These days, CBD intake options are practically endless. Tinctures, softgels, gummies and salves have all become household products and are great ways to incorporate CBD’s benefits into everyday life. Vaping CBD is also now an industry standard. Another less common method for accessing CBD that is quickly gaining ground 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, snack on 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 a fairly recent addition to the world of cannabis, transdermal patches aren’t a new concept.
The first transdermal patch was approved by the FDA in 1979 for the management of motion sickness. If you don’t get seasick, you’ve likely never heard of it. For those who do get queasy in open waters, you’re well aware that scopolamine for motion sickness is a godsend.
One of the most famous transdermal patches was invented in 1991. The nicotine patch was designed to help smokers kick the habit. Anyone that has ever tried to quit smoking knows it can be one of the most difficult experiences of their life. Enter the nicotine patch, which some say is the only thing that’s worked to help them finally put an end to their addiction.
Nicotine patches have helped countless smokers end their addiction by offering a steady, controlled release of nicotine to the body throughout the day. This is said to reduce the effects of nicotine withdrawal, which helps reduce the overwhelming craving to smoke.
With cannabis use increasing across the nation, it only makes sense 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 not — they are simply another way for people to easily incorporate CBD into their everyday routine.
A Brief Overview of CBD
Before we can fully discuss the benefits of the CBD patch, it’s important to understand the benefits of taking CBD in the first place. Keep reading to discover just how much incorporating CBD can benefit your lifestyle.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of many chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that are found in cannabis plants. These cannabinoids work in harmony 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.
While they are the most famous, THC and CBD aren’t the only identified cannabinoids in cannabis. In fact, scientists have identified and isolated over 100 cannabinoids to date!
While more studies are needed, research suggests these various cannabinoids each hold their own unique wellness-promoting potential. They’ve also shown to work harmoniously together in something known as the entourage effect.
So What Exactly Is a CBD Patch?
Now that you have a better understanding of what CBD is, it’s time to dive into a better understanding of the CBD patch.
A transdermal CBD patch is much like any other patch. It’s designed to be stuck to a venous part of the body. Popular places to wear a transdermal patch include arms, the inside of the wrist or ankles.
Once the patch is placed on a venous area, your body heat activates it, causing it to release 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. Cool, right?
How Does a CBD Patch Work?
Accessing CBD through a CBD patch is quick and easy. Just put on a patch and you’re good to go. Transdermal patches are impressive, but how exactly do they work?
While the idea might seem complex, a CBD patch is really easy to use. One side of the patch contains CBD and adhesive that sticks to the skin. The other side of the patch is much like the outer surface of a Band-Aid.
You’re likely aware that the skin is the largest organ of the body. This extremely important 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 a 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 has a connective tissue that offers skin 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, containing blood vessels that also spread into the epidermis and dermis. It’s these 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 throughout the body.
5 Benefits of a CBD Patch
Now that you have a better understanding of exactly what a CBD patch is, 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 get a serving of CBD. Simply apply it to your skin and let it work its magic. 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 the most discreet method that exists. No need to take a tincture, pop a pill or hit your vape pen. Something else? You won’t need another serving for a long time, as a CBD patch delivers cannabidiol slowly 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, quite a bit of it is broken down by the body before it reaches the blood. This is not the case with a CBD patch, however.
4. Precise Serving
Getting a precise serving of CBD with a tincture can be tricky. When it comes to common CBD consumption methods, CBD softgels tend to offer the most accurate serving. CBD patches are also precisely measured servings. If the patch contains 60mg of CBD, you know you’re getting 60mg of CBD.
5. Longer Lasting
Before the advent of the CBD patch, it was edibles that offered the extended results many people are looking for when taking CBD. The problem is, the effects of edibles can take a while to feel. Anyone looking to feel prompt 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 can’t swallow a tincture, softgel or edible could find enormous benefit with a CBD patch. Others looking for the most discreet way to take CBD will find CBD patches to be a perfect 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.