Patients are becoming more educated and sophisticated customers. Find out what they’re looking for from cannabis brands and retail outlets.
What delivery system and application advances are you seeing when it comes to holistic health options?
We are seeing a lot of interest in Durban Poison tablets. This energetic and uplifting 100-percent sativa strain originates from a secret garden near Durban, South Africa, and was brought to the United States by none other than legendary American cannabis activist Ed Rosenthal. Since it contains THCV and is now available in tablets, it is gaining popularity as an appetite suppressant. We are also finding more and more people interested in tinctures for skincare, in particular to help with acne. And there are also a few strains being used in the passion and pleasure category, viable options for those with heart conditions who need an alternative arousal solution.
Also, there has been an uptick in patients seeking topicals to help with arthritis, back pain, and inflammation. Some of our best-selling brands are Papa & Barkley and Mary’s Medicinals, who do the transdermal patches. These are very popular.
For what ailments are patients in Arizona seeking treatment? Has that changed since you opened six years ago?
Yes. I have seen so much change since the beginning. It seems people are becoming more and more interested in learning about the medicinal benefits of cannabis and are willing to give it a try, whereas years ago, the negative stigma of medicating with cannabis might have prevented people from trying it. I’d say first and foremost the biggest change is the education process. Although patients are starting to educate themselves by reading articles online and talking to other patients who are cannabis users, we still feel it’s our obligation to make sure these patients are reading and receiving the correct information, so we spend a lot time with each patient. We focus on educating them about the various methods of medicating—many still think smoking is the only way to medicate—and stress how important it is to learn your correct dose.
Each patient has a different goal, so it’s important to treat patients independently from one another and suggest items that might be more appropriate for their ailment. In terms of ailments, we see a lot of glaucoma, ALS, and oncology patients looking for relief. However, most patients seem to be looking for pain management, appetite, and nausea control. Lately, patients are becoming more interested in medicating with oils, tinctures, and edibles as they’re an easy way to ingest cannabis other than smoking. I’m finding people are looking for quick, easy dosing and something that lasts a long time, so edibles are very popular.
Maitri Medicinals sees a lot of seniors with many different ailments. What are your best-selling categories?
More and more patients are becoming interested in [Rick Simpson Oil] and the benefits of whole-plant compounds. While RSO is a common form of cannabis for cancer patients, we are finding people with other heath conditions and general wellness concerns are turning to RSO for its deep therapeutic effects and overall health benefits. Also, because of the requirements for lab-testing in legal markets, we find terpene profile results are improving patients’ ability to home-in on specific strains and products to better meet their health needs. In addition to lab test results that enable patients to choose preferred strains and products on the basis of cannabinoid percentages and ratios, patients are being more selective about their cannabis based on terpene profiles and their therapeutic effects.
The vast majority of our patients seek advice and product recommendations for pain relief and for improving sleep. By relieving pain and improving sleep, our patients’ other ailments and overall wellness get a boost as well.
What health and wellness trends and issues are you seeing from manufacturers and customers?
We are excited to see cannabis brands addressing needs consumers have for not only critical injury and ongoing health issues but also for everyday preventative natural remedies, as well as products for beauty, sexual wellness, anti-aging, and skin care. The quality of ingredients is improving greatly where cannabis is not the only star ingredient and main reason for purchasing the product, but the other ingredients are top-quality as well.
Stress has such a major effect on our systems, and we are all exposed to so much of it, so we hear and talk about how to prevent and deal with stress a lot. We suggest a holistic approach where you integrate remedies into your life in a variety of ways. With sleep, for example, you don’t arrive at your bed with insomnia; it has built up all day and compounds, so if you get ahead of it you will be better off when you want to get to sleep. When you start implementing micro-dosing throughout the day, include CBD intake, and dosing with a few different delivery systems, we see a much higher success rate.