We get asked often why hemp extracts are so costly, especially by owners of large breed dogs. Dosing a 90 pound lab for arthritis can cost upwards of $4 per day to reach peak efficacy. The great news is that for small breed dog owners (and cat owners), the costs are much lower because dosing is on a per pound basis. As a quick indicator of quality, full spectrum hemp products should range from 10-13 cents per milligram CBD content. For example, a 1000mg CBD bottle should be approximately $100-130.
So why are some CBD oils cheap and others are expensive? Here’s what to consider:
- Formulation- Making a CBD isolate based product is very economical. This is why you’ll see a 250mg CBD bottle listed for $19.99; it’s a low milligram content, and single molecule preparation. CBD isolate is very easy to come by and the supply is great, hence you have an affordable but basic formula. Full or broad spectrum formulations will contain over 30-40 different active ingredients between cannabinoids (CBD, THC, CBC, CBG, CBN, CBD-A), terpenes, and flavonoids. The more active ingredients there are, the higher the cost of manufacturing will be (i.e that same 250mg bottle of full spectrum hemp extract will be double the cost).
- Sourcing- Chinese hemp costs much less than hemp grown in the United States, even with import costs. The quality is obviously way less as well with Chinese hemp, or even hemp that’s grown on contaminated soils. Hemp is a bio-accumulator, meaning that it concentrates pesticides and heavy metals from the soil, directly into the parts of the hemp plant we harvest from: the buds. Often times, cheap CBD oil is just that; it may have pesticide or heavy metal contamination, residual solvents, or harmful substances because it was extracted from unreliable sources. Read more about extraction processes here.
- Testing- this plays into the above as well. Testing for contaminants (microbial, mycotoxins, solvents, etc.) is extremely expensive, as in $600-1000 dollars per batch. Many companies don’t want to pay extra to test each batch, so they may test annually or random batches. Each time an extraction process is completed, different amounts of solvents or cannabinoids are left. With a small dog, even “safe” amounts of ethanol for a human would be toxic to our precious pets. The level of testing performed on each batch drives up the cost of hemp extracts.
Next time you are shopping for CBD or Hemp oil, make sure you trust the company and have done the research. Unfortunately, no regulatory body oversees hemp extract handling in the U.S., until that occurs, its buyer beware. Read more about VetCS’ sourcing, transparency, and professionally backed formulations here.