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CBD patches are patches containing CBD and other ingredients that people apply to the skin. They work in a similar way to nicotine patches, delivering CBD directly into the bloodstream.

This transdermal method delivers the CBD quickly to the local area around the patch. From there, it works its way into the bloodstream. When people take CBD orally — via an oil or gummy, for example — the compound must first pass through the digestive system. The body may then use it, break it down, or even simply excrete it as waste. As such, much of an oral CBD dose may be lost in the digestive system.

A transdermal patch applies the CBD directly to the skin, which absorbs it and allows it to enter the bloodstream directly. As a study in various publications notes, this application allows the CBD to bypass the digestive system and increases the bioavailability of the product.

CBD patches also provide a more consistent solution than other topical methods, such as topical CBD creams and massage oils. Once the skin absorbs topical creams, their effect tapers off. Therefore, people using the creams for relief would need to apply them multiple times a day.

Patches stay on the skin, delivering CBD over a longer period and potentially providing a steady stream of relief from symptoms.

However, transdermal delivery is relatively slow, and not all of the CBD can pass through the skin. For this reason, CBD patches typically also contain some form of permeation enhancer to increase the permeability of the skin and allow more CBD to get through.

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