Papa & Barkley 3:1 CBD:THC RELEAF Balm

By Tricia Cleppe Updated May 11th

Many of my family members from an older generation are hesitant to try cannabis. It can be hard to watch, especially when they suffer from conditions I know medical marijuana could help them fight. I might not ever get them to puff on a joint, but I have convinced a few to try cannabis topical for non-intoxicating pain relief. My grandma used to experience intense arthritic pain in her hands due to inflammation, but with cannabis topical, her gnarled and cramped fingers would extend with relief and full mobility.

Perhaps my own personal experience dealing with a family member in pain makes me feel a certain kinship with the Papa & Barkley brand we’re talking about today. The brand’s name is an ode to his father and their loyal family dog, a pit bull named Barkley. The company began when a son (now the founder) wanted to help his elderly father fight immobilizing back pain. As a result, this well-respected topical brand now crafts multiple high-potency formulations of cannabis topicals and tinctures to bring comfort to those who need it most. And they do it using whole-plant, sun-grown cannabis from Humboldt County.

Seeing just how powerful cannabis topical can be in my own experience with elderly family members, now when I try out a new topical for my aches and pains, I think, “Would I recommend this to my grandmother?” As I try Papa & Barkley’s 3:1 (CBD: THC) RELEAF Balm; this is the high standard that I set for the product.

Packaging, Labeling, and Product Design

Papa & Barkley products jump off the shelf, not because of in-your-face packaging but rather the complete opposite. Their understated, classy, and simple packaging is unique in a harsh neon green and black world. This Papa & Barkley 3:1 RELEAF Balm is packaged safely inside a sturdy blue box with an ink sketch of Papa himself. Inside is a beautifully frosted glass jar with a honey-colored wood top adorned with the company logo burnt into the wood. The P&B branded blue label is the perfect complement to the deep green of the cannabis topical that pokes through the frosted glass.

I could see this jar happily living on bedside tables and bathroom countertops. I appreciate the effort in thoroughly labeling this product. They include its ingredients, directions for use, information about the Papa & Barkley brand on the box, and the cannabinoid ratio of 3:1 CBD to THC. The box also informs me this product is good for “pain and inflammation,” but it doesn’t tell me much beyond that. I wish there was more information on what conditions this product is good for. I find myself wondering, is this good for nerve pain, muscle pain, headaches, and bug bites? However, it is understandable cannabis companies would not want to or be allowed to make medical claims about their products.

The label on the jar restates the 3:1 ratio, which is ideal as customers like myself toss the box quickly. The jar also has a sticker on the bottom with the directions to use and the ingredients on the inside, along with the required government warning.

Luckily, I can call the support phone number on the label to get additional answers. The helpline informs me that this 3:1 RELEAF Balm is best for pain due to inflammation, like arthritis or injury. I’ve been experiencing major shoulder pain from an injury that has never quite healed, so I'm getting ready to slather this on liberally.

Quality and Ease of Use

Since the ingredients are right on the jar, I can tell this product is high quality. There are no harmful fillers, chemicals, or additives to be found here, just cannabis, coconut oil, beeswax, eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, lavender, vitamin E oil, and natural terpenes. Upon opening the jar, the strong aroma of the essential blend punches my nostrils. It smells earthy yet medicinal at the same time and is honestly a bit too pungent for my tastes.

The balm inside has the texture of solidified coconut oil. I scoop a generous fingerful out of the beautifully frosted jar, deposit the chunk of topical on my shoulder, and, as I rub, the once-solidified coconut oil spreads like a thick liquid. This topical is so oily that it doesn’t fully absorb into the skin for quite some time, so I avoid putting clothing on top of the treated area. I could see this texture being fantastic for a nice cannabis-infused massage.

This product is incredibly easy to use. Just scoop some out, rub it on, and that is it! I love the large wooden top on the jar; I think even my grandmother could grab hold of and open it, even with her arthritis-ridden hands.

Potency, Effectiveness, and Affordability

This Papa & Barkley 3:1 RELEAF Balm works almost instantly for me. I immediately begin feeling more mobility in my shoulder and feel my body relaxing around the injury site. It feels incredible, and I find myself more grateful for the relief than I expected to be. I would be interested to see if the wonderful tingly sensation is brought on mostly by the cannabis or the strong essential oil blend. Either way, I did feel great relief! I don’t think I would use this product on more sensitive areas of the skin for fear the essential oil blend might be too strong.

After testing three different jars of this topical, I am confident in its consistency. This product is highly potent, especially when compared to other cannabis topicals on the market. Because of this, the price is steep. This topical tops the top shelf at nearly $60 for a 50 mL jar, but it would be worth the investment. Papa & Barkley offers this topical in a smaller 15 mL jar for around $25. In the end, I would absolutely suggest this product to my grandmother.

Nugg Score: How the Nugg Team Rates This Product

Packaging: 5/5

  • The balm comes packaged beautifully in a thick, frosted glass jar with a wooden lid. The lid has the company logo burnt into it and is labeled with a cool blue sticker.
  • The glass jar is housed in a sturdy cardboard box donning P&B’s classic calming blue and beige design and a sketch of the infamous Papa & Barkley.
  • Unparalleled brand recognition: without being “loud,” I can spot this (and their other products) from a mile away.

Labeling: 3/5

  • Not only does the box have the cannabinoid ratio, the label sticker on the jar also does.
  • On the bottom is a fold-out sticker listing the ingredients and directions.
  • The customer support staff (whose phone number is listed on the label) is incredibly friendly and willing to work through questions.

Fragrance: 3.5/5

  • This balm's blend of essential oils creates a calming but medicinal fragrance. While it’s not unpleasant, it’s a little overwhelming… and lasts a long time.
  • Because of the strong essential oil blend, I wouldn’t feel comfortable using this on my face or other sensitive skin areas on my body.
  • Anyone with allergies to certain essential oils in this mix won’t be able to utilize the healing powers of these cannabinoids in P&B’s RELEAF Balm.

Texture: 3.5/5

  • Balm turns from a solid to a smooth oil as soon as it meets the heat from your body.
  • While it provides a great glide for massaging it onto a sore muscle, it is pretty oily, so be careful with your clothing.
  • The texture would be ideal for a massage.

Ease of Use: 5/5

  • The product couldn’t be any easier to use.
  • The lid is easy to unscrew, and the mouth of the jar is wide enough to get to every last drop of the balm easily.

Ingredients: 5/5

  • Simple ingredients: only cannabis, fractionated coconut oil, beeswax, a blend of essential oils (eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, and lavender), vitamin E oil, and natural terpenes. That’s it!
  • The product is completely natural, uses a whole-plant extract, and is Cruelty-Free and Sun-Grown in Humboldt.

Effectiveness: 5/5

  • I would love to see Papa & Barkley come out with a fragrance-free version of this product, not only for the reasons listed above but also so I can tell if the tingling sensation is from the cannabinoids or from the eucalyptus/peppermint/tea tree oils.
  • After giving my shoulder a rub with this oily balm, I immediately felt more mobility.

Consistency: 5/5

  • After working with several jars of this, I always had the same experience and felt the same relief.
  • If this blend of cannabinoids works for you, it should work consistently – every time.

Versatility: 4/5

  • Although the customer support team assured me that it’s a great moisturizer and OK to use virtually anywhere, because of the intense essential oil mix, I’d be afraid you use this near my eyes, on any sensitive skin areas (face, lips, etc.), or skin disorders (eczema, psoriasis, etc.).

Price: 4.5/5

  • This is a worthy investment.
  • Because of the high cannabinoid content and potency, the price is well worth the relief it brings to your ailments.

Overall Rating: 4.35

This is one of the most effective cannabis topicals I’ve ever tried. The potent sun-grown Humboldt cannabis and proprietary essential oil blend immediately go to work to relieve pain. The beautiful Papa & Barkley packaging looks like it belongs in a high-end skincare boutique, but it’s also functional for those opening the jar with limited mobility. All in all, those with chronic and debilitating inflammation would probably find this highly potent and highly effective topical well worth the investment.

Nugg Club delivers within most of Los Angeles and Orange County, some areas of Ventura County, the Inland Empire, and San Diego County! Parts of the Bay Area are also covered within Northern California. Ready to alleviate your aches and pains with Papa & Barkley’s 3:1 CBD:THC RELEAF balm? Click to see if Nugg Club delivers to your address!


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The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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