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CBD Salve: A Beginner's Guide to Uses & Benefits

Written By Ellese Symons Feb 18th 2023
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There are numerous ways for your body to absorb the bioactive components in high-quality hemp extract.While scrolling your options, you've likely discovered an impressive number of products made specifically for topical application, with good reason. When you swallow a CBD softgel or enjoy a fruit-flavored CBD gummy, it can take up to an hour (or more) for the cannabinoids to begin circulating through your system. CBD topicals tend to work much faster. But they're not all the same. 

As you're comparing nearly any selection of CBD topicals, you'll want to pay close attention to the list of ingredients used in addition to the oil extracted from hemp's stalks, stems, and flowers. Some topicals are made with plant oils and extracts selected for their potential contributions to skin health and appearance, others with botanicals better suited for soothing overworked muscles and aching joints (after physical activity). In this beginner's guide, you'll discover how CBD salves compare to other topicals, suggestions for their use, and why you may want to consider adding a CBD salve to your health and wellness routine. 

What Is CBD Salve?  

CBD creams and lotions made with ingredients selected for dry or sensitive skin are typically made with a blend of oil and water (or hydrosols). Salves have a thicker, firmer consistency than creams and lotions because they're made without water. Instead, you'll typically find CBD salves made with high-quality hemp extract, beeswax, and plant oils blended into a dense, semi-solid base. It's a consistency intended to help maximize the duration of skin contact with the product's active ingredients. Although many people use the terms "salve" and "balm" interchangeably, balms are usually quite firm. Salves are typically made with less beeswax, so they tend to have a smoother, lighter consistency that makes them easier to apply (Shutes, 2023). 

What Is CBD Salve Used For?  

The stiffness you might feel in your lower back after a round of golf, overall discomfort after an intense workout, or the neck pain you get after too many hours logged into your computer are signs of microscopic injuries to muscle fibers. That damage triggers an immune system response that helps clear cellular debris and initiate repairs (Sonkodi et al., 2022). CBD customers investing in cannabinoid-infused salves are typically looking for fast-acting relief from a product made with natural, holistic, plant-sourced ingredients. Based on the results of nearly 2000 survey respondents, most CBD users report positive results for pain, stiffness, and inflammation after physical activity. 

For best results, you'll want to apply a liberal amount to clean dry skin to help ensure cannabinoid absorption. Great for use on its own or in combination with any other hemp-derived product you're currently using, consider keeping one jar in your gym bag for long-lasting relief after a workout and a second within easy reach to help ensure activity-induced discomfort won't keep you from getting the deep, restorative sleep you need to wake feeling refreshed. 

How Does CBD Salve Work?  

When you swallow CBD, the cannabinoids are processed through your digestive system. Once the CBD is circulating in your bloodstream, it interacts with multiple molecular targets throughout your body and brain, including your endocannabinoid system receptors (ECS) (Lingresti et al., 2016). As the receptors involved in nearly every vital process in your body, including emotional regulation, immune system function, and muscle movement, many cannabis researchers believe supporting ECS function with CBD helps promote a state of homeostasis (balance) (Sallaberry & Astern (2019). 

With topical application, you're using CBD in a way that brings the health and wellness potential of hemp-derived cannabinoids to a specific area of your body. Although individual results can vary, most of our survey respondents report achieving their best results within 7-14 days of consistent use. 

Will CBD Salve Cause a Positive Drug Test?  

Many companies require pre-employment drug and alcohol screening, tests that detect opiates, cocaine, methamphetamines, alcohol, marijuana, and other substances. Some occupations require frequent, randomized testing. Although you're sure to find numerous sources claiming false-positive test results from hemp-derived products are uncommon, it can happen. Everyone metabolizes cannabinoids differently. With that being said, most organizations abide by guidelines established by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). By SAMHSA standards, THC levels remaining below 50 nanograms per milliliter are considered negative (Schwab, 2019). Full spectrum hemp extracts contain less than 0.3 mg THC per serving. 

However, THC is fat-soluble. When fat stores are converted to energy, any stored THC can make its way back into your bloodstream. That's less likely to happen with topicals because the cannabinoids remain localized. They don't penetrate your skin far enough to enter your bloodstream. But there are no guarantees you'll test negative, even while using topical products made with 0% THC CBD isolate powder. If you're concerned about the possible repercussions of a failed drug test, we recommend using products made without cannabis-derived ingredients of any kind. 

Why Choose CBDistillery® CBDol CBD Salve?  

Far too many companies make CBD salve with questionable ingredients. Others don't routinely test their products for heavy metals. Since your experience with any CBD product is largely determined by the purity, potency, and overall quality of its ingredients, it's essential to purchase your CBD salve from a trusted, reputable source, a brand like CBDistillery®. 

CBDistillery® CBDol® Topical CBD Salve gives you 500 mg of our pure, potent full-spectrum extract in a blend of beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, and a range of soothing plant extracts. As the hemp-derived cannabinoids penetrate the surface of your skin, the eucalyptus, arnica oil, wintergreen, lavender, and peppermint oil provide warming and cooling sensations and a pleasant scent. For best results, apply a liberal amount of CBDol® to clean, dry skin. After massaging the area thoroughly, wash your hands. Eucalyptus, peppermint oil, wintergreen, (and several other ingredients) in this Leaping Bunny-certified product could irritate your eyes or delicate facial skin. Repeat as often as desired.   

Could You Benefit From the Targeting Relief of a CBD Salve?  

As a beginner, it's important to start your journey with high-quality products suited to your needs, preferences, and lifestyle. Our CBD salve could be your best option if you could benefit from a topical product specifically formulated for fast-acting, long-lasting relief. If you're intrigued by what you've learned so far, but not quite convinced CBDol® is your best option, consider taking our 3-minute CBD Quiz or scheduling a consultation with an expert. At CBDistillery®, we're committed to providing high-quality, fairly-priced products made with naturally farmed hemp and other 100% clean ingredients. Every product we offer is US Hemp Authority® certified, rigorously tested, quality assured, and backed by a risk-free satisfaction guarantee. 


Lingresti A, De Petrocellis L, et al. (2016) From Phytocannabinoid Receptors and Endocannabinoids: Pleiotropic Physiological and Pathological Roles Through Complex Pharmacology. 96(4) Physiol Rev 1593-659. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27630175/ 

Sallaberry C, Astern L. (2018) The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator. 34(6) JYI 48-55. https://www.jyi.org/2018-june/2018/6/1/the-endocannabinoid-system-our-universal-regulator 

Schwab J. (2019) Can You Fail a Drug Test Due to CBD? US Drug Test Centers Blog/News. 

Shutes J. (2023) Butters, Balms, and Salves – What's the Difference? The School for Aromatic Studies. 

Sonkodu B, Hegedus A. (2022) Significant Delayed Medium-Latency Response of the Stretch Reflex in Delayed -Onset Muscle Soreness of the Quadriceps Femoris Muscles Is Indicative of Sensory Neuronal Microdamage. 7(2) J Funct Morphol Kinesiol 43. https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk7020043