CBD products have come a long way since they first burst onto the scene many years ago. And there are a variety of great products to choose from — salves, gummies, creams, oils, capsules, facial products, and more — that can all help with a host of health and wellness issues. Since so many of us lead busy, highly active lives, it’s no surprise that salves are becoming wildly popular with avid CBD users.
When we chose our top five CBD salve brands, we spent countless hours sifting through some of the best and most popular brands in the industry. We researched many aspects of each brand and we held them up to our strict guidelines so that we could find the very best CBD salves for our readers.
Top 5 CBD Salve Brands
1. FAB CBD — Most Potent
2. Joy Organics — Natural Formulations
3. CBDistillery — Strong Variety
4. Cheef Botanicals — High Quality
5. Premium Jane — Interesting Selection
Our Guidelines for Our List of CBD Salves
While it’s fantastic to have so many brands and products to choose from, the reality is that all brands are not created equal. Moreover, with all of those options out there, finding the best CBD salve for your needs can quickly become frustrating and overwhelming. Thankfully, we’ve done a lot of the investigating for you to help take some of the drudgeries out of your search.
When it came to finding the best CBD salves for pain, we put together a strong list of criteria that includes:
- How long the brand has been in business
- Ingredients used to make the salve
- Verified Customer reviews
- Third-party lab testing
- Hemp sources
- The opinions and reviews of CBD journalists and industry experts
- Brand reputation
- Product prices
5 Best CBD Salves for Pain
#1 FAB CBD — Most Potent
Since 2017, FAB CBD has been hard at work using science and innovation to come up with some of the best CBD products in the industry. To that end, the brand sources its organic hemp from Colorado, uses the industry preferred CO2 extraction process to obtain all of its clean and potent extracts, and has all of its products regularly tested by an independent third-party lab. Additionally, everyone at FAB CBD has a wealth of experience in the health and wellness industries that they apply to their work in the CBD industry. To this day, the brand has upheld its mission to help customers live a preventative wellness lifestyle through innovation, premium supplementation, and science.
FAB CBD crafts a highly popular Full Spectrum CBD Body Salve that contains either 1000mg or 3000mg of CBD, depending on the size tube you choose. The salve is packed with botanical terpenes, menthol crystals, and Cinnamomum camphora oil for cooling and heating sensations, along with rosemary, ginger, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree oil, and lemongrass oil to help soothe and calm sore muscles and painful joints. FAB CBD Full Spectrum CBD Body Salve has a calming scent and is easy to take anywhere you’re going. The brand made the salve easy to apply: simply twist the bottom of the tube to bring the salve to the top so that you can glide it on anywhere you need it.
- Potent and effective products
- Highly popular warming and cooling full-spectrum CBD salve
- Extraordinary customer service department
- Innovative, high-quality products
- Transparent brand
- Organic Colorado-grown hemp
- Uses CO2 extraction process
- Independent lab testing
- Potent CBD salve
- Products priced affordably
- Top-shelf hemp extracts and effective products
- Currently does not offer international shipping
#2 Joy Organics — Natural Formulations
Joy Organics’ founder, Joy Smith, struggled with severe health issues for the good majority of her life. And though she found relief with various CBD products over time, she never quite found what exactly she was looking for. In order to fill that need, she created Joy Organics. Through her brand, Smith also wanted others to be able to have access to clean, potent CBD products that could help their health issues. To this day, everyone working for Joy Organics practices kindness and compassion towards others while creating high-quality, organic CBD products.
Joy Organics crafts premium CBD products that are made from some of the cleanest ingredients. The products are specially formulated to help support and boost health and wellness. The brand has Organic CBD Salve in Lavender and Eucalyptus that contains 500mg of CBD, is THC-free, and has an 18-month shelf life. The salve is made from premium broad-spectrum hemp and is manufactured in the United States. Joy Organics also makes an Organic CBD Salve Stick that contains 250mg of broad-spectrum CBD, is unscented, and is great to take anywhere you need it to go. The stick is made with organic shea butter, organic hemp seed oil, organic MCT oil, organic sunflower seed oil, organic jojoba seed oil, and organic rosemary leaf extract.
- Organic ingredients used to make products
- USDA certified hemp
- Independent lab testing
- Products are cruelty-free and gluten-free
- Offers subscription services
- Solid product selection
- Nice line of CBD topicals
- Organic products
- No international shipping
#3 CBDistillery — Strong Variety
In 2016, a group of Colorado friends made it their mission to bring clean, potent CBD products into the market. They did this because they were concerned about the wave of subpar brands that were flooding the market with CBD products that were loaded with herbicides, solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, and other harmful chemicals. In order to help customers purchase the best products for all of their needs, CBDistillery also worked to educate them. The brand continues its mission to this day, as it still crafts clean and potent products while educating customers on the benefits of CBD.
CBDistillery makes its brand called CBDol Topical CBD Salve in 500mg strength. This full-spectrum, non-greasy balm is formulated with high-quality CBD and essential oils to help bring about relief. The brand also crafts 500mg and 1000mg Isolate CBD Relief Stick, among other types of topical creams and lotions. All of the brand’s salves are specially formulated to help calm and alleviate aches and pain.
- Organic Colorado hemp
- Products tested by an independent lab
- Effective products
- Easy to find lab reports
- Special programs for veterans, the disabled, and low-income individuals
- Potent CBD salve options
- The ethanol extraction process is used to obtain extracts
#4 Cheef Botanicals — High Quality
Cheef Botanicals was created out of a need for cleaner, more potent, higher quality CBD products in the California market. The founders wanted to also infuse the market with more plant-based, health-oriented products in general. Therefore, they knew that the best way to do this was to partner with Colorado hemp farms so that all of their products could be clean, potent, and effective. In fact, all of Cheef Botanicals’ products are vegan, dairy-free, organic, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO. The brand’s founders also work hard to make sure that all of their products are clean and free from dangerous herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, and other harmful chemicals.
While the brand doesn’t have much of a variety when it comes to CBD topicals, it does craft a pure, potent, and effective CBD Relief Salve in 500mg, 1000mg, and 2000mg strengths. The salve is made from full-spectrum CBD, is moisturizing, made from natural ingredients, and comes in a maximum strength formulation for fast relief.
- Organic Colorado hemp
- Many strength options for CBD salve
- Third-party lab testing
- Products are affordable
- High-quality products
- Money-back guarantee on its products
- Bundle and subscription options
- No assistance programs to help veterans, the disabled, or those in financial need
#5 Premium Jane — Interesting Selection
Premium Jane is located in Arizona and has worked hard throughout the years to promote the healing benefits of CBD through its high-quality products. Each of the brand’s products is made using regulated hemp from Kentucky. Every product is created using the industry preferred CO2 extraction process and then tested by an independent lab. Premium Jane consistently crafts interesting CBD products that allow customers to partake in all of the benefits of the hemp plant.
Premium Jane has a couple of CBD salve product options. The brand offers Cocoa Butter CBD Topical Salve in 1500mg, and Eucalyptus CBD Topical Salve in 750mg. All of the brand’s topicals are full-spectrum, lab tested, free from solvents, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and other dangerous chemicals, and are non-GMO.
- Targeted line of salves
- Independent lab tests
- Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate products are available
- CO2 extraction
- Clean Kentucky hemp
- Product prices are fairly affordable
- Offers shipping worldwide
- Free shipping worldwide
- Third-party lab testing
- Cocoa butter and eucalyptus-scented salves
- Not many strength options for CBD salves
CBD Topical vs CBD Oil: Which One Is The Best
The choice to use CBD topicals or CBD oils depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your health goals and wellness needs. If you are trying to calm down localized areas of pain, then you should be looking at different types of CBD topicals. Topicals can help calm down localized areas of tension when the CBD absorbs into the skin, muscle, and joint. If, however, you’re trying to take on more widespread health issues like anxiety, pain and inflammation, sleep and insomnia, or depression, then it might be time to seek out CBD oil. CBD oils help to combat these issues, and many more, when the cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients enter into the bloodstream to work with the endocannabinoid system to return the body back to a state of homeostasis, or balance. While both CBD oil and CBD topicals are fantastic against chronic and acute pain, the product you choose will depend on how the pain is manifesting within your body.
CBD Topical Varieties
All CBD topicals have their own specific set of uses and benefits, however, some people might not realize that there are notable differences between all three types.
CBD creams are products that are light, silky, and non-greasy. Creams are great for small aches and pains, or minor skin irritations. CBD creams, like FAB CBD Topical CBD Cream, are usually infused with a pleasant, natural scent that makes the product a joy to use on just about any external area of the body where you’re experiencing pain or discomfort. Whether you’re seeking to calm down a small spot of muscle tension or joint pain, or simply want to bring moisture to a dry patch of skin, CBD cream can be a nice way to gently calm and soothe joints and muscles or smooth your skin, wherever you apply it.
CBD lotion is interesting because it is quite similar to CBD cream. Unlike CBD salve, lotions and creams contain some water and moisturizing agents in their bases, while salves contain waxes and fatty oils. Both CBD lotions and creams absorb into the skin quickly and can produce rapid results. Lotions also tend to be a touch thinner and less rich than creams.
CBD salves are commonly used for chronically sore joints and muscles. They are easily absorbed into the skin, are nourishing, and are quite effective. In fact, salves are excellent at helping to relieve chronic or acute soreness and are a wonderful product for athletes and exercise enthusiasts as salves can greatly assist with the recovery process. Unlike CBD lotions, CBD salves have high concentrations of CBD because of their oil base and are a better choice over lotions for pain relief and moisture needs.
What Are CBD Salves?
CBD salves are very similar to other types of CBD creams and lotions because they are all massaged into the affected area so that the CBD can enter into the skin tissue, muscle tissue, and joints to help bring about relief. Topical CBD products like salves help relieve painful muscles and joints on a superficial level, whereas CBD oils and other products that are ingested work on a systemic level because the CBD enters into the bloodstream and travels throughout the body to work with the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, functions to bring the body back into a state of balance. A salve is a special type of topical formulation because it’s infused with natural ingredients to help to bring about a heating or cooling sensation or other types of immediate, sensational relief. Salves are also infused with CBD and other elements that can help smooth, soothe, and nourish the skin.
While creams and lotions contain water and moisturizing components as part of their base, the salve is made with fatty oils and waxes like jojoba oil and beeswax. This is why salves are thicker, denser, are able to hold their shape, and come in special containers so that they can be easily “rolled” or “glided” on the skin. Lastly, salves are different from other types of topicals because they tend to contain stronger amounts of CBD as well as other ingredients that are more potent or take a stronger approach to tackle tough muscle and joint aches and pains.
How is CBD Salve Made?
CBD salves are very simple and basic formulations. At their core, all salves are made with three basic ingredients: a natural wax (like beeswax), a fatty oil base (like jojoba oil) that helps to carry a therapeutic compound, and a therapeutic/medicinal compound. Beeswax is typically used as a base because it is dense, sticky, and needs to be melted down so that it can properly be used in different mixtures. Most all reputable brands use beeswax in their salves because it is one of the best options available. Still, some brands opt to use vegetable-based waxes like candelilla wax. These types of waxes are wonderful for salves that need to be vegan. When salves are created, within the wax and fatty oil base, other healing ingredients like CBD, camphor, lavender, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and rosemary are added to help the product’s effectiveness at calming both chronic and acute areas of pain in the body.
What Do Carrier Oils Do In CBD Salves?
Carrier oils do just what their name implies: they work to carry the CBD within the salve. There are many different carrier oil options available, however, coconut oil appears to be the best option because of its elevated fatty acid content. The more fatty acid there is, the more CBD that the oil can carry. In order to infuse a carrier oil with CBD, the hemp plant is ground up and then steeped in the oil for several hours. The heat transforms or decarboxylates the cannabidiol into an active form that the oil can then grab onto. Once this process is over, the oil is next mixed with the melted beeswax (or other wax) to create a base for the salve. During the next step, essential oils, fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, and E, and/or heating and cooling elements, like cinnamon and camphor, are added to the base. Lastly, the resulting salve mixture is poured into molds and allowed to cool down and set for a few hours.
When you’re researching CBD salves, you should closely read the labels of any products that you’re interested in. This way, you will have a stronger understanding of the product’s ingredients. It’s also important to be aware of the type of wax that’s used, along with the type of base oil, and any other additional ingredients. Look for third-party lab reports as well, as these will also tell you how pure and potent the salve is, and if it contains any unwanted and harmful pesticide, herbicides, solvents, heavy metals, and other dangerous chemicals. If you aren’t able to find lab reports on the brand’s website, then you should try calling or emailing the brand directly. Any and all reputable brands will make it very easy for customers to get a hold of its third-party lab reports.
Benefits of CBD Salves
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the over 100 other beneficial compounds found in the hemp and marijuana plants. There are a wealth of benefits associated with using CBD salves. Some of these benefits include:
- Reduced chronic or acute pain
- Lowered nerve pain
- Decreased muscle aches, pains, and spasms
- Decreased inflammation
- Increased relaxation
CBD salve can also improve skin health because it has anti-inflammatory properties that fight against excess oil production, that calm pain and irritation, and that boost moisturization. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, all full-spectrum CBD products must be derived from hemp and must contain 0.3% or less THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. Along with CBD, THC is the other main cannabinoid in the hemp and marijuana plants. In large quantities, as found in marijuana plants, THC can cause people to feel “high.” However, the hemp plant is bred to naturally contain very low levels of THC, therefore, there is no possible way to get “high” from hemp-derived CBD products. Moreover, CBD topicals like salves, creams, and lotions have been proven effective and safe to use as often as you need them.
Full-spectrum CBD products — including salve — create an entourage effect in the body. During the entourage effect, all of the cannabinoids and terpenes in the hemp and marijuana plants work synergistically to boost one another’s positive effects while lowering each other’s negative effects. Some common effects often associated with high levels of THC are paranoia and nausea, however, these are dramatically reduced when the CBD is combined with THC. Because nausea and paranoia are lowered or eliminated, pain reduction can be felt a lot more. So, when you choose to use a CBD salve, you’re enabling your body to receive the many benefits that CBD has to offer with no negative side effects, thus allowing for better pain relief over time.
Does CBD Salve Work for Pain and Inflammation?
When CBD is taken internally in the form of oils, gummies, capsules, or other edibles, it can go either directly into the bloodstream (oils and some gummies) or through the digestive system and into the bloodstream, so that it can positively affect the body on a cellular level. Salve, creams, lotions, and other topicals, however, are different. When salve is massaged into a painful area of the body, the CBD enters into the skin, which, by the way, is the largest organ in the body. The fatty acids, CBD, and other beneficial ingredients in the salve are then absorbed into the skin. More specifically, the lipids in the oil transport the phytochemicals in the CBD through the skin cells. This enables the CBD to go directly to localized areas of pain and discomfort. While all of this is happening, the CBD is engaging with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
The ECS contains natural receptors and endocannabinoids. As we stated earlier, the ECS works to bring the body back into a state of balance by helping to regulate a host of functions and processes including:
- Immune response
Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system does not require cannabinoids for it to work, as the body makes its own endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids simply help boost the functioning of the body’s ECS. There are currently few studies on how CBD salves specifically benefit the whole body, however, there is one encouraging study about how transdermal CBD helped improve arthritis pain and joint inflammation in rat subjects. Additionally, CBD salve may also be great at calming down pain and inflammation from skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea, acne, and eczema.
How To Use CBD Salve
CBD salve is relatively easy to use. If you’re experiencing pain and inflammation on any part of your body, simply massage a bit of CBD salve into the area. Since the salve is waxy and spreads on easily, a little bit will go a long way. You can typically feel some relief in about 15-30 minutes post-application. What’s fantastic about CBD salve is that you can also use it anytime you need it, multiple times per day. This is different from CBD oils, capsules, gummies, and other edibles that you may need to take with more consistency. Salve is very easy to use and once your body recognizes and begins to engage with the applied cannabinoids, the relief for some can be impactful. Therefore, it’s recommended that you maintain regular use of the salve as needed until your issues have been resolved.
What are the Potential Side Effects?
There are not many specific side effects listed for CBD salve aside from possible skin irritation, however, there are a few potential minor side effects associated with CBD in general. Some of these side effects include:
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in weight
- Dry mouth
What We Considered When Buying CBD Salves
When we were looking through CBD brands and salves, we strongly took into consideration many different factors that we listed earlier in our guide. As a reminder, some of these include salve ingredients, brand reputation, product price, and extraction process. In closely examining these factors, we were able to come up with the best possible CBD salve brand list for our readers. In general, it’s advised that you do your own research before purchasing any CBD product. However, if you’re unsure of where to start, then our guide to the best CBD salves is an excellent place to begin.
Final Thoughts on CBD Body Salves
If you’ve learned one thing from our guide to the best CBD salves, then it should be that CBD salves are a fantastic way to help calm the muscle and joint inflammation, aches, and pains of a busy lifestyle. In addition, using salves and other topicals will not cause you to feel “high.” The cooling and heating elements of some salves, as well as the healing benefits of CBD, are a wonderful way to ease pain caused by health issues like arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, or overworked muscles and joints in general. Salves are great because they offer targeted relief for achy joints and muscles because of how it easily absorbs into the skin. Other forms of CBD — like oils, gummies, capsules, and other edibles — are a great way to bring CBD into the body so that it can help calm more systemic issues.
If you become overwhelmed in your research, then you can always return to our guide and start with our top picks for the best CBD salve. FAB CBD’s Full Spectrum Body Salve is our top choice, followed by Joy Organics because the brands expertly craft a high-quality, potent product, and their list of highlights and pros are particularly impressive. In fact, all of the reputable brands on our list have many positive qualities that you should look for in a CBD brand before purchasing a salve.
If you have any concerns or questions about adding CBD salve into your pain management regimen, then you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to your primary care physician or medical specialist. Once all of your concerns are addressed and your questions are answered, you will find that salves are a wonderful way to help calm down tough aches and pains. And now with so many reputable brands creating high-quality salves, the options for pain relief are seemingly endless.