Mary’s Medicinals is my favorite brand of transdermal patch. They come in Indica, Sativa, THCa, CBD and CBN. The CBN one is a standout for its help with getting to sleep and staying asleep.
Transdermal patches like these are placed on a clean patch of skin and deliver the medication through the skin. With patches, the amount of medicine released is consistent and can keep the effects going for a full 12 hours. I like to use rubbing alcohol to clean the area of skin both before I put the patch on and after I take it off. Recommended locations for applying patches are the inside of wrists and the tops of feet.
Dosing & Effects
CBN – I have experimented with half of a patch and one quarter of a CBN patch (both are shown in the picture with pre-2018 packaging). With half of a patch I started to feel the effects within 20 minutes and I was ready to go to bed not long after 30 minutes. With one quarter of a patch the effects took a little longer but still provided a strong relaxed feeling that is perfect to help get to sleep and avoid insomnia.
The quarter patch dose has become one of my preferred tools for those nights when I need some extra help getting into sleep mode or I want to interrupt insomnia.
With the CBD, THCa, Sativa and Indica patches, those also provide a strong dose that is long lasting. A friend with nerve pain in his feet prefers THCa to his prescribed pills. I have used the CBD patches on areas where I have aches in my muscles or in joints and I often find relief, it depends on the source of the pain. I like being able to put a patch near my hip or on my shoulder to focus the effects in that area. While it is a transdermal and not a topical, it does seem to help, specifically with the CBD, to reduce inflammation in the area.
Patches are the longest lasting way to have a consistent stream of medicine. Most edibles at a standard dose last a maximum of six hours, smoking/vaping usually less, so for folks with chronic conditions – especially pain – transdermal patches are a great choice. Much better than popping pills every four hours.
Cheeba Chews come a variety of formulations, including Sativa, Indica, Hybrid and CBD. For a long time they have been referred to as the “Tootsie Roll” of edibles, as their chocolate taffy chews resemble that well known treat. Now besides chocolate they have a strawberry flavor.
I took one of the 10mg servings of Cheeba Chews Strawberry flavor a little afternoon on a mostly empty stomach with some green tea to give it a caffeine boost. The taste is somewhere between a salt water taffy strawberry flavor and a Jolly Rancher super-charged strawberry flavor. I let it dissolve in my mouth under my tongue. The chew melted slowly and was smooth. I did notice a little bit of an artificial/chalky aftertaste when it was gone, but nothing too medicine tasting.
The effects began about 20 minutes after ingestion, very mild at first. Ninety minutes later, they never got as strong as I expected. My effects were definitely on the mild side and needed some kind of boost to be what I wanted. After over 2 hours with only mild effect, I added one 5mg edible of the Kush Nuts to boost the effect and that worked well.
These are a great choice for folks who want a more mild effect than other edibles at the 10mg level. Cheeba Chews contain skim milk, whey, butter, or all three, so they are not suitable for vegans.
OM’s Cannabis infused Epsom salts are infused with 25mg each of both THC and CBD in the 6.5 ounce package. The focus is on soothing aches and relaxation. Lavender helps calm the nervous system as well as aid in sleep and relaxation. Arnica aids in pain relief. Both arnica and lavender work synergistic with cannabis.
They also have products based on CBD in other formulations including fragrance free, lemon ginger, rose geranium, and an “athletic” formula.
All of the ingredients are naturally occurring and contain moisturizing oils including apricot kernel, avocado, jojoba, and argan oil. The arnica product also contains lavender, camphor, and rosemary. The lavender contains vitamin E and aloe vera. This product is vegan friendly with no animal products or by-products like gelatin.
OM recommends using the entire bag for the maximum effect. As with all edibles, tinctures, patches, creams, balms, and bath products, it is best to start with a small amount. Consider trying a quarter of a bag just to see if you notice any effect and to make sure you don’t have an adverse reaction, since some folks have sensitive skin. Like all topicals, since it is absorbed through the skin and not into the bloodstream, it doesn’t produce the psychoactive effects typically associated with THC.
We found very mild effects with a partial bag and the effects were more noticeable with a full bag.
We tried the lavender purely for relaxation with no expectation of pain relief. It was a pleasant fragrance and the oils provided a lot of mosturizing with the vitamin E and aloe vera. Very relaxing and set us up of a good nights sleep.
The arnica did have a more pronounced impact on sore muscles and aches. The full bag really provided an impact in relieving soreness and pain. The orange, lavender and rosemary oils gave it a pleasant sent without being too medicinal. We found it less effective treating joint pain or anything deeper than surface muscle and nerve pain. It’s hard for a topical to penetrate deep into joints from the skin even with a long soak.
OM’s line of epsom salts is a good choice to try if you are looking for a topical rich in natural oils that can address muscle or nerve pain. While it does not work on all types of pain and does come with the greasiness, I found it effective for treating minor aches and pains.
Dixie’s Synergy Relief Balm is infused with 50mg each of THC and CBD in the 1.7 ounce package. Its focus is on easing deep muscle aches, joint pain, and inflammation. Dixie says is is ideal for joint mobility, muscle relaxation, easing acute muscle and nerve pain.
Since it is a balm and not divided into doses, it can be difficult to get the dose right. For example, if my usual dose is 10mg and the package contains 50mg, does that mean I need to use one fifth of the product? It has the consistency of a balm and is in a container you cannot see through, so trying to get the dose right could be a challenge. As with all edibles, tinctures, patches, creams and balms, it is best to start with a small amount.
Try a little on your skin just to see if you notice any effect and to make sure you don’t have an adverse reaction, since some folks have sensitive skin. Like all topicals, since it is absorbed through the skin and not into the bloodstream, it doesn’t produce the psychoactive effects typically associated with THC.
This product is vegetarian friendly and it contains beeswax, so it may not be suitable for vegans that don’t consume honey or other animal products. It is based in infused olive oil, with other oils such as cocoa butter and castor seed oil. Along with the THC and CBD oil are various essential oils including rosemary, lavender, cedar wood, and pine. The smell is nice and mild, with the fragrances of the lavender, and other oils without any of the camphor or other strong smells in other topicals and transdermals.
While the oils make for good moisturizing, they leave the skin greasy initially. The greasy film gets absorbed eventually but it does linger for quite a while. Don’t put on any delicate fabric like silk on over this balm unless you want grease stains on your clothes. Expect to leave greasy hand prints around too, so be sure to wash your hands after you use the balm.
I tried the balm on a variety of muscle and nerve pain points. I found it to be effective when used on specific types of pain, such as nerve pain in my feet and muscle pain in my leg. I found it less effective treating joint pain or anything deeper than surface muscle and nerve pain. It’s hard for a topical to penetrate deep into joints from the skin and I didn’t find it effective for that type of pain. While I wasn’t able to dispense the product in any type of consistent dose, I found that using a generous amount was needed to get the desired effects. Just using a little produced no effects for me.
The product can get hard in cold weather, but I found it quite pliable at normal room temperature. I found that 2 or 3 pea-sized portions dug out by my finger was the amount I needed to cover the back of my hand or the top of my foot.
The Synergy Relief balm is a good choice to try if you are looking for a topical rich in natural oils that can address muscle or nerve pain. While it does not work on all types of pain and does come with the greasiness, I found it effective for treating minor aches and pains.
Currently available in California, Nevada, Colorado, Michigan, and Maryland.
Heavy Hitters line of edibles are cannabis gummies that come in nine different flavor and strain combinations. The line comes in nine flavors of gummies , each featuring a specific type of cannabis – Sativa, Indica or Hybrid. They are formulated with specific terpenes.
Terpenes are the aromatic oils that give your favorite cannabis varieties distinctive smells and flavors like citrus, berry, mint, and pine. They are said to impact your experience as well. See note at the end of the post for more terpene information.
Each gummy has 20mg of THC and 0mg of CBD per serving, for a total of 100mg THC and 0mg of CBD per package. These gummies are not just infused with the usual distilled THC but are formulated with a specific terpenes to help create more specific effects.
These gummies contain gelatin, so they are not vegan friendly. They do contain natural coloring and flavoring, without artificial ingredients. They are gluten free, dairy free, and nut free. The gummies are not individually wrapped and need to be cut in half for a 10mg dose or in quarters for a 5mg dose. They are scored across the gummy so they do give a guide for easily cutting them in half.
Dosing & Flavor
The smell from the bag is primarily a strong fruit smell. Unlike the Kiva Camino gummies which are smooth and see-through, these have a more of a fruit chew appearance and a sugar-covered texture. They are easy to bite through and melt in the mouth in the same way as most gummies.
The gummy flavors are Moondrop Grape, Pink Grapefruit, Blueberry Dream, Sour Apple Lemonade Haze, Tangerine Dream, Strawberry Storm, Pineapple Punch, and Watermelon Spark. For our review we tried the Sour Apple Sativa and the Pineapple Punch.
The flavors are somewhat sugar-forward since the outside of the gummies are coated with a sugary substance. They all do have fruit flavors but they seem to border right on the line between solid natural flavors and more candy-type flavors. For the sour apple, mostly it is a nicely sour citrus and fruit flavor, without any bad aftertaste or strong THC flavor. For the Pineapple Punch, a mild sour note combines with a pineapple candy flavor. The citric acid gives these a suggestion of sourness and the fruit flavors suggest a flavor. Be clear, you wouldn’t think you are biting into a real apple or berry or slice of watermelon, they are more candy-flavors, although they do use natural flavoring.
As we always recommend with new edibles, try half of your usual dose before trying a full dose as you never know how strong something will effect you. The gummies are easy to cut or bite in half to give a 10mg dose of THC, then to split again for a 5mg dose. Especially with something called “Heavy Hitters”, it’s important to try a partial dose first to see how you react.
Since I am experienced with edibles and my usual dose is 10mg of THC, I began with half of a half of one piece, with 5mg THC. After having only light effects for that trial run, I then moved closer to my usual dose on another day, taking one whole gummy for a total dose of 10mg THC. I sometimes use one and a one eighth pieces for a 12.5mg dose of THC when I want a stronger effect, or if I have recently eaten or if I’ve taken CBD, which can tamp down the effects.
The effects I experienced were closely aligned with the effects I’ve enjoyed with similar terpene- specific gummies. For the hybrids, a lovely elevated and relaxed feeling, while still being alert and energetic. More alertness and energy with the Sativa-dominant strains, and more relaxing and chill impacts from the Indica-dominant strains. I love the Sativa and hybrids for interacting with nature whether it’s gardening, “forest bathing” or a walk on the beach. As someone who enjoys photography, those are great for staying alert to great images without feeling over-hyped and at the same time the mild relaxation leaves you open to possibility. Similar impacts with the hybrids, a positive effect of an elevated mind along with an Indica kind of body relaxation that isn’t too strong that you just want to sit down. The Indicas I find very relaxing as I’m sensitive to the effects of Indica strains.
Enjoyable flavor profiles and specific effects are exactly what I look for when I want to elevate and Heavy Hitters cannabis edibles do a great job on both counts.
Note: Terpenes are the aromatic oils that give your favorite cannabis varieties distinctive flavors like citrus, berry, mint, and pine. These oils, secreted in the flower’s sticky resin glands, appear in many other herbs, fruits, and plants. They play a significant role in the therapeutic and medicinal use of cannabis strains by creating subtle differences in effects across various types. Want some more inside knowledge about terpenes? Check out this video series on terpenes from Three Wells
Pomegranate Green Tea cannabis-infused beverage mix from Atlas lets you make your own beverage and moderate your dose once you mix it up. Each package comes with 10mg of CBD and 5mg of THC. The package is a single serving that you mix with 12 oz. of water and they recommend you do not separate the powder into portions before you mix it up.
As with all edibles and drinkables, it’s important to try new products at half of your usual dose the first time, until you know how strong the effects are for you. Since my usual dose of THC is 10mg and up to 15mg for CBD, I was willing to try this package since, in my experience, CBD reduces the impact of THC.
If you are sensitive to THC or CBD, or you don’t know what your tolerance is, only drink half of the mix you make and wait two hours to make sure you don’t take more than is enjoyable for you. That will give you 5mg of CBD and 2.5 mg of THC, which for some folks is plenty.
The package needs to be cut open to pour out the powder. There was a distinctive sugar and red Kool-Aid type smell from the powder. They recommend that you add the powder to twelve ounces of water in a container with a lid you can close so you can shake it up to mix it.
The ingredients include a few forms of sweetener including cannabis-infused cane sugar. It also contains stevia, which I find gives a dry aftertaste.
I use stevia for coffee and tea, but I find the aftertaste too pronounced and unpleasant to be enjoyable for most cold drinks. It is too much for me in this product, as there is slight citric acid aftertaste along with the stevia taste and I found that unpleasant. It made me want to drink something else to get the taste out of my mouth.
This tasted more like lemonade with some red, cherry-like flavor more than pomegranate to me. It reminded me of that red, generic flavored powdered kids drink mix, but more tart with the citric acid lemony taste and the stevia aftertaste. The ingredients list natural flavors but doesn’t say what those flavors are. Beet juice makes the reddish color, so there are no artificial colors used.
I did begin to feel the effects within a half hour, with the reduction of any pain from inflammation I might be experiencing lessened, which I usually find with CBD. Being a liquid, there is less a bit less digesting to be done, so I usually find that cannabis infused beverages have a slightly faster onset for me than most edibles.
There is no indication of what strain(s) are used when extracting the THC, so it can be hard to judge what impact to expect. I found the effects slightly relaxing and it gave me a slightly stoned feeling mentally. I always prefer to know what strain was used or if it is a sativa, indica or hybrid, as that can tell me what impact I can expect.
I find CBD is much more effective on pain and discomfort when paired with THC, so I appreciate the 2-1 ration of Atlas’s beverage mix. I don’t expect a CBD-focused product to give me the elevated experience of a product that is purely or primarily THC. Expect the pain relief, relaxation and anti-inflammatory impacts that are typical for CBD.
At my dispensary, a single serving size is priced at $7.50 plus tax. They do sell a four-pack, priced at $22 plus tax, bringing the price down to $5.50 per dose before tax. If you look at our Cost Per 10mg Dose comparison, this is on the more expensive end of options.
The effects are what I would expect from a 2-1 CBD + THC edible or drinkable. For me, the strong aftertaste was too much. I prefer the Lemongrass Ginger flavor. While I wouldn’t make this beverage mix part of my regular routine, for those who don’t mind the flavor and who like the effects provided, this could be a fine addition to their CBD edibles & drinkables collection.