CBD E Liquid vs CBD Patches – A Comparison

CBD has taken the world by storm in recent years and interest appears to be growing on a monthly basis. This has naturally led to extremely aggressive product innovation from a host of manufacturers across the globe.

Gone are the days of a choice between CBD oil or CBD capsules. Users are now faced with a dazzling array of innovative products, from dissolvable sublingual wafers, to CBD patches and CBD E liquid. The choice can indeed be overwhelming!

This article will aim to highlight the pros and cons of two of the most increasingly popular products in the last few years: CBD E liquid and CBD patches. First, we must establish exactly what CBD is for those who are unaware.

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What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD as it is more commonly known, is one of over 100 cannabinoids that form the cannabis plant. CBD tends to come from hemp plants, which are a breed of cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC. While existing legislation has served as a roadblock to clinical research in recent years, we have still been able to paint a fairly accurate picture of two particular cannabinoids.

These also happen to be the two most active compounds of the cannabis plant – THC and CBD. They are however, very different and it is a distinction that confuses many.

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol to use its full name, is the dominant psychoactive compound found within the cannabis plant. It is responsible for the ‘high’ that is typically depicted in popular culture when painting a picture of cannabis use.

CBD on the other hand is a non-psychoactive compound. This means that it does not get the user high, but also provides a range of health benefits that are retained within the cannabis plant. There are three main types of CBD to be aware of. These are as follows:

  • Full Spectrum CBD – Full spectrum includes a wide range of terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids, each with their own unique flavour and therapeutic benefit. Trace levels of THC can also be found in full spectrum CBD. In the UK, the legal limit of THC in any CBD product is 0.2%, but this threshold varies by country, so always make sure to check.
  • Broad Spectrum CBD – Broad spectrum is almost identical to full spectrum CBD, but crucially does not contain any THC. Aside from this, the make-up is the same as above.
  • CBD Isolate – This is as it sounds, pure CBD. It contains no other cannabis compounds.

What Is CBD E Liquid?

CBD E liquid, or CBD vape oil as it is also known, has quickly become the third most popular CBD product behind capsules and tinctures.

CBD E Liquid is a formulation of CBD, vegetable glycerine (VG) and propylene glycol (PG). Typically, CBD e liquids tend to be a 50/50 balance between CBD and PG/VG. Both propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine are food grade odourless liquids are safe to consume.

This means method of formulation allows the CBD to be effectively vaporised and delivered to the lungs of the user. By using standard CBD oil, you would likely break your vape and may well cause harm to your lungs. Flavourings are also often used in CBD E liquids to improve the consumption experience of the user.

What Are The Pros Of CBD E Liquid?

There are a number of reasons as to why CBD E liquid has exploded in popularity in recent years. We will outline a few of these below.

  • High Bioavailability – CBD E liquid is regarded as the CBD delivery method with the highest bioavailability. The higher the bioavailability of the delivery method, the lower the percentage of CBD that gets broken down before it can take effect. A recent study published in 2016 by Lanz, Mattsson, Soydaner and Brenneisen (Medicinal Cannabis: In Vitro Validation of Vaporizers for the Smoke-Free Inhalation of Cannabis) stated that vaping CBD e liquid delivered a bioavailability of 70%. To put this into context, orally consuming CBD has a bioavailability of up to 20%.
  • Fastest Delivery Method Available – One of the main complaints that people who stop using CBD have, is that it takes a while to take effect. CBD capsules, for example, take 1-2 hours to have an impact. CBD e liquid on the other hand takes between 2 and 3 minutes to take effect.
  • Vaping CBD May Aid Smoking Cessation – Many suggestions have been made since vaping hit the mainstream that it was an effective tool in smoking cessation. While this is true, vaping CBD specifically can be even more effective in kicking the habit. A notable study conducted in 2018 by Hindocha et al (Cannabidiol reverses attentional bias to cigarette cues in a human experimental model of tobacco withdrawal) found that CBD helped to reduce the feelings of pleasure associated with smoking a cigarette.

What Are The Cons of CBD E Liquid?

There are also several other issues to be aware of when it comes to vaping CBD.

  • Not Long Lasting – While CBD e liquid is great in terms of getting to work quickly, the by-product of this is that it does not work as long. While CBD patches last for 24 hours, vaping CBD e liquid will provide effectiveness for a period of approximately 2 hours.
  • Dosing Difficulties – Getting the correct dose with any CBD product can be a challenge as there are so many individual factors that impact this. Vaping CBD can be one of the hardest ways to measure as the number of puffs you take and the intensity with which you draw breath can also impact the dosage. This is why a haptically activated CBD vape pen, such as those sold by Cannacares are a great choice. It is activated when you draw breath and then delivers a standardised dose, making it far easier to keep track of your dosage.
  • Lack of Vaping Research – The relatively novel nature of vaping and e-cigarettes mean that there is a lack of long-term studies that have been conducted. While clearly not as harmful of smoking, many healthcare professionals heed warning on vape usage as there is a lack of long-term empirical evidence of safety.

What Are CBD Patches?

Although at first glance, the concept of transdermal CBD patches may appear to be fairly complex, in reality the technology is very simple.

CBD patches come in the form of a small plaster that is applied to a venous area of the body, such as the top of the arm or inside of the wrist. They are no different to nicotine patches in terms of their functionality.

The heat from the skin will activate the adhesive in the patches, which is where the CBD is stored. This then passes through the layers of skin, with the aid of micro needling technology, and into the user’s bloodstream. It is then carried around the body and begins to take effect on the user. CBD patches typically come in 10mg-20mg doses. This dose will then be delivered consistently over a 24 hour period.

What Are The Pros Of CBD Patches?

  • Highly Convenient – There is no doubt that particular CBD delivery methods can be very inconvenient to use. CBD oil, for example, must be taken 4 times a day, evenly spread out and can be a fiddly process to consume. The 24-hour delivery method of CBD patches mean that you simply need to apply one in the morning and then replace it the following morning. Easy as pie!
  • Great for Sleep and Chronic Pain – The slow and steady nature of delivery is great for those looking to combat sleep or chronic pain as there is no tapering off period. Typically, CBD oil will last for 4-6 hours, which means that you will then have to top up as the effects of the CBD wears off. This is incredibly inconvenient if it wears off in the middle of the night and you are woken up. Again, CBD patches mean that there is no tapering off period, and you should be able to enjoy a sound night of sleep. Likewise, it should help to avoid flare ups of pain that occur as the CBD wears off.
  • Easy to dose – CBD patches are already pre-prepared with a particular dose, so it is easy to measure exactly how much CBD you are taking on a daily basis. It is always important to keep a record of your use and how it is impacting your daily life and CBD patches mean that this process becomes a breeze as the dosage will remain consistent.

What Are The Cons of CBD Patches?

  • Slow to Get Working – While the slow delivery nature of CBD patches can often be regarded as a boon, it does have its drawbacks. The main one being that CBD patches can take a couple of hours to get working. This means if you are using CBD for instantaneous relief, you should probably opt for CBD E liquid or a faster delivery method.
  • Set Dosage – Again, there are positives to having a set dosage in every patch, as previously mentioned. That said, it does make it very difficult to alter your dosage to suit your own needs. You would need to either use multiple patches or use additional delivery methods to top up your dose.
  • Sensitive Skin Reactions – There have been rare incidents of individuals with particularly sensitive skin who have developed a slight rash from using a CBD patch. This is rarely anything substantial and will generally clear up a few hours after the patch is removed.


After reading this article you should feel slightly more informed on the ins and outs of two of the fastest growing CBD products – CBD patches and CBD E Liquid. As you will now be aware, there is no ‘best’ product, but rather choices should be made based on your own lifestyle and reasons for using CBD.

One thing that everyone must be aware of is an independent Certificate of Analysis (CoA). This is an independent document from a third-party laboratory that details all of the ingredients that the product contains, as well as confirming the absence of harmful additives such as pesticides and heavy metals. Any legitimate CBD retailer will be able to provide such documentation upon request.

If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.

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