19th October 2020
By Emily Ledger

While CBD, otherwise known as known as cannabidiol, continues to grow in popularity around the world, consumers have grown used to seeing various CBD oils and capsules, drinks and edibles in their local pharmacies, health shops, and even supermarkets. However, there is a number of products that we might not be quite so familiar with. One such product is the CBD patch… So, what is it and how does it work? 

CBD patches, such as those manufactured by CBD company Cannacares, use transdermal technology to deliver a precise dose of the cannabinoid through your skin and into your bloodstream. Another well-known product has effectively made use of this technology for decades, becoming a staple for people looking to quit smoking – the nicotine patch. 

Cannacares CBD patches contain a 10mg dose of CBD which is slowly released over a 24-hour period. The patch, which is similar in size and appearance to a normal plaster, is applied directly to a venous part of the skin such as the top of your arm or the inside of your wrist.  

How does transdermal technology work? 

A CBD patch is activated by the heat from your skin once applied. The cannabinoid formulation is drawn into your skin through a drug concentration gradient. This is where compounds from an area of high concentration (the patch) are drawn into an area of low concentration (your skin).  

For example, think of adding hot water to a cool bath. At first, one part of the bath will feel warmer, but eventually, the temperature will level out. This is because the heat will naturally want to spread out to the surrounding area.  

Similarly, with transdermal patches, CBD will be drawn from the high concentration area inside the patch to the low concentration area through the skin’s surface.  

When delivered in this way, CBD is able to bypass your liver and stomach. This means that it is not subject to the ‘first pass effect’ and delivers more of the active ingredient to your system. 

What is the First Pass Effect? 

The first pass effect is the name given to a process that affects the metabolism of compounds such as drugs – specifically when taken orally. As the product is passed through the digestive system, it eventually enters the liver, which acts as a filter for everything leaving the stomach and intestines.  

This filtration means that a fraction of the product – in this case, CBD – is lost before it is effectively absorbed by the body. This phenomenon generally affects products that are taken orally such as edibles, capsules, and tablets.  

By bypassing the liver, transdermal application of CBD allows for better bioavailability. This means that a higher percentage of the cannabinoid contained in the patch is effectively absorbed by your body. 

Other Advantages to CBD Patches 

In addition to offering a way around the first pass effect, ensuring you get more ‘bang for your buck’, as it were, patches offer other advantages, too.  

Depending on where you decide to place your patch, this method of administration can be extremely discrete – especially when compared to products like tinctures and vapes. Patches also offer convenience – a precise dose in a small package, that you can simply put on and not have to worry about it for up to 24 hours! 

About Cannacares 

Cannacares is a UK-based CBD company that manufactures a number of products including patches, oils, and sprays that have been carefully formulated with essential oils to help accentuate the effects of the cannabinoid. In addition, Cannacares also produces creams and cosmetics – such as the CBD and magnesium joint & muscle relief cream and CBD body butter. 

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About the Author

Emily Ledger
Prior to joining the team at Canex, Emily studied Journalism at Sheffield Hallam University for three years. During her studies, she specialised in magazine and feature writing and went on to contribute to both the content and design departments at a local magazine. Emily is now the Head of Content at Canex where she has been both curating and contributing articles and content since the launch of the website.