Mary’s Medicinals has a wide variety of transdermal patches highlighting different cannabinoids including the two that are most well known, THC and CBD. Unlike topicals infused with cannabis, the medicine delivered through the patches enters the bloodstream to deliver relief.
“The main differentiation between transdermal and topical is that transdermal is a systemic delivery, so it’s going to the bloodstream, where topicals only penetrate the first six levels of the dermis,” explains Nicole Smith, the company’s CEO.
Because the cannabinoids present in the patches go directly into the bloodstream, Smith says almost all of the medicine present in the patch is delivered to the body. In addition, the patch – which is applied to clean venous areas such as a wrist or ankle – works with a slow, steady release that can last up to 10 hours depending on a person’s metabolism and body composition.
“The adhesive itself allows for the topical patch to stay on for an extended period of time so that it allows the medicine to continue to be absorbed into the body,” says Smith.
The patches are 2-by-2 inch squares containing 10 milligrams of cannabis each. Effective in about 10 to 15 minutes, each lasts from eight to 12 hours. Eloise Theisen, a California-based nurse practitioner and American Cannabis Nurses Association board member, uses the transdermal patches herself and recommends them for the geriatric patients she works with.
“The patches have been extremely helpful for them in terms of being able to medicate without the side effects,” she says.
For Theisen’s senior patients, the transdermal patches are also a great way to discreetly medicate throughout the day.
“Many of them sort of missed the ’60s,” she says of her patient’s first exposure to cannabis as medicine through products like Mary’s.
The patches provide seniors with relief without the need to continuously medicate. Many of her patients are active, but inflicted with chronic pain and do not want to take narcotics.
“The seniors are very interested in trying [the patches],” she says. “They come back and they tell me, ‘I didn’t feel high and I got relief.’”