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Transdermal Cannabis Patches Could Change How We Treat Chronic Pain

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Transdermal Cannabis Patches Could Change How We Treat Chronic Pain

Transdermal Cannabis Patches Could Change How We Treat Chronic Pain

Cannabidiols are largely accepted as one of the safest, least intrusive ways to treat pain. Despite that, millions of people worldwide refuse to take them, in part because of legality issues, and in part because of the stigma associated with cannabis and getting ‘high’. While there are many medical products that work to separate CBD (Cannabidiol) from THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), many people still want to stay away from smoking or eating pot, and these methods, including pills, only work for a short period.

Now, two companies, Mary’s Medicinals and Cannabis Science are marketing transdermal cannabis patches, which work to slowly distribute cannabidiols into the body, without getting the user high. Just like with fentanyl and other types of transdermal patches, you simply place these on a fleshy part of the body and wait for the cannabidiols to enter the bloodstream.

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How Does it Work?

Transdermal patches work using a layered approach designed to keep cannabidiols in on the top, and allowing them to permeate on the bottom. Like any transdermal patch, the applicator must encourage the drug to move from the patch and into the epidermis, using a permeation enhancer. Then, when applied to the skin, cannabidiols slowly move from the patch, into the skin, and into the bloodstream.

Mary’s Medicinals sells cannabis patches in a variety of types, including TCH, CBD, CBN, THCA, and CBD:THC. These patches each have different effects, and are useful for pain management, sleep management, and relaxation.

Is This Science: While the efficacy of using cannabis and Cannabidiols to treat pain has been tested and proven in a lab, with peer review, this particular treatment has not. However, transdermal patches are largely effective at distributing other types of medication, such as fentanyl or buprenorphine. While it would be good to see a specific study and FDA approval for medication of this nature, that likely won’t happen until cannabis becomes legal on a federal scale. The patches were also developed by Dr. Noel Palmer, PhD, who has over 15 years of experience in researching cannabis.

You can check the two most quoted studies on the use of cannabis and Cannabidiols for pain management here and here.

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Why Use a Transdermal Cannabis Patch?

The largest benefit for most users is that a patch allows for a slow, time-release of cannabidiols into the bloodstream. This makes them more effective as medication, and much better for long-term pain treatment. Just like with opioid patches, this would reduce spikes in pain and you avoid THC spikes which can cause hallucinations from eating cannabis. By skipping the liver and going straight to the bloodstream, you also ensure that you are delivering an even stream of cannabidiol, which makes it more ideal for medicinal purposes.

Cannabis is quickly being adopted as a medicine as well as a drug, and with new research showing that it is more effective at pain management than some opioids, that is only likely to increase. Cannabis patches like the ones developed by Mary’s Medicinals could greatly speed up the adoption and implementation of this drug, thanks to reduced risks, no high, and slow-release of the drugs. While not everyone needs cannabis patches, the millions of people who suffer from chronic pain and sleep issues definitely could.

What do you think? Are cannabis patches a good idea? Would you use them for pain management?

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About The Author
Gardenia O'Baoghille
Gardenia O'Baoghille, aka "Dean," is a freelance writer from Seattle. When she's not busy working on a variety of writing projects, she enjoys the outdoors by hiking, kayaking and taking lots of pictures. If it's raining though, which it does a lot of in WA, you'll probably find her with a controller in her hand playing one of her favorite games, WoW or Final Fantasy.