Are CBD Patches Effective at Relieving Pain?

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CBD patches are transdermal patches that contain cannabidiol, a cannabinoid known as CBD. Like any other transdermal patch, these patches release CBD into the bloodstream slowly by going through the skin.

CBD patches are popular among people who do not wish to vape, eat, or drink CBD products or oils. Consuming CBD through patches may be a better option for certain purposes, such as treating chronic or temporary pain.

This article will detail information about CBD patches, how effective they are at treating pain, and potential risks associated with the products.

CBD Patches – How They Work

Similar to nicotine patches, CBD patches deliver CBD into the bloodstream directly. Different from edibles or oils, patches give CBD an easier route to the bloodstream.

Taking CBD orally means that the cannabinoid has to pass through the digestive system first, making the absorbing process a bit longer. Additionally, it’s possible that much of the dose could become lost in the digestive system, as your body can simply choose to excrete the substance as waste.

CBD patches are applied to the skin directly. This enables the skin to absorb the dose and let it enter the bloodstream directly. This increases the bioavailability of the CBD, making it more readily available for your body to use, thus increasing its function.

These patches can also give more consistency to CBD users. As opposed to other topical methods like creams, the CBD patch need only be applied once a day. On the other hand, the effects of creams and oils taper off once the skin absorbs them. This forces the user to apply them more than once per day.

Patches deliver more steady relief from the symptoms users are trying to combat, as they stay on the skin all day.

However, transdermal absorption can be fairly slow, and some of the CBD on the patch won’t be able to pass through the skin. Some CBD patches contain permeation enhancers to combat this, but the setbacks are still there.

Patches + Pain

Research on CBD and pain are still in the early stages of development. However, findings so far tend to lean towards the idea that CBD can be effective for pain relief with many conditions. Some of these ailments include arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Recent laws have allowed for more formal research on the impacts of CBD on pain. These studies have given way to a possible potential for cannabinoid use to be highly beneficial for pain relief.

CBD and other cannabinoids combat pain through two methods.

First, they work with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) within the central nervous system to block receptors for varying kinds of pain. This includes types of pain that are difficult to treat, like nerve pain.

Second, they produce an anti-inflammatory effect which can help reduce pain caused by inflammation.

The transdermal delivery system provides arguably the best way to combat inflammation and pain since the effects are both immediate and consistent throughout the day. Additionally, patches prevail over other CBD methods for pain because they have minimal negative effects and provide localized pain relief and anti-inflammatory actions.

Some examples of situations where CBD patches could be effective are with localized nerve pain, arthritis pain, or pain from a skin condition.

CBD patches have even been found to be effective in pain relief for very specific and rare disorders like temporomandibular disorder (TMD), a myofascial disorder.

Another study found that using CBD as an alternative to opioids can possibly stop taking opioids to manage their pain. This is promising for many people addicted to opioids for pain relief.

CBD Patches – How To Use Them

Using CBD patches is fairly simple. That’s part of why they are so popular among CBD users.

CBD patches work their best when placed closest to the area of pain and on a part of the body where it can have direct contact with the skin.

It’s best to avoid bony areas of the body and place the patch on a surface like the arm, thigh, or lower back. If the area of pain happens to be an irregular place on your body, simply place the CBD patch as close to the spot as possible, but still in a somewhat regular area.

CBD Side Effects

When choosing a CBD patch or CBD product for you, there are certain risks and side effects to take into account.

Although CBD is a natural compound, that doesn’t mean that it can’t cause some side effects. Common effects include sleepiness, appetite changes, and weight loss/gain. It’s especially important to know how CBD affects you before driving or operating machinery.


Like anything else, CBD can interact with certain medications. Thus, it’s vital to talk to your doctor or a healthcare specialist before taking CBD. You can also do your own research about interactions with the drugs that you take.

Liver damage

Some studies suggest that there could be a relationship between the use of CBD and liver damage. However, as with most studies on the effects of drugs and substances on the liver, the dosages used were way higher than what people would normally take.

However, it’s still a good idea to talk to a doctor before taking CBD if you have liver problems. With patches, though, the CBD doesn’t go through the liver, so that could make it an even better option for people concerned about this risk.


When you consume anything made by a manufacturer, you are at the risk of consuming contaminants along with the desired product. Things like heavy metals and harmful chemicals, even in trace amounts, could put you at risk of negative reactions.

The best way to avoid problems with contaminants is to make sure the product you’re thinking of consuming is manufactured by a company with a good reputation. You can also do a third-party lab test to confirm the product’s purity before consuming it.


Reactions to CBD patches typically have to do with sweat becoming trapped underneath and causing irritation in the skin. The skin can also react negatively to the glue attaching the patch to your body.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop using the patch and talk to a dermatologist about allergens that you may have.


CBD patches can be an effective alternative of CBD delivery for people wanting relief from pain. With the use of the patch often comes faster and longer-lasting pain relief, along with an easy application process.

When considering the best CBD delivery method for you, or whether to use CBD at all, be sure to weigh all of the benefits and risks associated with the substance. Knowing the facts about CBD is the first step to relief.

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