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Everyday CBD use is widely accepted around the globe, with people looking to hemp-derived cannabinoids to support overall health and wellness in a more natural and holistic way. In the U.S. alone, the CBD market hit $4.6 billion in 2020, a boon for something that only became federally legal two years earlier. In 2022, sales expected to top $8 billion.
CBD products, unlike marijuana, are more accessible to the general public, who can buy edibles, topicals, beverages, and more online, in grocery stores, and specialty shops. Also unlike marijuana, the CBD market is largely unregulated, which allows for a lot more disparities in quality and price.
This makes the marketplace attractive to bad actors who can take advantage of loopholes but more challenging for consumers trying to separate snake oil from reputable products.
A difference of 11,000%
CBD prices can vary significantly because the quality of products falls along a diverse spectrum. Leafreport has been sifting through the pile to find reputable brands.
In July 2021, one survey showed a 4718% difference between highest and lowest-priced CBD products. As a follow up in November, Leafreport found that difference rose to 11,1142% specifically in the topicals category.
In general, CBD prices have fallen since April 2021. But topicals and creams category has grown exponentially, allowing more room for pricing and quality disparities. Edibles were added to the latest report, which found a 5,100% price difference between the cheapest and most expensive products.
Why the difference in CBD prices?
Industry experts say everything from lack of regulation in the CBD industry to the way CBD is produced can cause the fluctuation in pricing. In topicals, it’s often because more ingredients are involved. But the quantity of CBD shouldn’t be a reliable yardstick of price.
“If you review the pricing on all the top players in the industry, the pricing gap isn’t that big because most follow the same production process and have similar costs,” Laura Fuentes, Chief Officer of Science and Innovation at Green Roads CBD, told Leafreport. “The gap starts showing when companies who fly under the radar and don’t follow generally accepted manufacturing procedures turn up with lower prices – consumers should be wary of pricing that seems too good to be true.”
The best way to ensure you get what you pay for is to research the company. Learn about the source of the hemp they use, understand the company’s testing regimen for their products, and try to find reputable recommendations.