How to Buy Smart and Get Volume Discounts

As established health/wellness CPG companies and innovative formulators in both the hemp/CBD as well as licensed THC market segments begin to source minor cannabinoids to make more effective products, buyers need to know a few basics to be smart about the procurement of high-quality Cannabinol (CBN) and get the best price.

Let’s face it.  Minor cannabinoids at high purity are expensive.  Although their price is trending downward, being a savvy purchaser is important.  Strategies to get the best market pricing for bulk cannabinoids combine basic purchasing disciplines with cannabinoid isolate specific buying strategies.

A buyer of wholesale CBN isolate deserves consistent quality, compliance, and everything is “as advertised”, including shipping date, color hue, packaging, etc. It should go without saying that superior customer service from your CBN isolate supplier is fundamental considering your tight product manufacturing timeframes and how rapidly the industry moves.

Cannabinoid isolates and not just CBN isolate, allow consumer products to have a standard serving size of bioactive cannabinoids in a formulation, batch to batch, and allow CPG companies to state on the label dosage information.  Remarkably, telling the consumer exactly what they are getting is still not the norm in the industry!  For example, a sleep aid product – softgel, tablet, gummy, vape, tincture, or any delivery mode – can be labeled as having 10mg of CBN, 5mg of Melatonin, and 20 mg of Cannabidiol (CBD) per serving.

The other advantages of using CBN isolate or any cannabinoid isolate in formulations include: convenience of blending, pharma grade purities, and a 100% THC-free cannabinoid ingredient.  Companies world-wide from the food, beverage, pharma, nutraceutical/supplement, tobacco, and natural products segments are increasingly using minor cannabinoids including CBN in their new products.

Rules for Buying CBN Isolate at Wholesale Prices

Rule #1 – Purchase CBN from the actual producer of CBN or a bulk cannabinoids ingredient supplier who is well established. 

If you purchase from a broker or third-party seller, be sure they have done their homework checking out their suppliers and have access to them if necessary to answer technical questions if they arise.

Here are a few questions to ask a possible CBN isolate producer you are vetting:

  1. How long have you been producing CBN? How long have you been in business?
  2. Do you offer lab tours? Even if a lab for intellectual property reasons doesn’t allow formal production lab tours, visiting their offices, asking to see their on-site analytical lab, and requesting a quick peek to confirm the lab is actually producing the minor cannabinoids will usually be accommodated.
  3. What other minor and rare cannabinoids do you actually produce?
  4. Do you have inventory “on the shelf’ and ready to ship? If not, when will it be shipped?

Rule #2 – Require a legitimate COA. 

Be wary of all COAs.  You may need to dig in a bit and arrange a conference call when using many third-party labs for testing if they are not experienced with CBN isolate or minor cannabinoid testing.  THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT.

Here are the questions to ask:

  1. Is the report recent? Do batch numbers match?
  2. Oftentimes getting a scientist from the producer on a call with your “go-to” analytical lab can help in sorting out if a third-party potency report is accurate. Typically with some dialogue, analytical chemist to analytical chemist, the producer of the CBN’s chemists might be able to pass along some method and/or sampling techniques to help the third-party lab in testing CBN and other minor cannabinoid isolates in the future.

Be aware that analytical potency testing for isolated cannabinoids is still in relative infancy compared to the other tests often required by the hemp regulatory framework like pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, microbials and mycotoxins that have evolved over decades in the environmental testing arena.  These particular tests are the same for cannabinoids as for environmental testing.

If you commission a third party analytical testing for a potency assay and the lab doesn’t routinely test for the particular minor cannabinoid you have sent to them, their results might lack accuracy.  And also be inconsistent.

Having said all we’ve said about CBN and potency testing challenges for all the minor cannabinoids isolates, potency testing for CBD isolate is now generally both accurate and consistent from most canna-oriented third-party test labs.  But potency testing for CBN, CBC, CBT, CBDV, THCV, etc. can be all over the place.

Lastly, most third-party analytical labs, including some very well-respected national analytical labs, don’t even test for CBT or test for only one of the THCV isomers.  And many have never seen a CBDV isolate sample presented for testing.

Rule #3 – Check out the scientific credentials of your CBN isolate supplier.

Here are the questions to ask since many producers are worried about their scientists being poached, they don’t show the names or the bios of the scientific team on their websites!

  1. May I talk or email with one of your scientists with questions that may arise?
  2. Are they able to jump on a call with my third-party analytical lab to discuss results?

Rule #4 – Negotiate bulk, wholesale, B2B volume pricing.  These strategies will ensure the best pricing:

  1. If you simply need a modest quantity of CBN isolate to assess and confirm formulations, you should ask for indicative pricing for your future monthly anticipated volume ramp at the same time you order the 50-500g that you need for product formulation analysis. The producer/supplier benefits from knowing your plans and will be in a position to offer more favorable pricing and options.
  2. Negotiate a several month PO-based price/volume matrix. For example, if you forecast your product ramp to require 1-3 kgs of CBN in your first month and 3-5 kgs in your second production month, ask your supplier to provide a pre-arranged significantly discounted price per kg on the “last” kg or kgs in your orders during a calendar month.  This structure will motivate the producer to give you deeper volume pricing knowing that the actual order needs to be as promised to earn the discount.

Savvy Purchasing of CBN Isolate and Other Cannabinoid Isolates  – You Now Know Exactly What to Do

The questions to ask and this insider knowledge will help you be a sophisticated buyer of CBN isolate.  These principles can be applied to the other minor cannabinoids as well.

Your goal should be a fair and respectful relationship with your cannabinoids bulk ingredient supplier.  This allows a trusted partnership to develop so that you can make the best products possible for your customers and be able to quickly and smoothly work through any issues that arise in the customer-supplier relationship.

If you would like to have a dialogue with Precision Plant Molecules, the world leader in the processing and purification of minor and rare cannabinoids for leading CPG companies about buying minor cannabinoids or if you simply have a question for a member of our scientific or R&D team, please don’t hesitate to call us at 720.598.5646 or email [email protected].

You can also directly connect with PPM’s Chief Growth Office and Senior Scientist, Dr. Andrea Holmes, at [email protected].

What Makes PPM Unique:

Precision Plant Molecules is led by a team of advanced-degreed scientists with pharmaceutical industry and university research backgrounds representing over 100 years of chemistry and plant medicine experience. 

PPM is committed to advancing the science and providing minor and rare cannabinoid bulk ingredients, both 100% hemp-derived and biosynthesized from precursors versions (CBN, CBC, CBT, CBDA, THCV, CBDV, CBG, etc.), as well as fully customizable extracts and distillates, to leading consumer product supply chains worldwide. Our goal is to be a trusted supply chain partner to industry leaders. 

Personalized medicine with cannabinoids is the goal: Clean.  Consistent.  Compliant.  

Every day, every team member at PPM is inspired by the possibilities of plant-based medicine and remedies, and Mother Nature’s genius.

Frequently Asked Questions:

PPM rigorously tests all products prior to shipment to customers for purity, contaminants, and character to ensure product integrity and all specifications are met or exceeded.
A credentialed, experienced full-time Analytics Lab Manager at PPM supervises all in-house testing using advanced analytical instruments, methods, software and techniques.  Instruments like gas chromatograph – mass spectrometers (GCMS) with headspace and FID detectors, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and other testing is conducted during processing, development and continuous improvement activities, and of course, extensively by PPM PhD scientists conducting R&D initiatives.
PPM’s intellectual property encompasses many advances in testing for the complex and hard to distinguish cannabinoid isomers that can be a byproduct of processing to achieve >99% purity of a single isolated naturally occurring cannabinoid.  Similarly, PPM has pioneered quantification and qualification techniques to ensure contaminants are fully removed prior the final QA/QC for its  bulk cannabinoids that are to be used as essential ingredients in products.
PPM’s primary business value is safety of products and people.  PPM’s analytical testing team ensures at multiple processing steps, the final wholesale cannabinoid ingredients are standardized and consistent made to pharma-grade levels.
Basically, PPM defines minor and rare cannabinoids as those other than CBD and CBG.  Specifically, cannabinoids that have bioactivity in mammals (humans and pets!) that are used as cannabinoid ingredients for their health and wellness and medicinal properties.
Cannabinoids like Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA), Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGA), Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), Cannabidivarin (CBDV), Cannabicitran (CBT) and others that are isolated and purified by proprietary processing to yield pure, clean and compliant ingredients.
For each minor and rare cannabinoid that PPM produces and sells, PPM includes technical data sheet describing all product specifications for purity and characteristics, a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) conforming to the US standard for such documentation, and a Certificate of Analysis (COA).
Bulk or wholesale cannabinoids are sold to product formulated and manufacturers, not directly to end-use personal consumers.
Why? Ease and convenience of formulating CPG products. The ability to enrich or fortify plant extracts that vary harvest to harvest with standardized and known cannabinoid profiles.  Manufacturers can label their products for consumers with specific dosing amounts in milligrams in a suggested serving size.
Bulk cannabinoids are typically the most cost-effective pathway to making distinctive, efficacious and innovative cannabinoid-based products.
Getting started is as simple as communicating, ideally in a phone call, with PPM’s sales director.
PPM is focused on serving global leaders in the CPG, hemp/CBD, licensed THC, and other markets.  PPM’s business is tailored to bulk, kilogram quantity and above, sales of minor and rare cannabinoids to consumer product formulators and manufacturers.
In order to serve customers as a one-stop supplier, to minimize supply chain complexity and assure all bulk ingredients for a production run arrive at the same time, and other factors, PPM customers find buying CBD isolate and CBG isolate from PPM to be advantageous. Depending on the order size, PPM will provide custom formulations as specified by its wholesale customers.
The purpose of a COA is to know the character of the sample tested – how pure? how clean of contaminants?
The definition of a COA is a formal, written report clearly showing the testing results as defined in the report itself including what specific testing was conducted, the analytical instrumentation employed, and the testing methodology’s Limit of Detection (LOD) and Limit of Quantification (LOQ).
Much confusion exists about COAs in the cannabinoid industry ranging from their accuracy to their consistency when different analytical labs test split samples to their purpose and for that matter, their limitations. Let’s tackle the issues one at a time.
The most common COA is a potency report that presents the panel of cannabinoids to be identified and their percentage.  For example, the COA may show that 15 individual cannabinoids were part of the testing panel, and the sample tested was comprised of 99% CBN and 1% unknown material.  Based on the LOD and LOQ as described in the COA, a reporting of 1% unknown material would solely mean that the other 14 cannabinoids in the test panel other than CBN were not found in the sample.  The concentration levels chosen for a particular sample to be tested is also important and most often when testing minor and rare cannabinoids the analytic testing needs to be done twice at two different concentration levels to present an accurate picture of the % constituents are, particularly the other cannabinoids beside the isolated cannabinoid, in a sample.  When testing high purity cannabinoid isolateds, many third-party testing labs do not test at two concentrations unless they are specifically asked to do so and paid accordingly.
Other common COA reports are tests for residual solvents and other contaminants like heavy metals, microbials and mycotoxins.
Accuracy and consistency when comparing reported test results from two different analytical laboratories, or even when comparing trusted in-house analytical lab vs an independent third-party analytical lab is a common complaint in the cannabinoid industry.  Although accuracy and consistency is rapidly improving industry-wide, several factors account for frustration by product manufacturers who require confirmation of the integrity of the bulk cannabinoid ingredients they source from suppliers and use in their products.  Factors like the relatively immaturity of the cannabinoid testing industry, the fact that standardized methodologies are still being established, inexperience in testing minor and rare cannabinoids by analytical labs most familiar with commodity hemp/CBD ingredients like CBD and CBG and CBD distillate, and even sampling techniques that are not uniform even within a testing lab.
The limitations that is experienced in the analytical testing field can best be addressed with split samples, an understanding that fairly large margins of error still exist industry-wide, COAs can be falsified easily by unscrupulous market participants,
What does a Third-Party Accredited Lab COA mean and does PPM have them for its cannabinoid isolates?
A third-party lab is an independent lab paid to test a sample of material, in this case, a minor or rare cannabinoid isolate, concentrate, extract, oil or distillate.  An accredited lab is defined as one that is ISO 17025 certified by an auditing firm and issued a certificate of compliance with the ISO specifications related to analytical lab testing.  Most independent labs need to obtain such certification.  In-house labs sometimes obtain accreditation but are not required to do so.
PPM obtains COAs from accredited independent (third-party) labs for its isolate products.  PPM also have invested heavily in internal analytical testing that often is superior in accuracy, consistency, precision and scope as compared to external labs.  PPM tests extensively during processing as part of its quality management system (QMS) to ensure each step of processing remains “in-spec” as well as part of PPM’s final QA/QC process.
Yes. Simply give our Sales Director a call or ask to be contacted by PPM and we will talk through your testing and assessment needs and get you started.
Simply give our Sales Director a call or ask to be contacted by PPM.  Order quantity, future frequency and order amounts, special requirements and any other topics can be discussed so we can serve as your trusted supply chain partner for cannabinoid isolates and concentrates.
Technically, PPM does not have a MOQ.  PPM’s goal is to help as many consumers as possible with the benefits of minor cannabinoids for health and wellness and lifestyle choices.  We want our wholesale product formulation and manufacturing customers to be successful.
PPM has found that many companies are just getting started with formulating with minor and rare cannabinoids and don’t have a forecast for their future requirements.
PPM will often provide bulk pricing for small “starter” purchase orders to allow new and smaller manufacturers to be successful with their new product launches.  Our goal is to be your partner as you grow.
PPM tailors the most cost-effective pricing matrix to your actual requirements taking into account many factors.  Since PPM only sells bulk and wholesale, pure, clean cannabinoid isolates to commercial customers in commercial quantities, pricing is tailored and often justifies changes with volume growth, market pricing trends, and other factors.
PPM is led by a team of advanced-degreed scientists with pharmaceutical industry and university research backgrounds representing over 100 years of chemistry and plant medicine experience. 
PPM is committed to advancing the science and providing minor and rare cannabinoid bulk ingredients, both 100% hemp-derived and biosynthesized from precursors versions (CBN, CBC, CBT, CBDA, CBGA, THCV, CBDV, etc.), to leading consumer product supply chains worldwide. Our goal is to be a trusted supply chain partner to industry leaders. 

PPM is the actual producer.  PPM is the largest scale producer and can pass along economies of processing scale to its customers.  PPM’s supply chain can be vetted and audited by demanding customers.

Personalized cannabinoid medicine is the goal.  Clean.  Consistent.  Compliant.  
Every day, every team member at PPM is inspired by the possibilities of plant-based medicine and remedies, and Mother Nature’s genius.