August 28, 2023 8 min read

Tinnitus, which manifests as an unwelcome buzzing in your ears, is a real party crasher for up to 10% of U.S. adults, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. If you're one of the many people dealing with tinnitus, you're probably willing to try anything to get some peace and quiet. 

Enter CBD, the trendy cannabinoids that seems to be popping up everywhere. Many people claim that it helps to hush the tinnitus turmoil.

So, what’s the scoop? Does CBD work for tinnitus? According to research, it may help to reduce the severity of tinnitus episodes, and it may help to soothe some related symptoms. Let's dive into the research and find out more, plus explore some tips on how to use CBD for tinnitus. 

Table of Contents
What Causes Tinnitus?
The Buzz About CBD and Tinnitus
What Research Says About CBD for Tinnitus
Can CBD Worsen Tinnitus?
How to Use CBD for Tinnitus
Where to Find Full Spectrum CBD
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • CBD shows promise in reducing tinnitus symptoms, thanks to its potential to alleviate inflammation, lower stress levels, and improve sleep quality.
  • When considering CBD for tinnitus, consult a healthcare provider, opt for high-quality products, and be patient in finding the right dosage that works for you.
  • While CBD isn't a guaranteed cure, it could be a valuable tool in managing tinnitus and enhancing your overall quality of life.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment for tinnitus or any other medical condition.

A woman holds her ear in pain while suffering through a tinnitus flare

What Causes Tinnitus?

Picture this: you're at a rock concert, and your favorite band is belting out their hits. The music is epic, and you're having the time of your life. But when the show's over, and you're tucked into bed, you suddenly realize the music won't stop. It's like an encore that just won't quit. That's tinnitus for you.

Tinnitus can strike for various reasons, like exposure to thunderous noises, stubborn earwax buildup, or simply the passage of time. It's not a standalone condition but rather a signal that something's amiss underneath. So, if CBD wants to be the knight in shining armor, it has to tango with the root causes of tinnitus.

Based on what we know, some of the possible root causes of tinnitus include:

  • Exposure to Loud Noises: Prolonged exposure to loud noises, such as concerts, heavy machinery, or firearms, can damage the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear, leading to tinnitus.
  • Age-Related Hearing Loss: As people age, the gradual deterioration of the auditory system can result in tinnitus, often referred to as presbycusis.
  • Earwax Buildup: Excessive earwax can block the ear canal, causing a sensation of fullness and tinnitus.
  • Ear Infections: Infections in the ear, especially the middle ear, can trigger tinnitus due to inflammation and fluid buildup.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as high doses of aspirin, some antibiotics, and chemotherapy drugs, can lead to tinnitus as a side effect.
  • High Blood Pressure: Hypertension or high blood pressure can contribute to tinnitus by putting extra strain on the blood vessels in the inner ear.
  • Meniere's Disease: This inner ear disorder can cause tinnitus along with vertigo and hearing loss.
  • Head or Neck Injuries: Trauma to the head or neck can damage the auditory system and lead to tinnitus.
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders: Issues with the jaw joint can impact the structures near the ear, potentially causing tinnitus.
  • Tumor Growth: In rare cases, benign or malignant tumors in the ear, brain, or neck region can result in tinnitus.
  • Cardiovascular Issues:Conditions like atherosclerosis, turbulent blood flow, or a vascular tumor near the ear can contribute to tinnitus.
  • Stress and Anxiety: High levels of stress and anxiety can exacerbate existing tinnitus or even trigger it in some cases.
  • Neck and Jaw Muscle Tension: Muscular tension in the neck or jaw can affect blood flow to the ears and potentially cause tinnitus.
  • Ototoxic Substances: Exposure to harmful chemicals, like lead or mercury, can damage the auditory system and lead to tinnitus.

It's important to note that tinnitus can result from a combination of factors, and identifying the underlying cause often requires a medical evaluation.

CBD–A Possible Tinnitus Solution?

Now, let's introduce our star player: CBD, short for cannabidiol. CBD is a cannabinoid, or an active compound derived from cannabis. You may be more familiar with CBD’s infamous cousin-cannabinoid, THC, the one responsible for the mind-altering effects of cannabis. 

CBD is bioactive in a similar manner, but without the psychoactive effects. Think of it like the laid-back, mellow cousin to THC. It doesn't play mind games; instead, it works its charm on your body's endocannabinoid system. This intricate network of receptors regulates various functions, including pain, mood, and yes, even your auditory senses.

So, if CBD is useful for managing tinnitus, it’s because of it’s ability to help regulate endocannabinoid processes. Let’s take a better look at how CBD could address the root causes of tinnitus through it’s endocannabinoid function:

The Buzz About CBD and Tinnitus According to Experts

So, what's the word on the street regarding CBD and tinnitus? Can it really put an end to the auditory madness? According to some experts in the field, here’s how it may help:

The Inflammation Connection 

Tinnitus often involves inflammation in the ear, which can feel like a fireworks display gone wrong in your auditory system. CBD is well-known as one of the most popular natural anti-inflammatory supplements, which may act like sending in firefighters to douse the flames. 

Dr. Lewis Jassey, a medical director at the medical cannabis company Leafwell, suggests that for some people CBD can be a valuable tool in managing tinnitus-related inflammation and discomfort.

Stress-Busting CBD

Stress can crank up the volume on tinnitus, making it even more bothersome. CBD has a reputation for potentially reducing anxiety and stress, which could be a real relief if you're wrestling with this pesky condition. 

As Dr. Jassey points out, CBD can alleviate tinnitus-related anxiety and stress, helping you find a more peaceful state of mind and making the tinnitus sound less overwhelming. It's like having a playlist of relaxation tunes for your nervous system.

Improving Sleep

Tinnitus can be a genuine sleep spoiler, leaving you tossing and turning all night. CBD might help you catch those much-needed ZZZs by promoting better sleep. Think of it as a lullaby for your restless mind. Dr. Jassey also mentions that CBD can be beneficial in managing tinnitus-related insomnia or sleep disturbances, potentially leading to more restful nights. 

Pain Reduction

Sometimes, tinnitus comes with discomfort or pain, especially if there's an underlying ear issue. CBD is no stranger to the pain relief game and can be used to manage ear discomfort caused by factors like ear injuries or inflammation, which can contribute to tinnitus. 

Dr. Jassey notes that CBD can help with pain management, providing a gentle massage for your ears and making the overall experience of tinnitus more bearable.

Supplementing Tinnitus Medications

CBD may also serve as a complementary approach to managing tinnitus alongside prescribed medications. 

According to Dr. Jassey, supplementing with CBD might allow individuals to reduce their intake of medications prescribed for tinnitus, such as anti-anxiety, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory medications. This can be particularly helpful in cases where medications like ibuprofen, used for pain relief from ear injuries, may contribute to tinnitus. Of course, you should always consult your doctor before changing your medication routine or taking CBD. 

What Research Says About CBD for Tinnitus

To date, research regarding CBD's efficacy for treating tinnitus is extremely limited. One 2019 study published in the August 2019 issue of The Hearing Journal, cited CBD as effective for reducing the cycle of anxiety and stress experienced by people suffering from tinnitus. 

Other evidence, though unrelated to tinnitus, echoes this idea that CBD can help with anxiety related to other psychiatric or physical disorders. In one study involving adults with anxiety, CBD decreased anxiety in 79% of patients and improved sleep in 66% of patients. Some sources also suggest that CBD may help with tinnitus-related issues with memory and attention, though evidence is scant. 

The Flip Side: Can CBD Worsen Tinnitus?

While it’s true that CBD carries some benefits that may be useful for tinnitus sufferers, it’s important to acknowledge that evidenc eis lacking. Some evidence actually points in the other direction, claiming that CBD and other cannabinoids may worsen tinnitus in some people. 

One study published in 2015 found that CBD either had no effect or increased acoustic trauma-induced tinnitus in rat models. The common conclusion is that CBD is more likely to have an adverse effect on those who have some pre-existing hearing damage. 

Moreso, however, the link between cannabinoids in increased tinnitus frequency and severity is usually pinned on THC or whole-plant cannabis use. Some sources report that THC, even when taken with CBD, can increase hearing sensitivity and may modulating auditory signaling in a way that worsens tinnitus symptoms. 

CBD oil and CBD gel caps to demonstrate two different form for therapeutic daily dosing.

How to Use CBD for Tinnitus

Now that we've explored how CBD might help, let's delve into how you can use it effectively:

1. Consult a Professional

Before diving into the world of CBD, it's wise to consult with a healthcare provider, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or are taking medications. They can provide guidance on the right dosage and approach for your unique situation.

2. Choose High-Quality CBD

Not all CBD products are created equal. Quality matters. Look for reputable brands and check for third-party lab testing to ensure you're getting a product that lives up to its claims. Read our CBD Buyer’s Guide for more information. 

3. Finding Your Dosage

Finding the right CBD dosage take some trial and error. Start with a low dose and gradually increase it until you find the sweet spot that works for you. Read “CBD Dosing” to learn more. 

4. Patience is Key

CBD isn't a magical cure. It may take some time to see results. You may need to take CBD regularly for 2 weeks before experiencing any results. 

CBD for Tinnitus: The Real Deal or a One-Hit Wonder?

Before you rush to stock up on CBD oil, remember that while the reports look promising, research is still in the early stages. Some evidence suggests that certain cannabinoids, mainly THC, may actually worse tinnitus symptoms. CBD isn't a guaranteed cure for tinnitus, and what works for one person may not work for another. 

In the end, while CBD might not be the rock star that silences tinnitus completely, it could be the opening act that makes life a little more bearable. So, go ahead, talk to your doctor about having a dance with the CBD buzz, and see if it leads to a quieter, more harmonious tinnitus tango.

Vida Optima Vitality CBD Tincture

Where to Find Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Online

CBD’s lack of psychoactive effects is a huge advantage to those looking to use cannabis compounds therapeutically, but so is its increased accessibility. Thanks to updated hemp laws, CBD is federally legal, meaning you can access therapeutic CBD products even in states where medical cannabis is not legal. To learn more about local CBD laws, read "Where is CBD Legal?" Then, check out our Vitality CBD Collection for a variety of vitamin-enriched CBD edibles, tinctures, and more.

Resources

  1. “Tinnitus” https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/tinnitus
  2. “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/
  3. “Cannabis and Hearing Care: Hearing Loss and Tinnitus” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334982694_Cannabis_and_Hearing_Care_Hearing_Loss_and_Tinnitus
  4. “Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor Agonists Do Not Decrease, but may Increase Acoustic Trauma-Induced Tinnitus in Rats” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4364172/
  5. “Does cannabis alleviate tinnitus? A review of the current literature” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7752070/ 

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