CBD: Effective Treatment for Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)
CBD to treat and help relieve tinnitus symptoms
If you’ve ever experienced hearing a ringing or high-pitched whistling in your ear, seemingly unprompted, then you’ve most likely experienced tinnitus. Tinnitus manifests are sounds that can come out of nowhere and occur over a continuous period of time, which can affect people’s concentration or comfort. In some extreme cases, tinnitus can have a detrimental impact over a person's health. Read more about one of the most perplexing hearing disorders, and how CBD products such as CBD oil can help effectively treat tinnitus and relieve symptoms as a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the term used to describe the experience of hearing high-pitched noises in one or both ears, appearing sporadically or continuously. Tinnitus usually appears suddenly and spontaneously. Tinnitus has been described as hearing a ringing in the ears, whistling or another type of persistent and irritating noise—like roaring, clicking, hissing, or even buzzing. More noticeable when surroundings are quiet and when there are less external noises, many people report concentration issues or have difficulty falling asleep while experiencing tinnitus.
Tinnitus is a common issue and affects between 15-20% of people around the world, mostly seen in adults. Not quite considered a hearing illness or disease, tinnitus is a phenomenon that can indicate a more serious health issue. Medical research is still ongoing to better understand tinnitus and develop more adequate treatments. Right now, solutions are only available for reducing symptoms experienced by tinnitus or related hearing disorders. But there exist no definitive treatments to prevent it from recurring.
Possible causes of tinnitus
Sometimes unprompted, tinnitus symptoms (hearing ringing in the ear and other sounds) can also be triggered by exposure to loud noises, hearing loss and hearing issues, or certain medications. But in many cases, the disorder’s definitive cause is unclear.
Damage to the ear or inner ear can cause tinnitus
Ear damage or ear canal damage can be caused by a variety of things. Excessive pressure can damage the eardrum, commonly experienced when in extreme altitude, such as during a flight or high-altitude climbing, or when scuba diving or deep water diving. Ear damage can also be caused by short or long-term exposure to very loud sounds, such as listening to music at high volume (experienced at concerts or raising the volume excessively while using earphones), being near loud devices such as chainsaw or jackhammers, or being in too close proximity to detonating explosives.
Damage to the ear or inner ear, including the eardrum, does not necessarily mean hearing loss. However, damage left untreated can cause long-term and sometimes irreversible full hearing loss or partial hearing loss, balance issues or even pain. There is a strong correlation with ear damage and tinnitus, as well as other hearing disorders.
Underlying health issues linked to tinnitus
While tinnitus alone is not usually a cause for concern, it can be an indicator to other underlying health problems. While the science isn’t yet exact, health issues that have previously been linked to tinnitus symptoms include stress, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pressing on the auditory nerve, sinusitis, cardiovascular disease and other disorders.
How CBD can be used to treat tinnitus
CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is a compound (molecule) found in hemp or cannabis, and is one of its main active cannabinoids found in the plant. Not to be confused with THC—another active cannabinoid of cannabis—CBD is non-psychoactive, praised for its observed and proven medicinal properties. Its use as an aid for certain medical treatments, including for the treatment of tinnitus, has become popularized in recent years.
CBD’s positive interactions with CB2 and CB2 brain receptors
According to studies and clinical trials, CBD has been shown to have positive effects on the brain, interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, which is an essential biological system of neurotransmitters found in every human being. The endocannabinoid system is naturally able to metabolize cannabinoids (found in cannabis), hence its name.
CB1 and CB2 brain receptors play a critical role in both balance and hearing. Although research has yet to prove the direct correlation between CBD and tinnitus, results do indicate that tinnitus issues are linked to an overactivity of CB1 and CB2 receptors. As such, it is that if CBD (cannabidiol), like in the form of CBD oil, can help regulate these brain receptors—as it has been shown to do—it could also help with tinnitus issues.
Providing comfort and pain relief from tinnitus
On top of its proven analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, CBD’s interactions with CB1 and CB2 receptors help regulate the nervous system and activate the production of serotonin. Nicknamed the “happy hormone”, serotonin is an essential hormone that provides the feeling of well-being and calmness. As a result, people who use it sleep better, feel less stressed and experience less anxiety.
CBD (cannabidiol) is thus linked to helping reduce the effects of tinnitus by the secondary effect of effectively helping improve brain functions, sleep issues, stress and anxiety, and concentration by reducing pain—all of which are thought to be triggers of tinnitus.
Best ways to use CBD to treat tinnitus
There are several ways people can use CBD to treat tinnitus, depending on personal preference. However, the three more common ways are by inhalation, orally, or sublingually.
Tinnitus treatment by inhalation
By inhaling cannabis, the CBD molecules take effect by entering your bloodstream. This can be done via a . For CBD to be properly inhaled, it must be done in the form of a resin or whole flower. The effects by inhalation are usually instantaneous and safe.
Tinnitus oral treatment
The best way to consume CBD orally (swallowing it) is in the form of cannabis-derived CBD oil. A few drops can be mixed in a drink or with food. People can also consume CBD orally by breaking up pieces of CBD flowers or CBD resin, and mixing them into food, although reaching a certain cooking temperature first in order to properly extract the CBD to metabolize it might be required and can be tricky. Other forms exist, such as CBD gummies, which are fun to eat but also offer less versatile application than CBD oils.
Tinnitus sublingual treatment
Consuming CBD sublingually consists of putting a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue and allowing the absorption of CBD by the mucous membranes found under the tongue for a few seconds before swallowing. Sublingually, CBD takes effect fast as it enters the bloodstream relatively quickly.
Observed effects and scientific opinions
While scientific research is still ongoing to fully investigate the effectiveness of CBD in the treatment of tinnitus, clinical testing and results reported by patients seem to be promising—if not for a permanent treatment of tinnitus, but at least for managing the severity of it.
In general, the medical properties of CBD as well as other cannabinoids are still being studied. While the full potential of CBD used in medical treatments is yet to be uncovered, one thing is certain—CBD has been proven, also through results from clinical trials and reported by patients, to help reduce and manage hearing ringing in the ears caused by tinnitus.
CBD has also been proven to help in the treatment of other issues that may trigger tinnitus. This includes sleep problems like insomnia, stress and anxiety. CBD oil can be used daily and throughout the day to help these issues, regulating receptors in the brain and relaxing the body.
CBD and tinnitus: the main takeaway
CBD (cannabidiol) is becoming an increasingly preferred method of treatment of tinnitus. All natural, the use of cannabinoids like CBD have become popular alternatives to modern medicines and pharmaceuticals. While there is no straightforward and definitive treatment of tinnitus, there is a general consensus from findings and as reported by patients: the CBD cannabinoid does provide overall benefits to the human body and brain, and the best course of action to help prevent future triggers of tinnitus seems to be by keeping the body healthy and mind anxiety-free.
Each case is unique, and it is always advisable to consult a doctor or physician for more information, before starting any new treatment to relieve the symptoms of tinnitus. Unfortunately, not all issues that trigger tinnitus can be completely treated, such as permanent hearing loss, but there exists many medical treatments possible to help manage symptoms.
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