CBD Salve Uses

Tanasi CBD salve being applied onto a hand

Posted on June 30th, 2022

When you’re looking for ways to enjoy a CBD product, there are so many forms from which to choose. With tinctures and capsules, you can enjoy CBD orally. And with lotions and salves, you can apply your CBD topically. But what is a salve and how should it be used? CBD salves can be defined as potentially therapeutic ointments infused with a CBD formula. They are applied directly to your skin for potential benefits, many of which we’ll review in this post. But first, we’ll review exactly what goes into a CBD salve and explore CBD salve uses. 

How Are CBD Salves Made?

Salves are simple concoctions to make as they don’t require many ingredients nor complicated processes. To make a CBD salve, you just need some basic ingredients, including:

  • Natural wax, such as beeswax, for structure
  • Fatty oil, such as almond oil, as a base.
  • Therapeutic or medicinal compound, which is, in this case, hemp extract from the Cannabis Sativa plant.

 Of all the salve ingredients, the fatty oil base is crucial, because it’s what “carries” the CBD in the salve onto your skin for absorption. Generally, the higher the content of fatty acids in the oil, the better it is to make a salve base. 

Why is that the case? Because fatty acids are what “carry” CBD, so the more the better. (Plus, these acids provide their own potential benefits.) You have so many choices of carrier oils for salves, but almond oil and coconut oil are examples of commonly used oil bases in premium products. 

To make a CBD salve, steep CBD extract in the carrier oil at above 200F for several hours. This allows for the decarboxylation of the CBD into its active molecular form. At this point, the fatty acids in the oil combine and lock with the CBD. Once the heating process is done, the oil is mixed with the melted wax structure, and you have a CBD salve. At this point, you can also add other essential oils and soluble vitamins. 

How Do CBD Salves Work?

Before discussing CBD salve uses, it’s important to know how CBD salves work. CBD salves are applied topically to the skin, which is your body’s largest organ. Unlike CBD oils, salves don’t have to go through the digestive system for you to absorb their active ingredients. While the skin prevents the entry of harmful substances into the body, it helps in the absorption of lipid-based oils such as those that comprise CBD salves. 

By applying a CBD salve topically, the lipids in the oil base facilitate the movement of phytochemicals across your skin membranes. Then, as it interacts with your surrounding cells and tissues, CBD can affect the skin’s physiological mechanisms directly at your point of application. As such, a CBD salve may be a great choice for targeting inflammation, skin conditions, and joint pain. 

Tanasi CBD salves with running shoes and water bottleWhat Are the Common Uses of CBD Salves?

While we’ve already discussed several potential benefits, here’s another way a CBD salve may help your skin: given the healing carrier oils, you’ll help heal dry skin with your CBD salve. Plus, you’ll transfer the potential benefits of CBD directly to your body’s largest organ. 

For these reasons, people choose CBD salves to target: 


CBD salves may target joint pain and pain due to inflammation, thanks to its localized effects. Studies indicate that the topical application of CBD salve may help relieve pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.

Further studies also suggest that CBD salves are a safe and useful way to address osteoarthritis joint pain. CBD salve may help relieve pain by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which scientists recently discovered is a complex system responsible for regulating many of your internal functions, including sleep, mood, and pain responses. When you apply external cannabinoids, it seems that they stimulate your body to produce its own endocannabinoids. These then attach to your body’s CB2 receptors, helping mitigate your pain experience.  


Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by red, itchy skin patches on various parts of the body. This disease is common, chronic, and has no cure. According to recent research, however, using a CBD salve may help manage the disease. Particularly, applying CBD salve helps reduce inflammation and the growth of troubled skin cells, thereby possibly easing psoriasis.


Eczema is a skin condition that comes in various forms and affects both children and adults. The condition is chronic and has no cure, and is characterized by irritated or inflamed skin. Just like in psoriasis, CBD salves may help manage the skin condition. Specifically, using a CBD salve may help reduce skin inflammation, relieve dry skin, and help soothe other eczema-related symptoms such as pain and itching.


Acne is another common skin condition that affects people of all ages. It is characterized by whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples that can develop anywhere. While it can be treated, acne can also be persistent. Fortunately, topical CBD salve may help manage your acne in two ways. First, CBD appears to regulate sebum production, and excess amounts of sebum can block your pores and trigger acne breakouts. CBD salve may also reduce inflammation in your skin, minimizing the appearance of current breakouts and possibly preventing future issues. 


Aging and prolonged exposure to elements like the sun are major causes of wrinkling. While we’ve long managed wrinkles with invasive procedures such as surgeries and injections, CBD salves may offer a non-invasive option. By applying a salve to your target area, you may notice a significant reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. Now, it’s important to note that CBD salves don’t eliminate wrinkles; they simply stimulate the production of oil on dry skin, which could help reduce their appearance.

Contact Dermatitis

This skin condition, which can be allergic or irritant contact dermatitis, may be improved by using a CBD salve. Contact dermatitis is characterized by skin redness, hives, oozing blisters, and dry, scaly, and flaky skin. It occurs when you come into contact with a substance that irritates your skin, such as a detergent or skincare product.

Applying a CBD salve to the target area may help soothe the itching that comes with this condition and can also act against inflammation of the skin on the affected area.

Neck and Back Pain

Neck and back pain are extremely common ailments, especially if you sit all day at a computer. When you apply CBD salve on your neck and back, you may experience targeted effects, because the CBD is absorbed directly through your skin, bypassing your digestive tract.  

Woman applying CBD salve to her handUsing CBD Salve Effectively

Now that we better understand the common uses of CBD salves we can further explore how to properly apply CBD salve. Before using a CBD salve on your skin, it is important that you speak to a doctor, especially if you are taking any medications or supplements. This is because CBD can cause drug interactions. Still, once cleared by your healthcare provider, using a CBD balm effectively is quite easy, especially if you follow these important tips:

Identify the Target Area

CBD salves are not meant to be applied over your whole body. The best results are achieved by applying to areas of inflammation and aches, such as joints, back, neck, shoulders, feet, and other body parts. While applying the CBD salve on these parts, massaging the salve in as much as possible will yield the best results, because the motion helps release tension.

Clean the Target Area

Before applying your salve, clean the area and give your hands a thorough wash as this helps eliminate germs and bacteria. Wash your hands after applying the CBD salve, as well, to eliminate any strange feeling on the skin that may come with the application.

Scoop the Right Amount

Sizeable amounts don’t always yield the best results – a little goes a long way when it comes to CBD salves. After all, applying too much product only makes your skin feel too oily. As a starting off point, try scooping about 5mg. This should be enough to apply to the target area, but you can always add more if you don’t feel any effects after the initial application.

Who Should Use CBD Salve?

CBD salves are right for most people. This is because they carry few side effects, and many users report that they help relieve pain and inflammation. However, CBD salves may not be right for some, so talk to your provider and consider testing the salve on a small area of your skin before diving into widespread use. 

Are There Side Effects of Using CBD Salves?

For most people, CBD salves are safe to apply on the skin. But, if you are concerned, talk with your doctor before beginning use of CBD salves. You can also test a small amount of CBD salve on your skin before applying it to larger areas. Some people may experience allergic reactions, and it is important to read the ingredients of the salve before applying.


CBD salves are therapeutic ointments that contain CBD and are applied for targeted effects. CBD salve has many uses, which may include helping to manage skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, as well as joint aches. Using proper application techniques will help make your CBD salve more effective. And, while allergic reactions to CBD salves are rare, it is important to test it on a small area of skin before using this product.

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