Best CBD Salves: Guide & Top Brands

Trying to find a good CBD salve is not an easy task. Most people don’t know how to shop for salves or what key ingredients to look for—trying to decipher the terminology and understand what makes the best CBD salve can be overwhelming.

Recently, it seems like customers can buy CBD products almost anywhere, and they might be tempted to purchase the first one they find at the store or during a google search. Or, they choose to buy the cheapest brand on the shelf. 

You need to read this before you go shopping, or you might end up paying a premium price for an inferior product.

This article is going to inform you of everything you need to know before making your next purchase. We will tell you what to look for, what goes into making high-quality salves, and our #1 choice for the best CBD salve on the market.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Top 5 CBD Salves Brands in 2021

•  FAB CBD – Best Overall 

•  Cheef Botanicals – Best Natural 

•  CBDistillery – Best for Pain Relief

•  Green Roads – Best Value

•  Joy Organics – Best Broad-Spectrum

Things We Looked For To Choose The Best CBD Salves

There are hundreds of CBD brands on the market, and it’s hard to know what to look for, especially if you’re new to using CBD. So, we have done the work of looking at the key components of superior CBD salves. Here are a few things we considered:

Hemp Quality and Source

Look to see where a company sources its hemp. The Department of Agriculture regulates hemp cultivation in the United States, so farmers are required to grow non-GMO hemp containing less than 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Companies using US hemp are starting with the best hemp compared to hemp grown in other countries that isn’t organic and may contain higher levels of THC. For example, some CBD companies import hemp from the EU, China, and Canada. These countries have different regulations than the United States when it comes to cultivating hemp.

Other Key Ingredients

In addition to CBD, salves contain other ingredients, such as beeswax and carrier oil. CBD Salves that promote healing and pain relief will usually contain botanical extracts known for their therapeutic qualities. Look for natural ingredients compared to mass market salves that contain synthetics. CBD salves should contain ingredients that enhance the effects of CBD.

CBD Type

There are three different types of CBD. Full Spectrum CBD involves very little processing and includes all the cannabinoids and terpenes of the hemp plant. This type of CBD also contains a trace amount of THC and gives the user the “entourage effect,” where all parts of the plant work together. 

The second type is Broad Spectrum CBD. It’s very similar to Full Spectrum in that it includes all cannabinoids and terpenes. However, it’s processed a little further to remove all traces of THC. 

The last type is CBD Isolate, which is CBD in its purest form and the most processed. All other cannabinoids, including terpenes and THC, are removed, so the user is experiencing only the effects of the CBD.

Users should note that while full-spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC, the level will be less than 0.3%. Anyone using full-spectrum CBD doesn’t need to worry about THC’s psychoactive properties or the legality of using the CBD.

Brand Reputation

The reputation of a CBD company relies a lot on its transparency. Reputable CBD brands are upfront on where they source their hemp and the manufacturing process. They don’t make outlandish claims about the benefits of CBD, and all of their information is backed up with science and research.

Lab Results

The CBD industry doesn’t fall under the regulation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, some companies find it easier to misrepresent their products. Reputable CBD companies have third-party, independent labs test their products for potency, THC levels, pesticides, heavy metals, and pathogens. They then ensure those results are readily available for public and regulatory agency viewing.


You can expect to pay a little more for CBD salves, considering the healing properties and the luxurious feel. The best CBD companies only use high-quality hemp and natural ingredients. Furthermore, CBD products undergo a lot of research and testing for safety and effectiveness. But, it’s also important that you are getting the best value for your dollar. We looked at the products’ pricing compared to its size, strength, and ingredients to ensure that your money is well-spent.



When it comes to CBD salves, the primary deciding factor is effectiveness. Whether it’s joint pain, dry skin, or aching muscles, customers want a product that’s going to work fast. We checked customer reviews, both on the brand’s website and independent review websites, to ensure that the salves were capable of providing relief. 

After Sales Service

With fierce competition among CBD companies, an excellent customer service team sets their CBD brand above the rest, especially after the sale’s completion. Knowledgeable and friendly representatives can answer any questions and address any concerns customers may have. 

Our Recommendations for the Best CBD Salves for 2021

We still had several brands to choose from once we eliminated the CBD salves that didn’t meet the above criteria. We looked at the processing facilities, shipping and return policies, and reviews from niche experts. With that information, we pared down our list, and we are now

able to present our recommendations for the best CBD salves in 2021.

These are the brands that offer the best CBD salves. Each company offers a unique product that will soothe aching and tired muscles and leave your skin feeling silky smooth.

5 Best CBD Salves of 2021

#1 FAB CBD Body Salve: Best Overall

FAB CBD Body Salve is a brand new product from the company that was founded in 2017. It falls in line with the company’s mission of building a product line with something for everyone. The salve combines full-spectrum CBD with primary essential oils, organic ingredients, and a calming scent. It features an incredible heating and cooling effect that’s perfect for golfers, runners, gardeners, cross-fitters, weight lifters, weekend warriors, computer users, or anyone who has daily discomfort. The company also offers topical CBD cream for people who prefer a creamier feel, all at an affordable price.

• FAB CBD sources its CBD from non-GMO hemp grown in Colorado under organic conditions.

• The CBD salve contains Organic Golden Jojoba Oil, Organic Beeswax, Vitamin E, Lavender Oil, and Eucalyptus Oil. 

• The Full Spectrum CBD salve is available in strengths of 1000mg and 3000mg.

• FAB CBD has built a reputation for offering high-quality products and is transparent in its cultivation and production processes.

• ProVerde Laboratories tests FAB CBD Salves for purity and potency with lab reports readily available for consumers.

• It is higher priced than some other brands, but it is a luxury item that offers significant benefits to justify the expense.

• FAB CBD Salve is highly effective in relieving aches and pains caused by tension, arthritis, and over-exertion.

• The company has an excellent customer service department eager to answer any questions, and they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee for anyone who isn’t completely satisfied.


• The CBD salve has a non-messy, roll-on applicator that effectively targets various body parts. 

• Vitamin E moisturizes the skin

• The scent of Lavender essential oil is pleasant and calming to the senses.

• A rewards program gives loyal customers the chance to earn points and receive discounts.

• An additional office in the UK allows them to ship to all 50 states and internationally.


• Customers have to spend over $99 to receive free shipping.

• FAB CBD doesn’t offer an auto-ship program

There are several reasons why we chose FAB CBD Salve as our #1 choice. They offer a full spectrum CBD salve with both heating and cooling, plus the roll-on applicator is a big plus. The user can quickly and conveniently apply the salve to target tired and sore muscles, whether at home or on a hike.

#2 Cheef Botanicals CBD Relief Salve: Best Natural

Cheef Botanicals is known for its 100% all-natural, vegan, and gluten-free products. The company’s CBD Relief Salve absorbs quickly for fast, holistic relief from pain and inflammation. The salve soothes the skin while the CBD is absorbed into the skin. It’s a perfect salve for athletes looking for fast, effective relief after intense workouts.

• Cheef Botanicals grows its organic hemp in Colorado.

• In addition to CBD, the salve also contains Candelilla Wax, Calendula Flowers, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Fennel Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, Frankincense Essential Oil, and Vitamin E.

• Cheef Botanicals CBD Relief Salve contains full-spectrum CBD.

• The company has grown its reputation for producing organic, all-natural products that are effective.  

• CannaSafe tests Cheef Botanicals products for CBD and THC levels. The reports are easy to access and read.

• The CBD Relief Salve is relatively less expensive than many other brands.

• This salve is best for massaging aching muscles after extreme sports or intense workouts.

• The company offers a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee, and an excellent customer support team provides follow-up support.


• The company has free shipping on all orders.

• Customers can choose from CBD strengths of 500mg, 1000mg, and 2000mg 

• Cheef Botanicals only uses products that are organic, non-GMO, non-dairy, and gluten-free.

• Customers can sign up for an auto-ship subscription.


• The lab reports only levels of cannabinoids. It doesn’t test for chemicals, pesticides, metals, or toxins.

• The company doesn’t offer international shipping.

Cheef Botanicals offers an excellent, all-natural product for pain relief. The salve is provided in different strengths, making it easy for consumers to find the most effective product for their pain. The combination of the other oils with Vitamin E leaves the skin feeling moisturized and not greasy.

#3 CBDistillery CBDol Topical CBD Salve: Best for Pain Relief

Even though CBDistillery has only been in business since 2016, they have a reputation for providing a wide variety of products. The convenient sized 1-ounce container makes CBDistillery CBDol Topical Salve easy to take anywhere. It’s formulated with high-quality CBD and essential oils that skin loves and sends targeted relief right where it’s needed the most. 

• CBDistillery sources its organic hemp from farms in the United States.

• In addition to the CBD, CBDol Topical Salve also has Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Beeswax, Wintergreen Leaf Oil, Peppermint Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Lavender Oil, Eucalyptus Leaf Oil, Camphor Oil, Rosemary Oil, Frankincense Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Grapefruit Peel Extract, and Aloe Extract.

• The one oz container contains 500mg of full-spectrum CBD.

• CBDistillery is known for its pursuit of making a product for everyone. The brand’s excellent reputation has led to its explosive growth in the CBD industry.

• ACS Laboratories test CBDol Topical CBD Salve for potency, THC, heavy metals, residual solvents, and pathogens. Copies of the lab report are available for download on their website.

• The company offers only one strength, which is reasonably priced.

• The non-greasy formula absorbs quickly into the skin for effective relief from everyday aches and pains.

• CBDistillery has an impressive 60-day money-back guarantee for unsatisfied customers. The customer service reps are friendly and are happy to address any concerns before, during, and after the sale.


• An auto-ship program ensures that the customer doesn’t run out of salve.

• CBDistillery has a discount for Military Personnel, Veterans, and Service Officials.

• The company offers a free download of its book “The Ultimate CBD User Guide.”


• The customer service department is only open during regular business hours, Monday-Friday.

• The company doesn’t ship internationally or to the United States territories of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, or Guam.

Even though CBDistillery CBDol Topical Salve only comes in one strength, it does the job of relieving sore muscles. It has a non-greasy formula that absorbs quickly. And, since CBDistillery has such a varied product line, customers are sure to find a product they like.

#4 Green Roads Heat Relief CBD Roll-On: Best Value

This Roll-On topical from Green Roads is an excellent choice for people that don’t want any THC in their product. The people at Green Roads commit themselves to deliver high-quality CBD products at affordable prices. This is a powerhouse combination of CBD and other organic ingredients such as Avocado oil and Rosmary oil. It provides a cooling effect for sore joints and aching muscles.

• Green Roads CBD comes from non-GMO hemp grown on USA.

• The Heat relief roll-on contains Cayenne extracts, safflower, Glycerine, Avocado oil, Vitamin E, Broad Spectrum hemp extract, Camphor and capsaicin

• Customers can choose from strengths of 250mg, 500mg, or 750mg CBD.

• Green Roads has very high reputation and on their CBD products which you can trust. The company is transparent in all aspects of the manufacturing process and does have an advisory board. 

• Kappa Labs tests Green Roads topicals for potency, THC levels, and contaminants.

• The Certificates of Analysis are easy to find on Green Roads website.

• The Heat Relief CBD Roll-On is very reasonably priced, falling in line with the company’s mission to provide high-quality products at affordable prices.

• This easy to use roll on topical works immediately to relieve both chronic pain and temporary pain caused by overexertion. 

• Green Roads offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. The customer service department is always quick to respond to inquiries and has received great reviews.


• Trustable company as its CEO is a medical professional.

• Has an excellent reward program.

• Customers can sign up for an auto-ship program


• Green roads charges shipping costs for returns

• No free shipping under $50 orders.

• Outsources its hemp (within USA)

The price is very attractive and comes in variable options such as 150mg, 350mg, and 750mg concentrations also, the product is above average at most, you can just apply it to the affected area, and it begins to work immediately.

#5 Joy Organics CBD Salve: Best Broad Spectrum

Joy Smith’s own struggles with various health issues led to the creation of Joy Organics in 2018. Joy Organics CBD Salve contains only organic ingredients for a near spa experience. This topical moisturizes the skin and supports the muscles. It also absorbs quickly into the skin for almost immediate effect. 

• Joy Organics CBD Salve is USDA Certified Organic and is grown in the United States.

• The salve contains CBD, Organic MCT Oil, Organic Lavender Oil, Organic Beeswax, and Organic Eucalyptus Oil.

• Joy Organics CBD Salve is Broad Spectrum CBD with no THC.

• Joy Organics enjoys an excellent reputation for having high-quality, organic products that are animal cruelty-free.

• Stillwater Laboratories tests the CBD salve for potency, THC levels, pesticides, microbes, and heavy metals. All lab reports are available with a link on Joy Organics’ website.

• Customers will find that the price of Joy Organics CBD Salve is comparable to other brands.

• Several reviews state that the CBD salve leaves the skin moisturized and relieves pain.

• There is a 90-day money-back guarantee if a customer isn’t satisfied. The customer service team at Joy Organics is responsive, professional, friendly, and knowledgeable.


• There is free shipping on all orders.

• The company uses recyclable packaging and utilizes carbon-neutral shipping

• Joy Organics products contain no THC.

• The company has a rewards program and an auto-ship program.


• Even though the CBD salve comes in 500mg and 1000mg, the difference isn’t in the strength per mL but in the actual container size.

• Joy Organics doesn’t ship internationally.

Joy Organics is a family-run business that is committed to producing high-quality products without chemicals. It helps that people can relate to Joy’s experiences, which contributes to the brand’s trust. Joy Organics CBD Salve combines CBD and aromatic essential oils to benefit the skin in many ways.

Do CBD Salves Even Work?

In one word – yes.

While other salves and ointments treat the symptoms, CBD salves work to give immediate relief while working with the Endocannabinoid System to treat the condition at its source.

The discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) occurred in the early 1990s, so many people aren’t familiar with it.

The ECS regulates the body to keep it in a state of homeostasis. The body naturally produces molecules called endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoids wait for a signal from receptors sitting on the cells’ surface. CB1 receptors are located in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are in the peripheral nervous system.

The receptors monitor conditions in the body, and when conditions change, the receptors call for the endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoids attach themselves to the receptors and stay there until conditions are stable again.

The last component of the ECS is the enzymes, which come along and break the endocannabinoids down once the task is complete.

The ECS regulates several functions of the body, including:

• Pain response

• Mood

• Appetite

• Anxiety and Stress

• Inflammation

• Sleep

Cannabidiol (CBD) is just one of the over 100 phytocannabinoids found in hemp, and it works with the ECS. Scientists aren’t entirely sure how they work together, but they believe CBD stops the enzymes from breaking down and allows the endocannabinoids to work longer.

The skin is the body’s largest organ and is covered with receptors. When an individual rubs CBD salve into the skin, the salve penetrates the dermal and subdermal layers to relieve pain and fight inflammation. Therefore, it works quickly but is also long-lasting.

What are the Benefits of CBD Salves

While most people primarily use CBD salves are for relieving pain, they have several other benefits, including:

• Treating skin issues such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema

• Decrease inflammation

• Headache relief

• Arthritis

• Treatment of skin allergies

• Treat insect bites

The Science and Studies on CBD Salves

Unfortunately, there are still relatively few scientific studies on the effects of CBD salves on humans, but completed research is promising.  

The European Journal of Pain completed a study that showed when CBD was applied to the skins of animals, there was a reduction of pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. And, another study showed the effects of CBD on inflammatory and neuropathic pain that are usually hard to treat. 

A 2020 review of previous studies showed that CBD lowered chronic pain, inflammation, and hyperalgesia while also improving quality of life and providing better sleep. 

As cannabis loses its stigma, researchers are hopeful that we will soon start to see an increase in more extensive studies, but the research that has been done shows that CBD can be effective in treating various types of pain.

Key Salve Ingredients to Look For

Many botanicals have therapeutic properties. Depending on your purpose for applying a salve, here are some ingredients you may find and their benefits:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Lavender oil (also helps with relaxation), Rosemary Oil, Almond Oil, Vitamin E
  • Pain relief: Eucalyptus Oil, Menthol (also relieves itching), Calendula Flowers, Frankincense Essential Oil
  • Antiseptic: Fennel Oil, Tea Tree Oil
  • Reduce skin irritation: Camphor Oil
  • Anti-microbial: Beeswax, Jojoba Oil

In addition to the ingredients listed above, some salves may also use olive oil or coconut oil as carrier oils.

Safety Precautions and Side Effects

Most people can use CBD salves without any issues, and side effects are rare. But, it’s always best to test it on a small patch of skin to see if there is a reaction before applying it to a larger area. This approach is especially true for people with sensitive skin. Also, customers should check the labels if they have any kind of allergies.

The CBD in salves won’t enter the bloodstream; however, it’s important to note that CBD can interact with some medications, specifically blood thinners. People should always consult with their healthcare provider before using CBD.

Best Ways to Use CBD Salves

For people using CBD salve for pain, the best approach is to apply CBD salves is to take a small amount, massage it into the skin and wait fifteen to thirty minutes. Depending on the other ingredients in the salve, users may feel warming, cooling, or slight tingling. The CBD itself usually works quickly. If the user is still feeling discomfort, they should massage a little more salve into the skin.

If the CBD salve is being used for something other than pain, such as skin irritation, it may take a few days to see results.

People who have never used CBD salves before should start with a low dosage and increase it as needed. Using that approach, customers can decide if the CBD strength is right for them or if they need a more potent CBD salve.

How Should You Shop for CBD Salves?

There are plenty of specialty stores, boutiques, and convenience stores that sell CBD salve, but there are several drawbacks. 

Many of the brands sold at physical locations have very little CBD and won’t be effective. Furthermore, the CBD is just a tiny part of their inventory, and most sales clerks don’t know about the benefits of CBD, so they won’t be able to answer any questions or concerns. Last, if you do find a reputable brand, such as one of the five we listed, it’s doubtful that the store carries a complete product line.

The best way to shop for CBD salves is by ordering directly from the company’s website. That way, you can be sure you’re getting a high-quality product and not something inferior. Most CBD companies offer reward programs and free shipping. Plus, their customer service departments usually consist of people who are passionate about CBD and are happy to help customers throughout the process.

CBD Salve Alternatives

Some people don’t like the feel of salves. For them, there are different options for CBD topicals.

CBD Creams and Lotions

While salves contain wax, creams and lotions combine oil and water (lotion has a higher water content than cream). Therefore, the texture won’t be as firm, and since they have a water base, the skin absorbs them quickly.

CBD Balms

CBD balms are very similar to salves and usually contain the same ingredients. The main difference is that balms have more wax that gives them a firmer texture. A balm typically lays on the skin, acting more as a protectant, whereas salves are absorbed into the skin.

Key Takeaways

People have been using healing salves for thousands of years. Additionally, ancient Chinese writings tell how healers used cannabis to treat various ailments. Adding CBD to salves brings healing to a new level. 

Thousands of people have tried CBD salves and had terrific results, especially with pain relief. Furthermore, scientists are excited about the potential of CBD topicals for the treatment of many health issues. 

There are many salves, creams, and lotions available almost anywhere. Unfortunately, they contain chemicals and synthetic ingredients that the skin absorbs. These toxins can affect hormones, weight, mood, and overall wellness. Our recommendations for best CBD salves contain natural ingredients that help, not hurt.

CBD salves don’t just mask the symptoms; they work with the body to relieve pain, inflammation, and irritations while also moisturizing the skin and relaxing the body. 

The FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products for safety and effectiveness, so consumers must educate themselves. Also, anyone on medications, pregnant or breastfeeding, or who has underlying health issues should discuss using CBD with their physicians. Chronic pain or rashes may be a sign of something more serious. 

Written by Monella