Unless you are shopping around for the lowest price CBD, you are likely paying far more than necessary to get the relief you want. By taking a few minutes to read this article you’ll learn how to compare products and get more CBD for less money!
Hint: it is all about the milligrams (mg).
Before you start shopping for CBD products, here are 6 rules-of-thumb to know that will help you find the lowest price CBD and give you the relief you need.
- There are basically three types of CBD products: those derived from Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate extracts. Full spectrum extracts contain all the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids in the plant; Broad Spectrum is the same as Full Spectrum but with the THC removed; and Isolate extracts are pure CBD.
- Research and user experiences indicate that the one single ingredient in all CBD products (oils, creams, candies, drinks, etc.) that provides most of their relief is – CBD. Other ingredients may provide small incremental benefits, but it is CBD itself that gives the greatest relief per dollar spent.
- CBD is not the product: it is an ingredient or component added to the oils, cream, gummies, etc. The amount of CBD added to each product is measured in milligrams (‘mg’).
- CBD is CBD is CBD. Do not be fooled by all the marketing hype out there. One milligram (‘mg’) of CBD from a reputable manufacturer is the same as one milligram of CBD from another reputable manufacturer.
- The most important differentiator between CBD products is amount of CBD each product contains. Always look at how many milligrams of CBD are in the product(s) you are buying. This is the best way to measure the amount relief you are paying for. And always compare similar products with equal CBD concentrations. Products with higher concentrations of CBD are almost always cheaper per milligram than products with lower concentrations of CBD. For example, vendor A’s 3500mg CBD tincture will almost certainly have a lower cost per milligram of CBD than for vendor B’s 100mg CBD tincture.
- Remember to add any shipping costs when ordering CBD products online. Some manufacturers and vendors include free shipping, others offer free shipping when your order is above a certain amount, and other don’t provide free shipping at all.
Table of Contents
Why does CBD cost so much?
It is important to emphasize that at its basic level, CBD is CBD is CBD! Regardless of any fancy claims, additives, flavoring or packaging, as long as you are dealing with a reputable company, the less you pay per milligram (mg) of CBD, the more CBD, and CBD relief, you will get for your money.
If CBD is CBD, why do some CBD products cost so much more than others? There are several reasons.
Many products are formulated to include other cannabinoids CBG, and CBN along with terpenes and flavonoids, and other active ingredients that may provide marginal benefits but also increase costs.
Poor Business Practices
One of the main reasons CBD products cost so much is simply poor business practices. There are hundreds of store and online CBD vendors. Most have piled into the industry to make a quick buck without the business training and experience required to keep overhead low. Many do not source their products from lower cost suppliers. Some splurge on expensive packaging, store fronts, or fancy containers. They may use banks and payment processors who charge high fees to small or new CBD companies. The list goes on. To make even a reasonable profit over these high costs and expenses requires high prices.
For those companies who can keep their overhead low, there is little incentive to drop their prices to be competitive. Why cut their high profits when they can use recommendations, glowing testimonials, unsupportable advertising claims and marketing hype to create false perceived value to convince uninformed consumers to pay more than they need to get the relief they want.
They can also mislead you. A great example is someone charging more for pet tinctures than people tinctures. Both contain the same CBD so you can save money by giving people tinctures to your pets. Be sure to adjust the dosage before you do.
Quest for High Profits
A final factor is a company’s approach to sales volume vs profit. With so many vendors competing for your business only a few can have high sales volumes. Most choose to earn high profits on low sales volumes.
What is CBD used for?
A 2019 Consumer Reports survey found 1 in 4 adults in the US had tried CBD within the last 2 years. A 2019 Gallup Poll found that 14% of adult Americans were current CBD users, and of those, the 2019 Consumer Reports found 1 in 9 used CBD daily spending an average of $80 a month. Why are so many people using CBD? Because they find it provides relief from a whole range of ailments and it tends to provide this relief better than OTC and prescription drugs.
According to a 2019 Gallup Poll, of current users 40% use CBD to relieve pain (nonspecific), 20% for anxiety, 11% for sleep disorders and insomnia, 8% for arthritis, 5% for migraines and headaches, 5% to relieve stress, 4% for muscle spasms/soreness, and 4% for mental health / PTSD / ADHD / Neurological disorders.
Interestingly, a Brightfield Group/HelloMD survey found of those people who use CBD, 30% used CBD in addition to their OTC or prescription drugs and 22% replaced them completely (with 36% replacing an Rx opioid, 33% an Rx anti-anxiety drug, and 22% an Rx sleep drug).
In a nutshell, people use CBD products because they work. But there are several CBD product formulations, so which offers the greatest value for the buck?
What CBD delivery method is most effective?
Tincture vs Capsules, Pills and Gummies
Being informed about the CBD delivery method for an ingestible is also important. A CBD molecule delivered in a tincture delivered and held under the tongue may be more effective than a CBD molecule delivered in a capsule, pill or gummy swallowed and digested by the GI system. This means a dollar spent on a unit of CBD in a tincture may give more relief than a CBD unit in a capsule. Unfortunately, there appears to be no independent studies that definitively confirm that CBD taken sublingually is significantly more effective than the same amount of CBD passed through the digestive tract before absorption. The main difference between the two delivery methods is time before relief is seen and duration of relief. Tinctures deliver relief faster but capsules, pills and gummies tend to deliver relief at a lower level for longer.
Oil Delivery vs Delivery by Nano Particles and Nano Emulsions
Many vendors stress they have increased the bioavailability and efficacy of their CBD by breaking it up into super small particles and emulsions that make them supposedly water soluble (note: cbd is an oil and by definition cannot be water soluble). Some studies appear to indicate putting CBD molecules inside nanometer sized lipid packages may result in faster absorption into your bloodstream, the effects may last a shorter period of time. Even if nano’d CBD gets into your system more rapidly, your body will metabolize the nano’d CBD the same as it metabolizes non-nano’d CBD. And of course, all this razmataz is used to justify charging you more for the same CBD relief you can get elsewhere for a lot less money.
What CBD concentration is right for you?
There is no hard and fast rules for how much or how often to take CBD. There is no ‘right’ dosage for everyone. There is only the ‘right’ dosage for you. You should take as much CBD as you need but not more. I’ll explain.
You should start with a low dose of say 10mg to 20mg CBD and increase the dosage gradually over days or weeks. Most people find that 30mg to 60mg of CBD per day provides maximum relief. There are various ailments that may require higher doses.
For capsules and pills, start with one before bedtime, then, if needed take an additional one during the day (for a total of 2 per day) and consider taking a third during the day if needed to get maximum relief. Remember that most people are happy with an effective dose of 50mg per day, so as with tinctures, if additional dosage gives less relief, step back to the dosage that gives you the best relief.
For pain creams, just apply a dollop of cream on the affected area as needed to keep the pain down. The same caveat regarding using too great a CBD dosage applies to creams as well
Increase your dosage slowly until you get maximum relief. You will reach a point at which taking a larger dose will actually reduce your relief. In other words there is an optimal maximum dosage for you. So plot your dosage increases until you see that increased dosage gives you less relief, then go back to the dosage that provided maximum relief.
Note however that your ideal dosage today may not be your ideal dosage later. This is not because your body has acquired a tolerance for CBD, but because all the variables involved in determining your ideal dosage today may change in the future. So don’t be afraid to try increasing, or decreasing, your dosage in the future to determine if your ideal dosage has changed.
What is the common component of CBD formulations?
There are three main types of CBD formulations: 1) Full Spectrum extracts which contain all the cannabinoids in the hemp plant, including THC the psychoactive component of Marijuana, and all the terpenes and flavonoids; Broad Spectrum extracts which are Full Spectrum extracts with the THC removed (some companies say their products are Full Spectrum without the THC which is the same as Broad Spectrum); and 3) CBD Isolates which started as Full Spectrum extracts with everything else removed leaving only pure CBD.
Many CBD companies add other components to these formulations. Some add more terpenes and flavonoids, or enhance one thing and reduce another. Some add or increase the concentration of some cannabinoids such as CBG or CBN. Others add other components to enhance CBD’s effectiveness such as melatonin in sleep products.
All types and formulations contain one common component – CBD. Why? Because research and user experience show CBD to be the workhorse, the component that is most responsible for giving the relief you want from a CBD product. Other components may provide additional relief in certain situations but generally offer less relief per dollar spent than for a dollar spent on CBD. To what extent components other than CBD add value to the CBD product is covered next.
Beware, some companies appear to offer CBD relief at unbelievably low prices that don’t contain any CBD at all. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. And this is the case where unscrupulous companies are offering products that claim to provide the benefits attributed to CBD, but don’t contain CBD. Specifically I’m describing all the products on the market made from Hemp Seed Oil – Hemp Seed Oil does not, cannot, contain any cannabinoids including CBD, NONE. The highest and best use of hemp seed oil is as a vegetable cooking oil. If the product does not say CBD on its label and cannot show a Certificate of Analysis (COA) showing CBD content – Don’t buy it! It is cheap because it doesn’t contain any CBD so cannot give the relief CBD provides.
What is the importance of other cannabinoids and ingredients?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of 113 identified cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. The 2018 Farm Bill made it legal in all 50 States to buy and consume CBD products derived from Industrial Hemp plants provided they contain less than 0.3% THC by weight.
Of all these cannabinoids, research and experience confirm that the main provider of the relief you seek from a CBD product, is – CBD. So what value do the other hemp components and additives provide? Unfortunately, there is little research on human subjects to provide an authoritative answer.
The Entourage Effect
It is commonly believed, and the limited research appears to indicate, that all the cannabinoids plus terpenes and flavonoids do add value in what is called the Entourage Effect. However, even if the Entourage Effect is proven, the cannabinoid most responsible for providing the relief you need is CBD.
Importance of Other Cannabinoids
Other cannabinoids can enhance CBD’s effectiveness for specific ailments. For example, recent studies indicate that when combined with CBD, CBN can improve the efficacy of CBD sleep products, CBG can add anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective efficacy, and THC may help alleviate seizures. Products made from CBD Isolate contain pure CBD and no other cannabinoids.
Importance of THC
Another factor to consider is whether a product contains THC. THC is known as the psychoactive component of marijuana – the component that gets you high. However, Industrial Hemp may legally contain less than 0.3% by weight THC, a level that cannot get you high. Research indicates THC is effective at reducing epileptic attacks and may add to the entourage effect. However, if you are a private or governmental employee, service member, athlete or anyone else who is or can be subject to pass/fail drug tests, you might want to avoid THC. To be fair, Industrial Hemp CBD products with the legal amount of THC should not cause you to fail a drug test – but better safe than sorry. Though rare, CBN, has been reported to have caused some failed tests. Products made from CBD Isolate do not contain any THC or CBN, and Broad Spectrum extracts contains no THC.
Importance of Terpenes and Flavonoids
Terpenes and Flavonoids give CBD products their taste and odor. Research indicates terpenes and flavonoids do have nutritional value and may contribute to the proposed Entourage Effect. However, their contribution appears tangential to relieving the ailments people use CBD for. Products derived from CBD Isolate do not contain terpenes and flavonoids and are therefore tasteless and odorless.
Cost/Benefit of Other Cannabinoids and Ingredients
While searching for the lowest price CBD, consider whether any extra relief provided by these other hemp components is worth their extra cost. It often depends on their use and your assumptions. The question is whether you will get more relief per dollar spent on products containing CBD plus extra components or the same dollar spent on products with higher CBD content.
When searching for the lowest price CBD, evaluate the value of product components other than CBD and avoid the siren song of marketing hype! Vendors make lots of claims for all the extra components in their products. Believe only those marketing claims that you have confirmed are validated by academic or independent research.
Some vendors try to charge you more because of their purported unique formulations or processing makes their products more bioavailable or safer without academic or independent studies to back their claims.
Keep in mind that the goal of advertising is to separate you from your money. There are hundreds of store and online CBD vendors in the market, each competing for your business, each telling a compelling story to entice you to buy their products. The more convincing their hype, the higher the price they can charge and the more you may be willing to pay. But fantastic claims, glowing testimonials and fancy formulations do not make one vendor’s product more effective at relieving your ailments than another vendor’s products – it is primarily each product’s CBD content that makes the difference.
A word of caution: if a vendor claims their products can cure, treat or remedy any medical condition, do not buy them at any price. No reputable company would make any claims that the FDA has not approved or specifically prohibits.
Remember, it is not the advertising hype and unverified claims that give you relief, it is the components of the hemp plant, especially CBD, and proven active additives that deliver the relief you want.
What is the importance of sourcing, purity and processing in the USA?
The source, purity and processing of a product’s CBD is also to be considered in selecting your lowest cost CBD products. You CBD should come from non-GMO Industrial Hemp organically grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers on domestic (USA) farms that are 100% compliant with all USA and State Department of Agriculture regulations, and processed in FDA registered facilities.
Foreign sourced and/or processed CBD may be cheaper but most likely does not conform to the highest US standards of purity and safety.
Note that some vendors may tell you their CBD is purer than others, saying you should pay more for their CBD because it is Pharmaceutical Grade. This is hogwash because there is no such thing as a pharmaceutical grade criteria for CBD! One milligram of CBD is as pure as any other milligram of CBD.
What is the importance of lab testing?
Only buy products that show their CBD content on their label and provide easy access to their Certificate of Analysis (COA) from an independent testing laboratory. The COA will show the cannabinoid content of the product and may list presence of pesticides, heavy metals, mold and other contaminants. Note that many COAs do not list contaminants if they are sourced from organic farms that do not use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.
If a vendor does not make their product COA’s easy to access either on their website, by scannable bar code or QR Code, avoid their products. You must confirm that what is listed on the label is what is in the container.
HOW DO YOU CALCULATE THE LOWEST PRICE CBD?
Now that you have decided on your preferred CBD content, formulation and delivery, sourcing, purity and processing; and you have pushed past all the spurious claims and marketing hype, you are ready to find the products that meet your requirements and find the one that gives you the most CBD for the lowest price.
This won’t be easy. You can spend days searching the internet. Don’t expect help from the many websites that claim they have scoured the web to present you with the lowest cost CBD products in the market. They are doing no such thing! These are affiliate websites that earn their money getting people to click through to vendors who pay them to do so. In most cases the “lowest cost” products they recommend cost double or more per milligram CBD than you can find in a few hours searching the web on your own.
Once you have narrowed your search to a few comparable products, simply divide the milligrams CBD they contain by their price to instantly find the best value.
$50.00 / 500mg = $.10 per mg
$60.00 / 1500mg = $.04 per mg
Don’t forget to add any shipping costs to your prices. Some companies (like Reliable Relief CBD) include free shipping on all sales but most only offer free shipping on large orders or no free shipping at all. Where your order would not qualify for free shipping, a normal shipping cost rule of thumb could be $5 to $10.
$50.00 + $5 shipping / 500mg = $.11 per mg
$60.00 + $5 shipping / 1500mg = $.043 per mg
For reference, our research indicates that at this time the lowest market prices per milligram CBD in standard tincture products is around: $0.04 for 500mg Isolate; $0.05 for 500mg Broad Spectrum; $0.03 for 1500mg Isolate; and $0.04 for 1500mg Broad Spectrum. Prices for non-standard products will be higher.
CBD is CBD is CBD. One vendor’s CBD is exactly the same as any other vendor’s CBD.
Don’t be fooled by all the vendors’ marketing hype designed to add perceived value to their products so they can charge you more money. Many will make claims that their additional ingredients or whatever will give you more relief. But if your goal is to get the most relief per dollar spent, look for the products that meet your criteria with lowest price per milligram CBD.
To get the most CBD relief for your dollar – focus on those products with the lowest price CBD that meet your criteria.
You may want to start your search at reliablereliefcbd.com to find some of the lowest priced CBD products in the market.