Leafreport Archives - Green Market Report

Julie AitchesonFebruary 2, 2022
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7min10040

Pricing schemes for CBD products are as variable as the products themselves and impacted by such factors as quality of ingredients, potency, and production. In a pricing analysis that compared over 3000 CBD products across 100 brands, a recent analysis conducted by Leafreport found that the price difference between the cheapest and most expensive topicals increased to 11142% as of the end of November 2021. In April of 2021, that difference was 4718%. Leafreport created a price index to compare brands:  “Bargain grade” brands (priced ranging from $.01-$.076/mg CBD), “Market grade” brands (priced ranging from $.077-$$.167/mg CBD), and “Pricey grade” brands (priced above $.168/mg CBD). 

“Bargain grade” CBD brands analyzed in the report included Extract Labs, Vida Optima and Erth Hemp among others while “Market brands” featured names like Receptra Naturals, cbdmd (OTC: YCBD) and Elixinol (OTC: ELLXF). Upmarket labels like Foria, PureKana and Kushly made the list of “Pricey brands” by Leafreport’s metrics. The vast pricing spread between “bargain” and “pricey” CBD products is not new to the market. Still, the ever-widening gap is noteworthy, as are a number of Leafreport’s other findings related to the discrepancy.  

While CBD topicals and creams showed themselves to range most widely in pricing among product categories, there was also a significant 3561% gap between the most least expensive products across all products. The difference between the cheapest and most expensive products in the edibles category was also noteworthy at 5100%. Gummies and pet tinctures posted the least difference in pricing between “bargain” and “pricey” brands at 833% and 858% respectively.

Leafreport spoke to a variety of CBD industry experts in order to gain a greater perspective on the factors that influence pricing. Responses from Laura Fuentes of Green Roads CBD and Winston Peki of Herbonaut highlight the current lack of regulation in the CBD industry, which allows some companies to skimp on materials and the production process without penalty. This can seriously affect a product’s purity and potency, but due to ongoing issues of inaccurate labeling and false product claims, cost-conscious customers often don’t realize that they’ve purchased an inferior product until it’s too late. 

Peki specifies that there are three production factors that influence price: hemp cultivation processes and the hemp plant parts used; extraction type, and vertical integration of the brand, which enables manufacturers to optimize costs by having more control over each step of the process. He takes issue with comparing CBD product prices based on how much CBD you get for a certain price, citing the value of other hemp compounds that can enhance and individualize a product’s effects. When it comes to topicals and edibles, the difference between an isolate and full-spectrum hemp makes a big difference in cost, as does the use of “boilerplate” formulations that are cheaper because production is standardized rather than curated. Jim Higdon of Cornbread Hemp affirms that the diversity and quality of ingredients are a major factor in pricing such as when the product has a certified organic designation.

So what does Leafreport’s brand data reveal that might be of use to CBD consumers ranging from the budgetista to the aficionado with ample discretionary funds? Leafreport breaks this down by product category. For example, Industrial Hemp Farms showed up as the least expensive brand on the market across all CBD products (unchanged from the prior year’s report). The brand offers the cheapest full and broad spectrum tinctures, though, in a previous review of their products, Leafreport found that several products showed higher than the acceptable variance for potency levels. Her Highness came in as the most expensive brand of full and broad spectrum tinctures, but Leafreport notes a dearth of information available from the company about ingredient sourcing and production. Industrial Hemp Farms sells the least expensive topicals and creams as well, with Kushly ranking as the priciest brand in this category and overall. 

The discrepancy in price between high and low-end brands was found to have increased within seven out of ten product categories since 2020 according to Leafreport’s data. This indelibly points to the ongoing reality of an unregulated market—a pressing issue with a resolution that is far from imminent.


Julie AitchesonNovember 4, 2021
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4min8400

There is a constant influx of new CBD, CBG, CBN, and synthetic products flooding the market and ever more consumers turning to them for relief from a range of conditions, relaxation, and a festive alternative to hangover-inducing substances. As regulators struggle to keep up with the seismic growth of the market, a new Leafreport survey sought to uncover how much CBD users are actually consuming and how they choose their dosages.

While some dosage schemes for CBD have been proposed, none have been implemented to date and there is still disagreement on the issue among medical professionals. This means that customers are left to labels, their own research and preferences, and the recommendations of others to determine what the optimal dose for their desired outcome might be. Leafreport’s survey captured US-based individuals ages 21 to 80 years of age. There were 1360 people who responded to the survey, 721 of whom are either using CBD or have experimented with it.

Leafreport’s findings showed that, of those surveyed, 71% of CBD users self-determine their own dosage without consulting a professional while 18% consulted with a doctor and 11% consulted with a CBD/cannabis industry professional. Even industry experts like CEO and Founder of The People’s Dispensary Christine De La Rosa (cited in the report) references the recommended dosage on the label and then adjusts it until she finds what works for her. She does add, however, that advice from a professional can be a helpful source of guidance, as is taking time to gauge your body’s response to a specific dosage. Author Anthony Schroeder (“7 Ways To Manage Pain With CBD”) shared the view that the dosage suggestion on a label should be considered a generic starting point to be increased or decreased based on factors like sensitivity, body weight, and pre-existing conditions.

So self-determining dosage using the label as a baseline may not be such a bad idea, but Leafreport’s survey shows that 26% of those surveyed don’t check for CBD concentration when shopping for a product and 22% don’t check the dose at all before consuming the product. 31% of consumers surveyed using CBD every day and 48% take the same dosage every time they consume CBD.  Again, a full 22% revealed that they don’t know how much they are taking because they never checked the dose. Leafreport’s survey concludes that not paying attention to potency or daily dosage can be problematic and even harmful, as CBD elicits “biphasic effects” at different doses. The survey summary cites the example of how a low dosage might alleviate anxiety while a higher dosage can elevate it. The advent of a standardized dosage scheme may not fully address this issue, as user responses and conditions are incredibly unique, pointing to the importance of obtaining professional advice on dosage, especially for less-experienced consumers. 


Julie AitchesonMay 26, 2021
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5min25903

CBD watchdog Leafreport just released findings from a study revealing that 56 percent of pet products have inaccurate label claims. As is the case with products formulated for humans, this can lead to a waste of money at best and unanticipated negative health outcomes at worst. Leafreport sent 55 pet CBD products for independent testing at Canalysis Laboratories in Las Vegas. Most of the products tested were CBD oils but there were also some edibles and topical products in the mix. At Canalysis, technicians tested the products and recorded the results in certificates of analysis. Leafreport then compared the amount of CBD shown on the COAs to the advertised CBD content of each product and looked at what other cannabinoids were detected by the tests. The results suggest that despite the progress made regarding consistent quality and potency of products, there is still a ways to go.

It’s no secret that reliable testing of CBD and THC levels in products is challenging, particularly when it comes to edibles. In a recent study by Johns Hopkins, researchers discovered that only 17 percent of edibles were accurately labeled in regards to THC concentration while only one product tested with an accurate THC to CBD ratio.  

Consistent with similar findings on CBD products for humans, Leafreport found that pet edibles and topicals are usually less accurate than oils and tinctures, with many companies scoring particularly poorly for their edible pet products. Furthermore, when a company claims that a product contains “full-spectrum CBD”, as many edibles marketed towards pet owners do, that means that the product should contain some level of THC (.3% or less). Despite this, 22 out of the 55 products tested by Leafreport had no THC at all. Only 44% of the tested products had CBD levels within 10% of the label, which is required for an “A” rating in the report. Some products were off as much as 98.5 percent from the label’s claim. 

Most products (58%) contained more CBD than advertised. Pet CBD oils actually performed reasonably well, but poor results for edibles and topicals negatively impacted the overall accuracy of CBD pet product labeling. Of all of the products tested, standouts for label accuracy included a CBD oil from Joy Organics and both CBD chews and oil from Seattle-based company Austin and Kat. Some of the worst results were posted by Petly CBD’s Small Dog Tincture, which was 36.9% off from the advertised amount, while Blue Moon Hemp’s CBD Dog Tincture contained only 11.2 mg of CBD instead of the advertised 250 mg. These results are certainly enough to make pet owners sit up, take notice, and demand greater accuracy in advertising, not just for the sake of their budgets but for the health and well-being of their furry friends.


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