Cannabidiol (or CBD for short) has finally been legalized here in New Zealand. But if you’ve actively been seeking to buy some CBD products, like CBD oil for example, you’ve probably noticed a wide variety of cheaper international products. The reason why this is happening is influenced by the country’s definition of what a CBD product is.
Today’s topic might be boring for some, but it’s a very important one, especially for the state of cannabis in New Zealand, its businesses, and its buyers. Knowing the expected costs of CBD products could help buyers to plan their purchases, making it more cost-efficient for them. But first, let’s find out how New Zealand’s definition of CBD products is affecting its costs.
New Zealand’s CBD:THC Ratio
CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant, which is known for its tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC for short) substance used by a lot of individuals for recreational purposes, and it’s where CBD products like CBD oil are derived from. There are different strains of cannabis plants and each strain has a different CBD:THC ratio. A CBD-rich oil extracted from a CBD-rich cannabis plant has an approximate CBD:THC ratio of 30:1 (or in other words there are 30 parts CBD and 1 part THC in the substance) in its unprocessed and natural state.
This unprocessed and natural state of the oil is what’s often called a “Full Spectrum” CBD oil, which refers to naturally occurring terpenes and cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. But unlike global trends, New Zealand’s definition of CBD products has a CBD:THC ratio of 50:1—significantly greater than most global standards. It’s impossible to achieve a 50:1 ratio naturally, so manufacturers end up processing the oil to strip away its terpenes and tweak the cannabinoids in the plant to remove miniscule traces of THC.
Not only does the process add more costs to the final product, it also eliminates the synergistic health benefits of the cannabinoids and terpenes, which is then labelled as “Broad Spectrum”.
New Zealand’s CBD Costs VS Global Market Prices
In global market prices, a 1,500mg CBD bottle labelled as “full spectrum” is around $170 NZD ($100 USD). But for New Zealand, the prices range anywhere from $200 to $500, depending on the doctor’s mark up or the pharmacy selling it. Since CBD in New Zealand has just been widely legalised, thanks to the new Medical Cannabis Scheme (which also has steep fees for aspiring importers or producers of cannabis products), there’s a lack of a competitive market that lets pharmacies get away with tripling their prices due to limited supply.
Overall, one can expect for a somewhat stable price for a 1,500mg CBD bottle to be around $300, in best-case scenarios. It would last for about 1-3 months, but this is a variable that could quickly change based on a person’s CBD tolerance, their height and weight, and how long they’ve been using CBD products.
Beware of CBD Product Scams
Misleading businesses are abundant nowadays, so it’s important to beware of those who claim to be selling "full-spectrum” or “cannabinoid-rich” products. Always check the label and the brand that’s selling the product. Choose only those who are certified to sell and distribute CBD products via stores, pharmacies, or online.
We encourage you to actively search for information and learn more about what’s happening to cannabis in New Zealand, both medically and economically.
If you want to read more about CBD costs in New Zealand, check out Medicinal cannabis prescriptions limited by cost, barriers, lack of evidence – survey by NZHerald. Take care, be careful, and keep yourselves informed!