If you’re used to the “old-fashioned” way of consuming marijuana—that is, by smoking it—the notion of using cannabis patches may sound, well, a little wacky. But take it from us: A THC transdermal patch is a surprisingly simple and intuitive way to access the healing power of cannabinoids in a long-lasting, discreet, and effective form.
Using cannabis patches is as simple as applying them to your skin and waiting for effects to kick in. And speaking of which, many patches—even THC transdermal patches—aren’t psychoactive. Instead, they impart their proven anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing powers without a potentially distracting high. So if you’re looking to tackle chronic symptoms and conditions without questionable (and often expensive) pharmaceuticals, today’s post is for you.
How Does a CBD or THC Transdermal Patch Work?
The concept of medicated patches has been around for over forty years now, and they have long been used to treat nicotine dependence among other chronic conditions. In the same way that nicotine patches deliver a steady dose of nicotine into the body, cannabis-infused transdermal patches deliver a steady dose of cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids, of course, are the principal family of natural plant compounds found in the marijuana plant. You’ve probably heard of the two most important ones—THC and CBD—but there are many others, including CBC and other minor cannabinoids.
THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the plant’s distinctive euphoric “high,” but that’s not all it’s doing. It also exerts powerful anti-inflammatory, pain-killing, and anti-nausea effects, among others.
Compared with THC, CBD (full name “cannabidiol”) generally isn’t considered intoxicating, although some people experience a gentle cerebral “buzz” or uplift. But it’s being investigated for a number of potential therapeutic effects on the body, including:
- Relieving anxiety and stress
- Helping us manage certain types of seizures (CBD is the active ingredient in Epidiolex®, the first cannabis-based drug to win approval from the FDA)
- Reducing inflammation and pain
- Helping guide us to deeper, more restorative sleep
- Even contributing to clearer, healthier skin
If you’d like to know more about these important all-natural medicines, read our recent post on the two cannabinoids. And if you’ve noticed that many of the symptoms in the above list could be described as chronic, that’s a hint as to how useful marijuana patches can be. Because as we’ll see, they’re a remarkably simple and effective way of delivering all the healing power of cannabinoids in a simple and intuitive way.
Why Use a THC Transdermal Patch for Pain?
There are numerous advantages to using transdermal patches. Patches are discreet and easy to use, and they’re an excellent way to medicate on the go without alerting anybody else to the fact you’re consuming cannabis.
Just as with cannabis-infused topical lotions and creams, the cannabinoids contained in transdermal patches are absorbed through the skin, which allows for long-lasting, time-released relief. As opposed to other consumption methods that peak quickly and then taper off, a transdermal patch consistently delivers cannabinoids into the bloodstream over a matter of hours, often up to 24! Moreover, if you suddenly decide you don’t want any more cannabinoids, you can simply tear the patch off and be done with it.
Marijuana patches are typically activated by your own body heat, releasing the cannabinoids to be absorbed into the skin. As the cannabinoids are absorbed, they make their way into the bloodstream where they begin their work. This application method means that cannabinoids bypass any organs that would ordinarily filter them—such as the liver or lungs—which allows for a greater absorption of the cannabinoids into the body.
Patches also offer consistent and reliable dosing. You can trust that a patch will deliver exactly what it says it will, without anything being left out or left over.
That said, not all transdermal marijuana patches are the same. There are two different kinds of patches—matrix patches and reservoir patches—and they differ in their delivery method.
In most matrix patches, cannabinoids are infused into the adhesive itself and are applied directly to the skin. In reservoir patches, the cannabinoids are infused into a gel that is time-released from a reservoir. That said, their functionalities are essentially the same.
Patches can also contain cannabinoid profiles that match particular strains. For instance, patches can often be found in indica, sativa, or hybrid varieties.
Will a THC Transdermal Patch Get You High?
It’s possible, though many people do not experience a strong intoxicating experience from transdermal patches.
The cannabinoids in THC transdermal patches are absorbed slowly over time, and many people don’t experience a ‘high’ or ‘buzzed’ feeling. With that said, everyone’s sensitivity to THC is different and, since transdermal technology is built on transporting cannabinoids through all layers of the skin and into the bloodstream, it is possible to feel the typical euphoric effects of THC when using a THC transdermal patch.
As we mentioned earlier, transdermal patches may be an excellent option for those who want to benefit from THC’s medicinal properties without its psychoactive effects.
How to Make a CBD Transdermal Patch
Believe it or not, you can make your own cannabis patches at home. This video shares two different methods for crafting patches from such ingredients as emu oil—made from the body fat of the large flightless bird—as well as THC distillate, isolated terpenes, and silicone patches.
That said, should you make your own transdermal patches? The methods in the video involve mixing various oils and distillates, heating and blending them, and applying them onto premade patches. Instead, we invite you to visit Greenside Rec, where we typically stock a variety of marijuana patches, including those containing CBD, THC, and various ratios of each.
Cannabis Patches at Greenside Recreational
If you have any other questions about using THC transdermal patches—or any cannabis products—don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always here to help.