If it works like a medicine, then it ought to look like one.

This is one of the guiding principles of Mary’s Medicinals, the Colorado company that specializes in pairing the innovative with the familiar in its avant-garde catalog of cannabis-based pain-relief products.

Known best for its award-winning debut product - a patented transdermal cannabis patch that delivers pain relief through the bloodstream using a system called extended release pluronic lecithin organogel (PLO) - Mary’s Medicinals has since expanded its inventory to offer medical marijuana patients the broadest possible range of THC or CBD-based pain-relief delivery mechanisms.  

The way CEO Lynn Honderd sees it, “when you look at what cannabis has the potential to treat, it’s completely broad, so why not have delivery mechanisms that fit a very broad spectrum?”

“When we founded the company, we saw this nascent industry where all that was available to the market [for pain relief] was a joint,” Honderd told Civilized.

“If you’re going to treat cannabis as medicine, which is what we truly believe it is, then it needs to be put into forms of medicine... that people are familiar with.”

Enter Mary’s Transdermal Pen (a light gel geared at breakthrough pains), or Mary’s Topical Compound (a transdermal balm meant to be applied to trouble spots), or Mary’s Elite CBD Muscle Freeze (a soothing concoction for tender tissues); the list goes on, covering a range of formats and potential treatments, but the end game is the same: “getting quality medicine into the hands of people who need it.”

“Our aim is to let people see that they don’t have to be afraid [of cannabis], that there are more options out there than smokables,” said Honderd, who calls smoking “not a clean delivery mechanism” that’s nearly impossible to accurately dose.

“We have a thousand different ways you can treat your aches and pains with high-quality cannabis in formats [people are] familiar with... it provides a certain comfort level from that standpoint.”

Honderd said Mary’s products are known to treat everything from epilepsy and arthritis to Crohn’s disease and cancer. And while the patch remains Mary's best-selling product, Honderd said the company has “definitely seen the need for delivery mechanisms across the spectrum... it differs based on the age of the patient and what they’re trying to treat.”

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"This amazing 9-year-old girl came to Mary's Medicinals to thank our team for helping her heal. She has been seizure free for a year and the size of her brain tumor has shrunk tremendously. Special moments like this are what motivates the team to do what we do. We truly envision and strive for a world without pain!" (facebook.com/marysmedicinalsofficial)

While the patch, for example, is often a popular choice among those undergoing chemotherapy as it can offer nausea relief without the patient having to ingest anything, parents of sick children often prefer the transdermal pen “because it’s really easy to get a small dose of medicine into their little one’s wrists, versus trying to get them to take some oil or tincture or swallow a pill.”

Mary’s products are currently available in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois and Vermont. Honderd said the company hopes to launch in California, Massachusetts and New Hampshire later this year.