CBD infused topicals such as CBD salves have been making waves recently as the go-to treatment for skin conditions and joint soreness. However, many people are still wondering why a salve would be a better choice for certain things over CBD oil. What is a CBD salve anyway — is it more of an ointment or a balm? What gives it an advantage over other forms of CBD?

We understand the confusion and know that our readers would prefer to know all the facts now than wonder about them later. So, without further ado, here’s your complete guide on CBD salves, ingredients to be on the lookout for, and more.

What Is a CBD Salve?

Salve seems like a fancy word a cosmetics company would use to sell more products. In reality, though, salve, cream, and ointment are all topicals that more or less have a similar consistency and can be used for pretty much the same purposes. Most people use these terms interchangeably, not knowing that the base of the product is the key difference.

In the case of CBD salves, we do have to differentiate them from a CBD lotion or a CBD cream. These are often mixed with a bit of water and some moisturizing agents, which makes them a good option for those looking for easier spreadability. In contrast, CBD salves don’t contain water — their base consists of fatty oils and wax.

CBD Salves 101: The Ingredients

Most CBD topicals for sale list all the ingredients on the packaging, provided they come from a reputable seller. However, even if we have the list, it doesn’t mean we understand it. There’s a good reason wax and oils appear on it, and it doesn’t necessarily have much to do with hydration.


The best CBD salve will have some sort of natural wax as a base. In most cases, that’s beeswax, a sticky compound that has to melt for us to use it properly. Candelilla wax is another common ingredient, mostly used in vegan-friendly topicals.

Oil and Fatty Acids

Yet, the beeswax isn’t the one that determines how much CBD the salve can carry. That role belongs to the carrier oil.

The best manufacturers already know that for a product to carry plenty of CBD, it has to contain many fatty acids. Because of that, the best solution is to opt for coconut oil.

Organic, Premium-Quality Hemp

Apart from other additional ingredients, such as essential oils, the hemp used to create the salve is of the utmost importance. Without quality hemp, the product won’t be able to help you. In fact, it could even make your condition worse by letting you come into contact with various harmful substances.

Thus, to stay on the safe side, opt for a CBD salve that uses organically grown, non-GMO hemp. Better yet, aim to get a domestically made CBD salve.

Since the US has legalized industrial hemp with less than 0.3% THC on a federal level, it has strict regulations all farmers must abide by. Because of that, the US hemp is of exceptional quality and an excellent choice for both new CBD users and veterans.

Making a CBD Salve

A typical salve uses a simple base, i.e., a mixture of wax, most commonly beeswax, and carrier oil. To get a CBD salve, however, we would first have to infuse the carrier oil with the CBD.

The infusion part is the most difficult one, as it involves grinding up the hemp, adding it to the oil, and steeping it at 200+ ºF. The heat is necessary, as we need to decarboxylate the CBD. Once it’s in its molecular form, the fatty acids can bind to it and “carry” it.

Afterward, the only thing left to do is to mix the compound with the beeswax. However, the last step is also a great opportunity to add a bit more to the salve. Some companies opt to add fat-soluble vitamins. Nevertheless, the best CBD salve should contain things like eucalyptus and lavender (all organically grown) essential oils.

Both eucalyptus and lavender come with various beneficial effects. For example, eucalyptus has long been used as a decongestant, and it’s able to kill viruses, bacteria, and germs. On the other hand, lavender smells incredible and can even promote calmness and help with various skin conditions, such as eczema, sunburn, and acne.

What Can We Use CBD Topicals For?

Although scientists are still looking into specific benefits CBD could bring about, early studies suggest that CBD topicals such as CBD salves can provide those suffering from inflammation and joint soreness with relief.

CBD has shown promising results in terms of soreness management, so applying it topically on a sore spot should reduce the soreness fast. Additionally, CBD topicals are a good choice for muscle tension and even in the case of injuries. They could promote quicker recovery when applied topically, as it’s easier to pinpoint the soreness that way.

Finally, certain studies say that CBD salves and other topicals could be of great use to those suffering from debilitating skin conditions. The compound has anti-inflammatory properties, so it could alleviate the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis, for example and promote healthy skin.

CBD Oil vs. CBD Salves and Other Topicals: Are the Effects Different?

Although further research is necessary, it seems that CBD salves offer faster results than CBD oil, purely because of the means of administration.

When using CBD oil, we mostly administer it sublingually, i.e., under our tongue. We then have to wait for the oil to work, which could even take up to an hour. CBD salves, on the other hand, work almost instantly.

Since we’re applying them topically on the exact spot that requires some relief, the CBD doesn’t have to travel through the digestive tract or anything similar. Instead, it interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors found in the epidermis, providing relief in an isolated area of the skin.

Final Thoughts

So, are CBD salves something everyone ought to try? As it turns out, these topicals offer an abundance of health benefits and little to no side effects at all. Provided they’re made by a reputable manufacturer and contain organic ingredients of the utmost quality, CBD salves could give those suffering from localized soreness the relief they’ve been yearning for. If you’d like to pickup one of our CBD salves, visit our online shop. And as always, if you have any questions, please contact our wonderful support staff.

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