How Effective Are Transdermal Cannabis Products for Pain?

How Effective Are Transdermal Cannabis Products for Pain?

Medical Cannabis is available in multiple forms here in Utah. Though patients cannot smoke cannabis, they can vape or dry heat it. Patients also have access to tablets, capsules, waxes and resins, aerosols, tinctures, and transdermal products. That leads us to the subject of this post: whether transdermal cannabis products for pain are effective or not.

This post was partially motivated by a Q&A piece on the Cannigma website. Codi Peterson, a Doctor of Pharmacy, answered a question from a reader who was interested in transdermal patches. The reader had respiratory health concerns and needed to find an alternative to smoking cannabis.

Transdermal products are similar to topical products in that they are both applied to the skin. But, unlike topicals, transdermal products use specialized chemicals to deliver the active ingredients through the skin and blood vessels, into the bloodstream.

Transdermal Products in Utah

According to Peterson, “most doctors around the world still do not have access to cannabis patches.” However, Utah’s Medical Cannabis patients do have the option to buy transdermal patches with THC and other cannabinoids. 

“It is a discreet way to experience full-body relief all day and night. This type of topical can also provide users with psychoactive effects,” a posting on the WholesomeCo website says.

Several of the local cannabis pharmacies carry transdermal patches. If your nearest pharmacy doesn’t have them, you may want to check the inventory of another pharmacy that can deliver products to your home.

Transdermal Preparations for Pain

Moving on to the main question, how well transdermal preparations work to relieve pain is an individual matter. Why? Because pain is an individual matter as well. We don’t all experience pain the same way. Some of us have higher pain thresholds than others. And most importantly, the drivers behind the pain experience are many and varied.

The pain caused by a shower that is too hot is actually a warning sign. It is telling you that you are in danger of burning yourself. You need to turn down the temperature or get out of the shower. On the other hand, pain caused by injuries sustained in a car accident could be the result of tissue damage.

Talk to Your Medical Provider

We tend to offer the same advice when these types of questions are asked: talk to your medical provider. The same QMP or LMP who helped you get your Medical Cannabis card should be able to advise you about transdermal products. And if not, your Pharmacy Medical Provider (PMP) can definitely help.

Medical providers and cannabis pharmacists are the most qualified to recommend different Medical Cannabis products. An open and honest discussion between you and your provider or pharmacist will get you both on the same page. Hopefully, you will feel better in no time.

You Have Other Options

You might discover that using transdermal cannabis products for pain does wonders. If not, don’t get discouraged. You have other options. Talk with your provider about vaporizing, using edibles, or even trying a tincture. You may have to experiment with different delivery methods and dosages to find what works best for you.

Transdermal products are definitely an alternative to smoking. Since smoking cannabis is not allowed in Utah, it’s good that we have the option. Transdermals are one of his many options patients can choose in the search for a medicine that helps them find the pain relief they are looking for. Transdermals might be the way to go for you, too.

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Published July 11, 2023

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