Why is it hard to buy good quality, cheap CBD in the UK?

There is no denying that CBD products are currently pretty pricey in the UK. You’ve probably typed “where can I get cheap CBD in the UK” into Google a few times, looked skeptically at a couple of garish, untrustworthy websites and then given up.  We wouldn’t blame you. And whilst we can’t solve the problem of how to get good quality and cheap CBD in the UK, hopefully we can explain why CBD prices are relatively high at the moment and why you can look forward to them starting to fall.

If you are experimenting with CBD products or trying to find the right product or brand for you, at the current price points CBD is not the sort of product you can brazenly buy 10 different types of and give away what you don’t like. Why is this? After all, CBD is just oil extracted from hemp plants which surely shouldn’t be too complicated?

Part of the reason for relatively high prices is the stage the nascent CBD industry is at. Whilst the popularity of CBD is clearly rising, the basic infrastructure and hemp supply need to support this growing demand is only just being created. This is true in two senses. First in relation to farming and secondly in relation to the equipment need to safely process and extract high quality CBD oil from the hemp plants.

Hemp Farming

In terms of farming, hemp crops are far less plentiful than you would imagine. Although this is rapidly changing as more farmers switch to hemp production in light of the new market opportunity, global hemp production is starting from a low bar. Until the US Farm Bill passed at the end of 2018 it was federally illegal to grow hemp in the US and our unfortunate modern obsession with plastics has meant the demand for hemp as a material to make cloth, ropes etc has fallen hugely from being one of the most vital global materials over the last 2000 years. Until recently farmers have not had the financial incentive to grow hemp.

Extracting CBD Oil from Hemp

In terms of equipment, safe extraction of high CBD content oil is actually relatively complicated – more so than just cold pressing oil out of biomass. Essentially there are two methods – one, using solvents, and another use compressed C02 / dry ice. It’s the second of these methods which we use – resulting in a very clean CBD oil but which is expensive to produce due to the cost the equipment involved (as we have written about here)

Buying Cheap CBD in the UK

Whilst farming and production are creating relatively high prices for CBD purchases everywhere, a further issue faced UK-based CBD trailblazers is the fact that very few CBD products are actually produced in the UK. Virtually no CBD oil is extracted from UK grown hemp (there isn't much grow in the UK in the first place) and the vast majority is imported from the US and to a lesser extent Europe. This means an additional layer of mark-ups, transport costs and import taxes which wouldn’t be paid if you were buying your products in the same country as the CBD's origin.

The good news is that things are changing. Already since we started Paso last year the prices of our raw material CBD extract which forms the basis for all our products has fallen which we have managed to pass onto you with lower prices. As more hemp farms come on line hopefully this trend should continue!

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