Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Do CBD Patches even work?


These days you can get just about anything infused with CBD. There’s CBD pillow cases, CBD sports wear, CBD beer and even CBD crisps! But just because it’s available to buy doesn’t mean it actually works. There’s (quite rightly) a lot of speculation surrounding the potential snake oil side of the CBD industry, which unfortunately does make up a large portion on the multi billion global cannabis market. But, while there are undoubtedly many new CBD products emerging that are not worth spending your money on, there are others which are leading the way in CBD innovation.

CBD patches are one of those products many savvy shoppers are unsure about. Taking CBD as an oral supplement is one thing, but CBD that goes through the skin? Is it all just hype? 

The short answer is, no. Not this time. When properly developed using high quality materials and novel techniques, many users find CBD patches to be very effective for targeted application of CBD that penetrates beyond the 3 surface layers of skin, into the muscles, joints and bloodstream. 

But how do CBD patches work? And how effective are they, really? Let’s delve in…

Do CBD patches work?

Topical Vs Transdermal: What’s the difference?

The first thing to know about The Tonic CBD Patches is that they are a transdermal product, meaning they are developed in such a way that the CBD can penetrate through the skin, targeting deeper complaints rather than surface. This is usually achieved by creating a formulation that contains ‘permeation enhancers’, which could be any of around 350 chemicals, certain terpenes (aromatic compounds) naturally found in cannabis included.

The Tonic CBD Patches are available in two different formats: 15mg CBD Patches and High-Strength CBD Patches.

Topical products, like CBD skincare, are generally created to help support balance on the skin. As such, they are not formulated to enter into the body like a transdermal product.

“I love their CBD patches. They are making such a difference. Easy to apply and can leave them for 3 days. I definitely made the right choice when I felt the oil(from another company) wasn’t enough.”

Nicola Jane Murdoch
CBD Patches UK

Do CBD patches really work?

CBD patches are pretty new on the scene, so scientific studies demonstrating how well they perform is in early stages. However, transdermal administration of drugs is not new, and we do know that this method tends to be comparable to oral dosing. If not more effective, as going through the skin bypasses ‘first pass metabolism’ – a process where the concentration of a drug is greatly reduced before circulating in the body. Also, it’s worth considering that the patches are made with CBD isolate and are not full spectrum. So you will get the usual benefits of CBD, but not the full range of cannabinoids and terpenes as you would with our full spectrum products. 

Preclinical studies have shown transdermal application of low dose CBD (only 6.2mg per day) reduced knee-joint swelling in arthritic mice. This was observed to provide better absorption than oral administration in the same model. Better still, transdermal patches are thought to prolong the effects of many pharmacological drugs while avoiding fluctuations of drug levels, and there’s no reason to think the same wouldn’t apply to a CBD patch.

“After recently being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia after a nasty virus & injury, I’ve been using the patches and 3% oil. After just 1 week I noticed a big difference in my pain and general wellbeing. I ran out for a few days and really did notice the difference”

Nikki Baile
CBD Patches for pain

How do I use a CBD patch?

The key to getting the most out of CBD is to be consistent, taking it every day, ideally two or three times a day, to keep a steady level of cannabinoids accumulating in your body. However, lots of people struggle to keep this up, and as a result find that CBD oil isn’t helping as they hoped it would.

Using CBD patches changes all this, as there’s nothing to remember other than to slap one on every couple of days! Plenty of CBD fans around the world love using CBD patches to hone in on a particular aching muscle or painful joint, or on the abdomen for menstrual relief, but as the CBD that gets in does wind up circulating throughout your body, using CBD patches also produces the overall balancing effects associated with taking oral drops or capsules, but without having to remember to take it.


Here’s how to use your CBD patches:

  • The best time to apply your patch is after a bath or shower, on clean, dry skin. If you’re using any sort of body lotion or oil, make sure this is completely absorbed before sticking your patch on for the best adhesion possible.
  • Once your patch is on, you can leave it there for up to 36 hours and ideally no less than 24 hours. 
  • As with any other administration of CBD, every body will absorb and utilise the product in it’s own unique way. So, pay attention to how you’re feeling, notice how quickly niggles disappear and when they return. If you need to apply a new patch 24 hours in, that’s fine. If you’re feeling great, wear it longer! 
  • Remember, CBD from the patch goes right into your body, so you’ll have CBD circulating in your bloodstream the whole time you’re wearing it. Bear this in mind if you want to keep ‘topping up’ throughout the day with CBD oil, CBD edibles or CBD tea as this all adds up! Providing you don’t drink a 3000mg bottle in one go, there’s no risk of overdoing it in any meaningfully harmful way (even then, you’d probably just feel a bit heart-racy and need to sit on the toilet for a while!), but you may find if you take more than you’re used to you might feel sleepy…or you might feel great! As ever, start low, go slow and find your own dose. Everyone is different.

“I have been using the cbd patches for a couple of weeks what a difference to my knee. No pain, I can walk for miles it’s great. When I forget to put the patches on, my knee throbs throughout the day.”


Products mentioned in this content

About the author

Kate is an experienced Mountain Biker and Wild Swimmer and has found CBD the ultimate, natural solution to injury recovery, fitness and health maintenance including deepened sleep and staying calm. But more recently, relies on CBD to balance out those hormones and symptoms of the peri-menopause.

As Kate’s exposure to CBD has grown, so has her passion and belief in the product and her desire to create a community around CBD and set the wellbeing revolution in motion.

Join our tribe