by Op-ed blogger Quinton Charles & Hannah Laing
What’s the deal with CBD patches?
As many of you know, there are seemingly endless ways of getting your CBD. There are edibles, tinctures, boosters, soft-gels, extracts and, wait for it….. PATCHES! Before being tasked to write this blog, I had never tried a CBD patch before. I knew that we carried them, and was curious about how they worked, but I had not taken it upon myself to actually try one. So as a newbie to patches, here’s my take:
Let’s talk terminology. This blog is going to go easy on the technical terms and definitions, but there are a few key terms that you will need to know about transdermal patches, which can be used as a carrier for everything from vitamins to CBD.
Reservoir patch: In the reservoir-type design, the active ingredient is held in a small compartment between a semi-permeable barrier and the adhesive. The reservoir-type design has a separate layer that has a liquid compartment that is separated by the adhesive layer.
Matrix patch: The matrix design is distinguished by the active ingredient as a semisolid, and it is dispersed without the aid of a membrane layer.
Drug-in-Adhesive (DIA) design: The DIA design incorporates the active ingredient into the adhesive that attaches to the skin. The DIA technique is considered the most efficient and state-of-the-art method.
How Does it Actually Work on the skin?
How it works: Transdermal patches are typically made up of four different elements: a backing, an adhesive, a release liner, and the active ingredient. Once the transdermal patch adheres to skin, there is a controlled release of the substance inside the patch. Usually, the release is dictated by the semi-permeable membrane or the temperature of the skin that induces a slow melt of the drug for absorption. The drug is then released into the tissue, bloodstream and/or the circulatory system.
Now in English: Ever have ravioli? Imagine a patch looks like a ravioli (in some ways it does). The ravioli (patch) has CBD inside and one side of the ravioli (patch) is designed to melt if it gets warm. If you put the ravioli (patch) on your arm one side will melt (due to your body heat). As the ravioli (patch) the CBD makes its way into your skin and to the rest of your body by way of your bloodstream and heart. Just don’t try to eat a CBD patch with marinara sauce.
Patches can be a great booster when you know you’ve overdone it. Many of you know first hand, the struggle that comes from your body saying “no” and your heart saying “yes.” It’s hard to balance life when you know your body needs to rest, but you want to finish something you’re working on around the house, complete one more errand or grab dinner after a long day. For those times when you want to power through an evening or combat the pain that comes from an air pressure change, patches can be a real help.
Depending on the patch, you can avoid the hassle of having to re-apply a salve every 2-6 hours. You also receive continuous relief for anywhere from 24 to 96 hours with patches! The area of relief will be larger than the patch – we just tell customers to get it in the right “hemisphere” of your body. This can save you the inconvenience of having to excuse yourself to rub some green stuff everywhere it hurts.
Unfortunately there are some downsides to CBD patches. Some people can find skin irritation on areas of the skin that are more sensitive. Skin thickness varies from person to person and by area of the body. As a result, placing a patch on one part of the body may be less effective than another due to how much CBD winds up in fat cells (and not in the bloodstream).
Another issue that can be a downside is subscription billing. Because patches have a predetermined use time(for instance 7 patches can last 7 days), whereas a tincture will last a different number of days for each person. This depends on the serving size for each person and how precise the drops are measured. Many of these patch companies offer subscription billing and sometimes it is hard to tell until after you have purchased them. This locks customers into monthly billing that can be a hassle to cancel. Here at Green Wellness Life we do not offer subscription billing as we never want to make any unwanted charges.
Oh, and if you have arm hair (like I do), taking the patch off can be unpleasant! You’ll want to steer clear of areas that have hair.
What’s the difference between a patch and a lotion or salve?
This is a common question I get when I bring up CBD patches. If a patch just administers CBD through the skin, how is it different from any other topical? It is and is not different from topicals, all at the same time. Patches and topicals get CBD into the body the same way – through your skin. What is different is the size of the CBD molecule and how it is metered.
Unlike a lotion or salve, a patch applies a consistent amount of CBD to the skin over time. Not only is the amount constant, but it can more accurately be measured. Each patch is labeled with the CBD content, which is unlike just putting a dollop of CBD ointment on your skin. This allows for CBD intake to be constant if one uses the patch, avoiding an increased tolerance and less efficacy in use. Additionally, that molecule is smaller, allowing it to cross into the bloodstream in a way that a lotion or salve cannot. They’re stopped at the tissue barrier.
What CBD patches do we carry?
I was fortunate enough to try our 60mg Social CBD patch, and found that I liked both the quality and amount of CBD that it offered. However, we do offer more than just the Social patch. The Social patch is an isolate and the other two patches we carry are full spectrum products. Here is a list of the patches that we carry:
- CBD Living CBD Patch
- 60mg CBD per Patch
- Up to 96 hour use
- Mary’s Nutritionals Elite Hemp Oil Transdermal Patches
- 20mg CBD per Patch – Pack of 1
- Up to 12 hour use
- Pure Ratios: CBD Patch
- 40mg CBD per Patch – Pack of 1
- Up to 96 Hour Usage
What I have found in writing this article is that patches really can be beneficial in many ways for many people. They can be applied on wrists, knees, feet, backs, necks or anywhere you hurt. They can be very helpful with injuries, chronic pain, nerve pain, headaches and more. If you have not tried a patch to date I would recommend purchasing one and putting it in your medicine cabinet for the next time your pain is a little more than you can take. They can really be a life saver when you need to keep moving but your body says NO!