The understanding that cannabidiol (CBD) might be useful in managing many health problems keeps bringing up newer ideas. This time, it is the belief that it might be useful in managing tinnitus. Whether or not you can use CBD for tinnitus is the question for today.
Tinnitus is a pretty distressing condition that can pose a substantial threat to your mental health and social interactions. You are not the only one wondering if CBD is an excellent natural remedy. Forbes reported in August 2019 that Mike Tyson is so interested in the use of CBD for tinnitus. He has also put his money into finding out how useful it can be.
There is still a lot to learn about the use of CBD for tinnitus. Find in the article what we know already. It should provide answers to your questions and concerns.
What is Tinnitus?
Simply put, tinnitus is when one or both of your ears hear noises, but there is no external source. The noises could be any sounds – ringing, beating, whistling, hissing, etc.
The noise might be continuous and spontaneous or triggered by an action. Sometimes, the noise just comes and goes on its own. The volume might be constant or sometimes change.
At least 50 million people in the US live with ringing in their ears. The associated discomfort is very frustrating and usually indicates an underlying health problem. Hence, it is more of a symptom than a disease on its own.
The most prevalent cause of tinnitus is exposure to loud sounds for a long time. This injures the cochlear cells involved in the hearing process. It is common among people who work in noisy environments like airport workers (pilots, flight attendants), carpenters, miners, etc.
A health condition that can predispose to developing tinnitus include:
- Ear obstructions from a tumor, wax impaction, ear infection, or any other things that can compress the auditory nerve.
- Hearing loss due to aging
- Meniere’s disease
- Problems with the ear bones (ossicles)
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid problem
- Head and neck problems from injuries, temporomandibular joint problems.
Does CBD Work for Tinnitus?
Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are generously present in various organs of the body. This is why CBD might be able to provide some relief from various conditions.
Cannabinoid receptors are important biological elements that form a part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CB1 receptors are primarily found in your central nervous system (the brain), while CB2 receptors are found mainly in your guts and immune system.
Various studies show CBD might help with tinnitus. A few others contradict this. Hence, there is barely a verdict on how helpful CBD is for tinnitus. However, following what we know about CBD and how the human body works, some scientific deductions have been made.
In one of such, tinnitus has some similarities with neuropathic pain and epilepsy. These two conditions have seen substantial results with the use of CBD. In fact, CBD is an FDA-approved treatment option for some rare forms of epilepsy. Some scientists posit that if CBD can help with neuropathic pain and epilepsy, it should offer some relief for tinnitus.
In addition, there has been a lot of evidence that says CBD relieves stress, anxiety, and some other mental health disorders. We are unsure whether CBD will help with tinnitus itself. Still, it could be helpful for the anxiety that comes with the condition. It might help you sleep better and improve your overall quality of life.
On the other hand, in a study among rats in 2015, their tinnitus worsened with cannabinoid use. If you are asking if CBD can worsen your tinnitus, that could be your answer. A lot of things remain unclear about this finding, but the study is still on the table.
What Treatment Are Alternatives Available for Tinnitus?
We must point out again that tinnitus often indicates an underlying health problem. You should visit your physician to examine you and treat the underlying problem so it does not worsen.
Your health professional will prescribe some measures or medications that might help. You may also get some treatment for whatever is causing the ringing. Some of the medicines or measures that may be prescribed include:
- Hearing aids
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Medications for the underlying problems
- Sound-masking devices that soothingly drown the tinnitus noise.
- Sound machines
- Therapy – Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Behavioral therapy
Bottom Line: Can You Use CBD for Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a pretty distressing hearing disorder that often suggests an underlying problem. Using CBD for tinnitus might be an optimistic treatment option, but there is no substantial evidence to prove its usefulness.
You must see your physician about any ringing in your ears to find out the source and tell you how to manage it.
- Smith PF, Zheng Y. Cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors and tinnitus. Hear Res. 2016 Feb;332:210-216. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2015.09.014. Epub 2015 Oct 1. PMID: 26433054.
- Perin P, Mabou Tagne A, Enrico P, Marino F, Cosentino M, Pizzala R, Boselli C. Cannabinoids, Inner Ear, Hearing, and Tinnitus: A Neuroimmunological Perspective. Front Neurol. 2020 Nov 23;11:505995. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2020.505995. PMID: 33329293; PMCID: PMC7719758.