DIY - Cannabis transdermal patches

Published Oct 13, 2021 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Artfully79

Smoking might be the most popular mode of delivery for cannabinoid enthusiasts, but it comes with several drawbacks like the fact that it isn’t all that great for your health. Edibles work well, but their results can oftentimes be a little too intense and prolonged, and not everyone can handle the earthy taste. Vapes are popular, though they’re just another way to inhale weed, and not everyone is comfortable with what that means, and capsules can be difficult to swallow, an experience that is less than enjoyable.

If you’ve been through all of the other ways to use cannabis and not yet found a reliable solution, or you’re just looking for a healthy, stress-free alternative, then you might want to consider the spectacular invention of cannabis-infused transdermal medications, aka the transdermal patch.

All about transdermal patches

Cannabis patches are used to deliver the plant's compounds directly into the bloodstream, functioning off of the very same technology that was made famous by the introduction of nicotine patches, which helped millions of people to give up cigarettes. There are two different types of transdermal patches on the market today.

Matric patches

A matric patch is self-adhesive and uses a powerful dose of cannabis that’s injected into the stitching. Once these patches make contact with the skin, the chosen extract is dispersed through the bloodstream at a rate that depends on its size and location.

Reservoir patches

Reservoir patches are the most common transdermal solutions on the market today, and it works in much the same way as matric patches, except the cannabinoids are trapped in a pocket inside the device in gel form. These cannabis patches are the most accurate and they release the compound over time to provide long-lasting effects that can keep going all day long.

Benefits of transdermal patches

  • Reliable, consistent, and accurate dosing
  • Full body relief
  • Discretion
  • Easy to use
  • A healthy choice
  • Fast rate of absorption
  • Quick-acting
  • Long-lasting
  • Ideal cannabinoid combinations
  • Minimal adverse effects
  • Affordable

Is it possible to make a transdermal patch?


Since transdermal cannabis patches aren’t available everywhere and those with access to them are still paying quite a bit for the luxury, it makes sense to look at ways to make one at home, and this task is possible, the results just might not be as reliable as you’d hope, because available techniques have yet to be tried and tested by the experts. Specific details are also left out, but we will walk you through the method that gets the highest reviews today.

How to make cannabis patches

Homemade transdermal medications may not perform as reliably or consistently as those that are purchased at a store or obtained through prescription, but they can offer relief for those who need it on a budget.

What you’ll need:

  • Cannabis-infused transdermal gel
  • A patch (preferably one made out of the most absorbent material available)
  • Medical tape
  • Spreading tool (silicone spatula or butter knife)


  1. Cut your piece of patch material down to an appropriate size, which will depend on your needs, but general range between 1-inch x 1 inch and 5 inches x 5 inches. You want it to be large enough to hold a fair amount of the transdermal gel and still small and light enough to be comfortable to wear.

  2. Squeeze a generous portion of cannabis-infused transdermal gel onto the patch, and spread it around as much as possible, taking the time to ensure that it soaks into the patch.

  3. Apply the patch to a clean venous area of the skin, and then sit back and wait for the results.

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