In the cannabidiol industry, much of the focus lies on sublingual and oral consumption. Products such as CBD oil, edibles, and drinks are marketed as ‘easy to use’ and ‘delicious’ forms of the cannabinoid. However, such items are not always the best solution for an individual. If the goal is to target a certain site on the body, an oil or gummy is inefficient. Fortunately, it is now possible to benefit from a CBD transdermal patch.
What Are CBD Patches?
The notion of a CBD pain patch is a relatively new one. However, patients have used transdermal patches for decades. Indeed, the FDA approved one for motion sickness back in 1979. Famous examples include birth control and nicotine patches.
A CBD patch usually resembles a Band-aidTM and is infused with cannabidiol. Each one contains a pre-measured level of CBD molecules in a gel, oil, or isolated solution. It may also include a carrier oil and other ingredients designed to enhance permeation.
It releases the cannabinoid slowly, and users can wear one for days. In this guide, we check out the best CBD patches on the market and provide more information on how they are created, and how they work.
Pros and Cons of Using CBD Patches
- A reservoir patch provides a steady and controlled release of CBD.
- You are aware of how much CBD is in every patch.
- They can last for a very long time.
- It allows discreet usage of cannabidiol.
- A higher bioavailability rate than almost every other form of CBD consumption.
- A costly form of CBD.
- Not everyone enjoys the sensation of wearing a patch all day.
- Not ideal if you want to experience a rapid effect.
- Matrix patches don’t provide a steady and controlled dose.
- It should not be used if a patient has a condition with pain that is changing quickly.
Editor’s Choice – Best CBD Patch for 2020
If you would rather skip to the end, let us save you some time! We decided that PureKana is the best CBD patch on the market. It combines value, quality of ingredients, duration, and comfort in a single package.
How Are CBD Patches Made?
It is easy to think that all CBD patches for pain are made in the same way. However, there are two specific types:
- Matrix Patches
- Reservoir Patches
These contain five different layers:
- A peel-off section designed to protect the CBD
- A layer that contains the cannabinoid, known as the ‘matrix’
- A layer of separation
- An adhesive section
- A final backing layer for added protection
The adhesive layer ensures the matrix layers remain in contact with the skin. When you apply one of these patches, its cannabinoids absorb through the skin and journey to the bloodstream. The amount of CBD you get depends on how much of it is in the matrix layer, and the surface area the patch covers. One issue with matrix patches is the lack of a consistent application of cannabinoids; there is a drop-off.
This form of patch contains a:
- Peel-off layer
- A layer of protective backing
It also has a reservoir that contains the CBD and helps it get into the skin via a release membrane. Manufacturers can control the delivery rate, so it releases the cannabinoids at a more controlled pace than its matrix counterpart. This form of patch has been used effectively for decades.
How Do CBD Patches Work?
The best CBD patches work by moving the cannabinoid directly into the skin cells’ endocannabinoids. Both our cells’ surfaces and cannabinoids are lipids. As a result, cannabidiol easily diffuses through the cells and travels to the blood vessels. A patch delivers CBD to the bloodstream via the skin and ensures the cannabinoid reaches the endocannabinoid system (ECS). There, it influences CB1 and CB2 receptors and, in theory, produces an array of beneficial effects.
A patch needs to contain permeation enhancers. This is because transdermal delivery is relatively slow and not especially efficient. Human skin is exceptionally adept at ensuring toxins, contaminants, and other compounds are kept out. A well-designed CBD patch must bypass our skin’s protective layers.
Hailed as a massive breakthrough in drug delivery technology, a permeation enhancer promotes the absorption of a drug through the skin temporarily. It achieves this by enhancing skin permeability for a very short time. Such enhancers take numerous forms, including microneedles and chemical solutions. However, natural options, such as essential oils and terpenes, are also used.
How Do You Use a CBD Patch?
While the process of creating the best CBD patches sounds complicated, they are incredibly easy to use. Take off the protective film and apply the patch to a clean and dry area of skin. The brand should outline how long the CBD in the patch will last for. The timelines vary significantly, from 6-96 hours!
Experts recommend placing CBD patches on a venous part of the body. In such locations, capillaries and blood vessels are close to the surface of the skin. Good options include the shoulders, back of the neck, ankles, and wrists.
One of the main reasons why people use a CBD patch is due to the high rate of bioavailability. Even without an enhancer, an estimated 50% of the cannabinoids make it to the bloodstream. This absorption rate is several times higher than when you use CBD oil or edibles.
The transdermal patches ensure the cannabidiol is delivered directly to your bloodstream with a low level of loss along the way. CBD also directly activates your skin cells, so it is especially useful for those with skin disorders.
Users value the discretion afforded to them by patches. They can wear one beneath their clothes, out of sight of prying eyes. There is no need to bring a bottle of oil with you while traveling, nor do you need to vaporize. Manufacturers have created patches with a wide variety of CBD concentrations to suit your individual needs.
Ultimately, CBD patches are a far more effective form of consumption than other delivery methods. They last much longer, are highly efficient, and remove the guesswork from the dosing process. Also, putting on and taking off, a patch is straightforward. However, they are very expensive.
Which Brand Provides the Best CBD Patch for 2020?
With many great brands to choose from, creating a shortlist wasn’t easy. However, we finally decided that the following three companies make outstanding CBD patches.
- Hemp Bombs
- Pure Ratios
We compared them across five sections to get an outright winner.
Best Patch for CBD Content
A lot depends on how much you are willing to spend on a CBD transdermal patch. There are brands offering over 120mg, but they cost over $200 apiece! The brands we chose offer a mixture of CBD concentration and value. The PureKana patch provides a total of 60mg of full-spectrum cannabidiol per patch (the highest of the trio) and is free from THC.
The offering from Pure Ratios contains 40mg, the lowest amount of the three brands reviewed. Hemp Bombs provides a reasonable CBD concentration of 50mg per pain patch. As well as offering CBD patches for pain, Hemp Bombs sells an option for sleep, and another if you have a hangover! Although we don’t advise overindulgence, it is nice to know that you’re covered! The sleep option contains just 17mg of CBD, and you’ll find 25mg in the hangover patches.
Winner by CBD content – PureKana
Best for Long-Lasting Effects
Unlike the other two options, the Hemp Bombs range is designed for short-term usage. According to the brand, you should only wear it for 8-12 hours. This is inconvenient if you want to wear a patch overnight, though you receive two patches in a pack that will see you through a 24-hour day.
Both Pure Ratios and PureKana sell a patch you can wear for an incredible 96 hours. These are among the longest-lasting transdermal products in the entire CBD market. In both cases, the cannabinoids are delivered directly into the body after being absorbed through the skin.
Winner by effect – A Tie Between PureKana and Pure Ratios
Best CBD Patch Ingredients
As there are three Hemp Bombs options, there are slightly different ingredients in each one. The CBD patches for pain contain 3% menthol and 1% lidocaine for a soothing sensation. The option to help with your sleep contains 3mg of melatonin. If you have a hangover, the combination of green tea and B-complex will hopefully prove useful. What’s most important is the standard of the CBD, and Hemp Bombs fares well in this regard.
The Pure Ratios patches contain a chemical-free hemp extract, although it doesn’t provide much more information on its website. The PureKana patches include an array of all-natural ingredients, including coconut oil and organic aloe butter. They are designed to work well on sensitive skin and have an edge on their rivals.
Winner by ingredients – PureKana
Best for Comfort
If you don’t like the idea of wearing a patch for an extended period, perhaps you should stick with the Hemp Bombs option? You only need to wear it for a maximum of 12 hours. Indeed, with ingredients such as menthol involved, you probably won’t want to wear one for very long!
The Pure Ratios patch is comfortable enough to wear for a few days. Most customer reviews suggest that they forget about what they have within a day or so. However, PureKana’s unique set of ingredients helps remove any semblance of discomfort. Aside from the aloe vera, there are moisturizing essential oils. Also, users say that peeling off a PureKana patch is also effortless.
Winner for comfort – PureKana
Best Budget Pick
As a general rule, CBD patches are exceedingly expensive. There are a large number of options that will set you back at least $100! Fortunately, the brands we have featured have you covered. A 40mg Pure Ratios patch will cost you less than $20. The company also sells a 5-pack where you almost get the fifth one for free.
A PureKana patch also ensures you won’t damage your bank balance too much. You can get a 60mg patch for just $17.99, which is outstanding value. There is also a three-pack for $48.99. However, Hemp Bombs takes the prize for those seeking value for money. You get two x 50mg pain patches for just $24.99. Although the hangover and sleep options contain less CBD per patch, each packet totals 100mg of CBD for $24.99.
Winner by budget – Hemp Bombs
There is no need to spend a fortune when you are purchasing a cannabidiol patch. All three options we have outlined provide real value for money. Admittedly, you are unlikely to wear one every day. Nonetheless, if you believe a transdermal patch can help with pain, give one of our three reviewed brands a try.
Hemp Bombs provide several options, so look at that brand if you want a patch for pain, to help you sleep, or to combat a hangover! Both Pure Ratios and PureKana sell patches that last as long as anything in the industry. In the end, the latter company shades it. With 60mg of CBD per patch that you can wear for 96 hours comfortably, the PureKana option is an industry leader. Check it out on the official PureKana website.
Overall Winner – PureKana