What is CBD salve used for?
A CBD salve is usually CBD (cannabidiol) combined with beeswax, a carrier oil or lotion, and essential oils or other healing skin conditioners. CBD is one of the many compounds extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. It offers a variety of potential health benefits without the psychoactive effects or ‘high’ more famously known from another compound from the same plant, THC.
Recent studies have suggested that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that exists throughout the body (with a concentration of receptors in the brain) regulates the effects from oral CBD applications and it also exists in the skin as well. Known as the cutaneous ECS, this system promotes the healthy creation and spread of skin cells. Healthy skin cells go deeper than glowing skin, though. Skin damage or disruption can actually help predict systemic disease.
Absorbed easily through the skin, there are a variety of reasons people might reach for a CBD topical salve instead of other CBD formulations. Some use it for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that promote healthy skin. Others use CBD salve that’s specially formulated to relieve muscle soreness and fatigue. This can help you relieve tension and aches in specific muscle groups or areas. It also makes for a more relaxing application that can help with anxiety or sleep issues.
Finally, some people who are interested in the benefits of CBD for their health might avoid taking it orally due to the chance that it could appear on a drug test. CBD salve does not place CBD into the bloodstream, making it a safer choice for those with employment concerns.
What are the benefits of CBD salve?
CBD salve benefits are being studied closely, but here’s what we know so far:
- A CBD topical salve has been shown to reduce joint aches due to arthritis
- Topical CBD may also be helpful in healing femoral fractures and decreasing soreness in the process
- CBD topical salves reduce the skin’s production of sebum, which can help clear acne and reduce skin inflammation in general
- Other studies have shown that CBD salve can help clear inflammatory skin conditions (e.g., eczema and psoriasis) and reduce scarring.
With all of the potential benefits of CBD salve, it’s crucial to learn more about how to use it properly to maximize its benefits.
How to use CBD salves
A salve is a soothing way to utilize the power of CBD topically. Because a CBD topical salve typically has more premium ingredients (e.g., essential oils and carrier oils or creams), it’s important to use the salve properly to get the most benefits.
Locate the area for treatment
You probably won’t need to slather your entire body with CBD salve: that’s not the best approach here.
If you are treating joint soreness, say in the knee or elbow, focus there. Spot treatments for acne flare-ups or eczema? Only use salve on those spots.
Wipe the slate clean
Wherever you are treating, make sure it’s clean. Wash your hands and use a wipe or a washcloth to clean the area being treated. You don’t need a shower every time you apply a CBD salve, but you should make sure the desired area is free from dirt and bacteria.
Allergy test first
Ever heard the slogan, “start low and go slow” when figuring out the correct CBD dosage? The same applies for CBD salve.
Try the salve on a small test area of skin first to make sure you do not experience any reaction. CBD oil itself is not typically reactive for most people, but sometimes the added ingredients can cause skin irritation. For this reason, it’s also important to look for brands that focus on natural ingredients and thoroughly list all the components of their salve.
Massage it in
Your skin will absorb the CBD salve without a massage, but do yourself a favor and rub it in well. This can be a luxurious part of your self-care routine any time of day. At night, it can be a cue to the body to slow down and destress.
Start low and go slow
Just as with oral CBD like tinctures and gummies, the correct “dosage” of a salve depends completely on the person using it. Everyone’s personal chemistry is different. Your skin will absorb the CBD salve at your own personal rate.
Use a small amount of CBD salve on the target area and wait 15 to 30 minutes. This is approximately how long it takes to begin working. The shift might be subtle, you might find it’s easier to move that area, or you could notice less redness in a rash. If nothing happens after 30 minutes, apply a bit more salve.
For some people, CBD salve begins to