What You Need To Know About CBD And Tinnitus

What You Need To Know About CBD And Tinnitus

Today, you will learn about the relationship between CBD and tinnitus. This article will help you determine if using CBD for the ringing in your ears is worth considering.

CBD is a cannabinoid from the cannabis plant that won’t get you “high” like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does. CBD stands for cannabidiol and is found in marijuana and hemp. There are three different forms of CBD:

  • Isolate
  • Full-spectrum
  • Broad-spectrum

Both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD contain other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes from the cannabis plant. Full-spectrum CBD also contains a small amount of THC (less than 0.3% for federally legal products). CBD isolate is pure CBD.

"Treble Health helped me reduce my tinnitus by about 80%, and now I can live my life again!"
"Treble Health helped me reduce my tinnitus by about 80%, and now I can live my life again!"
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However, it’s important to recognize that any CBD product, no matter the type, can have trace amounts of THC in it and could show up on a drug test. Drug tests generally do allow a small amount of trace THC without registering you as positive for THC. This does differ depending on whether the test is from urine, blood, or hair.

Mixed Research

Research on CBD for tinnitus is mixed. It often appears contradictory, but there are many factors at play. The difficulty is that the way CBD affects the body is very complex. There are more than 100 phytocannabinoids, or types of cannabinoids, for example. The body also reacts differently to CBD, even for the same mixtures, with changes to drug formulation, route of taking it, and concentration of the CBD. Studies are ongoing to understand the many CBD receptor mechanics in different systems of the body. Tinnitus can also be caused by many different or unknown factors, making it difficult to pinpoint exact treatments. This can help explain why research will take time to give clear answers about CBD and tinnitus treatment.

2015 animal study suggested that a combination of CBD and THC may actually make tinnitus worse. The study did use only one of the many types of cannabinoids combined with THC as the studied treatment. Other combinations may produce different results. While the study did find the group of mice given this mixture had more tinnitus than the other group, it is not foolproof. The process used to determine tinnitus in the mice was clever but complicated and could be subject to error in interpretation. 

A more recent review of seven studies from 2020 concluded there’s not enough scientific evidence from either animal or human studies to confirm or deny that cannabinoids can help relieve tinnitus. It ends by stating that further research is needed to see what role, if any, CBD plays in medicine. It also states that clinical data is largely lacking. Furthermore, there are no systematic studies or randomized controlled trials in humans that have studied how CBD affects tinnitus.

If you have tinnitus that you are looking to find treatment for, consider using more evidence-based strategies such as sound masking or CBT-style support. Treble Health offers services that incorporate both of these strategies in our treatment program. Take this short quiz to find out if you are a candidate.

Potential Benefits from CBD 

In positive news, another review from 2020 suggested that, because CBD has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects, it may help with hearing loss and tinnitus. There is evidence of a direct link between the endocannabinoid system in the body and the auditory pathway. Studies have found that there are endocannabinoid receptors in the auditory system, meaning that cannabis and CBD have the potential to affect the ears. This could be a promising link if understood properly. Chronic inflammation has also been linked with types of hearing loss. It stands to reason that targeted or general reduction of inflammation could potentially help hearing loss and tinnitus

But more research is needed, especially human studies. CBD is only legally federally if it comes from hemp and has less than 0.3% THC. Due to these laws, conducting studies about CBD and its effects can be slow and difficult. Changing medical and recreational marijuana laws could help speed this process up. Public interest in CBD health benefits could also have a cascading effect on research. 

It’s important to note that while CBD might not be a cure for tinnitus, it may help the common tinnitus side effects of anxiety-related insomnia and stress. Treating tinnitus requires a holistic approach, focusing on several different angles for best results. CBD has been shown in dozens of studies to help treat depression, anxiety, and stress. One study of adults with anxiety showed CBD decreased anxiety in 79% of patients and improved sleep in 66% of patients. It is also known to help with tinnitus-related issues of memory and attention.

There are other methods one can use to holistically manage tinnitus and the effects that it may have on your life and wellbeing. Learn more about Treble Health’s Tinnitus Treatment Bundle, which includes everything you need to address tinnitus.

Important CBD Information

CBD research has grown exponentially in the last decade. From 2002-2012, there were only 12 studies done on CBD and pain. Then from 2013-2017, there were 30 studies published on the subject. CBD has been used across the world for centuries. Many of the mechanics of how CBD reduces pain, depression, and anxiety are unclear. While there are unknowns, the important thing is that CBD has no known lethal dose. This means that it is not known to cause death or other major acute medical complications. It still remains important to find the correct dose that is helpful without any side effects. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD is generally safe for most people and is unlikely to cause side effects. If they do occur, you’ll probably only ever experience mild side effects. 

Potential side effects include:

  • Weight loss or gain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

It’s essential to talk with a doctor before trying CBD, especially if you’re taking any medications. CBD may interact with some medicines. The “grapefruit warning” on some medicines may indicate that CBD will also interfere with them, due to chemical similarities between CBD and grapefruit. Your doctor may be able to find a safe dosage for you even if interactions are possible. CBD also is not shown to be safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Additionally, it’s important to know that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate CBD products. The only CBD product currently approved is an epilepsy treatment oil called Epidiolex. Even though the FDA enforces the law when it comes to companies making false claims and committing fraud, the administration doesn’t guarantee that all over-the-counter CBD products are safe and effective. A recent study of 84 products showed that more than ¼ had less CBD than stated and THC was present yet unlabeled in 18 of them. To find trusted CBD products, the best practice is to do research, buy them at reputable places, and use products that have been tested by a third-party laboratory. 

Research is still looking into CBD as a treatment for tinnitus. Our audiology team at Treble Health does not recommend CBD as a part of your tinnitus toolkit. Research is not yet clear on its effects or its benefits, if any. Even though it may help with side effects such as stress and anxiety, it is not recommended by doctors as a treatment for tinnitus itself.

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