SOLAR 22 / GETTY MAGES
Living the kind of life that I have, I’m amazed by the degree to which it’s been a pain-free existence. (I’m talking physical pain only—you don’t want to hear me talk about the rest.)
This doesn’t make me the best test subject for cannabis-made topical pain relievers. And while I have considered imparting tremendous bodily harm upon myself for the sake of journalism, it’s actually not necessary. As a caregiver in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) system, I have a number of patients who are unfortunately in near-constant pain from myriad ailments, from chronic to terminal.
The upside is that I sometimes get to share free samples with my patients, and that helps me get a sense of what product works for which condition. Such was the case with Nightingale Remedies.
Nightingale’s owner and CEO, Patrick Brennan, had worked in the Oregon cannabis industry back in a different era, the pre-Measure 91, OMMP-only days. (Were we ever so young?) Brennan used cannabis to treat a variety of injuries from years of intense snowboarding and skateboarding, resulting in a “chronically out-of-whack back” and four knee surgeries.
“This came from necessity,” says Brennan. “I tried all the other patches, salves, and oils, none which brought me consistent relief and comfort. So I chose to make a product that I believe delivers on the promise of true pain relief.”
Brennan started by purchasing dozens of cannabis-infused topicals from Oregon and other states with cannabis programs, both recreational and medical. He then deconstructed each product by its ingredient list, drafted a lengthy spreadsheet, and reviewed each one’s effectiveness with the help of a doctor and a pharmacist. “It allowed me to toss out a number of ingredients that, while commonly used, had no true pain-relieving value,” he says.
The product’s long label lists more than 50 ingredients, which Brennan and his team chose to create a true “entourage effect.” That includes turmeric curcumin, Boswellia serrata, glucosamine hydrochloride, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and the cannabinoid CBD. Brennan says the lengthy list serves to address pain in two ways. (Warning: science ahead.)
“Studies have shown that CBD regulates the release of…