Since 2013, Mary’s Medicinals focused on the medicinal cannabis consumer, establishing itself as an innovative and trusted brand within the industry. Available in Colorado, Washington, Arizona, Oregon and California, Mary’s was the first to offer medical marijuana consumers transdermal patches. Mary’s transdermals, discreet patches that are worn on the skin, won numerous awards including Most Innovative Product at the CannAwards in 2015. Mary’s is re-thinking how cannabis is used, taking cues from consumption methods for pharmaceutical treatments, with great success.
What Are Marijuana Transdermal Patches?
Transdermal patches are medicated adhesive patches placed on a venous area of the skin. They release small amounts of medication into the bloodstream over a long period of time. To explain how the patches are different from topical creams, Graham Sorkin of Mary’s Medicinals says, “Topical creams can typically be absorbed by the top one to three layers of skin and may offer pain relief locally, to say a shoulder or knee. Transdermal patches differ from topical creams in that the medicine goes through all seven layers of skin and enters directly into the bloodstream. Transdermal patches deliver systematic rather than localized relief.”
Pros of Using Cannabis Patches
Patches allow for absorption at a steady rate over a longer period of time. They don’t require a person to remember to dose at regular intervals, and they can even be used with an upset stomach. Nitroglycerin and nicotine patches are two of the more well-known medicated patches associated with traditional western medicine. “Transdermal patches are not new,” Graham contends. “However, using them as a delivery method for cannabis is. We find that our consumers already feel comfortable with a transdermal patch. Many of our consumers are elderly, and patches are not only familiar but also a benign way to consume cannabis for pain relief.”
An added benefit to transdermal patches is the accuracy in dosing. Unlike edibles, which are first absorbed in the stomach, a patch delivers the medicine directly into the bloodstream. Interestingly, Graham notes, “A 10 mg dose from a transdermal patch is roughly equivalent to what you might feel from an 80 mg serving from an edible. This is due to the high bio-availability with the patch; it enters into the blood which results in 100% cannabinoid uptake.”
As absorption happens steadily over a longer period of time Graham says, “We often hear from people that they don’t even notice the patch or a different feeling except when they realize there is an absence of pain. That’s an incredible relief for people who’ve lived with chronic pain.”
Marijuana Transdermal Gel Pens Accompany the Patches
Although dosing is accurate with the patches, Mary’s believes some people may wish to augment the patch with a personalized, blended cannabinoid ratio. For this reason, Mary’s developed a line of transdermal gel pens, which are meant to be an accompaniment to the transdermal patch.
The gel pen microdoses different cannabinoids and can be rubbed directly into the skin for additional relief. “People with migraines indicate that using a transdermal gel rubbed directly into their temples provides pain relief,” says Graham.
Cannabis Transdermal Patches Are Unlikely to Get You High
The majority of Mary’s transdermal patches are non-psychotropic. Non-psychotropic patches include cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and their cannabidiol: tetrahydrocannabinol (CBD:THC) 1:1 offering. “To date we haven’t heard from anyone that they have gotten too high or that the patch has even made them uncomfortable,” says Graham. “If you don’t like the feeling you have from a patch, then you can take it off and the feeling will go away very quickly. When you smoke too much cannabis, you may be stuck with an uncomfortable feeling. If you take a patch off, within 10 minutes the amount of cannabinoids in your system will go down.”
Looking at Mary’s testimonials, you’ll see a variety of patients with different medical conditions finding relief with the transdermal patches. Although Mary’s developed products for the medicinal market, the company is cautious about advising patients medically.
“When people reach out to us with specific medical conditions and concerns, we want to offer them the best possible advice. For this reason, we partnered with Realm of Caring, a Colorado-based nonprofit that provides support for people using cannabis as therapy.”
Mary’s Medicinals can be found in several locations nationwide. Additionally, the company has launched Mary’s Nutritionals, which offers CBD-only products derived from hemp for both human and pet consumption.