Papa & Barkley Cannabis Transdermal Patches Review

Prior to the legalization of cannabis in California in January 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.

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

I’m very sensitive to the sedating, relaxing and sometimes sleepy effects of Indica. Papa & Barkley 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, it felt too much like an Indica-type 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 I am a fan of patches, the uneven quality, strong unpleasant smell, and the lack of Indica/Sativa specific formulas makes Papa & Barkley a product I am not in a hurry to use again.

Strength: 5

Website: http://papaandbarkley.com

Papa & Barkley’s THC and CBD Cannabis Transdermal Patches Review

I have not had great experiences with Papa & Barkley’s transdermal patches – see my review of them here. As I always want to give products the benefit of the doubt, I tried a 3:1 formulation with 21mg of THC and 7.76mg of CBD. I document the effects I experienced throughout a day in this post.

Morning

Papa & Barkley Transdermal THC CBD Patch showing discoloration and seepage
Papa & Barkley Patch showing discoloration and seepage

9:10 am – After a shower, applied alcohol to the inside wrist to clean it. Opened the Papa & Barkley patch container. I noticed discoloration and “seeping” of the ingredients from inside the patch to the patch surface, which shows up as discolored brown areas. I tried wiping off the sticky area but they just pill and clump, the stickiness won’t wipe off. I noticed the strong smell of camphor that is usual with this brand of transdermal patch. I set a timer to help document effects.

9:25am – I begin to feel some irritation on my skin, partly the menthol and camphor but also an uncomfortable slight stinging sensation.

9:50am – I feel some impacts of the THC in my sinuses and somewhat in my body. I feel very little pain relief. The stinging sensation where the patch is on my skin continues, a little more irritating but not so painful that I want to remove it.

10:05am – I’m feeling more of the THC effect, stronger “high” feeling in my muscles, slightly spacey head. Very mild pain relief, as if I took a dose of ibuprofen.

10:50am – Effect has plateaued, been steady for about the last 30 minutes. From the effects I’m experiencing I think the THC in this batch might be a Sativa-dominant hybrid, as I feel the head-focused effects more than any body effects. The heady effects include heightened senses, especially sight and smell, some calming, anti-anxiety effects and a mild sense of well being. There were also some mild relaxing body effects.

Afternoon

12:20pm – Effects stayed pretty consistent over the last two hours. Went for a nice long walk with the dog and didn’t feel too tired or lethargic, energy stayed pretty steady. Consistent irritating feeling where the patch is.

1:21pm – After lunch, the effects decreased noticeably. Instead of a tired, nap-oriented feeling it is more like a fading of the effects. Still experienced some relaxing effects and ability to concentrate is still good but the energy and head effects have diminished. Stinging on skin at patch site remains as does very strong unpleasant smell of menthol and camphor.

2:00pm – With the effects almost gone and the stinging on the skin continuing, I removed the patch and cleaned the area with alcohol. Left a pink/red patch on my skin from the irritation.

Conclusion

While the patches are effective, the drawbacks of the leaky patch plus the irritation to my nose and my skin turns me off from these patches. I have friends who are less sensitive to the smell and the skin irritation that use them to manage pain and inflammation, so I know some folks don’t experience the same downsides as I do.

My preference is still for Mary’s Medicinals patches