How Do Marijuana Transdermal Patches Work?

How Do Marijuana Transdermal Patches Work?

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In the world of cannabis, new wonders never cease. Besides the many routine ways to ingest marijuana (smoke, edibles, dabbing, vape pen, pills, topicals), there’s a more exotic game in town: a transdermal patch. That’s a patch that sticks to your skin and feeds a drug into your blood at a regular pace. The most well-known iteration of the transdermal patch is probably the nicotine patch, but it’s been used for several other drugs including painkillers.

These are now coming on the marijuana scene and they’re being made by some pretty groovy people. Dr. Noel Palmer, one of the scientists at the head of the charge on pot patches, told Leafly in a recent interview that he and the rest of the team at Colorado-based Mary’s Medicinals are working on some real Frankenstein shit.

“THC is boring, CBD is boring,” Palmer said. His team is on a whole other level. “I’m more interested in finding these other chemotypes, I’m really interested in playing with a CBG chemotype, I really want to be able to play with a THCV chemotype.”

But the main cannabinoid Mary’s is focusing on right now is CBN, a little-talked about cannabis component that’s known for its sedative effect, along with many other potential medical uses, and is commonly found in indica strains. CBN has “some of the psychoactive activity similar to THC,” according to Palmer, “but as far as body effects – more peripheral effects – it’s very different… a completely different pharmacological activity.”

How they create their product is also relatively unique for the cannabis extracts world. They use alcohol extraction and molecular dissolution to get a very pure extract, with no terpenes left in the compound, according to Palmer. That’s why the team looks for the most pure cannabis strains they can find.

The precision of their methods also has something to do with their interest in CBN. It’s hard to concentrate and not many other companies are going after it. “To be totally honest it’s most satisfying to get a large lot of CBN because you have to go through so many different steps to get to it,” Palmer said, “having a kilogram of like 80% CBN, I mean that’s pretty rad.” Totally, doc.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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