Exploring the Variety of CBD Topicals: Creams, Balms, Salves, and More

Eloise Theisen

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is making waves in health and wellness circles. One area seeing significant growth is CBD topicals. These are creams, balms, salves, and more that you apply directly to your skin.

People are drawn to them for various reasons, like seeking relief from aches or skincare benefits. As their popularity grows, the variety of products available is expanding too. Let’s dive into the world of CBD topicals and explore the exciting range they offer.

What are CBD Topicals?

CBD topicals are products that are infused with CBD, short for cannabidiol. They’re designed to be applied directly onto the skin rather than being ingested like other CBD products. This makes them a great choice for localized relief.

Here’s an important fact: CBD itself is non-psychoactive. This means it won’t make you feel ‘high’ or altered in any way. This is one of the reasons why it’s become so popular for a variety of uses. People report using CBD topicals for everything from soothing sore muscles to improving skin conditions.

One key thing to remember about CBD topicals is that they’re different from other CBD products because they don’t enter your bloodstream. Instead, they interact with your skin and the muscles directly beneath it. This is why they’re often used for targeted relief in specific areas.

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Types of CBD Topicals and How to Use Them

The world of CBD topicals is vast and varied, offering something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking relief from discomfort or just want to add a relaxing step to your skincare routine, there’s likely a CBD topical that’s perfect for you.

Here is a breakdown of the different types of CBD topicals:


CBD creams are probably the most common type of CBD topical you’ll find on the market. These are typically rich and moisturizing, designed to nourish the skin while delivering CBD’s potential benefits. A few popular CBD creams include CBD-infused moisturizers and pain relief creams. To use a CBD cream, you just apply it to your skin like any other moisturizer or lotion, focusing on areas where you want the most relief.


CBD balms are thicker than creams, offering a more concentrated form of CBD topical. They’re often used for targeting specific areas, like sore muscles or joints. A balm could come in a tin or stick, and you apply it by rubbing a small amount onto your skin. Some examples include CBD lip balms or muscle rubs.


Salves are similar to balms but tend to be a bit softer and easier to spread. They’re perfect for massaging into your skin, making them a popular choice for people using CBD for muscle or joint discomfort. Just scoop a bit out with your fingers and massage it into the desired area. CBD salves often include additional beneficial ingredients like essential oils or herbs.


CBD ointments are a more medicated option, often used for more severe skin issues or discomfort. They tend to be thicker and stickier than creams or salves, helping them stay on your skin longer. To use, you’d apply a small amount to the affected area as needed. Examples might include CBD ointments for eczema or psoriasis.


CBD lotions are lighter and less concentrated than creams or balms, making them a good choice for people who want to apply CBD to larger areas of their body or use CBD skincare daily. Examples could include daily moisturizing lotions or after-sun lotions. Like any other lotion, you’d apply it liberally to your skin.

Other CBD Topicals

There are plenty of other CBD topicals out there as well. For instance, there are CBD bath bombs and bath salts for a relaxing soak, CBD massage oils for a soothing rubdown, or even CBD-infused skincare like serums and face masks. Application methods will vary depending on the product, but they generally involve either soaking in the bath or applying to your skin.

Benefits of CBD Topicals

Everyone’s experience with CBD is different, and the benefits might vary from person to person. It’s always best to start slow and see how your body responds. If you’re trying CBD topicals for the first time, consider speaking with a healthcare professional to ensure it’s the right choice for you.

Here’s how each type of CBD topical can potentially benefit you:


CBD creams are often chosen for their moisturizing qualities. Infused with CBD, these creams may help soothe dry, cracked skin while providing potential relief for discomfort or inflammation. They are ideal for hydrating your skin and keeping it smooth and youthful-looking.


CBD balms are dense and can provide concentrated relief. They are often used in specific areas like sore muscles or joints. People who play sports or work out regularly might find CBD balms useful for their post-workout recovery.


CBD salves, similar to balms, can be beneficial for muscle or joint discomfort. With their smooth consistency, they are easy to massage into your skin. Many people also use them for skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, as they may help soothe inflammation and reduce dryness.


CBD ointments are usually used for more severe skin conditions or discomfort. With their thicker texture, they can stay on the skin for longer periods, providing prolonged relief. They may be especially useful for conditions like arthritis or severe skin irritations.


CBD lotions, being light and less concentrated, are excellent for daily skincare. They can help maintain skin health, reduce signs of aging, and potentially provide mild relief for discomfort. People with sensitive skin might find CBD lotions useful, as they are usually gentle and easy to apply over large areas.

Other CBD Topicals

Other CBD topicals, like bath bombs, bath salts, or massage oils, can provide a relaxing and soothing experience. They can be great for stress relief, promoting relaxation, and even improving sleep quality. CBD-infused skincare products like serums and face masks might also help combat acne and other skin issues by potentially reducing inflammation and oil production.

How to Choose the Right CBD Topical for You

The right CBD topical for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. Take your time exploring your options to find the product that works best for you.

Here are some simple tips on how to choose the right CBD topical for you:

Identify Your Needs

Start by identifying why you want to use a CBD topical. Are you looking for relief from discomfort? Or is skin health your primary concern? For instance, if you’re dealing with muscle aches, a CBD balm or salve could be beneficial. But if you’re more focused on skincare, a CBD lotion or cream might be a better fit.

Check the Ingredients

Always look at the ingredient list. Some CBD topicals may contain additional ingredients like essential oils or herbs that can offer added benefits. However, make sure it doesn’t have anything you’re allergic to.

Consider the CBD Concentration

The concentration of CBD in a product can vary greatly. If you’re new to CBD, you might want to start with a product that has a lower concentration and then gradually work your way up if needed.

Look at Product Reviews

Reviews can give you a better idea of a product’s effectiveness. Look for products that have positive feedback from users with similar needs or concerns as you.

Ask for Professional Advice

If you’re unsure about which product to choose, don’t hesitate to ask a healthcare professional. They can provide guidance based on your specific health conditions and needs.

How to Store Your CBD Topical

Properly storing your CBD topical can help maintain its effectiveness and increase its lifespan, making it a better investment in the long run.

Here are some straightforward tips on how to store your CBD topical properly:

Cool and Dark Place

Heat, light, and air exposure can degrade CBD’s potency over time, so it’s best to store your CBD topicals in a cool and dark place. A bathroom cabinet or drawer can work well.

Seal Tightly

Always make sure your CBD topical is sealed tightly when not in use. This helps to prevent air exposure which can cause the CBD to break down.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight can cause the CBD to degrade, so try to keep your CBD topicals away from windows or other places where they’ll be exposed to the sun.

Use Within One Year

Generally, it’s best to use your CBD topicals within one year of purchase to ensure they’re still effective. If you notice any changes in smell or color, it might be time to replace them.

Summing Up

In this article, we’ve explored the world of CBD topicals, from creams and balms to salves and patches. Each offers unique benefits, whether you’re seeking relief from discomfort, improving skin health, or simply adding a relaxing step to your routine. 

Remember, choosing the right CBD topical depends on your personal needs and preferences. Don’t forget to store your CBD topical correctly to preserve its effectiveness. So why wait? Dive in and discover the potential benefits of CBD topicals for yourself.