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CBD for Tinnitus: Does It Work and Can It Help?

Tinnitus can cause debilitating symptoms and adversely affect one's quality of life. This article explains what tinnitus is, its leading causes, and the reviews of CBD gummies, oils, and other products in managing tinnitus.

Key takeaways:

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is often described as ringing in the ears, but it is associated with other sounds. It is classically defined as the perception of a sound that does not have a true external cause. The sound experiences can be a ringing, whooshing, buzzing, hissing, or humming only heard by someone suffering from tinnitus.

It has been estimated to affect as many as one in 10 adults in the United States. Tinnitus can range in severity from a simple annoyance to a debilitating disease that can adversely affect the quality of life. Given the frequency of tinnitus and its adverse impact, many individuals are turning to medical and alternative treatment options to help alleviate the noise. One such approach for tinnitus relief sought by people remains CBD gummies.

Causes of tinnitus

Although the exact mechanism of tinnitus is not fully understood, it is believed to be due to the overactivity of nerves or a failure to silence nerves within areas of the brain responsible for the perception of sounds. Damage to the cochlea, the main inner ear structure responsible for hearing, is the first step in developing tinnitus.

The most common cause of tinnitus is hearing loss due to repetitive trauma by loud noises or natural aging. Other causes include concussions or other trauma to the head or neck, high blood pressure, tumors within the ear's nerves, and chronic medical conditions such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.

One fairly common cause often overlooked is prescription medications. The medications associated with tinnitus include antibiotics, diuretics, and blood pressure medications.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabinoids in the Cannabis sativa plant. There has been significant interest in using CBD for multiple medical conditions, such as anxiety, depression, pain, and inflammation. CBD has no psychoactive properties, which many people prefer as they do not like the "high" feeling that marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) produce.

CBD comes in three forms, altering the effectiveness and side effects of the products. Full-spectrum CBD products contain all parts of the cannabis plant, including a small amount of THC (<0.3%). Broad-spectrum CBD products contain various natural cannabinoids but are free of THC. CBD isolates contain pure CBD and no other cannabinoids.

CBD is often sold in the form of oil, generally for oral use. People who do not like the earthy and raw taste of CBD oil may opt for gummies, capsules, or softgels. Due to the numerous suggested health benefits of cannabidiol products, more and more people look for the best CBD gummies for ear ringing. However, it still remains to discover if CBD products are good for tinnitus.

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Is CBD good for tinnitus?

The internet is full of personal reviews and testimonials describing the benefits of these products, such as CBD gummies for tinnitus. However, no scientific studies substantiate these claims. At this time, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that CBD gummies or other forms are beneficial in tinnitus and may worsen symptoms.

Tinnitus research discovered cannabinoid receptors in the areas of the brain associated with hearing and the development of tinnitus. However, the effects of CBD oils or gummies for tinnitus on these receptors and their role are unknown.

Other cannabinoids, such as THC, are a causative factor in tinnitus. Animal and human studies have shown a link between cannabinoids, primarily THC, and the development of tinnitus. It is believed these cannabinoids increase activity within the brain's nerve areas responsible for hearing, resulting in a more significant number of perceived sounds and tinnitus.

Overall, if CBD is shown to be beneficial in clinical trials for treating tinnitus and given the adverse effects of other cannabinoids, CBD isolates would likely be the safest form to use.

Possible benefits of CBD for tinnitus

Currently, no clinical studies support the use of CBD for tinnitus, but some anecdotal reports suggest it to be beneficial in tinnitus. Although CBD does not stop or cure tinnitus, some users have stated it can "distract/manage/dissipate the noise."

The constant noise can affect all aspects of a patient's life, including their sleep. While cannabinoid products such as CBD gummies for tinnitus cannot be a cure, they may help to fall asleep faster thanks to their relaxing and calming effects. Some supporters of CBD products have reported using CBD to fall asleep and improve their sleep quality.

Potential side effects

Despite these patient-reported benefits, studies have shown a link between the development of tinnitus and cannabinoids and evidence that cannabinoids may worsen tinnitus. This is especially worrisome because many CBD products on sale in the market contain the same cannabinoids linked to worsening tinnitus.

Therefore, discuss the use of these supplements with your audiologist or doctor to ensure you are using a product that will not cause additional ear damage.

Other treatments for tinnitus relief

Many pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments are effective in the treatment of tinnitus. Hearing aids and cochlear implants can help improve tinnitus symptoms and prevent worsening symptoms.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help with tinnitus by teaching patients coping skills and reducing the distress caused by the constant sounds. Other therapies include sound therapy, which can help mask the sound allowing you to become more accustomed to it. Additionally, it has shown some promise in reversing nerve changes, which ultimately may silence tinnitus.

Pharmacological treatment options have shown some promise in reducing tinnitus symptoms and providing some relief. Antidepressants such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, and sertraline have been used in randomized controlled trials and shown to be beneficial.

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