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

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

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.