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How Cannabis Patches Can Help With Pain

By Sarah Gorbutt March 16, 2021

What do vape cartridges, edibles, tinctures, and flower have in common? They are all delivery methods for the consumption of cannabis. For people who experience chronic pain symptoms, ingesting cannabis regularly isn’t necessarily the preferred option. That’s why cannabis balms, ointments, lotions, gels and other topical treatments have risen in popularity recently, presenting patients the option to experience the soothing benefits of THC and CBD products without having some of the other effects associated with inhaling or eating marijuana products. Cannabis patches are another easy option to get fast, long-lasting relief from painful symptoms of many medical conditions.

What Are Cannabis Patches?

Though cannabis patches are a relatively new invention, the concept of adhering patches to the skin to deliver chemicals for medical care is not. Nearly 40 years ago, the FDA approved a transdermal patch to help patients suffering from motion sickness. Soon, there were patches available for people with heart problems and many other conditions.

The two types of patches that most people typically know about are menthol patches that relieve joint and muscle pain and nicotine patches to help smokers quit cigarettes. While cannabis transdermal patches produce a unique effect, they do have a lot in common with both of these other common types. Like menthol, cannabis can relieve aching muscle and joint pain. Like nicotine, cannabis can soothe anxiety and other cravings that can derail someone’s plans to quit smoking for good. How? Through their CBD and THC content.

How Do Transdermal Patches Work?

In the human body, there’s something called the endocannabinoid system. This biological system is essentially a network of endocannabinoid receptors and proteins that control certain physiological and psychological processes.

By releasing its own naturally created cannabinoids through this system and into the bloodstream, your body can regulate pain, inflammation, and other sensations involved in:

  • Sleep
  • Immune System
  • Memory
  • Stress Response
  • Appetite/Metabolism
  • Energy Balance
  • Female Reproductive System

Introducing outside cannabinoids like CBD and THC effectively tricks your body into opening the floodgates, sending more pain-relieving chemicals to where they are needed. Some patches are meant to be worn for just a few hours, while others can last several days. There are a few different patches on the market that may appear similar but perform in different ways. Namely, there’s the matrix patch and the reservoir patch.

Matrix Patch

Matrix patches are constructed with the cannabinoid content infused into the adhesive of the patch. This concentrate then has a reaction when it adheres to your skin, allowing the THC to move from the highest concentration of the patch and into the lowest, and then into the skin.

Reservoir Patches

Reservoir patches are named for the fact that their cannabinoid content resides in a reservoir inside of the patch. This reservoir stores the concentrate along with a gel and then releases the mixture through a membrane designed to restrict the flow from the reservoir to your skin, ensuring a steady delivery.

What’s the Difference Between CBD, THC, and 1:1?

Transdermal Cannabis Patch

A CBD transdermal patch is a patch that slowly releases cannabidiol into the bloodstream to treat symptoms of pain and inflammation. Some industry detractors will be quick to question the medicinal effects of CBD in general, let alone when administered in patches. Still, the answer to the question “do CBD patches work?” is a resounding yes. It is proven that transdermal cannabis patches are as effective as any cannabis consumed orally or inhaled through vaping or smoking — for both CBD and THC.

A THC transdermal patch does the same but targets different pathways, allowing for more full-body relief of pain, muscle spasms, nausea, and more. By delivering CBD and THC directly into the bloodstream, the cannabinoids in these patches can avoid the metabolic process, which can help deliver results in a faster yet steadier and more consistent way. The third option, the transdermal patch 1:1, contains equal parts CBD and THC to apply the beneficial properties of both compounds at once.

This concentrate is great for managing all sorts of symptoms, such as:

  • Inflammation
  • Nerve pain
  • Muscle Pain
  • Joint pain
  • GI issues
  • Anxiety

How Are Cannabis Patches Used?

Applying Cannabis Transdermal Patch

With adhesive on one side, transdermal patches stick on to your skin to deliver the chemicals that will soothe your physical symptoms. These cannabinoids are specially coated to help them permeate your skin and go straight to your bloodstream—providing a much faster release than other topicals like ointments or creams, which only reach three layers of skin. These effects can be felt as quickly as 15 minutes after application.

Neither CBD nor THC patches will get you high, but their soothing benefits can remain active for longer than many other forms of cannabis. This is a great feature of the product that appeals to many patients who are new to medicinal marijuana and are not yet sure how their body will react to its use. Upon removal of the patch, you typically will have a 45-minute window before the effects begin to fade.

Most THC and CBD patches use a chemical compound of some sort to deliver the medicine to the bloodstream. Typically, that carrier does not sort out what it brings to your bloodstream, so if you put the patch somewhere that your body is not clean, you will carry whatever other dirt and material on the skin into your bloodstream. MÜV uses a special compound that only carries cannabinoids into your body, although we still recommend you attach the patch to somewhere that is clean so that the adhesive is not compromised.

Where Can I Buy CBD Patches Online?

While it may be tempting to purchase CBD patches and other legal cannabis products online, impurity is a huge risk when buying anything drug-related from an unregulated source. In 2017, the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed a sampling of CBD products distributed online and found that, out of the 84 products, 42% had less CBD in their product than claimed. A whopping 70% were mislabeled entirely. Additionally, there were 18 products included in the study that tested positive for THC (which is not federally legal), and some even contained higher concentrations than were legally allowed to be present in regulated hemp products. While the trace amounts of THC included in these products may not be enough to get you high, they can potentially show up on drug tests, putting you at unnecessary risk just for a pain relief product that may not even deliver on its promises.

Rather than put yourself at risk for being scammed by a company making outlandish claims about CBD’s healing properties, buying a product just doesn’t work, or accidentally purchasing an illegal substance, make sure you buy from a reputable, licensed dispensary instead. Here at Zen Leaf we take the time to ensure our clients get answers to all of their questions about the products we make and carry. When you buy cannabis from a Zen Leaf dispensary not only will you be able to rest easy knowing your products are safe and legal, but you will also have the opportunity to ask questions, learn more about the different strains of marijuana, and discover which method for cannabis delivery works best for you.

MÜV Transdermal Patches

The MÜV Transdermal Patches deliver a controlled, 72-hour release with 0.24 mg per hour. We offer THC, CBD and 1:1 formulations. CBD and THC activate different cannabinoid receptors in your body that can stimulate or inhibit brain chemicals and cause certain effects. THC has been shown to be an effective pain management, muscle spasticity and nausea treatment and can produce the euphoric feeling commonly associated with cannabis. Whereas, in many studies initial findings suggest that CBD may be an effective pain reliever as well for people with various conditions, including arthritis and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Keep in mind, patches have no noticeable side effects, as well as an inability to get you “high”. So, if you are experiencing pain in a specific area, there is no reason not to try out a cannabis patch. Our Evolve Encapsulation Technology allows the patch to be worn on the shoulder, back, or abdomen for even more discreet dosing. Just stick one on your skin and see how you feel within a few hours. If you want to pick up a few cannabis patches to find out if they can soothe your aches and pains, visit our dispensary or order online.

The MÜV Transdermal Patches are available in Zen Leaf stores and for express pickup for orders placed online for participating locations. Be sure to visit your local dispensary page to discover what products and services are available in your area.

Marketing Coordinator at Zen Leaf. My passion for the industry grew after witnessing the power of Cannabis and all its healing properties in myself and my family. I saw my brother’s withdrawal symptoms lessen, my grandmother was able to use her hands again, my anxiety was finally manageable; I even saw Cannabis Products shrink a friends’ tumors. I stopped taking all of my SSRI medications, and I realized I wanted to be a part of whatever this was. Today I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others who are seeking the health benefits of this incredible plant.

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