• One animal study using a one-to-one combination of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on rats showed that these cannabinoids may increase tinnitus development in rodents(1).
  • Despite limited human clinical studies, preliminary evidence suggests that CBD may help manage stress and anxiety(2). These conditions are among the tinnitus complications(3).
  • Cannabinoids may increase tinnitus development, especially in animal subjects with pre-existing hearing impairment(4). These results suggest a need for extensive clinical research to determine whether CBD worsens tinnitus in humans.
  • Individuals with tinnitus should consult an audiologist for a medical evaluation of their condition, hearing ability, and hearing history before using CBD for tinnitus.

Research on Tinnitus and CBD: Can CBD Help Treat Tinnitus

Apart from animal studies, researchers have not conducted conclusive clinical trials or systematic studies on humans regarding the effects of CBD on tinnitus.

Epidemiological studies (a branch of medicine that deals with disease incidence) suggested that there may be a link between recreational cannabis use in a noncontrolled setting and tinnitus(5).

A study from Frontiers in Neurology used a one-to-one combination of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD on a rat model of acoustic trauma-induced tinnitus(6)

The study suggested that cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, may increase the development of tinnitus in rats, especially when the rodents have pre-existing hearing damage.  

Individuals interested to read more about this study may access it through the National Library of Medicine’s online database. They can also use the article’s digital object identifier (DOI) link.

THC is a Cannabis sativa compound that produces a psychoactive feeling often linked with marijuana use(7).

CBD Oil for Tinnitus Relief: Can CBD Oil Really Ease the Effects of Tinnitus?

Researchers have not conducted conclusive clinical studies determining whether CBD works for tinnitus patients.

Despite insufficient human clinical trials, existing studies mentioned that CBD may help with various conditions such as stress and anxiety(8). These conditions are among the complications of tinnitus(9).

Animal studies showed that cannabinoid agents may increase or have no effect on tinnitusrelated behavior(10). Such results may be helpful for future human studies on the efficacy of CBD for tinnitus.

How Well Does CBD Oil Work for Tinnitus?

There are insufficient clinical studies on CBD for tinnitus. Thus, there is inconclusive evidence to prove that CBD oil is effective or works well for this hearing condition.

Is CBD Safe to Use for Tinnitus?

Scientists have not performed conclusive clinical trials determining CBD’s safety when used for tinnitus.

Despite insufficient evidence on the safety and efficacy of CBD, the World Health Organization (WHO) notes that the substance has a good safety profile and is well tolerated in humans(11).

CBD for the Side Effects of Tinnitus

Studies have not entirely determined the efficacy of CBD on the side effects of tinnitus.

Tinnitus complications include the following(12):

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Sleep problems
  • Memory problems
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Depression

Does CBD Cause a Psychological Effect on Tinnitus Relief?

CBD may have the following psychological effects on various symptoms associated with tinnitus:

Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

Tinnitus complications include anxiety, stress, sleep problems, and headaches(13). CBD’s antianxiety and calming benefits may help provide individuals with better sleep through anxiety relief and relaxation, leading to better rest quality(14).

Sleep Disorders

One study mentioned that CBD may help manage sleep problems better than a placebo(15). Researchers may look into this potential to determine whether CBD may help address sleep problems associated with tinnitus.

How to Use CBD Oil for Tinnitus: Can One Apply CBD Oil in the Ear?

Individuals may take CBD through various delivery routes, such as oral, topical, sublingual, or inhalation.

Consumers may use CBD oil topically, that is, to the skin. This method involves applying a few drops of the product into the ear.

Individuals must be extra careful when administering CBD oil through this route to ensure nothing gets lodged in the inner ear. Still, scientists have not conducted clinical trials on whether topically applied CBD is effective for tinnitus.

The Oral Route

Oral administration involves ingesting CBD through the mouth. This route lets the drug pass through the gastrointestinal system before spreading the compound into the bloodstream.

Oral CBD products include gummies, chews, cookies, candies, or capsules.

The Sublingual Way

CBD oil products administered sublingually or under the tongue allows CBD to enter the bloodstream directly, bypassing the digestive tract.

Using CBD oil tinctures involves using calibrated droppers to deliver the drug sublingually with accurate dosing.

Other sublingually administered products include tablets, high-potency oils, and oromucosal sprays.

Inhalation

This method includes vaping or smoking to deliver CBD into the system. The compound passes through the lungs, heart, and brain through inhalation before spreading throughout the body(16).

Vapes are linked to health risks associated with lung disease(17). Before vaping CBD, individuals must exercise caution and be wary of these adverse effects.

What Time of Day Should an Individual Take CBD Oil for Tinnitus?

Individuals may use cannabis products with varying CBD-to-THC ratios at various times of the day to optimize the product’s therapeutic use. One suggestion is to use products that are CBD-rich during the daytime and take products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at night(18).

Consumers must be mindful of the legal implications when using high-THC products. Cannabis products with a THC content of more than 0.3% are prohibited under U.S. federal law.

How Much CBD Should an Individual Take for Tinnitus?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has not recommended any CBD dosage guide specifically for tinnitus.

However, one suggestion for taking CBD is for individuals to start with a small dose, slowly increasing their intake until they feel the desired effect.

Some CBD companies include a dosage guide on the product label. Still, CBD users, especially those taking the substance for the first time, should consult a doctor, preferably versed in cannabis use, before deciding on how much CBD to take.

Important Considerations When Choosing the Best CBD Oil for Tinnitus?

When choosing what high-quality CBD products to buy that may help with tinnitus, individuals should consider the following factors:

Extract Type

CBD brands often categorize CBD products into three types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate.

Full-spectrum CBD oil products typically contain all beneficial cannabinoids and compounds of the cannabis plant, including terpenes, flavonoids, and THC.

Terpenes are essential oil constituents that give cannabis plants a distinct scent(19). Meanwhile, flavonoids are plant compounds that may have antimicrobial and antioxidant benefits(20).

Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains similar compounds as its full-spectrum counterpart, except broad-spectrum CBD products do not contain THC.

Meanwhile, CBD isolates contain only pure CBD. These products have no THC or any other compounds and cannabinoids.

Potency

CBD oil products often vary in potency, depending on how much CBD concentrate is in the product. Some CBD brands market their items with higher amounts of CBD as high-strength products.

For example, a 30-milliliter (ml) bottle of CBD oil tincture may contain 750 milligrams (mg) of CBD. Thus, one 1ml dropper serving should have 25mg per ml (750mg ÷ 30ml = 25mg/ml).

Price

Various factors such as the product’s strength, ingredients, number of units, or the seller’s discretion can affect the prices for CBD products.

For instance, one brand may sell a 30ml bottle of CBD oil tinctures containing 750mg of CBD for $44.99 and a five-bottle pack of the same product for $149.99.

Third-Party Testing

Reputable CBD brands usually provide their products with certificates of analysis (COA). COAs tell the consumer that the product passed through independent lab testing. Third-party labs produce these COAs to show the products’ actual CBD and THC content(21).

Reviews

Some consumers using CBD oil products may leave a review about these products on the seller’s website. These comments may help other potential buyers choose a CBD product that works best for their needs.

Customer feedback usually pertains to the consumer’s individual experiences and does not necessarily apply to all circumstances. Thus, the buyer should not rely mainly on these reviews when making decisions.

Quality: How Can a Buyer Find a Quality CBD Product?

Brands often tout that their products have high quality by posting claims such as “100% natural,” “USDA-certified organic,” “third-party lab tested,” or “USA-made” on the product page.

While these claims may help consumers find a quality CBD product, buyers should also consider checking into a CBD company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile and rating to determine if the business has a good reputation and is trustworthy.

THC or No THC? Should an Individual Take CBD or THC for Tinnitus?

CBD products made from industrial hemp typically have little or no THC content. Industrial hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, unlike marijuana, which may contain between 3% to 30% THC(22).

For instance, CBD gummies may help individuals relieve anxiety, pain, and depression and improve sleep without producing a euphoric “high”(23).

On the other hand, THC is a chemical compound with potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties(24). Consumers wanting to experience these effects may opt for products with THC content.

However, products with a THC content exceeding 0.3% are classified as controlled substances and, therefore, prohibited under U.S. federal law(25).

Which Type of CBD Is Best for Tinnitus?

Scientists have not conducted conclusive clinical trials on what CBD type works best for tinnitus.

However, individuals interested in the full benefits of CBD and other cannabis compounds, including THC in small amounts, should consider buying full-spectrum CBD products(26).

When combined in full-spectrum products, these compounds may create an “entourage effect.” This phenomenon occurs when the active cannabis compounds work synergistically to produce better therapeutic results(27).

On the other hand, individuals averse to THC or its psychoactive properties may buy and use broad-spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolates instead.

CBD’s overall therapeutic value and consumers’ ease of access to this substance through online stores or cannabis-specific dispensaries may contribute to the growing consumer demand for CBD(28).

One study stated that around 62% of CBD users used CBD to help manage a medical condition(29). The top three of these conditions were pain, anxiety, and depression.

Consumers may prefer using CBD in oral forms, such as gummies, candies, capsules, or tinctures, or in topical forms, such as CBD creams(30).

What Exactly Is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural cannabinoid extracted from cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana plants. Hemp-derived CBD is getting recognized for its purported therapeutic potential without the mind-altering effects(31).

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers CBD an effective substance for managing epilepsy syndromes that do not respond to existing antiseizure medications(32).

Individuals often use CBD to help with anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, or tobacco and heroin addiction(33).

How Does CBD Work?

When an individual uses the CBD product, the substance engages the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system performs numerous critical body functions, such as immune response, pain control, temperature regulation, emotional processing, and inflammatory response(34).

The ECS comprises cannabinoid receptors, including the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors help regulate hunger, alertness, and temperature(35). Meanwhile, CB2 receptors manage the body’s inflammatory bowel conditions and immune functioning.

CBD functions by inhibiting the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), responsible for breaking down anandamide in the body(36). Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that produces an overall modulatory effect on the brain’s reward circuitry(37).

Is CBD Oil the Same As Hempseed Oil?

The difference between CBD oil and hempseed oil is that manufacturers typically extract hempseed oil from hemp seeds. Meanwhile, CBD oil is extracted mainly from the leaves and flowers of hemp plants.

Products made from hemp seeds have little to no CBD(38). This factor suggests that hempseed oil derived from hemp seeds does not contain CBD.

Despite this difference, CBD brands have no standardized method for labeling products. For instance, some manufacturers label their CBD oil products as using hemp extract, potentially confusing buyers.

To ensure the product’s actual cannabinoid content, buyers should review the product’s COA.

Can CBD Oil Make Tinnitus Worse?

Studies have not conclusively determined CBD oil’s risks and side effects on individuals with tinnitus.

However, one animal study stated that cannabinoids may cause tinnitus development to increase, especially among subjects that already have hearing damage(39).

These results suggest a likelihood that CBD may worsen tinnitus. However, researchers must conduct further extensive studies to conclude whether cannabinoids such as CBD are effective and safe for humans with this condition.

Overall, CBD’s side effects include diarrhea, drowsiness, fatigue, appetite loss, and dry mouth(40).

CBD may also interfere with the cytochrome P450 enzymes that metabolize various pharmaceutical drugs. When these liver enzymes are prevented from doing their activity, they may affect the effectiveness of various medicines(41).

Why Does CBD Affect Everyone Differently?

CBD may have different effects for each individual. For example, users may have varying CBD dosage requirements or different tolerances for side effects.

Individuals considering using CBD oil for any medical condition should first consult a doctor. A physician with a cannabis background can help the user determine if CBD is the right solution.

CBD Oil for Tinnitus and Its Legalization

CBD oil legality varies from one state to another. Consumers must review their state’s laws regarding CBD use before purchasing CBD products.

The 2018 Farm Bill excludes hemp-based CBD products with less than 0.3% THC content from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) definition of “marijuana”(42).

Federal law considers CBD products with THC content exceeding 0.3% as illegal(43).

In June 2020, the FDA approved Epidiolex, an oral anti-epileptic medicine containing pure CBD for treating seizures caused by two forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome(44).

The FDA warns the public that labeling or marketing CBD products as dietary supplements or food additives is illegal(45).

What an Individual Needs to Know About Tinnitus: What Is Tinnitus?

The ringing noise in one or both ears is typically referred to as tinnitus. A person with this condition hears a noise not caused by an external sound and is unheard by others. Tinnitus occurs in around 15% to 20% of individuals and is common among older adults(46).

What Causes Tinnitus?

Scientists have suggested that tinnitus arises from neuronal hyperactivity in the brain’s auditory areas(47).

Other causes of tinnitus include the following medical conditions(48):

  • Hearing loss
  • Ear canal blockage or infection
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Medications such as antibiotics, water pills, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cancer drugs, antimalarial drugs, and antidepressants

How Is Tinnitus Usually Treated?

While drugs cannot cure tinnitus, medication may help lower the severity of symptoms or complications(49). A doctor or audiologist can prescribe medications to help manage depression and anxiety often associated with tinnitus or relieve the symptoms of an underlying condition.

Treatments to help decrease tinnitus symptoms include the following(50):

  • Earwax removal: Removing earwax blockage may help lower tinnitus symptoms.
  • Hearing aids: These auditory devices may help manage noise-induced tinnitus or age-related hearing loss.
  • Treating a blood vessel condition: Surgery, medication, or another treatment method may address underlying blood vessel conditions causing tinnitus.

Although tinnitus has no cure, treatments such as electronic devices may help the symptoms become less noticeable. These devices include(51):

  • White noise machines: These devices create static-sounding noises or environmental sounds, such as ocean waves or falling rain. Individuals may use these devices to help with sleep.

Other alternative machines include fans, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers that produce white noise to help make tinnitus less pronounced at night.

  • Masking devices: These devices are like hearing aids that produce a continuous, low-level white noise to help suppress tinnitus symptoms.

What Are Some Natural Ways That May Minimize the Issues With Tinnitus?

Tinnitus sufferers who prefer natural alternatives to help manage their condition may consider the following tips. Individuals with tinnitus should(52):

  • Use hearing protection: Prolonged exposure to loud sounds can cause ear nerve damage, leading to hearing loss and tinnitus. Using hearing protection may help keep tinnitus from worsening.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine: These substances can affect an individual’s blood flow and cause tinnitus, especially when used excessively.
  • Turn the volume down: Listening to loud music through headphones can lead to tinnitus and hearing loss.

Why Is Ear Wax Removal Important?

The body produces earwax naturally to protect the ears from ear infections. The ear wax has antibacterial and lubricating properties(53). However, the untreated buildup can cause tinnitus, ear pain, hearing loss, irritation, dizziness, and other hearing disorders.

Importance of Consulting an Audiologist

Individuals suffering from or know someone with tinnitus should consult an audiologist or audiology expert for a thorough medical hearing evaluation of their hearing history, condition, and hearing ability.

Audiologists can provide medical advice and tinnitus treatment to alleviate the condition’s symptoms. Audiologists can also examine the condition’s underlying factors or referral to other appropriate healthcare providers for other symptoms and issues related to tinnitus.


  1. Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor Agonists Do Not Decrease, but may Increase Acoustic Trauma-Induced Tinnitus in Rats
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4364172/
  2. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/
  3. Tinnitus: Symptoms & Causes
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350156
  4. Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor Agonists Do Not Decrease, but may Increase Acoustic Trauma-Induced Tinnitus in Rats
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4364172/
  5. Does cannabis alleviate tinnitus? A review of the current literature
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7752070/
  6. Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor Agonists Do Not Decrease, but may Increase Acoustic Trauma-Induced Tinnitus in Rats
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4364172/
  7. Tetrahydrocannabinol
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/tetrahydrocannabinol
  8. CBD Oil: What Is It and How Does It Work?
    https://www.eehealth.org/blog/2019/09/cbd-oil/
  9. Tinnitus: Symptoms & Causes
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350156
  10. Does Cannabis Alleviate Tinnitus? A Review of the Current Literature
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7752070/
  11. WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence: Fortieth Report
    https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/279948/9789241210225-eng.pdf
  12. Tinnitus: Symptoms & Causes
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350156
  13. Ibid.
  14. Page 177 of Healing With CBD
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  15. Hypnotic and Antiepileptic Effects of Cannabidiol
    https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1552-4604.1981.tb02622.x
  16. Best Way to Take CBD
    https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/best-way-take-cbd
  17. Can Vaping Damage Your Lungs? What We Do (and Don’t) Know
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-vaping-damage-your-lungs-what-we-do-and-dont-know-2019090417734
  18. CBD Dosing
    https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/cbd-dosing
  19. The Cannabis Terpenes
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7763918/
  20. Flavonoids As Antioxidants
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10924197/
  21. 10 Tips for Buying CBD
    https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/10-tips-buying-cbd
  22. Industrial Hemp
    https://www.agmrc.org/commodities-products/fiber/industrial-hemp
  23. What Are CBD Gummies? Are There Any Health Benefits?
    https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/cbd-gummies-health-benefits-3515165/
  24. Cannabidiol Primer for Healthcare Professionals
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7340472/
  25. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
    https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
  26. 10 Tips for Buying CBD
    https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/10-tips-buying-cbd
  27. The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7324885/
  28. A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6043845/
  29. A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6043845/
  30. Cannabidiol Primer for Healthcare Professionals
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7340472/
  31. CBD Oil: What Is It and How Does It Work?
    https://www.eehealth.org/blog/2019/09/cbd-oil/
  32. Ibid.
  33. Cannabidiol (CBD): What We Know and What We Don’t
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
  34. The Endocannabinoid System: Essential and Mysterious
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-endocannabinoid-system-essential-and-mysterious-202108112569
  35. Ibid.
  36. Cannabidiol Primer for Healthcare Professionals
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7340472/
  37. Brain Activity of Anandamide: A Rewarding Bliss?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6460372/
  38. FDA Responds to Three GRAS Notices for Hemp Seed-Derived Ingredients for Use in Human Food
    https://www.fda.gov/food/cfsan-constituent-updates/fda-responds-three-gras-notices-hemp-seed-derived-ingredients-use-human-food
  39. Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor Agonists Do Not Decrease, but may Increase Acoustic Trauma-Induced Tinnitus in Rats
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4364172/
  40. What Are the Benefits of CBD — And Is It Safe to Use?
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700
  41. Page 114-115 of Healing With CBD
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  42. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill
    https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/hemp-production-and-2018-farm-bill-07252019
  43. CBD & THC: Myths and Misconceptions
    https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/cbd-thc-myths-and-misconceptions
  44. FDA Approves New Indication for Drug Containing an Active Ingredient Derived from Cannabis to Treat Seizures in Rare Genetic Disease
    https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-indication-drug-containing-active-ingredient-derived-cannabis-treat-seizures-rare#
  45. What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD
    https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis
  46. Tinnitus: Symptoms & Causes
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350156
  47. Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor Agonists Do Not Decrease, but may Increase Acoustic Trauma-Induced Tinnitus in Rats
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4364172/
  48. Tinnitus: Symptoms & Causes
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350156
  49. Tinnitus: Diagnosis & Treatment
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350162
  50. Ibid.
  51. Ibid.
  52. Ibid.
  53. Earwax Buildup & Blockage
    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14428-ear-wax-buildup–blockage
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