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July 12, 2021
 min read

CBD oil for tinnitus: Does it help or does it make matters worse?

cbd oil for tinnitus
 Anthony Clement
Written by  
Anthony Clement
July 12, 2021

table of Contents

If you wish to use CBD oil for tinnitus, it is very important to take precautionary measures beforehand. Make sure to consult with a medical professional before you administer the tincture for the first time. The chemical can have a wholesome impact on your body, improving functions such as sleep, mood, regeneration, which is precisely why you should be careful.

In this article, we will discuss CBD oil for tinnitus, how it works, and if it can cause drawbacks.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition that is characterized by loud ear ringing and other noises. It can be present in one or both ears. Every person will have a subjective tinnitus experience.  The condition is not caused by outside noises, but instead, it is only heard by a person who is suffering from it. Although you might think that tinnitus is a rare problem, it actually affects 15 to 20% of people, especially the elderly.

There is usually an underlying cause of tinnitus. In most cases, it has to do with aging and the natural loss of function. However, the issue can also be caused by an ear injury or bad circulation. Your options are sometimes limited as it comes to tinnitus treatment (depending on the cause). Because of that, most people are resorting to alternative solutions such as CBD oil.

What causes tinnitus?

As already mentioned, there are a lot of reasons why tinnitus appears, and they’re mostly connected to aging and injuries:

·         Hearing loss (as a result of inner ear hairs being broken or bent)

·         Ear infection or ear canal blockage (whether it's earwax, fluid, or something else, they can easily clog the ear canal and cause tinnitus)

·         Various injuries (neck and head can have a major impact on nerves, brain, and inner ear)

·         Bad effects of medication

·         Ear bone changes (stiffening of bones in the middle ear)

·         Meniere’s disease (inner ear ailment characterized by abnormal inner ear pressure)

Besides these common causes, there are numerous other things that can lead to the condition. Our ears, brain, and head are very sensitive, so a lot of things can lead to a disturbance.

What is the most effective treatment for tinnitus?

If you’re suffering from tinnitus, there are a lot of different options you can try out. Keep in mind there is almost always an underlying problem that causes the condition. So, as a part of the treatment, you should first visit a doctor and discover that issue. A professional can prescribe several different solutions and drugs that would help treat it. Once you treat the underlying condition, make sure to treat ear ringing symptoms.  Here are some of the effective treatments for tinnitus that don’t include CBD hemp oil:

·         Hearing aids

·         Drugs for anxiety

·         Drugs for the underlying condition

·         Various machines for hearing loss

·         Devices that mask the sound and reduce inner ear ringing

·         Cognitive behavioral therapy

Depending on your particular case, you might need to implement several of these treatments.

What is CBD

CBD or cannabidiol is a hemp extract. The substance is categorized as a cannabinoid, and it is one of 100+ chemicals that can be found in this plant.

In order to create CBD oil, hemp companies will extract oil from the flowers, leaves, and stalks and then combine it with carrier oil. A lot of different essential oil can be used for this mixture, including black seed oil, coconut oil, olive oil, tea tree oil, oregano oil, etc. Each one of them can slightly alter the characteristics of medical hemp, potentially boosting their benefits.

The basic hemp extract is called full spectrum CBD oil. Through additional distillation and removal of chemicals, we can get broad spectrum CBD oil and CBD isolates. These 3 types of oil work in different ways, but they’re also very similar and should provide similar beneficial effects.

How does CBD hemp oil affect tinnitus?

There seems to be an interaction between cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 as well as CBD. These receptors are a part of the endocannabinoid system. By stimulating them (whether with hemp plant extract or cannabis plant extracts), it is presumed that you can improve the functionality of the system. Unfortunately, some of the data also indicates that CBD is an antagonist of CB1 receptors. In other words, instead of binding to them, the substance prevents the process.

According to scientists, the endocannabinoid system might regulate numerous processes within a body. It might affect things such as focus, memory, sleep, energy, and also hearing. If this turns out to be true, the substance might also provide relief for tinnitus patients. But, it is really hard to determine the efficiency of such a treatment. Perhaps it can help with acoustic trauma? Perhaps it can have an impact on middle ear ailments? It is really hard to say at this point.

At this point, most of our knowledge is based on anecdotal data and limited animal studies. One specific study from 2015 involved rat subjects. According to it, CBD products didn't help. In fact, the chemical might have worsened acoustic trauma tinnitus. Keep in mind that all of this data relates to hemp products and has nothing to do with the medical marijuana plant.

While this chemical might not help for tinnitus relief, cannabidiol might work for some of the other issues. It is often mentioned as a substance that might reduce stress, which is why it has the potential for ailments such as OCD, anxiety, and PTSD. A lot of cannabinoid enthusiasts believe that these substances can promote better sleep. Things such as edibles and inhaled vapor can improve the way the body functions, thus addressing other problems that come with this condition.

Can CBD oil make tinnitus worse?

There is a chance that cannabinoid products can have a bad impact on tinnitus symptoms. The best way to tell is if your problems get progressively worse once you start using the substance. The ringing and buzzing will become more frequent. Furthermore, a tinnitus sufferer might become completely overwhelmed with these episodes. Even if you were previously able to ignore them, now you won’t be able to do so.

According to limited data, it seems that certain cannabinoids are able to worsen the disease by causing the development of the initial tinnitus symptoms. After using cannabinoids, symptoms will become much more noticeable, and in some cases, you might even develop new symptoms that you haven't had before. Based on all of this, CBD oil (especially full spectrum CBD oil with all the hemp plant cannabinoids) can make tinnitus worse.

What are the potential side effects of CBD oil?

Unlike CBD cream and other topicals, CBD oil is mainly used for sublingual administration.

It is generally regarded as a safe substance by the World Health Organization, and it is even allowed for athletic use by the World Anti Doping Agency. Most of the side effects are connected to the chemical’s potential advantages. For example, it might cause drowsiness, but this has to do with the substance's sedative properties. The most common side effects that you can encounter include previously mentioned drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, diarrhea, change in blood pressure, change in appetite.

Some people might react due to their sensitive stomachs. It takes some time for the organ to get used to the chemical, which you might experience some adverse reaction. Nevertheless, most of these problems will perish as soon as you stop using the product. In most cases, you won't need a doctor's assistance, nor will it leave and long term consequences on your body.

Given that we’re uncertain how a tinnitus sufferer would react to this ailment, make sure to use a smaller dose at first. If you notice some new, unpredicted symptoms, we suggest that you stop using the product immediately.

Perin, P., Tagne, A., M., Enrico, P., Marino, F., Cosentino, M., Pizzala, R., Boselli, C., (2020), Cannabinoids, Inner Ear, Hearing, and Tinnitus: A Neuroimmunological Perspective, Frontiers in neurology, Lausanne, Switzerland


Zheng, Y., Reid, P., Smith, P., (2015), Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor Agonists Do Not Decrease, but may Increase Acoustic Trauma-Induced Tinnitus in Rats, Frontiers in neurology, Lausanne, Switzerland