Can CBD Help Vestibular Disorders?
CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound in the hemp plant. Although more studies are needed, there is evidence to suggest that CBD could be a helpful treatment for vestibular symptoms such as tinnitus, sleep disturbance, vertigo, balance challenges, and anxiety. CBD has been shown to help manage inflammation, pain, stress, mood disorders, and has protective and preventive properties that can improve overall health and wellbeing.
People who suffer from inner ear and brain balance disorders are desperate for both accurate diagnoses and relief from symptoms. Because many vestibular disorders have no known cure, many patients seek alternative treatments that may improve emotional and cognitive symptoms, as well as quality of life. One natural solution that is currently being studied for its effects on tinnitus and other vestibular issues is CBD (cannabidiol).
What is CBD?
CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound (cannabinoid) in the hemp plant. Since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived products on a federal level, CBD’s popularity has skyrocketed. Thousands of published studies have shown promising evidence that CBD may offer mental and physical health benefits, with few side effects. People from all walks of life have reported amazing results, adding to the anecdotal evidence that this natural herb can help improve wellbeing.
CBD Quick Facts:
- CBD is legal on a federal level.
- CBD, unlike THC, does not have any intoxicating or hallucinogenic effects.
- The effects and benefits of CBD is the subject of many published, peer-reviewed studies.
- CBD has few serious side effects and doesn’t appear to be addictive.
- CBD can be taken in a variety of ways, including capsules, oil tinctures, topicals, edibles, and vapes.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD impacts the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which you can think of as your body’s central control center. The ECS is a chemical messaging system that regulates the central nervous system and works to keep balance throughout the body. Some medical thought suggests that a disruption in Endocannabinoids, which can lead to a breakdown in the nervous system’s smooth functioning, may be the trigger for various diseases.
Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids (chemicals) that keep our ECS healthy. Modern environments and lifestyles often expose us to toxins and stress, which may reduce our body’s ability to create these essential chemicals. So, when our ECS is deficient in these endocannabinoids, supplementing with cannabinoids like CBD may give the ECS a boost that’s missing and essential to maintaining health.
How Can CBD Help Vestibular Disorders?
While many vestibular disorders have no known cures, some experiential evidence proposes that CBD can calm some symptoms like tinnitus, sleep disturbance, vertigo, balance challenges, and anxiety. Some vestibular patients have seen improvements in their day-to-day functioning with the use of CBD.
Inflammation of the inner ear commonly contributes to dizziness and disruption of sensory information from the ear to the brain. One of CBD’s most researched superpowers allows the ECS to bring inflammation levels into balance1 and prevent excessive inflammation. Controlling inflammation allows the body’s natural healing inflammatory processes to work its magic without overreacting and damaging the surrounding tissues or causing collateral damage.
The ECS helps control your cognitive functions: memory, coordination, focus, mood, stress, anxiety, sleep, addiction, pain perception, pleasure, and brain energy. People with vestibular disorders often struggle in these areas. CBD is thought to help the ECS do its job of protecting brain cells and possibly supports new growth (neurogenesis).
Mood and Stress
CBD can offer a sense of calm and positivity while warding off anxiety, stress, and depression. For the vestibular patient, staying calm and stress-free is an important goal to avoid triggering other vestibular symptoms.
The well-known fight-or flight response occurs when you experience high stress levels: your brain focuses first on surviving the threat and produces the hormone cortisol. Continued high levels of cortisol can create lasting wear and tear on your brain, resulting in a domino effect of mental and physical deterioration. CBD can help you manage stress because it activates a type of serotonin receptor, promoting relaxation and restoring balance to the nervous system. This in turn has a positive effect on mood and your sense of well-being.3
Two important brain chemicals that help regulate mood and stress reactions are serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter known as the ‘happy chemical’ because of its mood boosting effects. When your serotonin levels are balanced you feel less anxious, more focused, and emotionally stable. When your serotonin levels are low or imbalanced, you may feel irritable or angry. CBD may help keep your serotonin levels balanced. CBD can activate serotonin receptors,9 which help give you a powerful, long-lasting mood boost. Think of these receptors like tiny locks that only chemicals like serotonin and CBD have the key to unlock. Activating these receptors also seems to slow your heart rate and may even lower your body temperature, allowing you to literally keep your cool. Read studies and more information on CBD and serotonin.
Studies show that CBD is effective at decreasing activity in the amygdala, the fear center of the brain. Even small oral doses have been shown to fight anxiety, which could be a huge benefit to vestibular patients who often have anxiety as a result of the disturbing symptoms of a balance disorder.
This is a type of neurotransmitter that works with the section of your brain that regulates pleasure and reward. It also affects emotions, behavior, motivation, and mental processes. CBD indirectly affects dopamine levels by blocking GPR6 and GABA activity in the brain, encouraging your body to naturally increase your dopamine levels. Read studies and more information.
Lack of sleep can trigger vestibular symptoms and cause sleep disruptions, which in turn triggers a vicious cycle of more vestibular symptoms. Unlike sleeping pills, CBD has fewer and milder possible side effects, and it isn’t addictive. It can help regulate your inner clock, or circadian rhythm, which controls processes like sleep/wake cycles. It also targets other factors that are interfering with your sleep quality, such as stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and indigestion.
While not all vestibular disorders involve pain, many people experience headaches, neck pain, and muscular tension/pain, along with other symptoms. CBD may help with various types of pain, addressing pain-inducing symptoms, such as inflammation, nerve damage, sleep issues, and mood imbalances. It is a natural, effective, safer alternative to many pain medications.
One symptom that may be calmed with CBD is tinnitus. Often associated with Meniere’s Disease, tinnitus is a very distressing, constant noise. It has shown some promise in muting this sensation.
Immune System and Gut Health
While people with vestibular disorders and their health providers are mostly focused on reducing the most common symptoms, it’s important to keep other body systems in good health. Evidence suggests that your immune system and gut health may benefit from CBD. Read more.
What to Buy and How to Take CBD
Aside from ensuring your CBD is high quality, look for Full Spectrum oil, which can legally have up to 0.03% THC. This is the federally legal amount that is recognized as “Certified THC-Free.” It will not make you feel high, and it should not register on a drug test, as long as you are purchasing it from a reputable company with 3rd-party lab tests. Look for organic products made in the USA. To get the most out of every dose, choose nano-amplified CBD for the best bioavailability and quickest, longest-lasting results. The most effective way to get the nutrients into your bloodstream is to drop the oil under your tongue and hold it for 1-2 minutes before swallowing. Read more.
If you’re taking medications and/or have a medical condition, please always consult your healthcare provider before adding supplements to your routine. CBD may interact with some drugs, including those with a”‘grapefruit warning.”
Though it’s often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you’re taking, such as blood thinners.
While many people have reported wonderful results, some people have not seen an improvement while using CBD for tinnitus and other vestibular disorders. It’s important to note that everyone’s journey and symptoms will vary, and you’ll need to monitor your body’s response.
How Does IT Compare to Prescription Drugs for Vestibular Disorders?
The FDA has yet to approve an effective drug for vestibular disorders. Health professionals recommend the combined use of vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT), medication, surgery, and complementary/alternative medicine. When combined, these strategies help put patients in a relaxed state to lessen the negative impact stress has on them so they are better equipped to manage their symptoms.
Compared to prescription medications, CBD:
- Has no harmful side effects
- Has no harmful dose
- Is non-addictive
- Improves your mental and physical wellness
- Is available and legal without a prescription
While there is not enough research yet to determine CBD’s direct impact on the vestibular system, studies show beneficial effects. It has shown to help manage inflammation, pain, stress, mood disorders, and also has protective and preventive properties that can improve overall health and wellbeing.
Check with your health provider before adding supplements to your routine.
Can CBD Help With Vertigo and Dizziness?
CBD has proven itself useful as a panacea of sorts, having been used for treating everything from migraines to chronic pain and anxiety.
Recent reviews show that CBD may also be useful for helping to treat vertigo, a condition that causes an unpleasant spinning sensation.
In this article, we’re going to explore some of the ways that CBD may be useful for helping with vertigo.
Does CBD Help With Vertigo?
Vertigo itself is not so much a condition as a symptom.
There are many conditions that can cause vertigo. Illnesses, medications, and environmental stimuli can all lead to the symptoms of vertigo: an uncontrollable sensation of dizziness and loss of balance.
For some, vertigo is so intense it can cause vomiting and leave them feeling entirely disoriented. Whatever the case, vertigo is an uncomfortable condition that many people seek relief from.
CBD has proven to be useful for managing a number of the symptoms of vertigo — including nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.
Anecdotal reports also show that it’s useful for treating headaches and dizziness.
Should I Use CBD or THC for Vertigo Treatment?
Both CBD and THC are useful for helping treat the symptoms of vertigo. Which one you decide to use is a matter of personal preference.
For most, the main difference is the way in which these compounds affect the brain.
Both substances are cannabinoids, which affect a system in the body called the endocannabinoid system. This is one of the widest networks in the human body, and this is also the reason that these two substances have such a huge number of different effects.
However, they both affect the body differently. THC works directly by stimulating the CB1 receptors in the system, but CBD works a bit more indirectly. In this way, it can provide most of the benefits of THC without getting you high.
This means you can enjoy the benefits of CBD without running the risk of getting intoxicated. This is ideal if you often struggle with vertigo at work or school, or while you’re driving.
How to Use CBD for Vertigo?
There are a few different ways you can use CBD for vertigo.
1. Using CBD Tinctures for Vertigo
CBD tinctures are one of the most popular forms of CBD. Tinctures can be taken orally or sublingually.
When used sublingually (held under the tongue) they’ll provide more benefit at a lower dose. Sublingual absorption allows for the substance to be absorbed into your bloodstream through the vessels in your mouth.
If you choose to swallow the tincture, a lot of it will still be absorbed. However, some of it is lost as it’s processed by your liver and digestive tract. This means you’ll need to take slightly more than you would otherwise.
In either case, CBD tinctures are very useful and convenient. You can take them anywhere, and they’re easy to transport.
2. Using CBD Vapes for Vertigo
Some people prefer to use a vape for treating their vertigo with CBD. There are a couple of benefits to this as well as some obvious drawbacks.
One of the most promising benefits is the fact that vaped CBD hits you immediately. Within a matter of seconds, you’ll be able to find relief.
Furthermore, you’re able to use a much lower dose than you would if you were taking a tincture. Vaped CBD is administered directly into the bloodstream through the lungs, and very little is lost through this process.
One of the disadvantages is that you’ll need to find a place where you can actually vape your CBD. If you’re expecting to get hit by vertigo at work or school, you may want to keep some tinctures on hand as well.
CBD For Vertigo Symptoms
Vertigo is often caused by an underlying condition, a stimulating experience, or a drug. This means that CBD may not be useful for stopping the underlying condition causing your vertigo. However, it can be very useful for helping to manage some of the symptoms of vertigo.
Some of the most common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and migraines. Here’s how CBD can improve these issues.
1. CBD For Nausea
One of CBD’s most popular uses is for managing nausea. It has been useful for helping people manage nausea of all types ranging from chemotherapy-induced nausea to nausea from hangovers.
CBD does this by interacting with the serotonin system . Many of the serotonin receptors are located in the gut, where they regulate our digestive health and nausea.
By bringing balance to our serotonin system, CBD helps to mitigate nausea. This can make it a useful treatment for managing vertigo-induced nausea.
2. CBD For Vomiting
CBD is also a very useful treatment for nausea. Not only can it help to prevent nausea associated with vomiting, but it may also be able to prevent nausea. Research reveals that cannabinoids, including CBD, can help to prevent vomiting in people with cancer.
3. CBD For Headaches
Another one of the most common and popular uses of CBD is for helping to manage headaches and migraines.
Many vertigo attacks are accompanied by intense headaches and migraines. This is particularly true if you struggle with a condition known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
People with this type of vertigo often experience migraines when they move quickly or suddenly. While most of the reports of using CBD for headaches are anecdotal, research has compiled a fair amount of evidence that supports this claim.
One of the reasons for this is because the endocannabinoid system is involved in pain regulation. By affecting the receptors in your ECS, CBD can help to reduce pain.
CBD also stimulates the release of another compound called anandamide. One of the functions of this substance is to help dilate your blood vessels. This can help reduce the intensity of headaches.
4. CBD For Dizziness
There have been anecdotal reports of people using cannabinoids to help fight dizziness. However, there are not any studies that specifically confirm this benefit.
A study published in 2006 suggests that there may be cannabinoid receptors in the central vestibular system. This system is often involved in acute attacks of dizziness .
While this doesn’t prove that CBD may be reliable for fighting nausea, it’s certainly a suggestion that more research in this area is necessary.
Nausea, vomiting, and dizziness are symptoms that commonly occur alongside one another. This may be one reason that people have reported relief when using CBD for dizziness.
Safety & Risks: Side Effects of Using CBD With Vertigo
CBD is generally considered a safe supplement. There aren’t a lot of serious side effects associated with it.
The most commonly reported side effect is drowsiness caused by extreme relaxation. This means that you might want to avoid using CBD for vertigo if you’re going to be driving or using heavy machinery.
The other main concern is the way that CBD interacts with other drugs and medications. CBD inhibits the production of the CYP450 enzymes, which are responsible for metabolizing the most commonly prescribed drugs .
If you’re taking other medications, you may want to check with your doctor first before using CBD. This is especially important when you consider the fact that vertigo is sometimes a side effect of certain medications.
Another thing you’ll want to confirm is the legal status of cannabinoids in your area. CBD is considered legal in most areas. However, cannabis in its whole form is not.
If you’re planning to use cannabis or CBD to manage your vertigo, you should check in with your state or country to confirm whether or not it’s legal.
Summary: Should You Use CBD Oil For Vertigo?
CBD is a very useful compound that provides many of the same benefits as THC without causing intoxication.
It has been used medically to help manage a wide variety of symptoms, including many of those associated with vertigo: nausea, vomiting, headaches, and dizziness.
If you struggle with vertigo and are looking for a useful substance to help fight the symptoms, you may want to use CBD. This can help to provide relief while you work to identify the underlying cause of your vertigo.
Remember to be careful when using CBD. While the substance itself is considered safe, it can interact with medications and other drugs. You will also have to double-check the legal status of CBD in your state and country.
Once you’ve confirmed with your doctor that CBD is safe to use with any medications you’re taking, check out the products offered by Royal CBD or Gold Bee to help with vertigo symptoms.
References Used In This Article
- Parker, L. A., Rock, E. M., & Limebeer, C. L. (2011). Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1411-1422.
- Smith, P. F., Ashton, J. C., & Darlington, C. L. (2006). The endocannabinoid system: A new player in the neurochemical control of vestibular function?. Audiology and Neurotology, 11(4), 207-212.
- Zendulka, O., Dovrtelová, G., Nosková, K., Turjap, M., Sulcová, A., Hanus, L., & Jurica, J. (2016). Cannabinoids and cytochrome P450 interactions. Current drug metabolism, 17(3), 206-226.
Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.
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