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CBD and Tinnitus: Can CBD Relieve the Ringing? [2022 UPDATE]



May 16, 2022

Is CBD oil (cannabidiol) a viable remedy for tinnitus? The short answer is that we don't know yet. Scientific data on the topic is sparse and inconclusive, and a lot more research is needed. That doesn't mean CBD is useless against tinnitus, however. So read on to learn what current research says about cannabinoids for this condition, and also how some people have benefited from using hemp CBD oil for tinnitus.

Table of Contents:

1. What Exactly Is Tinnitus?
2. Tinnitus and CBD: Research Supporting the Efficacy of CBD for Tinnitus
3. Tinnitus and CBD: Research Refuting the Efficacy of CBD for Tinnitus
4. Anecdotal Evidence—CBD for Tinnitus is Successful!
5. Final Thoughts

1. What Exactly Is Tinnitus?

 

An article originally published in the Acta Medica Mediterranea journal for internists and physicians defines tinnitus as an auditory symptom characterized by an abnormal noise perceived in one or both ears or in the head. This noise is present even in the absence of external sound, and it can be very debilitating. Its causes are largely unknown, but at least one hypothesis is the reason the use of cannabinoids is considered. [1]

What exactly is tinnitus? And does CBD help?

It is also necessary to point out here that tinnitus and its causes seem to be highly individualized. This could mean that literally each case is different, and in experimenting with CBD, tinnitus may just become a thing of the past for some people.

2. Tinnitus and CBD: Research Supporting the Efficacy of CBD for Tinnitus

 

In a review conducted in 2014 at the University of Otago Medical School, New Zealand, the authors established a link between tinnitus, CBD, and epilepsy. In their own words:

"One hypothesis suggests that tinnitus is a form of sensory epilepsy, arising partly from neuronal hyperactivity in auditory regions of the brain, such as the cochlear nucleus and inferior colliculus. Although there is currently no effective drug treatment for tinnitus, anti-epileptic drugs are used in some cases as a potential treatment option. There is increasing evidence to suggest that cannabinoid drugs, i.e. cannabinoid receptor agonists, can also have anti-epileptic effects, at least in some cases and in some parts of the brain." [2]

To paraphrase in layman's English:

  • The regions in the brain involved in a specific form of epilepsy are also involved in tinnitus. 
  • Therefore, some anti-epileptic drugs do work for tinnitus.
  • CBD is a confirmed anti-epileptic treatment—ergo, it may help with tinnitus in some cases. 

This theory is supported by the fact that the mentioned part of the brain involved in tinnitus and some forms of epilepsy (the cochlear nucleus close to the brain stem) contains functional CB1 receptors. CB1 receptors are associated with both CBD and TetraHydroCannabinol (THC—another cannabinoid) activity.

Although there is currently no effective drug treatment for tinnitus, anti-epileptic drugs are used in some cases as a potential treatment option.

RELATED: Why Are People Using CBD Oil For Epilepsy?

A more recent study revealed that CBD may be useful in managing hearing loss and tinnitus, due to its ability to act on pathways involved in the protection of cochlear damage. Researchers also found that cannabinoids, like CBD, play a role in a protective reaction to auditory damage. [6] (Click to tweet)

Yet the authors conclude that the practical effects of cannabinoids for the treatment of tinnitus are still unclear. As said, most of these are hypotheses and are based on conjecture rather than hard science.

In fact, other research shows that CBD, together with THC, may even worsen tinnitus in some cases.

3. Tinnitus and CBD: Research Refuting the Efficacy of CBD for Tinnitus

 

The studies pointing in the opposite direction are preliminary, meaning they were not tested on human subjects.

In a 2015 animal study, also conducted in New Zealand, one group of rats was subjected to acoustic trauma that induced tinnitus. After treatment with equal doses of CBD and THC, it was shown that the cannabinoid treatment actually promoted the development of tinnitus in the rats with pre-existing hearing damage. [3]

The previously mentioned review from the University of Otago Medical School also speculated that cannabinoid involvement in the CB1 receptors located in the dorsal cochlear nucleus has the potential to exacerbate tinnitus, instead of relieving it. They conclude that "it is very unclear whether cannabinoid drugs that activate the CB1 receptor would make tinnitus worse or better." [2]

CBD is involved in CB1 signaling only (as opposed to activation via direct binding), and this may be the reason some people feel remarkable relief after using CBD hemp oil for tinnitus.

RELATED: How Does CBD Oil Work? Find Out Here!

However, CBD as such doesn't show a high affinity with CB1 receptors. It is involved in CB1 signaling only (as opposed to activation via direct binding), and this may be the reason some people feel remarkable relief after using CBD hemp oil for tinnitus.

4. Anecdotal Evidence—CBD for Tinnitus is Successful!

 

One poster on the Tinnitustalk.com forum related that she found success using CBD for her extreme tinnitus in 2021:

"It’s only been 8 days, but I had to share this with my fellow tinnitus sufferers. I’ve been taking sublingually a CBG:CBD tincture. The bottle contains 1500 mg each of the CBG:CBD Cannabinoid in MCT oil. So far, I’m taking 10 mg 4x day. TRUTH! It is most definitely helping to soften my severe 24/7 tinnitus."

According to her, it seemed as though the anti-inflammatory properties of CBG and CBD combined made a real difference in her everyday life. She stated that even her family members noticed the results immediately, as the tinnitus relief improved her mood. [4]

This CBD user found success using CBD for her extreme tinnitus in 2021.

RELATED: The Wonders of CBD: What You Should Know About The Amazing Compound

Another user on the forum, during the same year, was concerned due to sudden and unexplained tinnitus. After struggling for six months, he found that CBD was working to a degree. 

He claimed it may have been because the cannabidiol helped him get to sleep, so the symptoms weren’t as amplified when well-rested. “I have had a bit of luck with CBD (THC free, as anything not THC free actually seemed to make it worse).” [7]

This is encouraging, and anecdotes like these should ideally prompt more clinical research into CBD oil for tinnitus.

Another user claimed his relief may have been because the cannabidiol helped him get to sleep, so the tinnitus symptoms weren’t as amplified when well-rested.

RELATED: What Are the Health Benefits of a Daily CBD Oil Regimen?

Cannabidiol has been declared safe for use and has many other benefits besides ameliorating anxiety symptoms, and possibly tinnitus. It has been shown to exert positive effects on the following and more:

If you’re looking for an effective and pure CBD product that’s easy to take, try SOL CBD’s Advanced Liposomal CBD Capsules or 4000mg CBD Tincture. Both of these products are potent, absorbable, and pack a serious punch of cannabidiol, which is ideal for tinnitus sufferers. 

If you have other health issues that need to be addressed, there are plenty of products you can use in combination with your high-strength CBD oil for tinnitusBalm works excellently for sore muscles and spasms, and skin care products infused with CBD are great for controlling acne and other problems. It all depends on what you need. There is a product out there for everybody, even pets!

If you have other health issues that need to be addressed, there are plenty of CBD products you can use in combination with your high-strength CBD oil for tinnitus.

RELATED: How to Choose CBD Oil Products That Are Just Right for You

5. Final Thoughts

 

There is ample reason, therefore, to at least experiment with CBD hemp oil for tinnitus. That said, never replace prescription medicine for any disease or illness without the consent of your doctor.

Sources:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309661582_Role_of_cannabinoids_in_the_treatment_of_tinnitus
  2. http://www.jscholaronline.org/articles/JPDM/Cannabis-Cannabinoids-and-Tinnitus.pdf
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4364172/
  4. https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/cbg-cbd-cannabinoid-tincture-%E2%80%94-its-helping-my-tinnitus.46287/ 
  5. https://www.mindovermenieres.com/cbd-tinnitus-menieres-disease/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7719758/ 
  7. https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/unsure-what-suddenly-brought-on-my-tinnitus-%E2%80%94-a-bit-of-luck-with-cbd-melatonin-and-n-acetylcysteine.44025/ 

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