When people first consider cannabis as a pain remedy, they often don't know where to start — and they have lots of questions. Fortunately, Lynn Honderd, CEO of Mary's Medicinals, who co-founded the company in 2013, has lots of answers. We recently sat down with Honderd to talk about Mary's Medicinals and why cannabis is helpful for so many medical patients.
Westword: For medical patients and caregivers looking for pain relief, what do you think are the most important issues to consider?
Lynn Honderd: We've seen people really want an accurate dose, discretion and something that's cleanly delivered. Not everyone can eat a gummy or smoke or vape or anything along those lines. Obviously, the market has changed considerably in four years, which is terrific, and we're super-excited about that. The patch was always popular with medical patients because they know the dose and it's discreet and doesn't interfere with their other medicines, but since the patch, we've introduced everything from a tincture to a distillate to a powder that's water-soluble, so throughout the course of the years, we've seen different needs and tried to respond to those needs with different consumption methodologies.
And especially for different patients, whether you're dealing with cancer or seizures, it makes a big difference how you get your medicine.
It makes a huge difference, especially what you're suffering from. We have a lot of patients who have cancer, and when they get chemo they have a ton of nausea, so they don't want to swallow a capsule or eat a gummy; a patch works beautifully for them. And then we have others, people with epilepsy, and they need a quicker intake — so our gel pen works great for them. There are definitely different form factors that work for different patients.
What have you done as a company to normalize cannabis and reach patients who don't want to go into a dispensary or don't have access to the storefront model we have here in Colorado?
Our goal for Mary's Nutritionals is for us to target and reach out to those who might not want to be in the dispensary model, or don't have access to the dispensary model. This is a really great way for people to try out the benefits of CBD without any THC. They just want high-quality, good CBD medicine, so we're really looking at Nutritionals as a proactive approach to holistic health. There's such a concept that for many years people have looked at cannabis as reactive or as a last resort to find something to cure or help cure their ailment; they've turned to cannabis as a last hope. We're hoping to help people see that cannabis can be used proactively. This is a lifestyle use. This is daily vitamins. This is topicals, lotions; this is helping you be a better person inside and out.
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Like you said, people are reactive when it comes to cannabis. People hear that CBD might be able to help them and they find cannabis as a last resort. What would you say to them or want them to know about the benefits it has?
One, don't look at it as a last resort — because you can start taking it and find benefit from it. Two, it's also not the miracle drug. The studies show, in particular, that cannabis in conjunction with chemotherapy actually has better results than cannabis alone or chemotherapy alone, so while we are viewed in general as an industry as a last resort for a lot of people, it's also not the miracle drug. Don't look at it that way. Look at it as a holistic, well-rounded approach to your regimen.
Yesterday I was on the phone with a gentleman whose mother is eighty, and she just lost her husband. She has onset Parkinson's but she's also having a hard time sleeping. She's seen the benefits of CBN, she's heard the benefits of sleep aid, but she doesn't want to get high, and in her mind, all she knows is that it's a joint or it's a mechanism to get high. Well, we offer products that you don't have to worry about that. It's an introduction into the cannabis marketplace that allows consumers of all ages and viewpoints on cannabis to try, and that's what's exciting for us, because we really are crossing over this market and reaching a demographic that would otherwise not open their eyes to the benefits of cannabis.
You've mentioned all the different kinds of cannabinoids. There's CBN, THCA; people are surprised when they hear about CBD. Can you talk a little bit about the different profiles and what they all do?
We offer six different profiles: THC, which we all know, everyone's familiar with it. We offer CBD, which most people are familiar with, or becoming more familiar with. We offer a THCA form. THCA is an acid form of THC — it's essentially a hold extraction methodology so you get a lot of the benefits of the anti-inflammatories that you do with THC, but without the high associated with heating THC, so you're not releasing the Delta 9s, you're not getting that headiness if you took a THC product. We offer CBN. CBN has been shown to be highly beneficial with PTSD patients and Parkinson's patients. It acts as a muscle relaxant, for the most part, and it also acts as a sleep aid.