Weight vs Volume: Wait … What?


A cartoon image of a balance scale weighing two mason jars of CBD oil. One of the jars has twice as much oil as the other, but they are both showing as equal on the scale. Title text underneath says: "And yes, they're equal."

By Tim McCarthy


6 Mason Jars, typically used as CBD containers

How do you buy your CBD oils? How do you source the value out of your supply chain?

Are you still buying your key CBD ingredient in a clear mason jar? The Ball Corporation has absolutely

gotten a brand boost from the popularity of their jars being used as a standard of measurement for hemp

and cannabis extract. Through sheer volume of use, the industry has gotten comfortable calling this wide

mouth quart jar a kilogram of CBD. It’s so far from reality, leads to confusion, and I can see my high

school science teacher rolling her eyes.


When we aren’t being exact with our wholesale ingredients, is it surprising that still, in 2021, 60%+ of

the products tested by news outlets, consumer protection groups, and Federal and State Regulators have

less CBD in the product than is advertised on the label? Not at all. Is it any wonder that there continues

to be distrust around this rising industry when the mainstream public continues to hear these reports?

Not at all.


So why can’t we use a quart-sized jar to represent a kilogram of CBD? Let’s go back to some basics:

  • A measure of Volume is not equivalent to a measurement of Weight, ever.

  • A measure of Weight of a Liquid is not equivalent to the Weight of Active Ingredient, ever.

Yet, many suppliers use these interchangeably and even more producers have no idea exactly how much

active ingredient they get in a CBD oil shipment. Whether you source by the mason jar or you buy by

the Kg of oil, there is still a potential problem here and you might not get what you thought:


WARNING: Math ahead

  • In an actual Kilogram of 57% CBD crude oil, you get ~570 grams of CBD. NOT 1000 grams of Active Ingredient CBD.

  • At 57% of Active Ingredient CBD, one will need 1.7544 kilograms of oil (1/0.57=1.75438596) to get 1,000 grams (Kg) of CBD. This means a producer needs 75% more oil than initially purchased to match the amount of Active Ingredient needed to formulate accurately.

The inconsistency is the main problem here - when suppliers are selling differently it leads to confusion

and mistakes. If the CBD industry wants to be accepted and trusted by the mainstream, we need to grow

up and start standardizing the way other industries do. Consumer Packaged Goods, CPG products, are

required to label and sell by the “Active Ingredient.” Since you have to label and sell by Active

Ingredient, why not source solely by the Active Ingredient?


All United Natural Hemp Extract products are sold by the kilogram of active ingredient, not the

kilogram of oil. Browse our product offerings here.

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