These days, CBD intake options are beyond plentiful. Tinctures, softgels, gummies and salves have all become household products and are great ways to incorporate CBD's benefits into everyday life. A slightly less common method for accessing CBD but that is quickly gaining traction is the CBD patch.
But what exactly is a CBD patch?
We're glad you asked.
All You Need to Know about CBD Patches
Completely unique in their own way, CBD patches eliminate the need to take a tincture, swallow a capsule, eat a handful of CBD gummies, or hit a vape pen. Instead, CBD patches are applied to the skin, where cannabidiol then enters the bloodstream through the dermal layer and offers a long-lasting effect.
What Are Transdermal Patches?
While transdermal patches aren’t a new concept, they are a relatively recent addition to the world of cannabis.
The FDA approved the first transdermal patch in 1979 for the management of motion sickness.
In 1991, one of the most famous transdermal patches was invented: the nicotine patch. This patch was designed to help smokers kick the habit. Anyone who has ever attempted to quit smoking knows just how difficult it can be. This is where the nicotine patch comes in; some people say it is the only thing that's worked to help them finally put an end to their nicotine addiction.
Nicotine patches have helped many smokers end their addiction by offering a steady and controlled release of nicotine to the body throughout the day. This is said to reduce the effects of nicotine withdrawal, which can help reduce the overwhelming craving to smoke.
With more and more people using cannabis across the nation, it seems obvious that patches containing cannabinoids would eventually find a spot on dispensary shelves and online CBD marketplaces. While nicotine patches are intended to help smokers break their addictions, CBD patches are simply another way for people to easily incorporate CBD into their everyday routine.
A Brief Overview of CBD
Before we can dive into our discussion of the benefits of the CBD patch, it's first important to understand the benefits of taking CBD. Keep reading to discover just how much incorporating CBD can benefit your lifestyle.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is one of many chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that are found in cannabis plants. These cannabinoids work in sync with the body's endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for several physiological processes.
THC is the most famous cannabinoid, with CBD trailing close behind. Why is CBD so popular? It's known to offer a number of wellness benefits and, unlike THC, it isn't intoxicating.
Although they receive the most time in the spotlight, THC and CBD aren't the only identified cannabinoids in cannabis. In fact, scientists have identified and isolated more than 100 cannabinoids to date!
While more studies are needed, research suggests each cannabinoid holds its own unique wellness-promoting potential. They've also shown to work harmoniously together in something known as the entourage effect.
What Exactly Is a CBD Patch?
Now that you have a better understanding of what CBD is, it's time to look further into the CBD patch.
A transdermal CBD patch is similar to other patches. It's designed to be stuck to a venous part of the body. Many people choose to wear a transdermal patch on their arms, the inside of the wrist or ankles.
Once the patch is placed on a venous area, it gets activated by your body heat and then it releases a small amount of CBD through the skin.
A CBD patch is kind of like a Band-Aid, but instead of covering up a cut, it releases CBD. Neat, right?
How Does a CBD Patch Work?
It’s quick and easy to access CBD through a CBD patch. Just stick on a patch and you're all set. Transdermal patches are impressive, but how exactly do they work?
While the idea might seem complicated, a CBD patch is quite simple to use. One side of the patch contains CBD and a skin-safe adhesive. The other side of the patch is similar to the outer surface of a Band-Aid.
The skin is the largest organ of the body. This critical organ covers and protects the entire body. It consists of three layers: the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.
The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin. It contains the protective barrier known as the stratum corneum that shields foreign substances from entering the body. A CBD patch adheres to the epidermis.
The dermis is the second layer of the skin. It contains a connective tissue that provides the skin with strength and structure, and is also where you find hair follicles and sweat glands. The dermis is the layer of skin that diffuses the CBD in a patch into the deepest layer of the skin.
This deepest layer – the hypodermis – is the skin's third layer. It's composed of fat and connective tissues, and contains blood vessels that also spread into the epidermis and dermis. These are the blood vessels that carry the CBD in a transdermal patch into the bloodstream.
Once the CBD has been absorbed into the bloodstream through these various skin layers, the blood carries the cannabinoid through the circulatory system and the body.
5 Benefits of a CBD Patch
Now that you have a better understanding of exactly what a CBD patch is and how it works, it's time to explore some of the common benefits associated with them.
1. It's Easy to Use
A CBD patch could be one of the easiest ways to intake CBD. Simply stick it on your skin and let it do its thing. What's even better is that all you need to do is take it off when you want to and it will stop delivering CBD to the system.
2. It's Discreet
When it comes to taking CBD, a patch could be one of the most discreet methods out there. No need to take a tincture, pop a pill or hit your vape pen. Another added bonus is that you won't need another serving for a while since a CBD patch slowly delivers cannabidiol over a period of six hours or more.
3. Increased Effectiveness
We mentioned that a CBD patch allows CBD to bypass the digestive tract and liver. This is something that could increase the overall effectiveness because the cannabinoid isn't being broken down by the body. Unless the CBD you're taking is water soluble, a significant amount of it is broken down by the body before it reaches the blood. However, this is not the case with a CBD patch.
4. Precise Serving
It can be tricky to get an exact serving of CBD with a tincture. When it comes to common CBD consumption methods, CBD softgels typically offer the most accurate serving. Similar to softgels, CBD patches are also precisely measured servings.
5. Longer Lasting
Before the creation of the CBD patch, it was edibles that provided the longer-lasting results that many people are looking for when they take CBD. The issue is that the effects of edibles can take a while to feel. Anyone who wants to feel quick and long-lasting results will find just that in a CBD patch. Transdermal patches are designed to deliver CBD to the system over time.
Is a CBD Patch Best for You?
When it comes to CBD, everyone is different.
Our advice? Try it out and see for yourself!
There are several instances when a CBD patch might be an optimal way to enjoy CBD. Anyone who has trouble swallowing a tincture, softgel or edible could find great benefits from a CBD patch. Others looking for the most discreet way to take CBD will find CBD patches to be a fantastic fit. Still have questions about CBD patches? Feel free to contact us. We want to ensure your CBD experience is a positive one, and we're always here to help!
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Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.