How to Use CBD Patches and Transdermals

If you believe you’ve heard about all of the different methods to use CBD, think again. Transdermal. Have you heard of it?

From CBD edibles to CBD oil and bath bombs to skincare, CBD is findings it’s way into almost everything. One thing, however, that uniquely stands apart from most CBD consumables are CBD transdermal patches. CBD patches have quickly gained traction and are exploding in popularity for a variety of reasons.

What is a Transdermal Patch?

A transdermal patch is just what it sounds like. The root meaning of ‘trans’ is across or through, while the root meaning of ‘dermal’ is skin. Therefore, a transdermal patch is a medicated adhesive patch that is placed on the skin to deliver a specific dose of medicine into the bloodstream over a period of time.

Types of Transdermal Cannabis Patches

CBD Patches

A CBD transdermal patch is an adhesive-like piece of material that contains a measured dose of Cannabidiol molecules. Along with other natural elements in the composition, high concentrations of CBD – in comparison to our skin’s low levels of CBD – make the product extremely functional.

THC Patches

As the name implies, a THC transdermal patch is one that is infused with the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Incredibly, a THC transdermal patch is yet another method of getting your daily dose of cannabis. Implementing THC transdermal patches into your lifestyle is a unique way to receive the effects of marijuana, even without smoking or consuming the plant.

How do Transdermal Patches Work?

So, how do they work? By applying the CBD patch to the preferred area of skin, you set up a drug concentration gradient. In other terms, that just means there are significantly more cannabinoids at one point (in the patch) than at another location (in your skin). As the heat of your skin begins to activate the patch, the CBD cannabinoids slowly start to diffuse through the skin cells. Eventually, the cannabinoids will reach your bloodstream, entering the Endocannabinoid System; ultimately, finding their way to cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. The onset of therapeutic effects will occur once the cannabinoids attach to their receptors.

Having said that, it takes quite a while for a transdermal patch to function. The outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, is the thin, tough organ that acts as a protective shell. Scientists may also refer to the epidermis as a protective permeability barrier, which permanently protects your body against the absorption of harmful substances. This protective barrier, however, significantly slows down the transfer process of cannabinoids. As a result, many transdermal patches now include permeation enhancers. These “permeation enhancers” are substances that promote the absorption of the drug (cannabinoid) through the skin temporarily by transiently enhancing skin permeability.

Proper Transdermal Patch Placement

There are a couple of tricks and tips you should consider before proceeding to apply the patch. For example, proper transdermal placement is a pretty important factor when wanting to get the most out of the product. If you place the patch on a dense area of skin, your skin (and bloodstream) can’t absorb the CBD from the patch nearly as well; therefore, not providing substantial therapeutic results. Nevertheless, professionals suggest your wrists, ankles, upper arms, shoulders, and the back of your neck are the best possible locations. Essentially, any area of your skin that is thin and veiny.

Now, to physically apply the CBD patch to your skin, simply do the following: take off the protective film, place the patch on your skin and wear it for the period of time, or timeframe, the packaging suggests. Typically, the directions will recommend wearing the patch anywhere from 6-12 hours. In some cases, individuals will wear theirs for up to 96 hours.

Do CBD Patches Work?

A CBD transdermal patch functions in response to a chemical reaction with your body. In short, your skin’s heat triggers the adhesive, ultimately releasing the CBD molecules. The heat will disperse other natural additives in the patch, if any, as well. Some transdermal patches in the cannabis industry may include additional elements like THC, menthol, or melatonin to enhance the medication. Anyway, once your skin releases heat, and absorbs the molecules from the patch, the CBD will soon enter your bloodstream. Finally, your bloodstream will process the CBD compounds, where you will then begin experiencing the medicinal effects.

So, the burning question. Do CBD patches really work, and how? Well, dating back to 1979, the FDA had approved the first-ever transdermal patch to alleviate motion sickness. After that, nicotine transdermal patches were common among individuals who wanted to quit smoking. Interestingly, transdermal patches have been around since the 1980s, validating their usefulness. Inevitably, CBD transdermal patches have been an enormous success, profoundly helping individuals with specific health ailments, like anxiety, inflammation, and joint pain.

How Long Do CBD Patches Take to Work?

On average, users will begin to feel the onset of effects within 20 minutes of applying the patch. Remember, because the CBD molecules don’t have to bypass the kidney and liver, they take into effect a lot sooner than other means of consuming cannabis.

Are CBD Patches Safe?

Though often well-tolerated, CBD transdermal patches also carry some risks. CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you’re taking, such as blood thinners. If you have any questions concerns, talk to your doctor before using a CBD product.

Can You Shower with a CBD Patch?

One helpful tip to ensure maximum effectiveness: don’t soak the CBD patch. Getting the patch slightly wet from a shower or what have you is completely fine. However, be cautious not to submerge the patch in water, as the adhesive can wear, causing the patch to fall off.

Where is the Best Place to Put a CBD Patch?

Again, it is essential to consider where you are going to place the CBD transdermal patch. The CBD patch will not work well if you set it on an area with thick or dense skin. Areas of the skin that you should focus on include your wrists, ankles, upper arms, shoulders, and the back of your neck. Apply the patch to skin that is thin or veiny.

Can You Cut a CBD Patch in Half?

If you would like, you can cut your transdermal patch in half. In fact, this would be a good idea for new cannabis users, or even people needing to treat small areas of skin. Individuals brand new to using cannabis can establish a baseline of how they tolerate CBD (or THC) by taking half of the recommended dose. Moreover, you can cut the patch in half. Just remember, the contents of the patch are evenly distributed, so cutting the patch in half will also reduce the dose in half.

What are the Best CBD Patches?

You will see CBD patches on the shelves in drugstores, beauty salons, and lifestyle stores. You will also find them online. They are everywhere. However, you should know some of the best CBD patches contain not only CBD but also other healthy plant oils for extra nourishing benefits.

How Long Do CBD Patches Last?

A CBD patch provides a continual flow of CBD in efficient and timely delivery. Thus, the medicinal benefits from the patch are long-term, as the molecules get dispersed in a slow cycle. At that, once you apply the patch, it can last between 6-12 hours on average. Sometimes even up to 96 hours, depending on the type of transdermal patch and health ailment you are treating.

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