All you need to know about CBD patches

CBD is everywhere these days. It didn’t seem long ago that you could ask 100 people on the street what CBD was and 99 of them wouldn’t have a clue! Things have certainly changed very quickly and the CBD industry in the UK is absolutely booming.

While there has been a concerted battle from legions of campaigners across the globe in relation to cannabis-derived products, we have finally arrived at a point where CBD is widely accessible in most Western countries. We now see CBD products stocked in the likes of Boots, Tesco and a number of other major national retailers.

This influx of interest has driven rampant innovation that means the user is now faced with an overwhelming plethora of delivery methods. From CBD vapes, to sublingual CBD wafers and everything in between; the choice can be a difficult one.

This article will focus on transdermal CBD patches specifically. That said, we must first address what CBD actually is, as this is an oft misunderstood term.

What is CBD?

There are over 100 different phytocannabinoids that make up the cannabis plant and likely others yet to be discovered. The two most commonly discussed cannabinoids within the cannabis plant are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). They are discussed for good reason, as they are the two most active compounds found within cannabis.

A clear differentiation must be made between these two as they have entirely different properties which are often confused.

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound. This means that is does not affect the way the human brain functions. THC on the other hand is psychoactive and responsible for the ‘high’ that is typically portrayed in film and TV.

There are three main types of CBD that you will likely encounter when purchasing. These are as follows:


  • Full Spectrum CBD – This is the most varied form of CBD, which includes a range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids alongside traces of THC (below the legal UK limit of 0.2%).

  • Broad Spectrum CBD – Broad spectrum offers the same benefits as full spectrum CBD, in terms of providing the same range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids but the key difference here is that broad spectrum CBD does not contain THC.

  • CBD Isolate – CBD isolate is pretty much as it sounds – isolated CBD. Isolate does not contain any of the cannabinoids, terpenes or flavonoids mentioned above and is absent of THC. It is the purest form of CBD available and usually comes in powder or crystal form during the manufacturing process.

What are CBD Patches?

CBD patches are the size of a standard plaster, only with CBD added to the adhesive. This allows CBD to pass through your skin and into your bloodstream with the aid of microneedling technology, which stimulates a concentration gradient.

The technology behind CBD patches is incredibly simplistic and no different to that of nicotine patches, which have been around for 40 years. A 24-hour release system allows a gradual release of CBD into the bloodstream over a 24-hour period, meaning you do not have to worry about dosing.

How Do I Use a CBD Patch?

CBD patches are the most straightforward delivery method available when it comes to CBD products.

Simply apply the patch to a dry, venous area of the body, such as the inside of the wrist or outside the top of the arm. You then just need to leave the CBD patch on for 24 hours and allow it to work its magic, before replacing once the 24 hours is up. Alternatively, you can place the CBD patch on the area that is causing you pain, as the CBD will reach the area local to it first, before circulating in your blood stream.

Why Choose CBD Patches?

As mentioned, the technology that underpins CBD patches is not revolutionary or ground-breaking by any means, but using CBD in this manner is certainly reasonably new. There are a number of reasons why CBD patches are the fastest growing CBD products in relation to sales.


This is arguably the number one reason why many CBD users opt for patches over oils, topicals or capsules. CBD oils have to be taken 3-4 times a day, capsules 2-3 times a day and topical CBD products have to be reapplied even more than that.

On the contrary, you could just put a 24-hour CBD patch on in the morning, and then you don’t need to worry about a thing until the next morning when you simply replace it with another patch.

Consistent Delivery System

For those who suffer from persistent chronic pain, CBD patches are by far the best choice. The issue with CBD oils and CBD capsules is that the CBD levels in your system fluctuate throughout the day and must be topped up several times, as mentioned above.

On the other hand, CBD patches provide a consistent and steady stream of relief as the patch is designed to evenly release CBD over a 24 hour period.

High Bioavailability

CBD Patches have one of the highest bioavailability of any CBD product. Many studies have postulated that the bioavailability of CBD patches is three times higher than that of CBD oils.

Ingestible products tend to have the lowest bioavailability, as they must pass through the digestive system which breaks down a significant percentage of the valuable CBD. This is not the case with CBD patches, which deliver CBD directly into your bloodstream, before circulating the body.

Great for sleep

Another area where the steady, 24-hour delivery function of CBD patches hands them an advantage over their counterparts is sleep.

For many of the reasons outlined above, CBD patches are excellent when it comes to promoting a healthy night of sleep. Those suffering from chronic pain conditions may well wake up in the night when the CBD wears off and need to take another capsule or more drops of oil. As we now know, this will not be an issue with CBD patches.


All in all, there are a number of reasons why CBD patches are a fantastic choice of delivery method when it comes to getting your daily dose of CBD.

That said, it is all about your own reasoning for using CBD and what product works for you best. This article has only covered one type of delivery method and of course there are many more options out there. It is all about experimentation and finding what is right for you.

Always remember to seek an independent Certificate of Authenticity (CoA) from your CBD retailer in order to ensure it is of the highest quality and contains exactly what is advertised.