Other Subject Area

Ergogenic Aids


International Journal of Exercise Science 16(3): 1426-1439, 2023. This study investigated the efficacy of topical cannabidiol (CBD) ointment in reducing localized inflammation, minimizing performance detriments, and attenuating soreness associated with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). In a double blind randomized control trial, upper-arm circumferences, maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVICs) for elbow flexion at 90° and 30° for college-aged participants (n = 21, age 20.8 ± 1.9 years) were assessed at baseline. Participants then performed a DOMS-inducing protocol for the biceps brachii. Topical CBD ointment and placebo (P) ointment were randomly assigned and applied 30 minutes, 24, 48 and 72 hours post the DOMS protocol. The baseline parameters and a visual analog scale (VAS) to assess perceived soreness were assessed 24, 48 and 72 hours post DOMS protocol. A 4x2 repeated measures factorial ANOVA (P < 0.05) analyzed both within and between subject differences. No changes were statistically significant on any days between conditions: Upper-arm circumferences in the CBD arm (7.1 ± 5.8 cm) and in the P arm (7.3 ± 5.8 cm). MVICs were reduced at both the 90° and 30° positions (-5.9 ± 9.0 Nm (90°)); (-4.8 ± 6.5 Nm (30°)) and the P arm (-5.0 ± 10.0 Nm (90°)); (-4.6 ± 5.3 Nm (30°)). Soreness increased in both the CBD arm (6.1 ± 2.1) and the P arm (5.5 ± 2.6) over time. Topical CBD therefore did not alter any parameters vs the P treatment, thus the use of topical CBD does not attenuate the effects of DOMS.