Mary Jane’s Medicinals - Super Strength Nano Salve
Social CBD - Muscle Rub
IrieHemp - Pain Relief Cream
Salves with a blend of CBD and THC promote pain relief by interacting with the CB2 receptors in the skin’s layers. The amounts of THC in these topicals are too minuscule to have any psychoactive effect but work in tandem with CBD to mitigate pain—seemingly better than products with CBD alone. The internet is swimming with personal anecdotes that praise and recognize the important role in injury recovery these types of products can play. We spoke with amputee and athlete Brett Botelho, because his story is particularly severe and compelling (scroll down to the article section of this guide).
We researched the web, read reviews, and spoke to experts to pick these topical salve products designed to help mitigate pain. There are more, of course, but these are a good start.
The Best Topical CBD Salve For Pain
This product’s nano-emulsifier breaks down the cannabinoids, making them fat- and water-soluble. The result is a salve that is readily bioavailable, leading to quicker pain relief and quicker healing. This is combined with phytochemicals extracted from plants and a proprietary whole-plant infusion process nourishes skin and provides the highest-potency topical available: 1,000mgs of cannabinoids, a 1:1 ratio (500mg CBD, 500mg THC). Ingredients with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, including grape-seed oil, cocoa butter and a blend of essential oils—cypress, orange, and spearmint.
1000 mg(1:1): 500mg CBD | 500mg THC
Nano emulsifier that breaks down the THC and CBD into smaller particles
Promotes quicker pain relief and quicker healing
Ingredients with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties
- BrandMary Jane’s Medicinals
- Size3.3 oz.
This full-spectrum CBD salve is derived from hemp flower oils and hemp strains with some of the highest quality terpene profiles on the market. All of Harvey’s products feature all organically grown ingredients from small, off-grid farms in Colorado. This fragrance-free salve is engineered to fight inflammation, reduce muscle tension and joint pain, and mitigate the symptoms of arthritis. 500mg CBD/1oz
Full-spectrum hemp flower oil
Best known for fighting inflammation and treating arthritis, joint pain, rheumatism, and muscle tension
- BrandHarvey’s All Naturals
- Size1 oz
TSA-compliant, this soothing muscle rub features 250mg of CBD per bottle. It combines the purest hemp-derived CBD with powerful natural ingredients, including aloe, vitamin E, tea tree oil, and menthol. Social CBD has a broad array of products for helping recover from injury.
250mg CBD per bottle
Icy feel and invigorating scent
No artificial fragrances or colors
- BrandSocial CBD
- Size85g | 3 oz
This full-spectrum hemp extract is combined with Celadrin, a mixture of essential fatty acids. Herbs in this creamy, quick-absorbing salve restore fluids and support flexibility and healthy joints. This CBD topical optimizes the hemp’s naturally occurring terpenes, constituents, essential fatty acids (Omega 3, 6, 9), and phytonutrients. 100 mg or 500 mg of CBD
100 mg or 500 mg of CBD
Fast-acting, natural relief
Full-spectrum hemp extract
Lab-tested and verified
- Size2 fl oz | 60 mL
Good Topical CBD Salves for Pain
At age 7, Brett Botelho was told he would never walk again. He struggled with CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy) and a dozen surgeries for more than a decade. But his advancing condition forced the amputation of his left leg in his mid-20s, shortly after picking up a snowboard for the first time.
Botelho’s quest to get back on the mountain and onto the 2022 Paralympic team has required new strategies and tools. He was informed he wouldn’t snowboard for two years following the amputation of his leg, but cannabis-based topicals helped speed his healing and pain relief. In fact, Botelho was back on the mountain less than two months after he put on his first prosthetic.
Based out of Frisco, Colorado, and training with the adaptive sports program at Copper Mountain, he trains and competes in snowboard slalom, giant slalom, and banked slalom. Managing pain and healing from ongoing procedures is a constant battle, but CBD-based topicals have provided relief. They also helped him get off painkillers.
“Mary Jane’s Medicinals’ Super Strength Nano Salve has worked miracles for me,” says Botelho about his favorite topical. “I know for a fact I couldn’t be doing what I do on an everyday basis, along with recovery, without this product.” He also claims the Super Strength Nano made his amputation scar smaller and even promoted bone growth.
How do CBD-Based Topicals Work?
Mary Jane’s Medicinals happens to be a marijuana-derived topical salve only available in dispensaries in Colorado, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. But there are many hemp-derived “full-spectrum” products on the market that have similar properties. Salves with a blend of CBD and THC promote pain relief by interacting with the CB2 receptors in the skin’s layers. The amounts of THC in these topicals are too minuscule to have any psychoactive effect but work in tandem with CBD to mitigate pain—seemingly better than products with CBD alone.
The study of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is relatively new, only discovered in 1992 by researchers Dr. William Devane and Dr. Lumir Hanus. This “signaling system” in the body helps maintain a balance between various biological processes (like metabolism, pain signaling, immunity, and more) to operate at optimal capacity. The endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors of this system modulate presynaptic neurons and control how messages are sent, received, and processed throughout the body.
Trace amounts of THC in topical salves seems to be critical to how pain signals are passed throughout the system. Communication between the brain-based CB1 cannabinoid receptors and the body-based CB2 receptors is affected by the absorption of THC and CBD, effectively downplaying pain signals.