Can CBD Oil Help Your Ears Stop Ringing?

With no known cure or treatment options available for tinnitus, turning to CBD has provided me with welcome relief from the side-symptoms of tinnitus.

In the past ten years the CBD movement has exploded, following the heart-warming success story of 5 year old epilepsy patient, Charlotte Figi. More recently the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived Cannabidiol, and now CBD products are leading current health and medical trends worldwide.

CBD has earned the title of “miracle medicine” for its ability to treat multiple physical, mental and emotional ailments. With over fifty different conditions reported to be treated by CBD, could this mean that Cannabidiol will help tinnitus?

CBD Oil

While the specific workings of CBD are still shrouded in mystery, pre-clinical scientific research points towards its effective healing properties. Animal studies have already partially shed light on the science of CBD, and it seems inevitable that concrete proof of the plant’s medical properties is soon to follow. In the meantime, qualitative data from millions of unbiased users around the globe pays testimony to the healing properties of CBD for more than fifty five health conditions. When it comes to tinnitus the general consensus is mixed, with some CBD users experiencing long-lasting relief and others reporting no noticeable improvements. There is also a concern that CBD may actually worsen the condition, however I can personally testify that CBD has helped me to manage my tinnitus, and I now take a daily dosage to keep the side-symptoms at bay.

What is CBD oil? Does it affect the ears?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is derived from the hemp species of the cannabis plant. Commonly confused with its cousin marijuana, these two types of cannabis are entirely different in terms of getting high. While you wouldn’t light up some hemp for recreational purposes, marijuana contains many intoxicating compounds, also known as THC. Hemp on the other hand is only defined as such if it contains less than 0.03% THC, and CBD is an extract of the hemp cannabis plant.CBD is approved as safe and non-addictive by the World Health Organization, and even “safe to consume in large doses.”

CBD works by interacting with the body’s inbuilt endocannabinoid system, stimulation of which has already proven to reduce pain and inflammation as well as influence homeostasis (balanced well-being). In addition to this, CBD has been shown to promote emotional and sleep improvements, however early research suggests that CBD does not have a negative effect on the ears. It is too early to tell whether it could play a role in the cure of tinnitus, but it is safe to take CBD alongside any ear conditions.

What can you do for ringing in the ears?

There is no known medical cure for tinnitus, a condition which ranges in severity from continuous to intermittent ear-ringing. Sufferers of tinnitus may experience a number of different sounds, in either one or both ears. The volume fluctuates as does the pitch and the sounds tend to quiet down at night. Individuals with tinnitus have to put up with the condition day in and day out, without any pharmaceutical relief. Treatment options are limited, but alternative therapies such as sound and cognitive behavioral therapies have proven helpful in reducing symptoms.

White sound in particular can be of benefit in masking the sounds of tinnitus and providing temporary relief. Individuals suffering from tinnitus are recommended to practice mindfulness, in order to learn how to refocus their mind so as not to obsess over the sounds. By mastering the art of mindfulness, in time the tinnitus can be effectively ignored and a more balanced state of well-being can be achieved. Aside from these techniques it is recommended that people with tinnitus take care of any ear infections, wax buildup, jaw-cheekbone issues and cease the use of ototoxic medications. There is also a number of reports that indicate taking a zinc supplement may alleviate tinnitus.

Can CBD oil cause tinnitus?

It seems the confusion between THC (the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana) and CBD (the non-psychoactive ingredient found in hemp) truly has no end. In addition to the pervasive urban myth that CBD can “get you high” there is another rumor doing the rounds, yet again blaming CBD for misdeeds caused by its psychoactive cousin. In the case of tinnitus, early research points towards THC having a negative effect on tinnitus, making the sounds worsen. This has lead to concern over using CBD to treat tinnitus, yet science has debunked this myth.

In a study done on rats with tinnitus it was found that THC worsened the condition, by stimulating the CB1 receptors (connected to hearing) in the brain. While THC has been linked to the CB1 receptor, CBD primarily affects the CB2 receptor which is not linked to hearing in any way. In layman’s terms this simply means that you shouldn’t smoke or eat any weed if you have tinnitus. It also means that CBD is safe to be used by those with tinnitus, and while it may not cure the condition, there are a number of side benefits that will alleviate a large degree of suffering. The bottom line is that CBD does not cause tinnitus.

Is CBD oil good for tinnitus?

In recent years researchers have been studying CBD as a potential cure for tinnitus, however as of yet there is no conclusive data to suggest that it could provide relief. Early research has concluded that CBD cannot treat the underlying physical causes of tinnitus or the auditory symptoms, based on studies done on rats. While hardcore proof is non-existent, a number of scientists have hypothesized that different cannabinoids (CBD compounds) could have different effects on tinnitus in humans. At the very least CBD is known to provide relief for other issues caused by tinnitus, such as insomnia, depression, anxiety and social isolation.

While science is still in the early stages of research, it can be beneficial to turn to qualitative data in the form of user reviews. In this case there are mixed reviews, possibly due to the varying symptoms of tinnitus itself. One Reddit user made an insightful comment about this as follows “Seems to me that the people who are raving about CBD curing it might have tinnitus that comes from anxiety or something else along those lines. For me, it’s physical damage – although I do get stressed sometimes I would not say I have an issue with anxiety. So I’m guessing that it can help it if caused by anxiety but can make it worse if the tinnitus is caused by physical damage.”

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In my case (after suffering from tinnitus for seven years) I can personally testify that my quality of life improved significantly after turning to CBD for relief. As a result of the physical tinnitus I had slowly developed overwhelming anxiety that led to my social isolation. Withdrawing from friends and family, I then developed a crippling depression. The cost of psychiatric drugs was too much for me to afford, so I continued to struggle on a daily basis, until I found CBD. I didn’t notice much improvement at first, but after experimenting with the dosage for a few weeks I began to see results. Not only did I feel calmer and more positive but my sleep had improved dramatically.

Research has shown that CBD has a positive effect on the way the basolateryl amygdala receptors process anxiety and fear. These receptors are linked to the fight or flight phenomenon that plagues so many of us and causes issues like anxiety and a lack of sleep. Additionally, CBD oil promotes an uplifted mood by stimulating receptors in the hippocampus (emotional control centre of the brain) to release comforting chemicals for the relief of depression. CBD has been studied extensively as a remedy for the treatment of these conditions and now tinnitus patients can find relief from side-symptoms in the form of CBD.

Can CBD oil be put in the ear?

Qualitative data points towards the benefits of putting CBD oil in the ear. However while there is no evidence to indicate that CBD in the ear will cause damage, if you are hoping to experience the mood-enhancing and sleep-promoting benefits of CBD, it is best to ingest CBD oil orally. Remember to check with your doctor before using CBD, in case of any reactions between other medicines you may be taking.

Best CBD oils for tinnitus

In light of the scientific study done on rats that indicates THC worsens symptoms of tinnitus, here is a list of ten THC-free CBD oils:

  1. CBDistillery: THC-Free Pure CBD Oil Tincture, Flavourless (30 ml/33 mg)
  2. Charlotte’s Web: CBD Isolate, Flavourless (30 ml/ 20mg) 
  3. Balance: Charlotte’s THC-free CBD oil Tincture (30 ml/ 500 or 1000 mg)
  4. Bluebird Botanicals: THC-free CBD oil (30ml/ 1500mg)
  5. Isodiol: RapidCBD Pure, Natural Hemp Oil Tincture (500, 1250 or 2500 mg)

Final Verdict: Will CBD oil help treat tinnitus?

In my personal experience, CBD has been effective in the treatment of tinnitus side symptoms such as depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and concentration. As the loud ringing of tinnitus can be made worse by stress, CBD can be helpful in minimizing acute symptoms as well as improving overall quality of life.  As tinnitus has different effects on different people, it stands to reason that treatment success may vary too. At the very least it is worth a try, perhaps starting out with a low dose and working your way upward week by week. 

Now it’s your turn

There is so much debate surrounding the effect CBD has on tinnitus, so if you have a story about how it worked (or didn’t work) for you, please drop a comment below and help add to the qualitative data. Many people seeking treatment rely on user reviews at this point to try and figure out if the medicine will be of benefit to them. Your story could be the one that makes a difference!