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The CBD market can trace its roots back to selective breeding of marijuana, state-level legalization, and retailers taking advantage of grey areas in the law. High demand, limited supply, and lagging regulation made the early days of this hot market very turbulent.
These factors led to the first few years seeing the quality and price of CBD products varying widely from retailer to retailer. As time passed things have improved and the prices and quality are beginning to stabilize - but there are still good and bad deals out there.
In this article, we take a look at how to compare the relative value of one product to the next using the price per milligram calculation, different factors that impact the value of a product, and how much you can expect to pay for CBD today.
In order to find the relative cost of one product to the next, you want to calculate the price per mg of CBD content in a product. This is a measure that allows you to compare how much you will spend per milligram of CBD from one product to the next. To perform this equation you'll need two pieces of information:
The price should be easy to find, and a good retailer should readily provide the total CBD content for each product. Once you have these two pieces of information, simply take the price and divide it by the total CBD content of a given product:
For example, let's use our 1500mg CBD Tincture which sells for $99.95. Using the price per mg equation we calculate the following:
Easy right? All you need to do is use this simple equation as you shop, comparing the price per milligram of CBD of the products you're considering.
Now that you know how to calculate the price per milligram of CBD, you can use the following chart as a reference when out shopping. The chart displays the average price per milligram of CBD for some of the most popular product types on the market:
|Product Type||Average Price Per Milligram|
|Capsules||$0.10 / mg of CBD|
|Tinctures||$0.09 / mg of CBD|
|Topicals||$0.12 / mg of CBD|
|Gummies||$0.13 / mg of CBD|
|Pet Treats||$0.35 / mg of CBD|
The price per milligram equation is a great place to start when shopping for CBD, but there are more factors at play that can impact the final value of a product.
One important question to ask yourself is what spectrum is the product? The spectrum defines the cannabinoid and terpene content in a product. This can have an impact not only on things like THC exposure, but also the effectiveness of a product.
For example, CBD isolate has been shown to need higher, more specific dosages to be effective when compared to cannabinoid and terpene-rich full and broad-spectrum products. While isolate-based products often have a very low price per milligram, the lower cost might not justify the end result if you need to consume more for the same effect.
Top-quality brands will clearly outline the spectrum of their products and provide lab reports to back up these statements. For help when shopping, be sure to have our guide to buying quality CBD handy!
In the early days, almost all the CBD products shared a similar oil-based makeup. This meant most products contained a full spectrum hemp extract or CBD isolate suspended in an oil carrier like MCT oil. These carrier oils aren't just for show, they play a key role: to help increase the bioavailability of a given product.
Bioavailability is the percent of a product that when consumed has an active effect. Here's the bad news: traditional oil-based capsules have an average bioavailability of less than 10%. That means when you swallow them, 90% or more of the product you consume is simply flushed from your body.
The issue is this - when CBD oil capsules are swallowed the product enters the gut and then must go through what is called 'first-pass metabolism'. During this process, only a small amount of the product actually makes it into the bloodstream and becomes active, the rest is passed out of the body as waste.
CBD tinctures rose to popularity as they addressed this issue by changing the route that CBD enters the body. This didn't address the issue of swallowed CBD however. In response, forward-thinking manufacturers leaned on emulsified technology used in the supplement and pharmaceutical industries.
Water-soluble products have undergone a process that breaks the oil particles into extremely tiny pieces. This process greatly increases the surface area of these oils and allows the body to more readily accept the valuable cannabinoids and terpenes. The result is up to a 5x increase in absorption when compared to swallowing standard oil-based products:
These technologies are game-changers in the industry and have a direct impact on pricing. This technology allows for more of the CBD to be absorbed much faster in the body than even a tincture would. The only downside is the duration is a bit shorter. At the end of the day, however, these products are effective and will require less CBD for similar effects - ultimately reducing the overall cost.
When shopping, always be on the lookout for additional deals you can apply to your order to help reduce the price you'll pay for CBD. Companies often offer deals for new and existing customers that can help you save money.
Many companies offer first-time buyer discounts, programs for repeat or military/veteran/front-line members, and bulk discounts. For example, here at Big Sky Botanicals, we offer a 1st-time discount by subscribing to our email list, bulk discounts on high-potency products, and a discount program that lets you earn up to 20% off for life simply by placing orders with us.
All of these common savings programs can help you get the best possible deal on CBD and dramatically decrease the price per milligram you'll pay.
It's no question that the average cost of CBD has decreased as the industry has grown. The decrease in cost over this first handful of years has been dramatic, and we do expect to see prices to continue to decline, though at an ever slowing rate. Supply and demand are beginning to balance in the current landscape, but there are still some big events on the horizon that may impact prices again.
The legalization of marijuana and the regulation of the CBD market could both have impacts on the pricing of products, in both directions.
Only the future will tell the truth, but we do hope that cannabis products will become increasingly used and increasingly affordable for all - and you can bet that here at Big Sky Botanicals we will continue to serve you the highest quality products at the best prices around.