-THC, which are the Cannabinoids that generate a psychoactive response in the body.
Delta-9 THC is the classic THC everyone is usually referring to that gets people stoned. Delta-9 THC is only legal at a state level where marijuana is legalized.
Delta-8 THC has psychoactive effects similar to Delta-9, and is not regulated legally when isolated from Delta-9; it hasn't gotten enough attention from lawmakers .
CBD Isolate (which is generally a capsule or powder) does not contain ANY THC and can be advertised as 0% THC CBD because it undergoes secondary processing after the initial extraction to remove any remaining trace amounts of THC.
Be weary of products that say CBD Isolate or 0% THC, yet also advertise "Full Spectrum" (indicating a mixture of cannabinoids are present). This is simply not possible.
There are many other cannabinoids contained in hemp plants and some of them make it into CBD oil. They are currently being isolated and studied; among them are (abridged): CBDV, CBDA, CBGA, CBG, CBC, and CBN. To learn more about these, check out our article on the entourage effect.
Trustworthy and reliable sellers should clearly state their product, its ingredients, and have their batch tests listed publicly. At Hemplus One, we test for legality, chemicals, metals, potency, and cannabinoid presence. To see what a CBD batch test looks like, here's our most recent one.
Recap (things to look for)
Made in America
Federally compliant (hemp derived)
Batch tested with results posted
"Isolate" or 0% THC cannot also be "Full Spectrum"
We might be a little biased, but we think Hemplus One CBD is the best tasting, most aromatic, safest, and most potent CBD you can get your hands on!