CBD has been touted as a powerful remedy for many medical conditions, and some people may begin to doubt the compound’s efficacy.
For the uninitiated, CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. It’s one of the 100+ naturally occurring compounds (called cannabinoids) in cannabis. The substance has demonstrated a potential for treating common medical problems like pain and inflammation. You may also consider CBD supplements if battling chronic nausea, fatigue, seizures, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
There are claims that cannabidiol may also relieve tinnitus. But can CBD treat this condition? Let’s find out.
What Is Tinnitus?
As we’ve just hinted, there are widespread claims that administering cannabidiol could treat tinnitus. And as you’re about to discover, such claims may be founded on solid scientific data.
Now, cannabidiol exists in many products. Common ones include CBD oil, CBD tinctures, CBD edibles, CBD topicals, and CBD vape oils. All these product formulations provide the healing benefits of cannabidiol. The main difference lies in their delivery methods and intensity of effects.
But before we delve deeper into the role of CBD for tinnitus, perhaps it’s best to begin by understanding what this condition is all about.
Tinnitus refers to the ringing or buzzing sensation in the ears. The condition is also known as phantom sounds. That’s because the noise it produces is typically untraceable to any external sound source.
Tinnitus usually results from damage to the inner or middle year. This damage interferes with how the ears receive and relay sound signals to the brain for interpretation.
Damage to the ears could result from mechanical factors like a heavy blow to the head. It could also be due to tumors in the ear and the auditory nerve, as well as regular exposure to varying sound frequencies.
Other causes of tinnitus include:
- Oversecretion of ear wax
- Muscle spasms in the middle ear
- Certain medications, such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, temporomandibular joint disorders, and Meniere’s disease
- Certain medications, such as aspirin, antibiotics like erythromycin and gentamicin, loop diuretic drugs like bumetanide, antimalarial drugs like chloroquine, and anti-cancer drugs like vincristine
- Age-related hearing loss
Tinnitus Symptoms and Compilations
Tinnitus is commonly known as ringing in the ears. That’s because the condition mainly presents as a ringing noise in one or both ears. However, tinnitus noise can take many other forms, including buzzing, hissing, roaring, and even whistling.
Tinnitus can interfere with your ability to perceive real sounds emanating around you. That could further impair your mental concentration and attention span. The condition may also trigger other mental conditions, including stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
How Does CBD Oil Treat Tinnitus?
Cannabidiol oil may not cure tinnitus. However, the compound contains several therapeutic properties that may help address some of the causes, symptoms, and side effects of tinnitus.
CBD Oil and Muscle Spasticity
Muscle spasms in the middle ear are cited among the most common causes of tinnitus. Cannabidiol oil possesses antispasmodic properties. The compound may lower the incidences of muscle spasticity in the ear, subsequently minimizing the risks of tinnitus.
A study in the Pharmacology & Therapeutics journal indicates that CBD and other cannabinoids might effectively reduce muscle spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis (MS). A similar study published in the Drugs journal found that Sativex, a drug formulated with equal portions of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can reduce muscle spasms in people with multiple sclerosis.
CBD Oil and Neurodegeneration
Progressive nerve damage, also known as neurodegeneration, can predispose your ears to tinnitus. That’s primarily if the damage affects the nerves in your ears.
According to a 2020 review, cannabidiol oil contains anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Researchers believe that CBD’s neuroprotective effects may lower the risks of tinnitus by protecting the ear nerves from damage.
CBD Oil and the Oversecretion of Ear Wax
There’s limited scientific research investigating the direct effects of cannabidiol oil on ear wax secretion. However, existing studies indicate that CBD oil may decelerate the overproduction of sebum, the oily substance that coats the skin.
Cannabidiol oil reduces the oversecretion of sebum by desensitizing the sebocytes, a mechanism known to prevent acne breakouts. As CBD oil is effective against excess sebum secretion, it’s logical to infer that the substance may also slow down the production of ear wax, thereby preventing tinnitus.
CBD Oil and Stress
Stress and anxiety can be both a cause and side effects of tinnitus. Too much stress can trigger the overproduction of earwax, resulting in tinnitus. Similarly, the prospect of dealing with buzzing ears can cause anxiety.
Supplementing with cannabidiol oil can go a long way in preventing anxiety-related tinnitus. CBD oil treats stress by increasing the body’s signaling of serotonin and other bliss hormones, such as anandamide and dopamine.
CBD Oil and Insomnia
Tinnitus can easily cause sleeplessness. Indeed, it’s difficult to fall asleep with noises ringing all over your ears. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of research showing that cannabidiol oil may improve sleep quality. CBD oil can combat tinnitus-induced insomnia in various ways.
For instance, the compound is a sedative and may reduce sleep latency. CBD oil may also treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder that presents sleep-disruptive symptoms like nightmares.
Cannabidiol oil is not a cure for tinnitus. However, the compound can mitigate numerous tinnitus symptoms while addressing certain factors that might predispose you to the condition.