Topical patches are certainly unique in the world of medicinal and recreational products, with a myriad of benefits to their use. From discretionary use to quick-acting and long-lasting effects, or honing in on the specific benefits of a particular cannabinoid, patches are becoming a valuable alternative to traditional delivery methods in legal markets across the U.S.

When you think of medicated patches worn on the skin, the first thing that probably comes to mind is those nicotine patches that came out in the early 90s. They were designed to administer small amounts of nicotine to the wearer, over time, to help wean them off of and kick their cigarette habit.

These topical patches worked quite well, too, gaining lots of attention and notoriety. Soon after, the market saw patches hit store shelves for other ailments, such as general pain relief, motion sickness, hypertension, hormones (for menopause), and vitamin B12 to name a few. For delivering medication to the source of pain or into the bloodstream, the patches are convenient, discreet, and effective.Another nice thing about topical delivery is that it bypasses your lungs, liver, and stomach (places where your body filters or breaks down the ingredients),so you get the greatest amount of medicinal value from the active ingredients.

A safety option for the forgetful.

Many people don’t have time to take supplements. Every now and then we don’t always remember the right time to take the next serving. Patches can offer all day or night relief, with a slow release of the chosen phytocannabinoidor nutraceuticalthroughout their period of use. For some, this is an appealing alternative to tinctures or vaporizing, which deliver effects that subside relatively quickly. In addition to this convenience, the discretion of the patch is seen as an added benefit by some. The patch can be adhered out of sight, allowing for medical use anywhere, anytime.


Additional Benefits

Topical delivery patches come pre-loaded with measured amounts of active ingredients, allowing consumers to have more precise control over how much active ingredients they are consuming. 

  • Patches provide accurate ratios, and larger quantities of available active ingredients for delivery.

  • Provide fast and effective delivery of active ingredients outside the digestive process providing undiluted absorption of phytocannabinoids and nutraceuticals into the body.

  • They give a significantly longer period of dosing, up to 96 hours, because of the unique reservoir design that allows for gradual absorption.

Common Patch Designs

There are two types of topical delivery patches (sometimes called transdermal patches) on the market:

Reservoir Patches are made with 2 elements: the skin contact tape and the absorbent pad. The absorbent pad can hold a relatively large amount of formula (as much as 1,700 mg on larger patches). The advantage of a reservoir patch is that it can hold a great amount of fluids so it is compatible with a wide variety of formulas.

Monolithic patches incorporate the active ingredients into the adhesive. The advantage of a monolithic patch is that it can be cut to size to adjust the dose. The disadvantage is that only a thin layer of the active ingredient is available as most of it is encapsulated in the adhesive.

Both types of patches offer time release of the active ingredients for several hours or days. They are easy to use and give the user control over when, where and how long to dose. This is often more effective than other methods that tend to give deliver a larger dose over a short period of time.