Are you looking for an alternative pain reliever? Read on to learn more about the various benefits of CBD salves for pain. 

How CBD Salve May Help With Pain

CBD (cannabidiol), a natural compound from the cannabis plant, interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

This system regulates bodily functions in the central nervous, endocrine, and immune systems(1).

The ECS is comprised of cannabinoid receptors. CB1 receptors regulate pain sensation, while CB2 receptors stimulate anti-inflammatory response(2).

The body naturally creates endocannabinoids that interact with cannabinoid receptors(3).

However, when endocannabinoids are lacking in the body, plant-based cannabinoids like CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may offer similar pain-relieving effects.

Therefore, CBD’s possible anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties(4) may benefit individuals experiencing pain.

Topical CBD, like salves and ointments, may work to provide pain relief and decrease inflammation, muscle tightness, itching, and sunburn(5).

Benefits of Using CBD Salve for Pain

A 2018 research investigated people suffering from epidermolysis bullosa(6).

Epidermolysis bullosa is a disorder that causes the skin to blister, itch, and become fragile.

The study noted that the topical application of CBD may help reduce blistering and pain and aid in quicker wound healing.

How Long Does CBD Salve Take to Help With Pain?

The CBD form, dosage, and administration may determine how long it takes for CBD products to affect the body.

CBD topicals such as salves take effect within 10 to 15 minutes after application(7).

How Long Will CBD Salve Help With Pain?

The duration of how long CBD salve helps with pain usually depends on the dosage of CBD and its frequency of use(8).

CBD topicals typically last in the system for two to four hours.

How to Choose the Right CBD Product

When choosing the right CBD product, consider these factors:

CBD Extracts 

CBD extracts include full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolates.

Full-spectrum CBD oil has all the cannabis plant’s components, like cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. Full-spectrum CBD contains less than 0.3% THC concentration(9).

Flavonoids are plant compounds that have antioxidative benefits, whereas terpenes are responsible for the unique aroma of plants.

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is similar to full-spectrum. However, broad-spectrum is completely THC-free.

CBD isolates, meanwhile, are pure form cannabidiol(10).

Hemp Source

It is essential to choose CBD products from trusted CBD manufacturers who ideally use organic hemp.

Unreliable CBD products may contain chemicals that are harmful to the body.

Third-Party Lab Testing  

Trusted CBD products should undergo extensive third-party lab testing.

On their websites, CBD brands should have certificates of analysis (COA) that align with their product claims.

When looking for the best CBD salve in the market, always seek trusted manufacturers that employ third-party testing, produce organic hemp, and have CBD extracts best suited for your needs.

How to Use CBD Salve for Pain

Topical applications like CBD salves and cream are directly applied to the skin for localized pain relief(11).

The content of topicals is not absorbed into the skin(12); instead, CB2 receptors on the skin absorb the cannabinoids that reduce pain and inflammation(13).

CBD Pain Salve Dosage

There is no standard dosage for applying CBD salves for pain relief. It may depend on one’s diet, weight, and metabolism.

Consult your doctor for the best CBD salve and correct dosage for your pain.

Safety of CBD Salve

There is no official data regarding the safety of CBD salves.

However, CBD has a good safety profile and is well tolerated by the body, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)(14).

Risks and Side Effects of Using CBD Salve for Pain

There are no current studies on CBD salve’s risk and side effects when used specifically for treating pain.

However, there are some general side effects you may experience when using CBD(15):

CBD may also interact with other medications. Talk with a medical expert before trying CBD products.

Legality of CBD

CBD is federally legal in the United States(16) as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC(17).

Verify the THC content of CBD products and check state laws before purchasing CBD.


  1. How can CBD salves help with pain?

Research suggested that topical CBD may lessen pain and inflammation without producing harmful side effects(18).

CBD contains analgesic properties that may help relieve pain(19).

  1. What evidence or research exists to say that CBD salve helps with pain?

Individuals suffering from a rare skin disorder that causes itching and fragile and blistering skin apply topical CBD on their skin(20).

Results suggested that topical CBD reduced pain and skin blistering and contributed to faster wound healing.

  1. Is there any evidence that CBD salve can make pain worse?

CBD is generally safe for use and well tolerated by the body(21).

However, CBD may cause side effects like sleepiness, lightheadedness, nausea, and diarrhea(22).

Talk with your doctor before taking any CBD products.

  1. Will CBD salve interact with any current pain medication I may be taking?

CBD has no significant drug-to-drug interactions with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory and pain medication(23).

Before taking CBD products with other medication, consult your doctor first.

  1. Are there other treatments I should consider alongside CBD salve to help with pain?

Depending on the severity and cause of pain, your doctor may prescribe the following medications(24):

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medication: easily bought in stores, like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen, which may treat mild to moderate pain(25).
  • Prescription drugs: require a doctor’s prescription(26). Examples are antidepressants and opioids, which offer stronger pain relief for severe and chronic pain.

  1. Can I fail a drug test if I use CBD salve for pain?

CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC will not cause a drug test failure(27).

However, even the minimal amounts of THC in some CBD products may build up in your body and reach detectable levels(28).

  1. What is the CBD dosage for pain?

There is no set dosage for CBD when used for pain. It may vary depending on one’s weight, metabolism, and diet.

Talking to your doctor is advised for the correct CBD dosage for your condition.

  1. Is it legal to use CBD pain salve?

CBD is federally legal in the United States(29).

However, if CBD products contain more than 0.3% THC, they are considered illegal(30).

Verify your state laws and check your CBD product’s labels before purchasing.

  1. Is it safe to use CBD pain salve?

There is no official data regarding the safety of CBD pain salves. However, in general, CBD is well tolerated by the body and has a good safety profile(31).

  1. The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator
  2. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
  3. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System
  4. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis
  5. page 210 of Healing With CBD
  6. Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment
  7. Healing With CBD, page. 193.
  8. ibid. page. 195
  9. Cannabidiol Primer for Healthcare Professionals
  10. ibid.
  11. Healing with CBD. page. 89
  12. How to Safely Use CBD: Should You Inhale, Spray, Apply, or Eat It?
  13. page 210 of Healing With CBD
  14. Cannabidiol (CBD)
  15. What Are the Benefits of CBD – And Is It Safe to Use?
  16. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill
  17. CBD & THC: Myths and misconceptions
  18. Transdermal Cannabidiol Reduces Inflammation and Pain-related Behaviours in a Rat Model of Arthritis
  19. Research Shows Pain-relieving Effects of CBD
  20. Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment
  21. Cannabidiol (CBD), page 5.
  22. What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?
  23. Does CBD Interact or Interfere with Medication? What Arthritis Patients Must Know Now
  24. Pain Relievers
  25. Pharmacologic Therapy for Acute Pain
  26. Pain Relievers
  27. Can You Take CBD and Pass a Drug Test?
  28. ibid.
  29. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill
  30. CBD & THC: Myths and misconceptions
  31. Cannabidiol (CBD)
CBD Clinicals is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more