Updated on January 8, 2024

CBD for tinnitus

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Key takeaways

  • People with Tinnitus have reported experiencing relief from symptoms such as dizziness and anxiety.
  • People with Tinnitus prefer using edibles, tablets, and creams for their symptoms.
  • THC may worsen the symptoms of Tinnitus thanks to its psychoactive properties.

Tinnitus is associated with several symptoms including inflammation or injury which can benefit from the possible therapeutic roles of CBD. CBD acts on cannabinoid receptors in several parts of the body including the brain to regulate their activities and this may be useful for people with Tinnitus. In this article, we would look at the role of CBD for Tinnitus and how to use them.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears when there is no external sound source. This condition can manifest as various sounds, including ringing, buzzing, hissing, or whistling. Tinnitus is not a disease itself but rather a symptom of an underlying issue. It can be temporary or chronic and may affect one or both ears.

Common causes of tinnitus include exposure to loud noises, age-related hearing loss, earwax blockage, ear infections, and certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure or Meniere's disease. In some cases, tinnitus may result from medications that can cause ear-related side effects.

Tinnitus can be bothersome and impact an individual's quality of life, especially when it interferes with sleep or concentration. While there is no cure for tinnitus, various management strategies, including hearing aids, sound therapy, and relaxation techniques, may help alleviate symptoms and improve coping mechanisms.

What are the symptoms of Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is characterized by the perception of noise or ringing in the ears when no external sound source is present. The symptoms of tinnitus can vary in nature and intensity, and they may include:

  1. Ringing
  2. Buzzing
  3. Hissing
  4. Whistling
  5. Clicking
  6. Roaring
  7. Pulsing

What does research say about CBD and Tinnitus?

Research findings from a 2020 review paper shows that the relationship between cannabinoids and tinnitus are mixed.

Animal studies indicate that cannabinoid receptors may influence tinnitus-related behavior, with varied effects depending on the presence of symptoms and the use of cannabinoid agents. Survey studies among the general population show conflicting results regarding the association between cannabis use and tinnitus.

Limited clinical data, primarily from a small cohort study, suggests a dose-dependent connection between tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) consumption and the frequency of tinnitus episodes in cancer patients. Despite insights from animal studies suggesting a role for cannabinoid receptors in auditory signaling modulation, there is insufficient compelling evidence, both from animal and human studies, to support the use of cannabinoids for tinnitus relief.

Information from another study in 2023 shows that many people with tinnitus use cannabis, and those currently using it often say it helps with their symptoms. A lot of tinnitus patients would be open to using cannabis as a possible treatment to ease their symptoms and want more information about it. Based on their findings in a survey of 45 patients (average age 54.5 years), 96% expressed willingness to consider cannabis as a treatment for tinnitus. They considered cannabis for auditory symptoms and related issues like emotional complaints and sleep disturbances. Among patients actively using cannabis, 80% reported relief from symptoms such as dizziness and anxiety. Preferred forms included edibles, tablets, and creams.

Can CBD assist with the symptoms of Tinnitus?

The potential of CBD to help with the symptoms of tinnitus is not well-established, and scientific evidence is limited. Tinnitus is a complex condition with various underlying causes, and its response to treatments, including CBD, can vary among individuals. While some people may report anecdotal benefits, it's essential to approach these claims with caution.

People who have used CBD have attested to some of its therapeutic potentials in helping them address symptoms of Tinnitus. Some of these benefits are discussed below

  1. Anxiolytic Effects: Anxiety and stress can exacerbate tinnitus symptoms. CBD is known for its potential anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects, which might indirectly help individuals manage the stress associated with tinnitus.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation is implicated in certain cases of tinnitus. By reducing inflammation, CBD might theoretically alleviate some symptoms associated with tinnitus.
  3. Neuroprotective Properties: CBD has been studied for its neuroprotective effects. Since tinnitus involves the auditory system and neural pathways, it's conceivable that CBD's neuroprotective properties could have a positive impact.
  4. Improvement in Sleep Quality: Tinnitus can interfere with sleep, and CBD has been explored for its potential to improve sleep quality. Better sleep may contribute to overall well-being and might help individuals cope with tinnitus more effectively.

Frequently asked Questions

What forms of CBD can help with my Tinnitus?

Information from research shows that people with Tinnitus can experience positive effects with oils, creams and tablets. However, these effects are mostly dose-dependent.

What is the difference between CBD and THC and why does this matter for Tinnitus?

While CBD produces a calming effect on users, THC can make the signs of Tinnitus worse. It can produce psychoactive effects which may not be good for people with Tinnitus.

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Narwani V, Bourdillon A, Nalamada K, Manes RP, Hildrew DM. Does cannabis alleviate tinnitus? A review of the current literature. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2020 Oct 30;5(6):1147-1155. doi: 10.1002/lio2.479. PMID: 33364406; PMCID: PMC7752070.

Mavedatnia, D., Levin, M., Lee, J.W. et al. Cannabis use amongst tinnitus patients: consumption patterns and attitudes. J of Otolaryngol - Head & Neck Surg 52, 19 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40463-022-00603-8

Zheng Y, Reid P, Smith PF. Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor Agonists Do Not Decrease, but may Increase Acoustic Trauma-Induced Tinnitus in Rats. Front Neurol. 2015 Mar 18;6:60. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2015.00060. PMID: 25852639; PMCID: PMC4364172.

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