The Best CBD Patches for Pain
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If you’re interested in trying cannabidiol (CBD) to quell pain or inflammation in a specific area of your body, one way you can take it is through a patch. When applied to your skin, a patch allows the CBD to be absorbed in a targeted area.
Patches are convenient and discreet, but you might be wondering whether they’re really as effective as CBD oils, gummies, or even lotions. Read on to learn about the research and get our top picks for the best CBD patches out there.
CBD patches are about as effective as CBD that’s taken orally. But they offer several advantages over oral CBD, according to a 2018 review of studies .
As the researchers explain, CBD that’s taken orally is metabolized first by your body before it starts circulating in your bloodstream. CBD that’s taken through the skin — like in a patch — doesn’t have to go through this intermediate step, so more of it gets to circulate in your blood. More CBD in your bloodstream means more CBD that can get to the site of your pain.
What’s more, many CBD patches are designed to remain on the body for several days. You’ll get a slow and steady dose that targets the exact area you need, rather than having to remember to take CBD oil or apply CBD lotion each day.
There are downsides, however. Many companies add chemical carriers to help the CBD penetrate the skin and reach the bloodstream. Some people may be allergic to these chemicals.
The researchers in the same 2018 review note that the adhesive used in patches can cause skin irritation in some people, especially those with sensitive skin.
Additionally, a patch will be more effective if you have a specific area you want to treat, such as your shoulder or lower back, rather than dealing with general or diffuse aches and pains throughout your body.
Research from 2020 suggests that topical CBD may be an effective treatment in decreasing inflammation and blocking pain in the recovery of back injury as well as relieving nerve pain. Topical CBD has also been shown to promote muscle relaxation in chronic pain disorders.
It’s important to note that research on transdermal CBD patches is limited. These products can be expensive and may be as effective as a CBD topical, so it’s best to do your own research before deciding on the right product for you.
It may also be possible for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to show up on a drug test after using a patch made with full-spectrum CBD. If you want to avoid THC, look for a CBD isolate product, which contains only CBD, instead.
We chose these products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:
- is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an independent lab
- is made with U.S.-grown hemp
- contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
- is free of pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA
We also considered:
- company certifications and manufacturing processes
- product potency
- overall ingredients
- indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:
- customer reviews
- whether the company has been subject to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter
- whether the company makes any unsupported health claims
Get patched up with one of these three best CBD patches. They’re an easy way to take CBD and may help relieve aches and pains.