We here at Honest Marijuana love it when cannabis and creativity join forces. It’s the answer to our every “shipping” dream (cannativity? creatabis?) and has produced some truly unique forms of marijuana, like Thai sticks, moon rock, and purple weed. But nothing even comes close to the joy we feel when we think about the CBD patch.
Though the CBD patch and the THC patch have only been around for a few years, transdermal patches have existed for almost 40 years.
Way back in 1979 when dinosaurs still roamed the earth and kids had to walk to school uphill both ways, the FDA approved the first transdermal patch (scopolamine for motion sickness).
Other patches followed, but the most famous transdermal patch is the nicotine patch, which was introduced in 1991 to help tobacco users kick the smoking habit.
With the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis in the early part of the 21st century, the next logical step was the CBD patch. Now that it has finally arrived, we’re sure it’ll take the crown as the most famous transdermal patch of them all.
But what exactly are CBD patches, and how do they work? The experts at Honest Marijuana will answer that question and reveal everything you need to know about the newest and coolest way to get the CBD you need.
First, though, let’s talk about the ingredient that makes a CBD patch a CBD patch.
What Is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of many chemical compounds within the cannabis plant. Scientists have given these compounds the name cannabinoids. THC is perhaps the most well-known cannabinoid. Others include:
- CBG (cannabigerol)
- CBL (cannabicyclol)
- CBN (cannabinol)
- CBT (cannabicitran)
And those are just the tip of the cannabinoid iceberg. Scientists have isolated 113 different cannabinoids. Think of these as building blocks that make up the entire chemical composition of the cannabis plant. Pretty cool, huh?
What Is A CBD Patch?
A CBD patch is a Band-aid™-like piece of plastic infused with the cannabinoid CBD. To get relief from chronic issues like pain and anxiety, you simply apply the CBD patch to a venous part of your body (that’s veins, not the planet), like your ankle, your arm, or the inside of your wrist.
Your body heat activates the patch and causes it to release a small amount of THC through your skin and into your bloodstream. Think of it like an IV without the pesky needles.
We’ll get into the specifics of how the CBD patch works in just a moment. But first, we’ll answer the question on everyone’s mind: will a CBD patch get you high?
Will A CBD Patch Get You High?
A CBD patch will NOT get you high. The patches have been specifically produced to minimize THC (the wonderful stuff that does get you high) while maximizing CBD.
No CBD product will get you high unless it has been mislabeled or you took the wrong stuff.
Are There Any Side Effects From CBD Patches?
There are very few side effects associated with CBD (in any form). Even less so with CBD patches.
That’s because the cannabinoid is delivered slowly over a long period of time instead of quickly over the course of just a few minutes (think smoking a doobie).
Here are the common side effects.
One of the only commonly reported issues is a tendency to experience dry mouth after taking CBD.
But in a world full of treatments with a long list of negative side effects, a little dry mouth is a small price to pay for a decrease in your symptoms.
The only other possible side effect of note has to do with CBD’s interaction with other medications. CBD inhibits your liver’s ability to break down most of the pharmaceuticals that humans take.
This isn’t really a problem if you stop one medication and take CBD for the condition instead.
But if you’re taking a medication for something like high blood pressure or a heart condition (which CBD doesn’t treat), adding CBD into the mix can render those medications ineffective.
That can be a major problem. To avoid complications, be sure to talk to your doctor before using a CBD patch.
And, while not a side effect per se, CBD is a biphasic chemical. Biphasic means that at one level, CBD provides a certain list of effects. At another — often higher — level, CBD provides a different list of effects.
That may sound complicated and may be new to some readers, but biphasic substances aren’t all that uncommon.
Alcohol, for example, is a well-known biphasic substance and you’ve probably experienced the results of this property many times. Here’s how it works.
Below a certain blood alcohol content (BAC), alcohol acts as a stimulant. Above that blood alcohol content, alcohol acts as a stimulant.
So, with one or two beers (or glasses of wine or shots of tequila), you might feel energized and ready to dance. But with three or four, you just want to lie down and take a nap.
That’s not to say that CBD is a stimulant at low levels and a depressant at higher levels, but the effects may change as the dosage level increases.
With the CBD patch, though, you don’t have to worry too much about biphasic properties because the patch releases the CBD slowly throughout its effective period.
This slow release allows your body to metabolize the CBD without it building up in your system and causing a biphasic effect.
We recommend experimenting with different levels of CBD and recording the results to find the amount of CBD that’s just right for you. Start small and increase the dosage until you’ve achieved the effects you’re looking for.
How Does A Transdermal CBD Patch Work?
When you apply a transdermal CBD patch to your skin, you set up a drug concentration gradient.
That’s just fancy speak that means the patch contains a lot of cannabinoid, while your skin does not. When a substance (like heat or CBD) is in high concentration, it naturally wants to spread out into the surrounding area.
This concept is similar to pouring boiling water into a coffee mug and leaving it sitting on your counter. The hot water contains a lot of heat (212℉ worth), while the atmosphere around it doesn’t. Because of this difference (the gradient), the heat naturally “spreads out” into the air around it.
The nice thing about transdermal delivery is that it bypasses your lungs, liver, and stomach (places where your body filters or breaks down the cannabinoid). So you get 100 percent of the medicinal value of the CBD.
Are All CBD Patches The Same?
Currently, there are two distinct types of CBD patches: matrix and reservoir.
At first glance, they may seem to be the same, but let us assure you that there are significant differences. The primary difference lies in how the patch is constructed.
Let’s examine the matrix patch first.
In a matrix patch, CBD is infused into the matrix of the patch itself, often in the adhesive. When the adhesive comes in contact with your skin, the CBD begins to move from the area of higher concentration into the area of lower concentration (as described in the section above).
The dose of CBD you get depends on the amount of cannabinoid held in the matrix and the size of the patch (i.e., the area of skin it covers).
Reservoir patches get their name from the fact that CBD is—you guessed it—contained in a reservoir within the patch. The reservoir holds the CBD in solution (most often with a gel) and releases it through a rate-controlling membrane between the reservoir, the adhesive, and your skin.
People have been using reservoir patches successfully for almost 40 years. In addition, reservoir patches provide more controlled delivery rates, so the wearer doesn’t get too much medication all at once. For these reasons, reservoir patches are more effective than matrix patches.
What Are The Benefits Of Transdermal Delivery?
Transdermal CBD patches provide a whole host of benefits over most other methods of cannabis consumption. Here are just a few of those benefits.
Transdermal Patches Are Discreet
If you’re looking for a discreet way to get your CBD without popping pills or dripping tincture under your tongue, the transdermal patch is the answer to your prayers. In fact, CBD patches are the most discreet consumption method on the market today.
Depending on how long the patch lasts (anywhere from four to six hours or more), there’s no need to administer another dose for quite some time.
Transdermal Patches Can Be Formulated To Yield Specific Results
Transdermal patches make it possible to deliver specific cannabinoids (or mixes of cannabinoids) in order to target specific problems. When you smoke a joint, you’re getting a whole mix of different cannabinoids.
With the CBD patch, you only get CBD, so the medicinal effects will be stronger.
Transdermal Patches Last Longer
Transdermal patches release CBD slowly over a number of hours (four to six on average). That means that the medicinal effects last at least that long.
This is in stark contrast to other methods of consumption (like oils or isolates), which peak quickly and then taper off, requiring you to take another dose.
What Are The Specific Benefits Of The CBD Patch?
Transdermal delivery is a very useful and effective way to get CBD into your system. But what are the specific benefits you can expect? We’ve listed them below.
Effective For A Wide Variety Of Ailments
One of the most appealing things about CBD patches is that you can use them to treat a wide variety of medical issues. Here’s what the CBD in CBD patches can do:
- Promote bone growth
- Inhibit growth in cancer cells
- Kill or slow bacterial growth
- Reduce risk of artery blockage
- Treat psoriasis
- Prevent nervous system degeneration
- Reduce blood sugar levels
- Aid sleep
- Reduce seizures and convulsions
- Suppress muscle spasms
- Relieve anxiety
- Lessen the severity of psychosis
- Reduce nausea and vomiting
- Stimulate appetite
- Reduce inflammation
- Decrease pain
Because of this long list of benefits, you can use CBD patches to relieve the symptoms of cancer, osteoporosis, lupus, diabetes, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Parkinson’s disease, and chronic and neuropathic pain, just to name a few.
More Effective Than Other Delivery Methods
Your stomach and your lungs are very good at preventing chemicals from entering your bloodstream. That’s great when you’ve ingested or inhaled something harmful, but not so great when you’ve ingested or inhaled something beneficial (like CBD).
Your body really can’t tell the difference between the malign and the benign — it just goes about doing its job diluting and filtering everything you put in.
In the case of CBD, that means you need to ingest or inhale quite a bit (relatively speaking, of course) before enough gets through to have an effect.
But with a CBD patch, you bypass both of these filtering organs so more of the CBD makes it into your bloodstream. That means you need less CBD to feel the effects.
Easy To Take…And Take Off
CBD patches are among the easiest CBD products to take.
Think about smoking a CBD joint. You’ve first got to roll the joint, which usually entails grinding the bud, struggling with rolling papers, and making sure the joint is sealed. This can take anywhere from five to 20 minutes (or more) depending on your experience and skill.
Who wants to wait that long?
Edibles are a bit better, but there’s still work involved. You’ve got to mix up the recipe, sometimes cook or bake it, and then eat it. That’s a lot of steps to get to the CBD relief you need.
Talk about effort! Sheesh!
But with a CBD patch, all you have to do is apply it to your skin and you’re good to go. That’s the kind of simplicity we’re looking for. Why can’t everything be that easy?
And if you don’t like what you’re feeling from the CBD patch, just peel it off to stop the effects. You can’t do that with edibles or inhalants. Once you put a pot brownie or a bong hit in your system, there’s no going back.
You can’t unring that bell.
Unless you’re taking pills, accurate dosing can be difficult to gauge. Edibles are quick, easy, and discreet, but the dosing can be hit or miss sometimes. One brownie might give you the pain relief you need, while the very next brownie might do nothing but add to your waistline.
And how in the world can you estimate the proper dose with a joint or bong hit? It’s going to take some serious science to accurately calculate the amount of CBD that survives the heat you apply.
But a CBD patch delivers an accurate dose all the time, every time. You really can’t say that about most of the readily available ways to get CBD into your system.
Gentle On Your Lungs And Throat
The harsh smoke of a heavy bong hit can make even the most experienced pot smoker hack up a lung. CBD patches, on the other hand, won’t irritate your lungs and throat like marijuana smoke will.
That may not seem like a benefit for you hard-core, give-me-a-joint-or-give-me-death cannabis purists. But for those who just need CBD for medicinal purposes, it’s one of the biggest benefits of all.
Even though weed smoke isn’t packed full of chemicals like cigarette smoke, it can still irritate your lungs and throat and lead to inflammation. CBD patches produce no smoke, no smell, and no respiratory irritation.
CBD products are often produced from hemp, which is a legal plant in all 50 states. That means hemp isn’t subject to the same laws that are causing so many problems and so much confusion these days.
By extension, then, CBD patches are pretty much legal everywhere and can be shipped by commercial carriers across state lines. And because they are so easy to ship, one of the best places to find CBD patches is online.
If your local dispensary doesn’t stock CBD patches, you’ll be able to find a wide variety at your favorite internet shop. You may have to pay a bit more for shipping, but they’ll arrive on your doorstep ready for use.
CBD Counteracts The Psychoactive Effects Of THC
Another benefit of the CBD patch is that CBD counteracts or lessens the reality-altering power of the THC found in marijuana.
THC, of course, is well-known for its psychoactive effects. But with the good psychoactive effects come some pretty severe bad psychoactive effects.
Chief amongst those negative effects are paranoia, memory loss, drowsiness, and the munchies.
CBD essentially acts as a “chaperone” of sorts to the THC found in marijuana. CBD keeps the THC from running amok through your body where it can cause the previously mentioned negative side effects, along with a whole host of others.
This is why high-THC products may not be the best choice for those seeking medical benefits. High-THC products often have the CBD (and other cannabinoids) bred out of them in order to produce extreme psychoactive effects.
If you take a high-THC product and find yourself way too high, slap on a CBD patch to mitigate the long-term effects. You’ll have to wait a while for the CBD patch to take effect, but just knowing relief is coming goes a long way toward making a bad trip better.
What Strains Work Best For CBD Patches?
When it comes to CBD patches and transdermal delivery, it’s not so much the specific strain that matters. Instead, it’s the purity of whatever strain is used that makes the most difference.
Now, obviously, if your goal is to make a CBD patch, you would want to use a high-CBD strain with as little THC as possible. After that, it’s all about the purity (a.k.a. the quality). The purer the strain the more CBD, terpenes, and trichomes will be available for use in the patch.
To help separate one quality of weed from another, the cannabis community created its own special scale (surprise!). Here are the terms you need to know and what they mean.
- Regs — The lowest-quality form of cannabis
- Mids — As the name suggests, this is mid-quality cannabis
- Beasters — Low high-quality weed (it’s above the middle, but not quite top-shelf)
- Headies — High, high-quality weed (it doesn’t get any better than this)
When shopping for strains (or perusing the label of your CBD patch) for medicinal use, do as we mentioned above: opt for a high-CBD strain like Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin, Sour Tsunami, or Cannatonic.
But then take it one step further and factor in the quality of that specific product as well.
For example, if you’re faced with cracking your wallet for an ounce of Harlequin regs or an ounce of Charlotte’s Web beasters, you’d be better off with the latter. Not because the strain is any better, but because the quality is better.
The same would apply if you had to choose between different qualities of the same strain. An eighth of Sour Tsunami headies is always a better choice than an eighth of Sour Tsunami mids.
As long as you can afford it, always go with the higher-quality product when purchasing for use in a CBD patch, your favorite edibles, or your own DIY tincture. It might be a little more expensive, but the experience will be so much better.
High-quality, organic marijuana is some of the purest product on the market and provides the best raw material for transdermal patches. Make sure the patches you use are made with 100-percent organic cannabis (like that produced by Honest Marijuana).
Are CBD Patches Right For You?
We get asked this question a lot. Our response? Just give it a try and see for yourself. What have you got to lose except your pain?
With CBD patches, you don’t have to worry about side effects because CBD doesn’t really have any. And you don’t have to worry about psychedelic effects because CBD doesn’t do that.
If you’re unsure how to get started or which patch to choose, talk to the budtenders at your local dispensary. They can point you in the right direction.
And if you don’t like your experience with CBD patches, you can always switch to one of the many other forms of high-CBD cannabis on the market today.
There are so many to choose from (joints, blunts, bongs, dabbing, edibles, drinks, pills, oils, creams, tinctures, isolates, dissolvable strips, live resin, shatter, wax) you really can’t go wrong.
For more information on all things marijuana and to check out our 100-percent all-natural cannabis products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.