CBD Price: Explaining the Cost of High Quality CBD Products

cbd price

Posted on March 4th, 2021

Suppose someone recommends CBD oil because of its reported therapeutic benefits. You search for high-quality CBD oil, and as soon as you see its price, a shockwave goes down your body. Why is it so expensive? This is the first question that may come to your mind when you compare the quantity you get with the CBD price. Typically, the price of potent, full-spectrum CBD oil ranges from $50 to $200 per bottle. Of course, price is one of the factors that help to determine the best products. But you may still wonder why CBD oil is so expensive. Well, the answer lies largely in the manufacturing process. 

Manufacturing Costs = CBD Price

Before taking a look at the manufacturing process, you should know the approximate agriculture costs. Let’s assume that you are growing hemp on a 10-acre field. Here are some of the costs involved in the growing process.

Primary assumptions:

  • Plants per acre – 1500
  • Total harvested quantity per acre – 1425 lbs

Fixed costs – $1280 per acre, including:

  • Irrigation system – $4500
  • Machinery – $800
  • Drying materials – $500
  • Drying barn – $6000
  • Land rent – $1000

Operational costs – $12690 per acre, including:

  • Soil testing – $4200
  • Fertilization – $2500
  • Transplants – $60000
  • Weed control – $3000
  • Fertigation – $500
  • Irrigation – $3700
  • Labor – $5000
  • Machinery operational cost – $3000

Non-operational costs – $1225 per acre, including:

  • Licensing fee – $350
  • Suppliers – $2000
  • Security – $350
  • Transportation – $650
  • Testing fee – $1500
  • Interest – $5200
  • Inspection fee – $700
  • Others – $1500

Therefore, the total cost comes to $151,950, which means $ 15,195 per acre. Obviously there are many variables that go into that cost rundown, but it gives you a general idea of the scale.

hemp farmCBD Manufacturing Process

The Federal Farm Bill in 2014 allowed hemp cultivation under a pilot program in various states. Since hemp cultivation was illegal for decades, farmers have to work with limited resources. There aren’t as many machines available, which increases the operational costs a great deal. Moreover, every batch has to go through a series of tests to make sure they don’t contain more than 0.3% THC. THC is the cannabinoid in cannabis that makes users feel high, and is still illegal in most states. The following will explain how complicated the manufacturing process is and why the CBD price per bottle is so high. 

Seedlings

You get CBD hemp from transplanted seedlings purchased from a specialty grower or grown carefully in a greenhouse. Experts believe that the market price of seedlings will come down as soon as the industry grows significantly. The per-plant cost now is approximately $4. Most growers prefer producing their own seedlings as it gives them full control of their qualities. 

The grower usually uses a heated greenhouse to produce seedlings. He plants certified feminized seeds in seedling trays. Ideally, he should keep a 5’x 6′ space between each tray. Suppose each batch contains 1452 seedlings per acre. He keeps an additional 7% of seeds for replacement transplants. This means he produces nearly 15,536 seedlings. Experts say that 92% is the average germination rate. That means the grower has to sow 16,887 seeds to produce at least 15,536 seedlings. It is best to plant seedlings four to five weeks before the transplanting date.

Land preparation

The farmer first plants a cover crop over his 10-acre plot. He has to send two soil samples for heavy metals and pesticide testing. The test also determines the soil’s fertilization levels and soil amendments. Next, he has to apply lime to adjust the soil’s pH according to the Morgan test. The soil amendments and cover crop go through disks twice, at least two weeks before the planting starts. The farmer has to chisel plow the field at 15″ depth a week before planting. 

Most lands available for hemp plantation come with a well. The farmer needs to install and maintain irrigation and pump lines from that well to water his crops. A single-line drip tape should be enough to accommodate 5″ plant spacing. The farmer should form raised beds in areas with poor drainage. He should apply plastic mulch over the rows to conserve soil moisture and control weed pressure. Already you can see how the CBD price gets to be as high as it is.

Transplanting

The farmer pre-irrigates the ground before planting, depending on the weather conditions and soil’s moisture content. He uses a tractor-mounted transplanter to make holes in the seedlings and plastic mulch. The farmer needs help from two more people: one operates the tractor, one remains on the ground, and the other operates the transplanter. The average planting rate in most farms is one acre per hour. Usually, the replanting rate is 7%. The farmer has to replace plants manually instead of using the transplanter. This takes place a month later after he narrows down the useless seedlings.

Irrigation and Fertilization 

The farmer starts with intensive irrigation a month after transplanting. He has to keep the weather conditions in mind and water the plants accordingly. Watering every alternate day keeps the plants fresh. Water supply is usually adequate during a full growing season. The grower can remove the drip tape once the plants establish properly. 

Fertilization is the next stage in this process. Many studies suggest that farmers should apply fertilizers throughout the growing season. 50 lb of nitrogen is the ideal quantity that farmers should use, depending on the soil’s fertility. 

Roguing

The farmer should remove hermaphroditic and male plants from the field before the plants release their pollen. Male plants destroy the pollen, resulting in a lower yield. Although it is possible to detect male flowers at the pre-flower stage, farmers should invest in careful examination to weed out the maximum number of male flowers.

Experts can examine approximately three acres per hour. This examination should continue every three to four days after the pre-flower formation period. Now you know how planting and testing contributes to the final CBD price per bottle. Usually, the experts find five to six male plants in a 10-acre plot. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. But it’s crucial to eliminate these male plants as they can destroy significant parts of the final yield.

Pest management

CBD hemp cultivation involves a four-fold pest management system. 

  • Vertebrates – You can use fences and traps to keep vertebrates, such as groundhogs, voles, rats, moles, mice, and deer, from the field. Many farmers use an electric fence to keep wandering deer away. You can also install surveillance and signage to minimize human trespassing.

 

  • Weeds – The use of plastic mulch and disking can significantly reduce weed pressure. Farmers usually maintain cover crops in alleys between planting rows. They mow these areas regularly to keep weeds away.

 

  • Insects and mites – Damage control is essential at an early stage to ensure healthy plant growth. Some of the common insects that attack CBD hemp plantations are corn earworms, Japanese beetle, tarnished plant bugs, Western black flea beetle, spotted cucumber beetle, European corn borer, and aphids. Farmers use organic pesticides to control pressure from these pests.

 

  • Diseases – The presence of pathogenic soil microbes can deteriorate the crop’s quality significantly. Fungal genera Fusarium, Rhyizoctonia, and oomycete Pythium are the most common microbes that affect CBD hemp cultivation. Botrytis, powdery mildew, and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum are detrimental to the plant’s growth, especially in high humidity and poor airflow conditions. Scientists have come across multiple leaf spots caused due to Cercospora, Colletotrichum, Phaeomycocentropora, Stagonospora, Septoria, Leptosphaerulina, Cristulariella, Boeremia, and Bipolaris.

Farmer-Farming-Hemp-CBD-History

Harvest

This is the last stage in the farming process. The timing of harvest depends on the plants’ maturity. Usually, autumn is the harvesting season in most states. It is the ideal time to extract the maximum quantity of D9-THC and CBD. The farmer may take approximately two to three weeks to complete the harvest. It’s best to hire laborers to reduce the total harvest time. The most labor-intensive job is to remove flowers from the dried plant. Experts believe that these employees may be replaced by machinery in the future. 

The farmer needs to test at least 29 samples to provide accurate test reports. Any state, tribal, local, or federal law enforcement agency can collect these samples. On the other hand, the farmer needs to harvest the entire crop within 15 days after the sampling date. The law enforcement agency can also take samples from the pre-harvest period to check the D9-THC and CBD concentration. The higher the concentration, the higher the CBD price. 

The next step is to chop and load the plants for transportation to the farmer’s drying facility. This is also a labor-intensive stage where the farmer hires around ten laborers who can work at a rate of five hours per acre. The plants then go through a series of steps, such as drying, de-budding, transportation, post-harvest cleanup, yields, returns, and sales and marketing.

Final Thoughts on CBD Price

When the dried and cured hemp shows up at a CBD company’s door, there’s still work to do. Extracting the pure cannabinoids from the hemp is a complicated process in itself. Finding the best combination of cannabinoids for the best effect is a complex science as well. Companies like Tanasi spend millions of dollars researching and deciding on their final formulas. Then they have to bottle the products, market them, and ship them to customers.

Hopefully you now understand why a bottle of high quality CBD tincture can cost so much. If you have used Tanasi’s full spectrum tinctures, you can understand that the benefits they provide are well worth the cost.

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