Mary’s Medicinals Cannabis Transdermal Gel Pens

by Alton

Mary’s Medicinals has a line of transdermal gel pens that dispense a gel you rub into your skin. They come in THC Sativa, THC Indica, CBD and CBN. From their website:

“Designed as an accompaniment to our patches, Mary’s transdermal gel pens are the perfect resource for patients managing breakthrough pain, or for creating blended cannabinoid ratios. The light gel is placed directly on the skin and gently rubbed in for rapid relief.

Note that the gel pens are designed to “boost” the effects of the patches, not necessarily designed to be used on their own. For the purpose of understanding their effects alone first, we have used them alone to create these reviews.

The pens contain 100mg of gel and dispense a 2mg dose with each “click” on the pen. Since they are applied to the skin the effects are often felt almost immediately, although the full effect can take several hours. When I use the gel pens, I feel the effects almost immediately in a mild way, the full effect does usually take up to an hour.

Mary's Medicinals Sativa Gel Pen

I first encountered gel pens (old packaging above) when they cured my wrist pain (see the post Transdermal CBD Gel Trampled My Pain). We tried both the Sativa and the CBD pens and here is what we found.

Effects: CBD

I have tried it in several different ways to get to understand how it works for me. Since I am just beginning to experiment with this gel, I started by only using single doses (2mg) of the gel. Starting with using a small dose is a smart rule of thumb when trying any new product, especially edibles.

When I have had a mild headache, I have tried rubbing it onto my temples and I feel some relief with 20 minutes. I haven’t had it completely relieve the headache, but it definitely reduces the severity.

I have also tried the CBD gel rubbed on the back of my neck near at the base of my skull and on my lower back, hoping it would work a little like a muscle relaxer or pain relief gel. As with the headache, I have felt it make a difference in my discomfort, but I haven’t experienced it completely removing it. As they say, it is great as an accompaniment to patches or other foundational relief.

MARYS Transdermal PENs

 

Effects: Sativa

When I first used the Sativa gel, I was surprised at how strong it seemed to be. I felt much more of an impact than I usually do with edibles. For some reason when I first apply the gel (usually to the inside wrist) I get a sensation in my sinuses of them opening up slightly, as if they are draining a bit. This could be down to an increase in blood flow that comes with the application due to either the THC or other ingredients.

After about an hour with a single 2mg dose, I was feeling the effects mildly, so I applied another dose. Within 30 minutes I could definitely feel the effects. Effects included feeling energetic and heightened senses. I was surprised how much impact just 4mg of the gel pens had, when I usually are using 10mg doses of one of my preferred gummies (See Review: Valhalla Sativa Gummies).

In my experience the effects last at least four hours and usually closer to six hours. As always the effects are impacted by how full or empty your stomach is when you take them and how much you eat or drink. (See our Beginners Guide for tips)

As with the CDB gel pen, I think this product will be the most useful when paired with other items, like the patches or edibles or other products. It is the perfect small dose size, allows for super easy application and has a quick onset that can boost you to the level you want.

Strength: 9

Flavor: n/a

Website: http://www.marysmedicinals.com/

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Papa & Barkley Cannabis Transdermal Patches Review

by Alton & Ruth

Prior to legalization of cannabis in California on January 1, 2018, the only brand of transdermal patches available in the local Northern California dispensary was Papa & Barkley. We have tried several of their formulations, including the CBD, the 3:1 (THC:CBD) and the 1:3 (THC:CBD). We have also tried Mary’s Medicinals patches in the CBD,  Sativa, Indica, and CBN formulas.

Read our Introduction to Transdermal Patches and our Review of Mary’s CBN Patch.

We are not a fan of Papa & Barkley’s (P&B) products based on our experience of their product quality, formulation and effects.

Unlike Mary’s, several times the P&B patches come out of the package discolored and sometimes the back of the patch is sticky as if the medicine had seeped out from the sticky layer. Maybe this is from improper handling, maybe they got hot and melted or leaked, but we never experienced this with Mary’s. In this image you can see how the patch is discolored.

P&B use camphor and menthol in their formulations. We recently used a patch of theirs and the smell of camphor was so sickeningly strong it gave us a headache. Alton’s skin is not oversensitive generally, but after wearing the patch for little over an hour, he had to take it off as it was creating a painful burning sensation.  Even after taking it off, hours later he still smelled like camphor.

Alton is very sensitive to the sedating, relaxing and sometimes sleepy effects of Indica. P&B don’t indicate if their THC is Sativa or Indica, so you are rolling the dice if you are sensitive to one or the other, or if you are looking for a specific effect. We did not like the  THC effects of the patch felt, too much of an Indica feeling of lethargy. Creating formulas that are Indica or Sativa specific is much more helpful to people looking to use the products to different effects.

While we are a fan of patches, the uneven quality, strong unpleasant smell, and the lack of Indica/Sativa specific formulas makes Papa & Barkley a product we are not in a hurry to use again.

Strength: 5

Website: http://papaandbarkley.com

Transdermal CBD Gel Trampled My Pain

By Alton

When my good friend – we’ll call her Mary – shared with me her experience with transdermal patches, she also showed me the gel pens that she uses to boost the effects of the patches. The lotion-like gel is what gave me my initial firsthand experience with transdermal CBD application.

I was experiencing severe pain in my left wrist, unable to support any weight with it in several different positions.  Traditional pain relievers (advil, aspirin, tylenol) didn’t make  much of a dent in the pain. I tried ingesting THC and CBD tinctures which provided some general relief but didn’t target the pain. It had gone on for weeks and I was about to make an appointment with my doctor to see if it was arthritis or something more serious.

Mary's Medicinal's CBD gel pen front

Mary suggested I try the transdermal lotion she liked, from Mary’s Medicinals. I rubbed a nickel-sized portion of the CDB lotion on my wrist and within an hour the pain was completely gone. I have had no sign of the pain since then and it has been over 6 months. From that point on I have been an advocate for transdermal CBD whether as a topical lotion or in patches, especially for pain that is specific to one area.

My pain was likely from inflammation, which CBD can be great at reducing. I have also used the CBD gel rubbed on my temples to reduce headache pain or on the back of my neck at the base of the skull when I feel tension built up there. The great thing about the pen is that it dispenses small portions so it easier to control how much you use.

Read more about Mary’s Transdermal Pens and patches, including one of our favorites for sleep, Mary’s CBN transdermal patch.