CBD is increasingly becoming a fixture in everyday life for millions of individuals around the globe. A 2021 survey tells us that CBD attracts users who are seeking natural, holistic products to support their wellness and maintain health. The CBD market in the U.S. hit $4.6 billion in 2020, a landmark feat considering hemp-derived cannabinoids only became federally legal in 2018.
As market momentum picks up speed and our consumer interest in CBD grows, it’s likely that the industry will continue to expand in leaps and bounds in the coming years. As the market matures, product prices often reflect a changing industry.
At Leafreport, our goal is to ensure that CBD consumers get what they pay for. In the midst of a largely unregulated market, however, it can be challenging to separate snake oil from high-quality, reputable products. CBD prices can vary significantly because the quality of CBD products also falls along a diverse spectrum. Our overarching goal is to promote transparency across the industry, and help educate consumers so they’re equipped to select the most effective products for the fairest price.
Here’s our analysis of CBD pricing for November 2021.
Every six months Leafreport captures a snapshot of the CBD market. We carry out an in-depth pricing analysis, collecting data to compare the prices of more than 3000 CBD products from more than 100 brands. Our CBD price reports offer invaluable insights for consumers and industry insiders who want to know which products and brands offer the most value for money, and where the greatest disparities lie.
For each and every product, we recorded the price (as of November 2021) then divided it by the milligrams of CBD present in the product to reach our standardized pricing reference point: the price in USD per milligram of CBD.
We then analyzed the average for each brand (in USD per milligram of CBD) and created a price index to easily compare brands.
A – “Bargain grade”– prices in this category range from $0.01-$0.076/mg CBD
B – “Market grade” – prices in this category range from $0.077-$0.167/mg CBD
C – “Pricey grade” – prices in this category were above $0.168/mg CBD
This simple system allows the easy comparison of potency and price for products in the same category.
A massive chasm still separates the priciest CBD products from the most affordable. Of the data we unearthed during our research, the following findings stood out as the most compelling and revealing:
Average price $0.09 per milligram of CBD
Difference between highest and lowest product prices: 1834%
Average price $0.09 per milligram of CBD
Difference between highest and lowest product prices: 833%
Average price $0.09 per milligram of CBD
Difference between highest and lowest product prices: 1175%
Average price $0.2 per milligram of CBD
Difference between highest and lowest product prices: 11142%
Average price $0.02 per milligram of CBD
Difference between highest and lowest product prices: 2185%
Average price $0.08 per milligram of CBD
Difference between highest and lowest product prices: 2050%
Average price $0.21 per milligram of CBD
Difference between highest and lowest product prices: 1483%
Average price $0.12 per milligram of CBD
Difference between highest and lowest product prices: 858%
Average price $0.12 per milligram of CBD
Difference between highest and lowest product prices: 1333%
Average price $0.17 per milligram of CBD
Difference between highest and lowest product prices: 5100%
Average price $0.17 per milligram of CBD
Difference between highest and lowest product prices: 8451%
Read on to learn more about our specific findings for each CBD product category, and how experts account for this dramatic difference in product pricing.
We spoke to some experts immersed in the CBD industry to uncover the factors that influence pricing in general.
According to Laura Fuentes, Chief Officer of Science and Innovation at Green Roads CBD, the current lack of regulation in the CBD industry contributes significantly to pricing irregularities.
“Companies like Green Roads that spend heavily on top-quality raw materials, independent testing, and other best practices, will naturally be more expensive than other brands that skip those steps – and expense – completely,” explained Fuentes. “If you review the pricing on all the top players in the industry, the pricing gap isn’t that big because most follow the same production process and have similar costs. The gap starts showing when companies who fly under the radar and don’t follow generally accepted manufacturing procedures turn up with lower prices – consumers should be wary of pricing that seems too good to be true.”
Mitch Meyers, co-founder BeLeaf Life Oils, also emphasizes that you get what you pay for. Meyers recommends researching the product and the company that creates the product, checking to see if the product delivers on both potency and purity.
“It is very important that people taking CBD for health and wellness purposes understand the company, the source of their hemp, and the testing regimen of the company producing the products,” said Meyers.
Winston Peki, chief editor of Herbonaut, points out that the way CBD is produced plays a significant role in the final price.
“The basis of difference in pricing for all CBD products, whether that’s oils, creams, or gummies, is highly related to the production process,” he stated.
Peki emphasized that it’s essential to recognize the production factors that affect price, including:
These three elements include additional factors like whether the CBD is organic or not, and the post-extraction process (whether other therapeutic compounds are preserved or removed).
“It’s erroneous to compare the prices of CBD products based on how much CBD you get for a certain price,” said Peki. “Other hemp compounds can significantly increase the effectiveness of CBD and possibly also create unique effects through their interactions with CBD.”
Peki points out that CBD isolate products are also much cheaper to produce than full-spectrum CBD products.
“Paradoxically, isolating CBD from an extract is cheaper than trying to remove all non-beneficial compounds, but trying to keep all beneficial compounds inside the extract,” he explained. “If you isolate CBD, you simply filter everything else out. If you want to preserve other cannabinoids and volatile compounds like terpenes, you need a much more sophisticated filtering process that can be more costly.”
Our findings revealed that topicals and edibles are two of the CBD products most affected by profound pricing differences.
In the case of topicals, Peki explained that a CBD cream infused with CBD isolate will be significantly cheaper than a CBD cream infused with true full-spectrum hemp-extract. He used the following analogy to help illustrate the difference:
“Ask yourself this: would you rather take a vitamin C pill (CBD isolate) or eat blueberries (full-spectrum CBD)? Blueberries contain hundreds of beneficial compounds, including vitamin C. How can you compare the price of a vitamin C pill to the price of blueberries?”
For Fuentes from Green Roads, topicals that follow a ‘boilerplate’ formulation are significantly cheaper because the efficacy of the product is often compromised.
“Many “affordably priced” topicals are boilerplate blends of CBD, menthol, and some standard skin cream base,” said Fuentes. “If you look at Green Roads’ topical line, you’ll see a wider variety of effective blends of carefully curated ingredients and even an over-the-counter line that includes more powerful active ingredients and carries hard-to-get certifications.”
In short, more effective topicals require more costly ingredients, and pricing often reflects that.
Jim Higdon, co-founder and CCO of Cornbread Hemp also underlined that the price of both topical and edibles can also be significantly affected by the presence of other ingredients in the formulation.
“The significant price fluctuation in CBD topicals and edible products is caused by the number of ingredients involved,” commented Higdon.
“Some brands sacrifice quality with cheap ingredients, leading to products on the bottom end of the price scale. For a brand like Cornbread Hemp that meets the standards of the USDA organic program, 95 percent of the ingredients of any product must be certified organic in order for the USDA Organic seal to be allowed on the product label, and that high standard can be reflected on the final retail price.”
With respect to edibles specifically, Higdon explained the addition of extra, high-quality ingredients to formulate the product can also strongly influence pricing.
“The longer the list of ingredients, the more likely it is to see price fluctuations,” said Higdon. “For instance, our CBD oils have only two ingredients. But our CBD gummies have 12 ingredients, which are at least 95 percent organic. It’s these additional ingredients that can cause fluctuations in pricing.”
Below, you’ll find our November 2021 price findings for each product category. We’ve provided the average price of CBD per milligram for each product. We’ve also identified the most expensive brand, the least expensive brand, and created comparisons with April 2021 findings to contextualize our findings.
Finally, we’ve included the overall brand scores for the most expensive and least expensive brands. You can find out exactly how we calculate brand scores here.
Tinctures are popular CBD formulations that are consumed orally. CBD tinctures are available in a full spectrum format, broad-spectrum format, and as an isolate oil. Tinctures are often teamed with a fat-rich carrier oil such as coconut oil that can optimize the absorption of the cannabinoids in the formulation.
Industrial Hemp Farms came in with the cheapest full and broad spectrum tinctures at $0.015 per milligram of CBD. The Colorado-based brand prides itself as one the largest suppliers of hemp flower and CBD in the world, and also claims to offer the best pricing. It’s unclear, however, from the brand’s website whether the hemp is grown organically, and how the CBD is extracted. When we reviewed their products, we found several products showed higher than the acceptable variance for potency levels.
Her Highness CBD offered the priciest full and broad-spectrum tinctures at $0.29 per milligram of CBD. The brand is well-known, but there’s very little information provided about the founders, cultivation process, or extraction process. Her Highness CBD emphasizes that they do not use parabens, sulfates, phthalates or aluminum in their products, however, there’s no mention of organic hemp or organic ingredients. It’s unclear where the brand sources its hemp from, and the company’s website lists no information about third-party testing. Certificates of analysis, however, are linked to each tincture product page.
The average price of full and broad spectrum tinctures has undergone a significant decrease of 7.04% since April 2021. This is good news for those who favour whole-plant CBD products that traditionally tend towards the pricier end of the spectrum.The price difference between the lowest and highest-priced full or broad-spectrum tincture product in November 2021 was 1834%–considerably less than April’s price difference of 2465%. Since April, we found that Sunday Scaries decreased the most in the price of their tinctures, while Game Up Nutrition’s CBD products increased the most.
Isolate tinctures are products that contain pure CBD isolate and are free from any other cannabinoids or compounds present in hemp. These products are often popular with people like athletes, who want to ensure that the product they’re consuming is free from any cannabinoids that could be traced in a drug test. CBD isolate is a more refined, processed product. The extraction and distillation process removes all unwanted compounds from the hemp.
Industrial Hemp Farms also emerged as the most cost-effective retailer of CBD isolate tinctures, with their offering priced at $0.01 per milligram. The brand offers a range of isolate tinctures, including pure terpene isolates derived from hemp.
CBD American Shaman came out with the most expensive CBD isolate product, priced at $0.21 per milligram of CBD. On the brand’s website, they claim to grow high-quality, eco-friendly hemp on agriculturally responsible farms–but there’s very little explanation or evidence of what this means. The website provides no insights into the manufacturing and extraction processes used at American Shaman. In addition, there are no links or information provided about third-party potency or purity testing.
The price of isolate tinctures has reduced ever so slightly by 0.5% since April 2021, suggesting that isolate tincture prices are relatively stable for the time being. However, it appears that the gap in product pricing has been significantly increasing. In April 2021, there was a 1192% price difference between the highest and lowest price tincture products–a difference that ballooned to 2050% in November 2021. Charlotte’s Web has decreased its isolate prices the most since April, while Bluebird Botanicals have increased their prices the most.
CBD gummies, which are a form of edibles, represent one of the most popular and convenient methods of consuming CBD. However, gummies are also one of the more expensive delivery methods because they’re labor-intensive, and require the use of additional ingredients that can be costly.
Redeem Therapeutics took out top spot for least expensive gummies, with their offering priced at $0.03 per milligram of CBD. The brand was founded by a team with pharmaceutical backgrounds that use CBD derived from USDA certified organic, North Carolina hemp. The farm where the hemp is grown has also received GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certification, which means all crops are grown, packed, handled, and stored as safely as possible.
Blue Forest Farms came in with the highest-priced CBD gummies, costing $0.28 per milligram of CBD. The Colorado-based operation states on its website that its products are cultivated using organic farming practices, but it is not USDA Organic certified. The brand also claims that it uses innovative, sustainable practices to farm and produce its hemp, but does not supply detail about how it executes this vision.
From April to November 2021, the price of gummies dropped by 5.22%. The difference between the most expensive and least expensive gummies on the CBD market is currently 833%–which is the narrowest price difference in any CBD product category. CBDfx made the most significant decrease in product price, while Industrial Hemp Farms increased their prices the most.
CBD capsules and soft gels are another convenient way to orally ingest CBD. For individuals who are used to taking health supplements in this format, CBD capsules may feel more familiar. Capsules also represent an effective way to consume an exact standardized dose.
Industrial Hemp Farms came in with the least expensive CBD capsule range at $0.02 per milligram of CBD. The brand’s capsules are available in broad or full-spectrum formulations, and use coconut oil as the carrier oil. If you’re vegan, however, these capsules may be problematic as the outer layer contains gelatin.
SwissCannaLife CBD capsules were the most expensive, priced at $0.26 per milligram of CBD. The brand uses USDA organic CBD in its products, and utilizes some more advanced formulation techniques such as nanoemulsion technology. Swiss Canna Life Capsules come in a range of options, including a capsule designed to enhance digestive support, and another focused on alleviating muscle and joint pain.
In April 2021, the average price of CBD capsules per milligram of CBD was $0.087 per milligram of CBD. While the price increase from April to November 2021 seems incremental, it represented a rise in price of 2.55%–the steepest increase of any product category. A difference of 1175% demarcated the most expensive and cheapest capsules in November. Hemp Bombs reduced the price for their capsules most significantly, while Stigma Hemp increased their capsule price the most.
For all Leafreport pricing analyses to date, CBD creams and topicals have continually taken the top spot of the most expensive CBD category on the market. Topicals and creams also represent the CBD category with the most significant discrepancy in pricing. In November 2021, there was a staggering difference of 11142% between the most expensive and least expensive products.
Industrial Hemp Farms comes in with the least expensive topicals and creams on the market, with their range priced from $0.015 per milligram of CBD. The brand offers a range of no-frills distillate creams. Distillate has a 90% concentration of CBD, along with some other compounds from cannabis such as terpenes. There’s a CBD, CBN, and CBG option.
Our November 2021 revealed Kushly is still the most expensive purveyor of CBD topicals at $1.69 per milligram of CBD. Kushly’s website states that it uses CBD derived from 100% organic, US-grown, GMO-free, full-spectrum hemp. The brand offers both traditional topicals and more luxe skin care options, such as CBD skin creams infused with collagen and retinol. It’s these high-end products that are priced at the more expensive end of the spectrum.
The price of topicals and creams has reduced 3.29% since April 2021–an encouraging decrease. Naturecan CBD decreased the most in pricing for topicals and creams, while Max CBD increased their pricing the most. However, the gap that separates the least and most expensive products is higher than it’s ever been. November 2021 saw a price difference of 11142%. In contrast the difference in April was 4718%
Vaporizing represents an inhalation method of consumption. Vaping is one of the fastest-acting delivery methods available, and is safer than smoking as it doesn’t inflame the lungs. Vapes can be purchased as vape pens, vape kits, and vape cartridges.
Industrial Hemp Farms vape products are priced considerably lower than many other brands, at $0.03 per milligram of CBD. The brand offers a range of vape carts, including CBD, HHC and THC-O variants. While the website states that the vape products have undergone rigorous chromatography to ensure purity, there’s no mention of third-party testing on the product pages or website at large.
Harmony CBD measured up as the most expensive brand, with vape products priced at $0.43 per milligram. The brand offers a diverse range of flavors in their e-liquids, including mango, pineapple, and lemon. The Harmony CBD website states that all its products are subjected to third-party quality testing, which is critical as some vape liquids can contain harmful cutting agents.
Since April 2021, the price of vapes and e-liquids has decreased by 5.58%. CBDfx have decreased the prices of their vape products the most, while Provacan have increased their prices the most. The difference between the least and most expensive vape prices is 1333%–notably higher than the difference of 1150% back in April 2021.
CBD isolate is a highly purified form of CBD that looks like fine semi-translucent crystals or powder. Isolate is produced using a process that is focused on extracting CBD, discarding other plant waxes, terpenes, and cannabinoids. For users looking to avoid any traces of THC, CBD isolate may represent an attractive option. Isolate can be added to a number of CBD products, including creams, topicals, oils, and edibles.
Industrial Hemp Farms once again emerged as the most cost-effective brand for CBD isolate, pricing its isolate range from $0.004 per milligram of CBD. The brand claims to retail high-purity CBD isolate that is 99% pure and has undergone testing for purity adulteration.
Cibdol came out as the most expensive brand of CBD isolate, priced at $0.09 per milligram of CBD. According to the Cibdol website, the brand’s CBD isolate is sourced from European hemp and subjected to a proprietary filtration process before being formulated in Switzerland. It’s unclear from the website if the CBD is derived from organic hemp.
The price of CBD isolate has dropped by 19.27% since April 2021–a more dramatic decrease than any other product category. This finding suggests that mass-produced CBD isolate is becoming more readily available on the market. There’s still a significant difference between the high and low-end CBD isolate products, however, illustrated by a price difference of 2185%. In April, the price difference was considerably lower, at 860%. Interestingly, despite offering the cheapest CBD isolate product, Industrial Hemp Farms increased their prices the most, while Bluebird Botanicals decreased their prices more than any other brand.
“Other products’ ‘ includes miscellaneous CBD products that don’t fall into standard categories–think CBD shampoo and CBD hemp flower pre-rolls. Since there’s a wide range of products that can qualify as other, there can also be a large diversity in product prices too–as much as 8451%.
Once more, Industrial Hemp Farms achieved the least expensive “other” product at $0.01 per milligram of CBD. The brand’s “other” products include pre-rolls, raw hemp flower, bath bombs and hemp kief.
Upstate Elevator Supply was found to have the most expensive “other” product, at $1.04 per milligram of CBD. Some of their “other” items include rolling papers and CBD-infused transdermal patches for muscles and joints.
“Other” products have decreased in price by 2.96% since April 2021. The price gap between most and least expensive products has also diminished somewhat, down from 9600% in April to 8451% in November. Provacan has decreased its other prices the most, while Pure Kana has increased its pricing.
This is the first time Leafreport has included edibles in a pricing analysis, and the reason for inclusion is simple: CBD brands are increasingly finding innovative ways to make CBD palatable. While gummies represent one of the most common edible options, other CBD-infused snacks like sodas, nut butters, and cookies are also on the rise. Here are our findings.
We found that Texan-based John’s CBD offered the most affordable option for edibles, with their offering priced at $0.02 per milligram of CBD. The brand offers CBD gummies, including a vegan option, and CBD-infused beverages in their edibles line. Beverage options include CBD-infused organic rooibos, green tea, yerba mate, and coffee.
Upstate Elevator Supply emerged as the most expensive brand of edibles, priced at $1.04 per milligram of CBD. The Vermont-based brand derives its CBD from hemp farmed organically and regeneratively. Their edible options include crowd-favorite gummies, along with CBD-infused sodas and seltzers in creative flavor combinations such as wild strawberry and tangerine.
CBD-infused pet products represent one of the most rapidly expanding niches within the CBD market. The cannabinoid has found popularity among pet owners who use it to help ease their animal’s anxiety, or decrease pain, with research is growing to support its use. The delivery formats that are most common for pet products include edibles and tinctures/oils.
Lazarus Naturals offered the cheapest option for CBD pet tincture, with their offering priced at $0.03 per milligram of CBD. The brand offers full-spectrum tinctures for pets in different flavors for a number of therapeutic purposes. The Oregon-based hemp farm has USDA organic certification for its hemp, and adheres to a number of sustainability and social justice initiatives.
King Kanine was found to have the most expensive CBD pet tincture product, priced at $0.29 per milligram of CBD. The pet-focused CBD brand claims to use hemp formulas that are entirely derived from all-natural ingredients and produced in GMP-certified facilities. King Kanine tinctures are available in a range of flavors and formulas.
The price of CBD-infused pet tinctures dropped by 5.19% from April 2021. There’s a difference of 858% between the least and most expensive products–significantly less of a gap than most other product categories. Purelix CBD pet tincture decreased the most in price, while Bluebird Botanicals and CBD Essence pet tinctures increased the most.
Martha Stewart CBD nabbed the top spot for least expensive pet edibles. Stewart’s recently released pet CBD line includes edibles in an extensive range of flavors, such as chicken and cranberry. The website states that the pet edibles are free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
Pure Kana came in with the most expensive CBD pet edible product, priced at $0.95 per milligram of CBD. Purekana states on its website that its edibles use CBD sourced from USA-grown organic hemp that is also non-GMO, pesticide-free, and herbicide-free. The brand carries out comprehensive independent testing for purity and potency on its products.
The price of pet edibles decreased by a modest 2.96% since April. Nonetheless, the gap between the most and least expensive products grew from 1257% in April, to 1483% in November. Purelix pet edibles decreased the most in price, while Blue Forest Farms pet edible products increased the most in price.
Fuentes believes that the price of CBD products will remain relatively stable until clear regulations are outlined by the FDA. Legislative changes that are in the pipeline could affect the CBD industry significantly.
If passed, The Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2021, along with the Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act, could change the face of the industry. Greater legislative clarity would allow CBD to be marketed as a dietary supplement, opening up the market dramatically. This change may lead to greater sales, and safer, more regulated products.
“If we see more standardized manufacturing procedures, CBD could become less expensive,” reflected Fuentes. “Over time, we will probably see less competition as smart consumers weed out substandard manufacturers.”
Many CBD companies are also focused on lowering prices for consumers, without sacrificing quality.
Peki expects that we may see several other changes to the pricing of CBD products in the coming months or year.
“While CBD isolate products or products that barely contain anything other than CBD may get cheaper, high-quality and true full-spectrum CBD products will probably get more expensive, or at least go up with inflation,” commented Peki.
However, there’s evidence to suggest that CBD consumers are prepared to pay more for high-quality CBD products.
A recent November 2021 cannabis market analysis suggests that discerning CBD consumers will pay a premium for superior products that offer optimal benefits. For example, the report found that in California, gummies that also contain CBD cost 18% more than gummies containing only THC.
The November 2021 report revealed some fascinating findings regarding the state of the industry. Some trends remain unchanged: Industrial Hemp Farms is still the most affordable CBD brand in general, with an average price of $0.02 per milligram of CBD. Kushly remains the most expensive CBD brand in general, with an average price of $0.97 per milligram of CBD. On average, however, the general price of CBD (per milligram) has snuck up slightly by 0.34%.
November’s report also indicated that staggering price differences are still all-too-common in products belonging to the same category. In comparison with April, seven out of the ten product categories had experienced an increase in discrepancy between the highest and lowest priced products. Notably, many of these price differences had also increased dramatically, with the most significant increase being the 11142% difference among topical products, compared to a 4718% price difference in April.
As the experts pointed out, the quantity of CBD present in a product isn’t always a reliable yardstick of price. The organic status of product, cultivation, extraction, production methods, and type of CBD used (i.e. broad spectrum or isolate) can also influence the final product cost. That being said, the sheer range in pricing certainly suggests that the pricing fluctuations we’re witnessing are emblematic of an unregulated market, with certain products of questionable quality.
Based on our analysis, the CBD market is still overrun by many brands that are delivering sub-par products, at high prices. However, there are still some stand-out CBD brands meeting our robust standards for price and quality, and it’s vital to recognize them.