How to Tell If You're Overpaying for CBD Oil
The notoriety of CBD, or cannabidiol, has grown tremendously over the last couple years, and so has the availability of CBD oils (and their prices). Many people who are getting into CBD start by asking the question: "How much does CBD oil cost?" But with so much variation in the industry, determining which products are truly worth the cost can be a challenge.
How much does CBD oil cost?
To determine the value, or cost per milligram of a CBD oil, divide the price of the product by the total mg of CBD. For example, a bottle of CBD oil that costs $120 and contains a total of 2,400 mg of CBD costs $0.05 per mg.
The price of a CBD tincture can vary across brands, but the average cost tends to land somewhere between $0.05 to $0.20 per mg of CBD. If you're paying more than 20 cents per mg of CBD, you're likely overpaying.
The best value CBD oils
The average prices of some leading brands are similar, but a few clear leaders emerge when we talk about value. Below, we've highlighted the most cost efficient products from three top brands to help you get the most for your money.
Naternal Full Spectrum CBD Oil
CBD oil price comparison
In the price comparison below, you can see the average cost per mg of CBD for 10 top brands, organized from lowest (i.e. best value) to highest.
- Average cost per mg CBD: $0.03
- CBD oil price range: $25–$60
- Average cost per mg CBD: $0.06
- CBD oil price range: $34.99–$132.99
- Average cost per mg CBD: $0.07
- CBD oil price range: $29.99–$339.99
- Average cost per mg CBD: $0.08
- CBD oil price range: $29–$260
- FAB CBD
- Average cost per mg CBD: $0.09
- CBD oil price range: $39–$129
- Average cost per mg CBD: $0.10
- CBD oil price range: $57.95–$115
- Charlotte's Web
- Average cost per mg CBD: $0.11
- CBD oil price range: $39.99–$164.99
- Average cost per mg CBD: $0.12
- CBD oil price range: $89–$269
- NuLeaf Naturals
- Average cost per mg CBD: $0.12
- CBD oil price range: $38.50–$439
- Green Roads
- Average cost per mg CBD: $0.14
- CBD oil price range: $23.95–$342.50
Why do people pay so much for CBD oil?
The main draw towards CBD products stems from the compound's many potential health benefits. People buy CBD products to help with inflammation and pain, anxiety and stress, and sleep quality. This is not a full list, but it does encompass some of the most common reasons people turn to CBD. Additionally, CBD oil rarely produces any negative side effects, which can be best avoided by proper dosage and administration.
It's also worth noting that while many people enjoy using CBD oil as a part of their wellness routine, the Food and Drug Administration has only approved one CBD-based drug, known as Epidiolex. This means that mainstream hemp products, like CBD tinctures, have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat any disease. If you have a serious medical condition or take prescription medications, consult with your physician before buying CBD oil.
Factors that affect CBD oil prices
CBD oil seems like a pricier wellness supplement, but there's a reason. Many additional manufacturing and quality control practices go into creating a trustworthy CBD oil that other dietary supplements do not require. Some factors that affect how much CBD oil costs include:
The origin of the hemp plant matters, and the best CBD companies source their industrial hemp from domestic farms. The most recent Farm Bill laws regulate standards for U.S. hemp cultivation, so American-grown hemp is the safest option for quality CBD oil. Organically or ethically-grown hemp will cost more as well, especially USDA-certified organic hemp that is more costly to grow.
Strength and type of CBD extract
While products with higher strengths or concentrations of CBD are more expensive, they also have better value. This is because they have a lower cost per mg of CBD. Similar to buying toilet paper in bulk to save money, you can save money in the long run if you opt for a strong CBD oil that will last for a longer period of time than less potent options.
The type of CBD product can affect the price as well. For example, a full-spectrum product may be priced differently than a CBD isolate or broad-spectrum product that has gone through additional distillation and purification processes to filter out plant compounds like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC-free CBD oils are a good option for anyone who submits to regular drug testing, but full-spectrum CBD products may elicit an entourage effect that may be more effective in terms of elevating your general health and wellness.
Whether you're buying CBD oils online or in-store, third-party lab testing is a must for all hemp-derived products. This process isn't cheap, and more in-depth testing can cost more (which leads to a more costly end product). However, this external testing provides greater evidence of quality, safety, and transparency for the brand and its products.
Some CBD oil tinctures may contain premium ingredients like a USDA-certified organic MCT coconut oil or all-natural flavorings that can increase the price of the product. If you're set on purchasing a truly organic CBD oil, the extra cost may be worth it.
Lastly, and perhaps the most obvious, factor affecting the price of CBD oil is discounts or coupons that may lower the overall cost of an order. Many of the CBD brands listed above offer first-time buyer discounts, as well as subscription or bundle-and-save options that can cut the price of CBD oil significantly.
Is CBD oil worth the cost?
If you're looking to buy CBD oil online, there's no doubt that there are plenty of hemp products to choose from. Apart from CBD oils, there's also the option of varying application styles like CBD capsules, gummies, topical lotions, and much more.
With all this information to take into account, the CBD industry can seem like a confusing marketplace with an overwhelming number of hemp oils (and prices) to filter through. However, many consumers are flocking to CBD, and often use its potential health benefits as a way to justify the price tag.
So if you're in the market for an all-natural plant extract with a lot of hype around its benefits, CBD oil may be worth the splurge. And you can still shop for high-quality products without breaking the bank.
Ashley Jordan Ferira, PhD, RDN is the Senior Editor of Health & Wellness Strategy at Remedy Review, an independent CBD reviews site. Dr. Ferira completed her PhD in Foods & Nutrition at The University of Georgia, where she researched the role of vitamin D in pediatric cardiometabolic disease. The products featured in this article were tested at ProVerde Laboratories in Milford, MA and Avazyme, Inc. in Durham, NC.
This content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before consuming or using any of the products mentioned on this site.
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