TEL AVIV, Israel — In a comprehensive look at price and quality of major cannabidiol (CBD) brands, Leafreport said the most surprising discovery is that 70% of brands lowered their prices in 2020, confirming there is a substantial market supply that creates stiff price competition.
The price comparison also found:
- CBD prices dropped 17% over the period of a year, from 2019 to 2020, with the exception being pet edibles, with rose 44%.
- The difference between the cheapest and most expensive brands can be as much as 5222%, with the largest differences among topicals.
- Isolates are the cheapest product family, differing from the most expensive product family, pet edibles, by 87.5%.
- Lazarus Naturals are the cheapest brand in three product families.
- Provocan and American Shaman are the most expensive brands in many categories.
“If you’ve ever bought CBD … you’ve probably balked at the radical differences in price for what appears to be the same product,” Tel Aviv, Israel-based Leafreport wrote. “To make matters worse, the CBD industry is still largely unregulated by the FDA, meaning that overpaying for a subpar CBD product is a real risk for consumers.”
A key reason for CBD’s steady price decline in 2020 is because more hemp suppliers entered the market since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp cultivation, according to Leafreport. Other price factors are underlying costs associated with certain certifications, quality testing with third-party labs and scientists and merchant fees.
Regarding quality, Leafreport said pricier doesn’t necessarily mean better. “Because the market is the unregulated wild west, a company that doesn’t quality test for purity, or that uses isolates and mislabels it as full-spectrum, can charge just as much as a brand offering CBD that’s better quality,” it said.
Ways to ensure quality include checking for “USDA Organic” on the label and if the brand posts on its website certificates of third-party analysis (COA). Also, look for a small orange stamp that reads “U.S. Hemp Authority Certified,” Leafreport said.
The report goes on to create a series of benchmarks to compare quantity, potency and prices, and it also offers findings on costs for product families such as:
- Tinctures: Average of 9 cents per milligram of CBD
- Gummies: Average of 11 cents per milligram of CBD
- Capsules and softgels: Average of 8 cents per milligram of CBD
- Topicals: Average of 24 cents per milligram of CBD
- Vapes and e-liquids: Average of 12 cents per milligram of CBD
- Isolate: Average of 2 cents per milligram of CBD
- Pet tinctures: Average of 13 cents per milligram of CBD
- Pet edibles: Average of 23 cents per milligram of CBD
Leafreport is an online CBD resource that seeks to bring transparency to the CBD industry.
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