Have you heard of the cannabis patch? Well, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you haven’t. Despite the growing popularity of cannabis and its ever-evolving consumption methods, cannabis patches remain the least-known cannabis products in the market. Some cannabis dispensaries don’t even know they exist.
A cannabis transdermal patch is a clear sticker infused with cannabinoids. These products typically look and work the same way as nicotine patches but contain cannabinoids instead.
Apart from being among the most discreet methods of cannabis consumption, cannabis transdermal patches may offer numerous benefits, especially for medical marijuana patients. Read on to find out more about this innovative mode of cannabis consumption.
History of Cannabis Transdermal Patches
Transdermal patches have been around for more than 40 years. The first medical application of transdermal patches approved by the FDA was for heart problems and motion sickness. A few years later, nicotine patches came into play and gained a lot of traction among people looking to quit smoking.
Since then, there have been several applications of transdermal patches, including fentanyl patches for pain relief and contraceptive patches. These patches are quite similar to cannabis patches in terms of mode of operation and the convenience they afford the user. There are two types of cannabis transdermal patches:
As the name suggests, these patches are characterized by a gel-like reservoir that contains cannabis. Once applied, the cannabinoids are released steadily into the bloodstream in controlled doses.
These are the most common types of cannabis patches. Unlike reservoir patches, cannabinoids are infused into the adhesive of the patch. Once applied, a reaction occurs, triggering the cannabinoids to be released into the bloodstream.
Is There Really a Difference Between Cannabis Patches and Topicals?
Since they’re both transdermal products, many people wonder if there’s a difference between the two. There are certain differences users need to be aware of. Due to the way they’re made, topicals are only absorbed into the first three layers of the skin. As a result, these might be more suitable only for spot treatment.
Cannabis patches, on the other hand, are specially designed to allow the cannabinoids to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Therefore, they provide a whole-body effect rather than being limited to the area of application.
Benefits of Using a Cannabis Patches
Cannabis patches provide a host of benefits over other modes of cannabis consumption. Here are some of their most notable benefits.
They Provide a Whole-Body Effect
Since the cannabinoids are absorbed directly into your bloodstream, cannabis patches can provide whole-body effects compared to topicals that can target only specific areas.
They Offer Specific Cannabinoid Options
Cannabis patches are infused with specific cannabinoids, thus enabling you to target specific conditions. Think of it this way; when you smoke a joint or take an edible, you get a whole mix of different cannabinoids with limited concentrations. However, with a cannabis patch, you’re only getting the cannabinoids you want in concentrated doses.
They Offer a Controlled Cannabinoid Release
Transdermal cannabis patches release cannabinoids slowly over several hours (typically four to six hours). This makes them considerably more beneficial to other consumption methods, which peak quickly, then taper off with time.
They Are Discreet
Cannabis patches are among the most discreet methods of cannabis consumption. You simply need to apply the patch to a venous part of your body, such as your arms or wrist, then experience the effects. Depending on how long the patch lasts, you don’t have to keep checking on it or administer another dose for a few hours.
You can’t un-smoke a joint or un-eat an edible. If, by any chance, the effects become overwhelming, you have no other choice but to ride the high and hope it comes down quickly. But, with a cannabis transdermal patch, you can easily peel off the patch if you don’t like how you feel. The effects die down pretty quickly after peeling off the patch.
Who Should Use a Cannabis Patch?
Cannabis patches are mostly used by people who want to use cannabis products to achieve effects other than just getting high. These patches are also suitable for people are looking for a more discreet method of cannabis consumption.
Keep in mind, though, that you can still get a high from a transdermal patch. A THC transdermal patch will get you high, but the effects may be less pronounced than with smoking or vaping a full-spectrum cannabis product.
Are Transdermal Patches More Effective Than Topicals?
Topicals are designed to provide spot relief on the applied area. Cannabis patches, on the other hand, come equipped with permeation enhancers that drive cannabinoids past your skin and into the bloodstream. In this sense, transdermal patches work similarly to tinctures since cannabis is absorbed directly into your bloodstream.
Transdermal patches may not be for users hoping to minimize the risk of testing positive for THC. The mere fact that cannabis is absorbed into the bloodstream means that you’ll most certainly test positive for THC. For this reason, some people end up choosing topicals over transdermal patches, even though cannabis patches are better suited for their needs.
How to Use a Cannabis Patch
Because cannabis patches work by releasing cannabinoids into the bloodstream via the skin, they need to be in contact with the largest possible area of the skin. To maximize its effectiveness, you should apply it to a soft skin area where it gets as much contact as possible. Some of the body parts where these patches are typically applied include:
- Lower back
- Inside the wrists
- Lower thigh
- Inside the ankle
While at it, you should keep in mind that patches are not meant to be applied on broken skin or on mucous membranes.
The Bottom Line
Cannabis transdermal patches are becoming more popular amongst many cannabis users. The main reason why most people prefer it to other modes of cannabis consumption is due to the level of discretion they provide.
The good thing is that they come in different forms. So if you don’t like your experience with a given patch, say a CBD patch, you could always switch to one that contains your favorite cannabinoids.