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Muscle soreness and tension are all part of heavy exercise and physically demanding jobs. Therapies like massage can help with the recovery and healing process, but if you’re an athlete or manual worker, you could likely benefit from everyday support to soothe your tired muscles and speed up recovery.

Topical CBD products to the rescue! After learning about CBD from teammates and colleagues, or reading the many positive reviews online, many athletes and blue-collar workers have turned to CBD balms to provide the support and benefits their muscles need to recover from demanding workouts and jobs. The demand for CBD balms is higher than ever, and today there is a wide assortment of CBD balms to choose from, depending on your personal needs and application preferences.

Most who have used CBD balms have been happy with their experience. If you’re wondering whether CBD balms can help you, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we walk you through the information you need to find the right product from the right brand to deliver the types of soothing benefits you’re looking for.

Koi Full Spectrum CBD Balm is made with full spectrum hemp extract, delivering the full list of valuable cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, and other compounds naturally occurring in the plant. This includes an incredible 3,000 mg of CBD for more powerful topical support. A blend of a dozen soothing natural oils – such as eucalyptus leaf oil, rosemary leaf oil, spearmint oil, and lavender flower oil – offer an immediate soothing sensation.  Why not also read: CBD Oil Vs Gummies

What is CBD?

CBD has quickly become a part of many people’s everyday wellness routines. CBD is short for cannabidiol, the second most prevalent chemical compound in the Cannabis Sativa plant. CBD was first discovered in the 1940s and recently became popular for its natural wellness and balancing benefits.

CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in the plant. THC, or Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive ingredient in the Cannabis Sativa plant and is the most widely known cannabinoid. The two compounds share numerous similarities but have one significant difference: Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t produce psychoactive effects. This difference has fueled the popularity of CBD among people looking for its wellness benefits but who prefer to avoid the euphoric effects that come with using THC. Our beginner's guide to CBD explains even more.

While CBD is often ingested, it also delivers exciting benefits when applied topically. CBD used to make CBD balm is extracted from hemp, a variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant that has extensive CBD yield and only traces amount of THC.

Is CBD Legal?

CBD is federally legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp-derived cannabinoids containing less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC. However, state laws regarding CBD vary, so you should take time to confirm the legality of CBD in your location before purchasing from Koi. 

Why not also read: Can You Take CBD Oil On A Plane?

Every state is free to make its own laws on the regulation of CBD, and many states are actively making cannabis laws. Because these laws are fast-changing, you should stay informed on the progress of CBD laws in your jurisdiction.   

Effects of CBD

CBD provides a distinct experience with many wellness and therapeutic benefits. Anyone who has tried other cannabinoids will find the CBD experience to be quite different.

CBD doesn’t produce any uplifting effects. It’s the much-awaited answer for cannabis fans only interested in the wellness and therapeutic benefits the plant has to offer. CBD doesn’t interact with the CB1 receptors in the brain to produce psychoactive effects. However, it does produce some cognitive benefits, such as improving concentration and focus.

Some of the range of effects you should expect to feel after taking CBD include:

Calmness and Relaxation

CBD's calmness and relaxation effects make it ideal to take the cannabinoid in the evening or at the end of a tough day when you want to relax.

The calming effects of CBD may help you handle tough situations, such as public speaking or events.

Energy and Focus

CBD can take the place of coffee in the morning. It can deliver a noticeable dose of energy in small servings to help you start your day. The upside of taking it in the morning is that its effects are long-lived and taper off, allowing you to remain functional even when it wears off. The same can’t be said for coffee, as you’re familiar with the mid-morning or afternoon caffeine crash.

Besides the energy boost, CBD can also help improve focus and concentration, helping you complete mentally challenging tasks more easily and even boosting creativity.

Improved Sleep

Taking CBD in the evening after work might help you sleep better. CBD's relaxing and calming benefits might help your brain slow down and unwind from the day’s events, making it easier for you to fall asleep. The discomfort support properties of CBD can also reduce sleep interruptions and make it easier to enjoy a night full of rest.

Besides the effects you feel when you take CBD, there are additional wellness benefits you can get from regularly taking CBD, such as:

Improved Digestive Health

CBD can positively impact gut health and the microbiome through anti-inflammatory support and providing balance to the microbiome. The effects of CBD on digestive health are most prevalent among people who take Full-Spectrum CBD products.

Nausea and Vomiting Management

Besides interacting with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), CBD also interacts with other receptors, such as serotonin receptors, that regulate the hormone (serotonin) that affects well-being, mood, and behavior. This interaction can help reduce nausea and vomiting in CBD consumers with such challenges, which consequently helps improve appetite.

The exact effects and benefits of CBD vary from person to person. Because of the personal nature of CBD effects, you might have a slightly different experience. If you don’t get the desired effect, you may need to adjust your CBD intake to achieve the desired effects.

It’s also important to note that you may not experience all these effects when using CBD balms because they provide localized effects and benefits. You should try our other CBD products, like CBD tinctures or gummies for the full range of benefits.

CBD Vs. THC: What’s the Difference?

While CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, the two have distinct differences and uses.

THC or Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the main psychoactive ingredient in the Cannabis Sativa plant. It works by signaling the release of the brain chemical dopamine to activate the brain’s reward system.

Psychoactive properties

CBD doesn’t cause any type of euphoric effects like THC does. Instead, its interaction with receptors in the body promotes an overall sense of balance and supports better functioning.

Chemical structure

As cannabinoids, you can expect both compounds to have a similar chemical structure to some degree. Their chemical structure is very similar to that of the body’s natural endocannabinoids.

Both compounds have the same molecular structure with differences in how the molecules are arranged, affecting how each compound binds with receptors and their effects.


Both hemp and marijuana plants contain CBD and THC but in varying concentrations. In the marijuana plant, THC is more prevalent, while hemp contains more CBD. CBD used to make CBD balms is sourced from hemp plants because of their high CBD and low THC yields, ensuring the products meet the legal limit of 0.3% THC by dry weight.

How Does CBD Work in the Body?

CBD works the same way as other cannabinoids in the body. It works by mainly interacting with the ECS and its receptors.

Unlike THC and other uplifting cannabinoids, CBD doesn’t interact with CB1 receptors in the brain. Therefore, it doesn’t produce the euphoric effects that THC is known for. However, it does produce other mental effects, such as improving cognitive functions like concentration and focus.

CBD readily activates CB2 receptors to produce a range of wellness and therapeutic benefits, which it is best known for. These include mood-boosting, energizing, calming, and relaxation, as well as sleep support and discomfort support benefits.

CBD can also activate other receptors, like serotonin receptors, to regulate body functions, such as mood and appetite.

What is CBD Balm?

CBD balms, which are sometimes referred to as CBD muscle and joint rubs, are a sweet-smelling semi-solid oil infused with CBD and other beneficial natural ingredients that is applied directly onto the skin.

Different brands have different formulas for their CBD balms, but the balms are primarily infused with soothing ingredients that nourish and soften the skin and target muscles and joints. Unlike creams which are also used for beauty purposes, balms are mainly used to address troubled skin areas and deliver targeted relief.

CBD Balm Vs. CBD Cream: What’s the Difference?

As you search for CBD balms, you will come across another type of CBD topical, CBD creams. The two terms are often used interchangeably because both combine CBD oil and hemp extracts with other botanicals. In most cases, however, outside of both containing CBD the two are distinct and designed for different applications.

CBD creams

CBD creams are generally made using a water base, giving them a softer and creamier consistency that absorbs quickly into the skin. Rapid absorption means there’s no residue left on your skin. But if your goal is to have a substance that remains longer on the skin’s surface, an oil-based product like a CBD balm is a better choice. 

Why not also read: The Strongest CBD Oil

It’s possible to find CBD creams designed to soothe muscles and joints, but such creams have short-lived effects because of their rapid absorption. Creams make better beauty products that deliver vital nutrients quickly to the skin.

CBD balms

Balms are topicals with an oil base, and CBD balms share this feature. CBD balms don’t absorb into your skin as fast as CBD creams. They stay on the surface of the skin longer and create a protective barrier on the skin.

During winter, balms can protect the skin from getting dry or chapped, a unique advantage that you can’t get with creams. Balms are also better for massaging into the skin to deliver the active ingredients into the affected areas gradually and over a longer period for prolonged nourishing effects.

Topical CBD products like our new full-spectrum balm can ease tired muscles and joints and support softer, more supple skin. As described in our guide to CBD topicals, some of the everyday challenges Koi Full Spectrum CBD Balm can be helpful with include:

  • Overworked muscles and joints after strenuous workouts or physically demanding work
  • Tense wrists and forearms from long hours at the computer
  • Tired feet from standing for hours at a time
  • Troubled or dry areas of skin
  • Irritated skin from damaging environmental elements like UV rays

This new full-spectrum CBD topical product is for those needing more powerful targeted relief. In addition to a high concentration of balancing CBD, Koi Full Spectrum CBD Balm offers the powerful entourage effect that comes from using the plant’s compounds altogether. When used together, CBD and the other compounds work synergistically to enhance their effects.

As a topical, Koi Full Spectrum CBD Balm lets you direct these powerful entourage effects right to the areas that need attention. Massage it into your skin as needed (even multiple times a day) or regularly for a more preventative care approach.

Our new Koi Full Spectrum CBD Balm expands our popular line of topical CBD products, which also includes our Koi Naturals CBD Balm made with broad-spectrum CBD, and our Koi CBD Gel Roll-On with broad-spectrum CBD and other natural oils. All Koi topicals are third-party tested by accredited labs to ensure their purity and potency.

Types of CBD Balms

Balms can feature various ingredient configurations depending on the brand and purpose of the topical. Common ingredients used to support the CBD extract include hemp seed oil, adaptogens like Chaga mushrooms and ashwagandha root, MTC oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and shea and cocoa butter.

When deciding on a CBD balm, you’ll want to consider the types of CBD extract you’re most interested in. There are three types of CBD extract used to make CBD balms:

  • CBD isolate – This is the purest form of CBD. It contains CBD that’s been isolated from all other plant material. CBD isolate comes in crystalline or powder form, which is then infused in the topical. While effective, CBD isolate balms do have one disadvantage. There’s evidence to suggest CBD and the other compounds in the plant’s extract work together synergistically to maximize their benefits. With the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids removed, you miss out on this entourage effect.
  • Full-spectrum CBD – For most, full spectrum CBD balms are a great way to go. They contain the full hemp profile that retains the other cannabinoids and even trace amounts of THC. Full-spectrum CBD balms are heralded because of the entourage effect, and they also contain flavonoids and terpenes that have additional benefits and effects. The concentration of THC in full-spectrum CBD balm is limited to 0.3% THC by dry weight, which is within the legal limit.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD – Broad-spectrum CBD is a middle-ground between Full-spectrum and CBD isolate and can be a great choice. It’s very similar to full-spectrum CBD because it retains the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. However, with broad-spectrum CBD balms, the small amounts of THC naturally found in the extract are removed.

Getting the right type of CBD balm ensures you get the best results and experience from the balm. While for most, full-spectrum CBD balms are the best, broad-spectrum CBD balms and even CBD isolate have their place. Visit our blog to learn more about the differences between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD extract.

Warm Vs Cooling CBD Balm

We have a diverse selection of CBD balms. Choose the right CBD balm for the right application to get results. Such as: 

Koi Naturals CBD Balm

This is a powerful CBD muscle balm packed with nature’s best ingredients for relaxation and restoration of the muscles. The Balm features Koi’s PRIZM™ broad spectrum CBD and all-natural oils. It comes in 500mg and 1000mg of CBD to deliver a soothing sensation to sore muscles and troubled skin areas. This topical CBD balm melts on contact, making it easier to apply when needed.

Koi Full Spectrum CBD Balm

This deep relief formulation works great for overworked muscles and nourishes the skin. The highest concentration of our Koi Full Spectrum CBD balm is 3000mg, and it comes in a 1.7oz jar. The balm also contains over a dozen other natural oils. This deep relief formulation eases tired muscles and joints and delivers long-lasting moisturization to the skin. 

The range of CBD balms can be categorized into significant groups to make buying the suitable balm much easier. 

Koi CBD Roll-on Gel 

The Koi CBD Roll-on Gel combines the powerful therapeutic benefits of CBD with the convenience and easy application of a roll-on. It delivers instant discomfort relief from discomfort for your muscles and joints. The roll-on uses a blend of broad-spectrum CBD and essential oils to deliver quick relief for localized applications. 

The Koi CBD Roll-on Gel is available in two strengths (500mg and 1000mg) and comes complete with a no-mess applicator that is easy to use anywhere, even on the road!

Cooling CBD Balms

These are the most common in the market. The balms contain menthol, which cools the contact area, providing a numbing sensation that can be essential if you’re trying to manage discomfort, irritation, or itching.

CBD balms containing menthol offer additional benefits, such as managing inflammation in the affected area and reducing discomfort.

Warming CBD Balms

These are the opposite of cooling CBD balms. When applied to the skin, they offer a warming sensation, which can have therapeutic effects. The warming sensation is from a combination of natural ingredients such as ginger and pepper added to the balms.

The heat from these balms provides a therapeutic feeling and increases circulation to the area, which is vital in managing discomfort. The heat generated by warming CBD balms can help relax tension in the muscular tissue alongside the therapeutic benefits of CBD, helping you feel better after applying the balm.

When purchasing Koi CBD balms, it’s wise to purchase both options. When dealing with discomfort, the recommended approach is to alternate between ice and heat to treat the affected area. The same principle can be extended to warm and cold CBD balms. Each offers unique benefits but can provide even better results when used together. 

How CBD Balms Help Muscles

CBD works on the muscles the same way it imparts its other benefits. The only difference is in the application and absorption process.

The process starts with applying and massaging the balm on the affected area. The CBD is absorbed into the skin through the skin pores and activates the ECS receptors in the skin cells and sweat glands.

CBD interacts with the receptors to produce various benefits, including anti-inflammatory benefits and discomfort support. CBD may also aid in muscle recovery after exercise.

Besides the benefits and effects of CBD, Koi CBD balms also contain over a dozen natural and essential oils that further aid in muscle comfort and recovery.

The essential oils added to our CBD balms help relax tight and cramped muscles, manage post-workout recovery, and soothe the muscles.

These essential oils and CBD collectively deliver the ultimate therapeutic experience for your muscles and skin.

Benefits of CBD Balms

CBD products come in various forms, and each has its place because of the unique experience it offers. CBD balms aren’t any different. By choosing to use CBD balms to support skin health and encourage recovery, you can expect to enjoy some benefits that you wouldn’t get from other types of CBD products, such as CBD oil, gummies, or CBD vapes. This includes:

Localized benefits

CBD balms deliver effects where and when you need them. Unlike ingesting CBD, which delivers balancing benefits throughout your body, you can apply CBD balms to specific areas for localized relief and nourishment.

Easy to apply

Applying balms is easy, even for first-time CBD users. CBD balm application is like applying any other type of balm or topical. The only difference is that we recommend spending more time massaging the balm into the skin to maximize absorption. Apply a generous amount and work it into your affected area.

No measurements necessary

The greatest challenge beginners have with CBD products is determining how much CBD to take. If you take too little, you don’t experience the effects. Granted, some consumers easily find their sweet spot relatively fast. With CBD balms, that’s not a concern. Once you have your jar of Koi CBD balm, you just need to take a small amount of the balm, enough to cover the affected area and spread. It doesn’t have to be precise.

Protects the skin against dryness

CBD balms have a rich oil base that forms a protective layer on the skin. This prevents excessive moisture loss and keeps the skin supple. Because the balm stays on the skin longer than cream, it provides that protective layer longer as it is slowly absorbed into the skin.

Come in multiple options

Choosing to use a CBD balm is not the only choice you will make. Balms come in different formulations to suit any need or preference. From different CBD extracts to different oil bases and ingredient formulas, balms come in various forms and sizes for various functions. You can choose the one that appeals to you most.

How to Use CBD Balms

Using your CBD balm correctly maximizes the effects and enhances your experience. Luckily, using CBD balms correctly isn’t a toll order.

  • Read the instructions – Every reputable brand includes simple and easy-to-understand instructions on the packaging on how to make the most out of its products. Ensure you read the instructions, and while at it, double-check the ingredients list to make sure there’s nothing you’re allergic to. Some brands also include a CoA, have a look at that as well.
  • Do a patch test –When using a new topical product, even a CBD balm, it’s good practice to always start with a patch test. Apply a small amount of the balm to a discrete part of the skin and observe for 24 hours. If there’s no reaction, you can proceed to apply as desired.
  • Clean and dry the skin – Start by cleaning the skin around the area where you want to apply the balm. Cleansing the skin removes the barrier of dirt that might prevent full absorption of the balm and helps open the pores.
  • Spread the balm – Take a generous amount of the balm and spread it gently on the affected area. Take some time to massage the balm into the skin to maximize absorption.
  • Apply regularly and consistently – The skin creates a barrier that protects the body against external contaminants and does an excellent job of limiting what gets into the body. You can counter this by applying the balm at regular intervals and around the same time to optimize absorption and the effects of CBD.

How to Choose the Right CBD Balm For You

Not all CBD balms are the same, and you’ll have a much better experience if you take a little time to find a high-quality product made by a reputable company. Here are a few tips to help you in the process.

Brand reputation

At Koi CBD, we have invested in technology and research to make the best quality CBD balms that are safe and effective. By buying CBD balm from an industry-leading brand, you’re assured of the best quality and experience.

You can tell a brand’s reputation and the quality of its range of CBD balms by looking at customer reviews. Most brands will have the reviews on their official websites, but you can also find the same on third-party review sites.

The longevity of the brand also speaks a lot about its reputation. Most no-name CBD brands are relatively new with no proven track record compared to reputable brands that have been around for several years and continue to grow.

Third-party lab tests

Reputable companies in the CBD industry utilize third-party testing to verify the safety and quality of their consumer products. Third-party testing helps you know that the products you use are free of toxins and effective.

Third-party testing confirms the CBD concentration of the final product, the quality of the ingredients used, and the safety of the products. Third-party testing is particularly crucial for topical CBD products to ensure you get what you’re paying for.

Brands post the results of the third-party tests in what is called a certificate of analysis (CoA). Consumers can view the CoAs for CBD balm before making a purchase. If a brand doesn’t have the CoAs readily available, that serves as a red flag.


CBD balms have more ingredients than CBD extract to facilitate the effectiveness and absorption of the product. With more ingredients, there is a higher chance that bad actors will use substandard ingredients. Some low-quality CBD balms use ingredients that could worsen your discomfort and cause undesirable skin effects. Make it a rule to check the ingredient list when buying topicals to ensure you pick those made using quality ingredients.

Why Koi CBD Balms Are the Best in the Market

If you want CBD products from a reputable brand that cares not only about making quality CBD products but also about its many customers, Koi CBD is your best bet. Our CBD balm is the best on the market. Here’s why:

USA-grown Hemp

We don’t take chances with the quality of the ingredients we use to make our CBD balms. We use the best quality CBD extract source from USA-grown hemp with the aid of our experienced partners. The hemp is thoroughly tested to meet the highest quality standards, agricultural requirements, and consistency.

Accredited 3rd Party Testing

Our CBD balm is not only third-party tested but tested in ISO-accredited third-party labs. We use the most reputable labs to run tests on the balms to verify composition, quality, and safety. We have the results of the tests available on our websites for you to check before purchasing the products. Our thorough testing ensures we keep our promise of giving every person the best possible CBD balm and other CBD products.

Batch Level Transparency

Our batch-level transparency allows you to track every CBD balm you buy down to its production batch to acquire information like the Certificate of Analysis and ingredients used to make the balm.

By making our production processes transparent, you get to know everything that goes into your CBD balms. This can also help you understand CBD products better.

Production and packaging

We’ve invested in state-of-the-art production equipment to guarantee the quality of our CBD balms. Most of our production processes are automated to prevent cross-contamination and human intervention.

Our CBD balms also come in elegant and thoughtful packaging. The packaging maximizes the shelf-life of the balm and provides information, including a complete ingredient list and instructions that make the product easy to use.


Can CBD be Absorbed Through the Skin?

Yes, CBD can be easily absorbed through the skin. Also, the skin has cannabinoid receptors, which means the CBD doesn’t have to enter the bloodstream for you to feel the effects. With topical CBD products like CBD balm, the CBD does not enter the bloodstream. It is only absorbed by the skin cells. 

Does Applying CBD on the Skin Make You High?

Consumption of CBD, no matter the method, doesn’t make you high, even when you apply it on the skin. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t interact with CB1 receptors and doesn’t produce any euphoric effects. When applied topically, CBD doesn’t enter the bloodstream and, therefore, doesn’t produce some mental effects, such as improved focus and concentration.

How Long Does CBD Balm Stay in Your System?

The CBD in CBD balm can stay in your system for two to five days. But, the exact time it takes the body to clear CBD depends on various factors, including your metabolism, the strength of the CBD balm you use, and how frequently you apply it. In some people, the CBD can remain in the system for weeks.

How Long Does It Take to Feel the Effects of CBD Balm After Application?

It takes 15-45 minutes after application to start feeling the effects of CBD balm. However, some people might feel the effects sooner or later. To maximize absorption and effects, you should ensure the skin is clean and take time to massage the balm into the skin. 

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If you have questions about a product you’re considering or want guidance on choosing the product, our customer service team is here to help Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 4:30 pm PT.

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Legal Status

Koi’s cannabinoid products are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. Signed into law in December 2018, the federal legislation legalizes hemp, which the law defines as any part of the plant, including all derivatives, with no more than a 0.3 percent concentration of THC. This includes hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD, delta-8 THC, and many more.

While these hemp products are legal federally, guidelines can and do vary by state due to differing controlled substances laws. Some states have banned some hemp cannabinoids.
The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current and is subject to change without notice.

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The understanding of how CBD works has come a long way. Once applied to the skin, CBD is thought to enter the body through the pores on the skin and interacts with the CB2 receptors near the skin’s surface. This interaction activates the endocannabinoid system to restore balance and support various important functions, including those related to discomfort and soreness, and skin care. Visit our guide to CBD topicals to learn more.