Have you ever experienced ringing in your ears after exposure to a loud noise—say a rock concert or a sporting event? If so, you know how distracting and annoying that sound can be! Now, imagine if there was a ringing in your ears all the time. For many people with tinnitus, that constant ringing is a part of life, with no sign of relief in sight. This common condition affects millions of people, but treatment options are relatively limited. Recently, tinnitus sufferers and medical professionals have started to experiment with CBD as a potential remedy for symptoms associated with tinnitus. Read on to discover the latest research.
Tinnitus Causes and Symptoms
Let’s start with a quick overview of tinnitus. Affecting around 15% to 20% of people, tinnitus is “the perception of noise or ringing in the ears.” Tinnitus patients report noises that range from humming and ringing to clicking and hissing; these sounds may vary in pitch, occur in one or both ears, and be heard constantly or intermittently. In most cases, tinnitus is subjective, meaning only the patient can hear it. In rare cases known as objective tinnitus, your doctor may hear the sounds as well; this type of tinnitus is caused by problems with the bones, muscles, or blood vessels of the ear.
Doctors describe tinnitus as a symptom of other underlying conditions. It’s most commonly caused by age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noises, or damage to the hair cells of the inner ear, which create the signals that help your brain process and understand sound waves. Head and neck injuries, blood vessel disorders, and some medications can also cause tinnitus, though these triggers are much less common.
Over time, tinnitus can seriously diminish quality of life for those affected—and not just because it impacts hearing. Many tinnitus sufferers report stress, fatigue, anxiety and irritability, as well as problems with concentration, memory, and sleep. While tinnitus itself is usually not a sign of a serious physical condition, these cognitive and emotional effects make it important to find a treatment plan that works.
How Can You Treat Tinnitus?
If you’ve ever experienced even a temporary bout of tinnitus, you know that you’d do almost anything to stop it. The constant background noise associated with the condition can be incredibly distracting and make daily life difficult, so patients and their doctors are constantly searching for effective treatments. Here are a few common remedies for tinnitus:
Resolving Underlying Conditions
Many doctors start by trying to resolve the underlying conditions that cause tinnitus. Remedies may include excess earwax removal, treatment for blood vessel conditions, or changes in medication.
Devices that mask the sound of tinnitus—like white noise machines and hearing aids—can be used to alleviate the experience of unwanted sounds.
Currently, there’s no medication specifically prescribed for tinnitus. However, some patients find relief from certain antidepressants or Xanax.
Finally, tinnitus patients may experience improvement if they avoid situations with loud noise, reduce their stress levels, and limit alcohol consumption. Some patients also find relief by adding natural supplements including melatonin, zinc, B vitamins and ginkgo biloba to their daily routine, though there’s little research on the efficacy of these options.
How to Use CBD Oil for Tinnitus
A combination of the treatments outlined above helps many sufferers abate the symptoms of tinnitus, but there’s currently no cure for this irritating condition. For that reason, patients and doctors alike are always in search of new methods to reduce the impact of tinnitus. Recently, interest has spiked in a potential relationship between tinnitus treatment and CBD.
Before we dig into the potential benefits of CBD for tinnitus patients, it’s important to note that CBD does not have a direct effect on the underlying causes of tinnitus, or the auditory symptoms themselves. However, you might recall that we talked above about the side effects of tinnitus—including anxiety, stress, and trouble sleeping; CBD has been studied extensively as a potential remedy for these conditions.
Why is CBD so effective as a treatment for anxiety and sleep disorders? It all starts with the endocannabinoid system. This network of receptors is scattered throughout the body, working to maintain homeostasis by regulating key functions including pain, inflammation, memory, and mood. When you introduce cannabinoids—natural compounds found in CBD—to the endocannabinoid system, these receptors are triggered with powerful effects.
Recent studies have shown that CBD may be a valuable treatment for a variety of sleep and anxiety disorders like those triggered by tinnitus. In some cases, CBD has proven to be as potent as common prescription sedatives like diazepam. One study published in January 2019 noted that 79.2% of patients reported decreased anxiety scores and 66.7% of patients reflected improved sleep scores after CBD treatment. In addition, CBD has been studied as a treatment for anxiety-related inflammation. While most researchers call for additional study on the relationship between CBD, anxiety, and sleep, these early reports hold promise for tinnitus sufferers who seek relief from common side effects of their condition.
What’s the Right CBD Dose for Tinnitus?
If you’re considering CBD as a treatment for tinnitus-related stress or anxiety, it’s important to find a dose that works for you. You may think that a higher dosage of CBD will be most effective, but the opposite might be true. Studies show that CBD can actually cause anxiety to worsen if taken in too high a dose, so it’s best to start conservatively and increase your CBD intake gradually until you see the desired results for your mood and sleep habits.
What does that mean for the average adult? Most CBD users find that a dose between 10 and 20mg per day is effective for managing anxiety. You can also start by using a ratio of 1 to 6mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight. Finally, most CBD products include a recommended dosage on the packaging, which can be a good starting point if you’re feeling uncertain. Want to dive deeper into CBD dosages? This article is a great overview that answers many common questions.
Due to FDA Regulations, we recommend that you do your own research on CBD products. We also suggest that you read the reviews on our website, where our customers record their real-world results of using our products.