How To Relieve Pain Using CBD Transdermal Patches

How To Relieve Pain Using CBD Transdermal Patches
December 30, 2019

CBD-infused transdermal patches are borne out of the never-ending pursuit of newer and better ways of harnessing marijuana’s benefits. This mode of intake is slowly gaining traction in the cannabis industry – and rightfully so, as it boasts tons of benefits and minimal downsides. With the use of these adhesive medications, seeking reprieve from various ailments has never been so easy and convenient.

What Are CBD Transdermal Patches?

CBD transdermal patches are medicated adhesives infused with Cannabidiol – the non-psychoactive component of cannabis known for its healing properties. These are designed to deliver specific doses of CBD through transdermal absorption.

Transdermal Patch on Skin

Once the cannabinoids permeate the barriers of the skin, it gets absorbed via the blood vessels into the bloodstream. The blood then transports the CBD molecules in various parts of the body where it relieves numerous discomforts such as chronic pain.


There are five kinds of transdermal patches. The differences mainly lie in its structure and drug delivery system.

  • Single-layer drug-in adhesive. Being the most basic of all types, the adhesive layer of this patch also contains the drug. Its primary function does not end with ensuring that the various layers adhere to the skin, it also controls the release of the medication.
  • Multi-layer drug-in adhesive. In terms of structure, this type is synonymous to the single-layer drug-in adhesive. However, it has two layers of drug-in resins instead of just one. The first one is intended for the immediate release whereas the other is for the controlled and gradual release of the drug. CBD’s rate of diffusion varies depending on the membrane permeability.
  • Matrix patches. With matrix patches, CBD is infused in an adhesive polymer matrix, in which the medication is continuously diffused into the skin and subsequently, into the bloodstream. The amount of CBD delivered in a matrix patch is proportionate to its cannabidiol content and the size of the patch.
  • Reservoir patches. This type is made with a semi-permeable membrane in which the CBD is held in a gel solution. This membrane also regulates the release of medication from the patch. As compared to matrix adhesives, the reservoir patches produce a more controlled CBD delivery rate – thereby prohibiting the release of too much drug in an instant. This makes it more effective and preferable. However, it cannot be cut into smaller pieces. Doing so will destroy the rate-controlling membrane which can result in dose dumping.
  • Vapor patches. Akin to single-layer drug-in adhesives, the layer of this patch serves to adhere and release the drug – but in this case, in the form of vapors. This new type of patch is known for its long release duration of up to 6 hours.

How It Works

Every transdermal patch contains additives called permeation enhancers. These additives help with the delivery of the medication by making the interior of the patch such an inhospitable environment that the CBD molecules would want to disperse into a more favorable area – the skin. Permeation enhancers are essential in boosting the absorption rate because it helps bypass the epidermis – the skin’s protective layer that keeps away microbes and other contaminants.


Apart from being a convenient way of medicating with cannabis, the use of CBD transdermal patches has plenty of other benefits.

  • Targets pain locally. Medicated adhesives can directly adhere to specific areas of the body in need of pain relief. As such, it is perfect for targeting localized pain as the medication gets delivered right where it needs to be.
  • Safe way of consumption. Transdermal patches are non-invasive methods of delivery. It allows for the absorption of CBD’s medicinal benefits without the harmful effects associated with smoking or the inconvenience with ingesting pills. In addition, using these patches can also lessen the need for regular intakes of painkillers. Although helpful in managing pain, over-the-counter painkillers pose adverse effects such as heart and liver problems upon prolonged use. The same analgesic effects without the side impacts can be attained with the use of CBD transdermal patches. All that needs to be done is to adhere the patch onto a venous area like the ankle, arm or the inside part of the wrist and wait for it to work its wonders.
  • Long-lasting relief. In comparison to smoking or vaporizing cannabis, the slow release of steady amounts of CBD provides a longer-lasting relief. With just a single patch, pain can be kept at bay for approximately 8 to 12 hours, depending on the type and formulation used. This allows for continuous pain relief without the inconvenience of dosing up repeatedly throughout the day.
  • Increased bioavailability. Smoking, vaping, dabbing, or ingesting edibles decreases the amounts of CBD absorbed in the body as some – if not most of it – gets filtered out by the respiratory or digestive system. Conversely, the use of patches enables the patient to benefit from the full concentration of the CBD dose as none of it gets lost in the process of metabolism. The medicinal benefits are directly transferred into the bloodstream through the skin, therefore increasing the amount of absorption or bioavailability of the compound.
  • Easy dosage control. The difficulty usually associated with cannabis consumption is the proper monitoring and regulation of its dosage. However, this would not be a problem with the use of transdermal patches. These adhesives use CBD isolates and are already packed with precise doses. Moreover, it has a mechanism that controls how much of the drug gets released – thereby allowing patients to control dosage accurately. It can also be divided as desired to acquire lower dosages. In addition,  it can be easily removed from the skin when the effects become too overwhelming for one’s preference. In contrast, those who ingest, or inhale cannabis using invasive methods have no choice but to let the effects pass when it gets overwhelming.
  • No psychoactive effects. CBD transdermal patches are specifically designed to lessen tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels and maximize CBD. Since it has little to no THC content, these medicinal adhesives will not likely induce psychoactive effects.
  • Fast and discreet application. These patches can conveniently adhere to different parts of the body – even those that are out of sight. It can also be easily brought anywhere without raising any suspicion as anyone could mistake it as regular pain relief patches. Moreover, it does not bear the signature scent of cannabis nor the red-eyes that accompany its use. This allows for quick, hassle-free, and discreet medication even when on the go.
Holdin Her Hand In Pain


Despite its long list of benefits, CBD transdermal patches also come with some drawbacks. However, these are minor inconveniences compared to the risks and downsides of traditional medications and other methods of consuming medical marijuana.

  • Slow onset. The medicinal benefits of smoked or vaporized cannabis take effect within 10 to 15 minutes after inhalation but taper off 2 to 4 hours later. Conversely, CBD transdermal patches do not work as fast as these methods. On average, the onset of its effects can only be felt after 30 minutes but lasts for 8 to 12 hours. Needless to say, its slightly slow onset is a small price to pay for the long-lasting pain relief that it provides.
  • No terpenes in the mix. Given its precisely-measured doses, transdermal patches use cannabis isolates instead of the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant. Thus, there are no other active molecules present such as terpenes. Since terpenes hold numerous medicinal benefits and also facilitate the entourage effect to make cannabinoid absorption more efficient, its lack in the product is a considerable downside.
  • Possible drug interactions. When on prescription drugs, utmost caution must be taken before dosing on CBD to avoid adverse effects of drug interaction. Furthermore, since Cannabidiol inhibits the liver’s ability to break down other pharmaceutical drugs, these medications may be rendered ineffective when taken with CBD in general – be it transdermal patches, smoke, vapor, or edibles.

7 Best CBD Transdermal Patches In Town

These sticky patches of medications are gradually gaining traction in the medicinal field as more and more patients discover its wonders – especially those that are averse to smoking and other invasive methods of consumption. Among a myriad of available variations in the market, seven brands emerge as the best.

Mary’s Medicinals

Mary’s Medicinals transdermal patches are 2”x 2” laser-cut adhesives that are made with pharmaceutical grade adhesive and hypoallergenic foam backer. These single dose latex-fee patches contain 10 to 20 mg of either CBD, THC or CBN. Its effects can be felt 15 to 30 minutes after application and can last for approximately 8 to 12 hours. With a promise of all-day and all-night pain relief, Mary’s Medicinal transdermal patch retails for only $10 per piece.

Pure Ratios

The reservoir type patches from Pure Ratios provide a remarkably long period of pain relief, reportedly spanning up to 96 hours. The adhesives are made from 100% natural ingredients and are additive free. As a bonus, it is also water resistant which further adds to its long-lasting feature. It retails for $18 apiece, with available formulations of 18:1, 4:1 and 1:1 CBD to THC ratio.

Releaf Patches By Papa & Barkley

For the price of $15 apiece, Releaf Patches by Papa & Barkley provide deep and localized pain relief to the applied areas. In addition, it also delivers CBD in the bloodstream for a more holistic body pain relief. The pure CBD patch variant is infused with 30 mg of cannabinoids. It also comes in a variety of ratios such as 3:1, 1:1, and 1:3 CBD to THC content. This product has an onset of about 15 to 60 minutes and provides 12 hours of lasting and consistent pain relief.

Manna Molecular Science

At the forefront of the latest cannabis technology are the 3D printed patches from Manna Molecular Science. As opposed to using CBD isolates only, every MMS patch is infused with whole-plant cannabis extracts which offer mood enhancement and symptomatic relief without psychoactive implications. It is also free from latex or allergens.

Manna Molecular Science currently offers a range of 10 to 35 mg of CBD, THC, and CBD:THC varieties. The patch’s mood elevation and continual pain relief effects kick in after 30 to 60 minutes of application and persist for up to 8 to 12 hours. Depending on which state the dispensary is located, these transdermal patches cost about $12.99 to $18.99.

Bioactive Rapid Patch™ By Isodiol

Each piece of Isodiol’s Rapid CBD Patch is boosted with lidocaine – known for its soothing anesthetic properties – and menthol which further adds to the analgesic qualities of CBD. These 10cm x 14cm patches offer fast-acting and long-lasting relief from muscle aches, back pain, arthritis, and joint pain. All these therapeutic effects will continuously last for 12 hours. A packet contains two adhesives with 25mg of CBD and retails for $19.99.

Pura Elements

With the vision of perfecting naturally produced substances with the aid of science, Pura Elements crafted CBD transdermal patches that are 100% organic and free from any synthetic or harmful chemical enhancers. With varieties ranging from 30mg THC, 30mg CBD and an equal mix of 20mg CBD and THC, the patches allow for deep-penetrating pain relief with a fast onset and long-lasting, sustained therapeutic effects. These medicated adhesives retail for $16 to $18 each.

Müv Transdermal Patches

Müv transdermal patches are perfect for intense relaxation and relief from chronic pain. Each piece is formulated with either 50mg of THC or 25mg of CBD with 1:1 CBD to THC ratio. It is designed to release a sustained cannabinoid dose for 72 hours straight. Furthermore, its Evolve Encapsulation Technology allows it to be adhered on the shoulder, back, or abdomen for a more discreet medication. Each patch costs $15.

Patch The Pain Away

CBD transdermal patches are yet another innovative brainchild of humankind’s desire for a convenient and effective method of medication. Those averse to the idea of smoking cannabis or ingesting pills for pain relief can now benefit from marijuana’s therapeutic properties through the use of these patches. A single adhesive is guaranteed to provide a dose-controlled and sustained pain relief without inducing any psychoactive effects. Furthermore, with plenty of varieties and formulations available in the market, patients now easily, discreetly and effectively customize the treatment to suit every lifestyle and medication needs.