Using CBD for Tinnitus: What Does the Science Say?

cbd and tinnitus
By Andrew Ward Updated March 8th

Fact-checked by Alexandra Arnett, MS

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Kessler, MD

Tinnitus is a medical condition that causes a person to experience unexplained ringing or buzzing sounds in the ears. The length of this effect and its intensity vary, with some experiencing it infrequently and others more permanently. 

No definitive cures for tinnitus exist. Still, numerous treatments are considered to be beneficial in relieving symptoms. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one such possible option. The non-psychoactive compound shows some potential, especially in treating secondary symptoms of tinnitus, but there’s not enough research to claim its medical efficacy yet. 

The landscape surrounding CBD as a tinnitus treatment is complex. Before making a decision on treatment, it’s essential to consider current research to understand the possible risks and benefits of using CBD to treat tinnitus symptoms.

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What is Tinnitus?

cbd and tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition where the individual experiences ringing, buzzing, hissing, or other similar sounds, even when there’s nothing externally causing them. The perception of sound is the prominent symptom. However, tinnitus comes with additional symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Concentration struggles
  • Higher stress or anxiety levels
  • Sensitivity to loud noises
  • Fatigue 
  • Increased irritability

The condition affects a significant portion of people. In 2014, the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) estimated that 21% of adults over 18 struggle following conversations amid background noise, with 11.2% having tinnitus. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 10% of US adults, or 25 million people, struggle with the condition each year. However, additional surveys have reported that up to 25% of the population may suffer. 

The lack of treatment is frustrating enough. Making matters worse, researchers aren't entirely sure of the causes of tinnitus, and further understanding is required. 

The US National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders lists various possible causes, including:

  • Noise exposure: Various factors, from workplace settings and military careers to loud sports and music venues, have all been linked to the condition. 
  • Hearing loss: Hearing loss can be caused by various factors, including aging and exposure to loud noise. Still, not every person with hearing loss will develop tinnitus.
  • Medications: Tinnitus can be an adverse side effect of various medications. Medicines associated with tinnitus include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, certain antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs, anti-malaria pills, and antidepressants.
  • Earwax or an ear infection: Researchers believe that ear canal blockages caused by earwax or ear infection fluid may cause tinnitus.
  • Head or neck injuries: Tinnitus may be caused by ear damage associated with head and neck injuries. 

Less common but potential causes include:

  • Ménière's disease: This inner ear disorder may cause balance problems and hearing loss.
  • Jaw joint problems: Tinnitus could come from the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull by the ears. There is a belief that jaw clenching or teeth grinding could help cause tinnitus. 
  • Tumor-related disorders: Acoustic neuromas (vestibular schwannoma) and other head, neck, and brain tumors may cause tinnitus in some patients.
  • Blood vessel problems: Blood pressure issues, especially near the ear, may cause tinnitus. This outcome has been associated with various conditions, including high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and malformations in blood vessels.
  • Chronic conditions: Various chronic conditions are also caused to tinnitus development, including diabetes, migraines, thyroid disorders, anemia, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.

No matter the source, tinnitus symptoms can range from mild to severe. These effects can create a significant impact on an individual's life. If you think you have tinnitus, visit a medical professional to assess your situation. 

Does CBD Help Tinnitus?

Does CBD Help Tinnitus?

The jury is out on whether CBD can help tinnitus.

Specific research focusing on the CBD-tinnitus connection is limited. Still, there is growing interest in its potential benefits. And some studies have suggested that CBD may help manage symptoms associated with tinnitus. 

For example, individuals with tinnitus often experience affective and anxiety disorders.1 While research is far from conclusive, some believe CBD could help offset these disorders, citing select lab research and scores of anecdotal feedback to support their notion. These individuals often suggest CBD's potential anti-anxiety and mood-stabilizing properties could indirectly benefit tinnitus sufferers. 

A more specific study in 2020 focused on the potential healing potential of cannabis on tinnitus. Using previously conducted analysis, researchers studied the potential efficacy of the plant on tinnitus. Researchers note that while animal studies have shown promise in confirming that cannabinoid receptors play a part in modulating auditory signaling, no data or human studies have been published specifically showing marijuana's efficacy on tinnitus symptoms.2 

However, a 2023 survey conducted on people diagnosed with tinnitus found that 80% of patients using cannabis reported a reduction in tinnitus-related symptoms. The majority of those patients preferred edibles to treat their symptoms.3

CBD and Tinnitus: What are the Risks and Side Effects?

CBD and Tinnitus effects

CBD is generally considered safe for people to consume. Still, while CBD has shown promise in helping various conditions, namely certain types of epilepsy, select animal-based studies suggest that cannabinoids may not deliver as much relief as some hope. A 2020 neuroimmunological perspective study on animal models of tinnitus concluded that cannabinoids are not likely to be helpful in tinnitus treatment.4

While you'd need to consume a large dose of CBD to feel adverse effects, those outcomes do exist. Signs of CBD overconsumption include: 

  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

While it's frustrating to hear, there still isn’t enough information on CBD as a tinnitus treatment. More research will come in time. Until then, anecdotal reports are the only thing to go by. So, check with a medical professional before making any decisions about your medical treatment.

CBD for Tinnitus: Which Products Work Best?

CBD for Tinnitus

We're still unclear if any specific CBD products effectively treat tinnitus. But CBD has shown promise in reducing feelings of anxiety, one of the common factors that has been linked to tinnitus severity. 

Some CBD cultivars are praised for their ability to help relieve anxiety. Granted, most CBD products rarely list the specific cultivar, but if you’re looking for CBD flower, look for:

  • Sour Space Candy
  • Hawaiian Haze
  • Remedy
  • Abacus
  • Lifter

There are also plenty of CBD products made specifically for stress relief and relaxation. These products tend to have natural terpenes that promote relaxation. They also may include other ingredients to aid in relaxation or sleep, like melatonin.

Speaking of terpenes, it may be helpful to select CBD edibles or oils higher in limonene, myrcene, and caryophyllene (or the cannabinoid CBG). These compounds have been linked with some of the top cultivars for tinnitus and anxiety relief. 

What About High-THC Weed and Tinnitus?

High-THC Weed and Tinnitus

Some believe High-THC cannabis to be a viable treatment option for tinnitus symptoms. The belief stems from the idea that many top-rated cultivars for tinnitus treatment contain higher doses of THC than CBD. Additional support for the notion comes from the idea that THC may help lower anxiety when taken in appropriate doses. But more research is needed to determine the validity of the hypothesis. 

Three iconic strains receiving anecdotal praise for their tinnitus treatment include: 

While anecdotes have often helped provide a better understanding of cannabis as medication, it is still best to consult with a medical professional before switching up your treatment regimen.

Using CBD For Tinnitus: Tips and Safety

Using CBD For Tinnitus

When using CBD for tinnitus, follow some common sense tips to ensure safety and maximize potential benefits.

  1. Use the "start low, go slow" method to gradually increase your dosage as needed.
  2. Only buy and consume CBD and other cannabis products from reputable retailers who provide precise lab analysis of the product. Read product labels and understand the ingredients. 
  3. Immediately speak to a medical professional if you feel adverse results.
  4. Consult with a trusted healthcare professional to discuss how much CBD will help your tinnitus, if it will at all. 

Despite the growing interest in CBD and the desire to treat tinnitus, a great deal of research is needed to confirm or deny its efficacy. As such, remain informed, understand your body (including your medical conditions), and consult with a trusted medical professional first.


1. Zirke N, Seydel C, Arsoy D, et al. Analysis of mental disorders in tinnitus patients performed with Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Quality of Life Research. 2013;22(8):2095-2104. doi:

2. Narwani V, Bourdillon A, Nalamada K, Manes RP, Hildrew DM. Does cannabis alleviate tinnitus? A review of the current literature. Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology. 2020;5(6):1147-1155. doi:

3. Mavedatnia D, Levin M, Lee JW, Hamour AF, Dizon K, Le T. Cannabis use amongst tinnitus patients: consumption patterns and attitudes. Journal of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery. 2023;52(1). doi:

4. Perin P, Mabou Tagne A, Enrico P, et al. Cannabinoids, Inner Ear, Hearing, and Tinnitus: A Neuroimmunological Perspective. Frontiers in Neurology. 2020;11. doi:

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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