CBD Oil For Vertigo

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Research has shown that Cannabidiol (CBD) can help reduce symptoms of vertigo and treat dizziness. Learn more about CBD here. Can CBD treat vertigo and dizziness? Read here to understand how CBD's anti-nausea, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties can aid people.

Here’s What We Know About Using CBD for Vertigo in 2022

While many people have struggled with vertigo, it can also be difficult to find the best solution to treat the symptoms.

In recent years, more research has been able to show promising results when using cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment for the relief of vertigo symptoms. Now in 2021, we have lots of information to guide us through the use of CBD products for vertigo patients, so let’s get started.

What Is Vertigo?

Many people associate vertigo with dizzy feelings, but the actual meaning of vertigo is slightly more complex. Vertigo occurs when your body experiences a feeling of unbalance.

This can manifest in different ways– including dizziness or spinning feelings. Some people who have vertigo will describe it as their surroundings spinning (even though they aren’t) around them while you aren’t moving, or vice versa.

It’s a common condition that can feel similar to motion sickness in some patients, but it’s more intense than feeling lightheaded.

Multiple factors may lead to vertigo, but problems in the inner ear are a very common cause. One of the main causes of vertigo is called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV for short). This condition can lead to short-term sensations of spinning or movement and can be triggered by rapid head movement.

This happens because BPPV appears in the inner ear when tiny particles called canaliths are shifted from their normal location and into the inner ear. When this occurs, your ear sends a signal to the brain to help keep your balance.

Another cause of vertigo can be Meniere’s disease, which research shows can lead to hour-long episodes. This disease affects the inner ear through a buildup of fluids and increased pressure, causing vertigo or tinnitus. People who struggle with this disorder may also experience trouble hearing or hearing loss in addition to symptoms of vertigo.

Other causes can include inner ear infections like vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis, as well as migraines.

The symptoms of vertigo will vary depending on the cause and case, however, common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headaches, ringing in the ear, feelings of spinning/unbalance, abnormal eye movements, perspiration, and more. While most symptoms tend to go away within minutes, some sufferers may have symptoms that last up to 24 hours.

How Does CBD Help With Vertigo?

Many people are turning towards CBD products as a treatment for symptoms of vertigo, but is it effective? The effectiveness of CBD treatment for vertigo will ultimately rely on your symptoms and personal case. It does offer a possible solution for patients who would rather try a natural remedy over other medications/methods.

When you look at the symptoms of vertigo, CBD has different benefits that may help treat symptoms in various ways. The most common symptom of vertigo is dizziness, but CBD properties aren’t well known to treat dizziness. However, a 2018 study showed that multiple patients who tried CBD treatment reported relief from dizziness and fatigue.

That being said, there is an abundance of research that shows CBD to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties & effects. The anti-inflammatory benefits may help patients who have symptoms caused by pressure or buildup in the inner ear, by providing possible relief to reduce the severity.

It’s also important to note that one of the most inconvenient & uncomfortable symptoms of vertigo is feelings of nausea. Quick relief for nauseousness is hard to find, but studies show that cannabidiol can work effectively to reduce or even eliminate nausea.

While CBD has helpful properties that can help alleviate symptoms of vertigo, it is not a one-size-fits-all treatment. For patients interested in natural remedies to relieve nausea, pressure, or dizziness related to vertigo, CBD may be worth trying. However, patients should consult their doctor before starting CBD treatment, for further safety.

Is CBD Safe?

CBD has been considered as a possible treatment method for vertigo symptoms, as well as many other conditions. That being said, if you haven’t used CBD products like oils, tinctures, edibles, or inhalers , it may leave you wondering about safety.

For more context, CBD refers to cannabidiol, which is one of the most notable active ingredients found in marijuana (aka cannabis) plants. While CBD does derive from the hemp plant (the cousin of the marijuana plant), it does not provide the psychoactive effects or “high” feeling that cannabis products containing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, will produce.

CBD is not a cure; however, it has been shown to provide relief for many symptoms that result from health conditions. CBD can help relieve an extensive range of health symptoms without the risk of developing a dependency.

CBD does not provide any psychoactive effects. Therefore, it will likely not impair your ability to drive safely. However, it’s important to check with your local laws and restrictions, as they differ among regions. That being said, you are most likely safe to drive after taking CBD oil. The only exception might be if the CBD product you’ve taken contains THC, it can impair your driving.

As for possible side effects, the research available on CBD suggests that there are some rare cases. The potential side effects are not common & typically mild but include dry mouth, nausea, or fatigue. In order to prevent adverse side effects, make sure your CBD dosage is reasonable concerning the recommended amount.

Overall, CBD is a safe treatment method, but if you have specific concerns related to your health– check with your doctor beforehand.

Other Treatment Options For Vertigo

Vertigo cases vary in symptoms and causes, so treatment options will depend on the patient and their specific case. For many cases, vertigo symptoms will fade without any treatment, as most episodes are short– ranging from 2 minutes to a few hours.

There are treatment options that can help to prevent vertigo symptoms/episodes from occurring in the future, depending on the case. Here are some of the common treatments for vertigo patients.

Antibiotics

If an underlying cause of a patient’s vertigo is an infection of the inner ear or elsewhere, doctors may prescribe antibiotics to reduce inflammation. This can open up the passageways, reduce buildup in the ear, and minimize swelling to eliminate vertigo triggers.

Vestibular Rehabilitation

This form of treatment is more common with patients who experience vertigo very often and want to prevent/reduce symptoms such as dizziness and loss of balance. This treatment is a form of physical therapy that works to train your vestibular system.

The vestibular system is a sensory-based system that influences balance and spatial orientation. It works by training your system to send signals to the brain that relate to movement and gravity, making it easier to control balance and disorientation. Overall, this treatment helps to strengthen your senses in order to prevent common triggers or symptoms of vertigo long-term.

Medication

For patients with severe cases, especially caused by Meniere’s disease, certain medications are prescribed to alleviate dizziness. These medications can include diuretics, antihistamines, lorazepam, and more. This is a preferred treatment only when recommended by a medical professional after a thorough diagnosis.

Canalith Repositioning Procedure

This procedure is used to treat patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) in order to prevent dizziness using simple head maneuvers. This treatment is focused on the inner ear calcium deposits, using movement to reposition the particles to prevent dizziness. It is not a total cure, but it can be effective after 1-2 treatments. Although uncommon vertigo may reoccur after treatments, but less frequently.

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Daily Practices

Some patients may feel relief from vertigo symptoms by practicing lifestyle habits/home remedies. These practices include walking with a cane, squatting instead of bending, sleeping with a raised head, and other daily changes.

Acupuncture

There isn’t much research out on this method of treatment, however, a 2015 study showed some promising results. This research found that 30 minutes of acupuncture treatment was able to reduce vertigo symptoms in 60 patients who were seeking emergency medical attention for dizziness/vertigo.

Can CBD Treat Vertigo? – August 2022

Treatment for vertigo symptoms depends on what is causing it. For those who want to go natural, CBD is an excellent option, given its many potential benefits.

In a study that utilized data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys to study dizziness, it was found that vertigo and dizziness rank among the most common reasons for consultation and referral to specialist care ( 4 ) .

In a MedlinePlus article on dizziness and vertigo, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that dizziness makes people feel lightheaded or disoriented. If people feel like they or the room is spinning, they have vertigo. Both dizziness and vertigo make people lose their balance ( 5 ) .

In a 2018 study published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology , CBD was shown to reduce the recurrence of adverse events when used as add-on therap y ( 6 ) .

The authors of the study also found that CBD reduced fatigue, sleepiness, irritability, insomnia, appetite loss, aggressiveness, nausea, and dizziness in most of the subjects.

In another research , which was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology , results suggest that CBD may be an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting ( 7 ) .

CBD has also been shown to wield potent anti-inflammatory effects, as one study , which was published in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology in 2007, shows ( 8 ) .

The study mentioned above was done on animals. However, the authors also noted that since 2005, CBD had been approved for the treatment of pain, inflammation, and spasticity linked to multiple sclerosis in humans .

CBD’s anti-inflammatory characteristic may prove beneficial to alleviate the swelling of the inner ear, also referred to as labyrinthitis.

Vertigo is a symptom of labyrinthitis, National Health Service (NHS) UK says ( 9 ) .

How CBD Works To Alleviate The Symptoms of Vertigo

Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that attach to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.

Within the human body is the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates a variety of functions including appetite, sleep, pain and immune system response ( 10 ) .

The ECS is composed of two primary cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2).

The role of the CB2 cannabinoid receptor in immune regulation was demonstrated in a 2009 study supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-NIH.

In the said study, the authors noted that CB2 receptors most often found on the cells of the immune system help moderate inflammation and immune response to pathogens ( 11 ) .

Given that vertigo is a symptom of inflammation, it can be deduced that treating inflammation may help treat vertigo symptoms.

Anti-inflammatory drugs are also used to treat vertigo and dizziness, says Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA) ( 12 ) . But can CBD also help with inflammation, and how?

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Pain Research has demonstrated that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by influencing endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters ( 13 ) .

In another study published in the Molecules Journal that same year, data have shown CBD’s ability to decrease swelling by signaling to the body to shut down its inflammation response ( 14 ) .

Meanwhile, a 2018 study published in the Journal of Frontiers in Neurology found that continuous and consistent doses of CBD oil, administered over an extended period helps reduce dizziness ( 15 ) .

However, the results do not provide a direct connection to CBD oil’s effects on vertigo. Given that vertigo occurs at an entirely different intensity level as compared to normal dizziness, it is difficult to assess whether CBD could treat conditions that cause vertigo as a symptom.

The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Vertigo

The Pros

  • CBD “is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile,” as the World Health Organization (WHO) states in a critical review ( 16 ) .
  • Scientific studies mentioned above show that CBD may help suppress dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, which are often linked to some cases of vertigo.
  • CBD’s anti-inflammatory characteristic, as shown in the studies mentioned previously, make CBD potentially beneficial in treating vertigo symptoms.
  • Unlike some commonly prescribed medications for vertigo, such as ondansetron, diazepam, lorazepam, and prednisone, CBD oil may be purchased without a prescription in locations where they are legally available.
  • In a review , CBD has been shown to be well-tolerated at doses of up to 1,500 mg per day ( 17 ) .

The Cons

  • Studies are too limited to determine whether or not CBD is an effective treatment for conditions other than the ones approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • As with the use of any natural chemical compound, there are risks involved in using CBD. According to the Mayo Clinic, possible side effects include drowsiness, dry mouth, diarrhea, fatigue, and reduced appetite ( 18 ) .
  • CBD can alter how the body metabolizes certain medications, as studies reveal ( 19 ) .

Research indicates that the CYP450 family of enzymes is responsible for metabolizing several phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids that exist naturally in the cannabis plant), including CBD ( 20 ) .

How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Vertigo

Vertigo is a type of dizziness characterized by the illusion of rotational motion, says the American Academy of Family Physicians . Associated symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and excessive sweating. Because vertigo can have multiple concurrent causes, especially among the elderly, a specific diagnosis can be elusive ( 21 ) .

Still, certain medications are prescribed by doctors to help with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.

The American Gastroenterological Association recommends antihistamines for the treatment of nausea associated with vertigo or motion sickness ( 22 ) .

Meclizine is an antihistamine that works by blocking the signals to the brain that cause dizziness, nausea, and vomiting says Mayo Clinic ( 23 ) .

Meclizine is also used for vertigo (dizziness or lightheadedness) caused by ear problems (2 4 ) .

When there is no definite cause of vertigo, doctors may advise their patients to opt for vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT). This procedure strengthens the vestibular sensory symptom, which reduces the frequency and intensity of vertigo symptoms, as explained in the 2011 study published in the Journal of Clinical Neurology ( 25 ) .

Another technique that can allay vertigo symptoms is the Epley maneuver, which involves a series of changes in the position of the head and body. This type of exercise, which can be done at home, helps to treat the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), according to an article posted in Johns Hopkins Medicine ( 26 ) .

Meanwhile, some essential oils are being advertised and/or recommended for ailments including vertigo and tinnitus (the perception of noise or ringing in the ears), says Robert M. DiSogra, AuD, who has more than 40 years of experience in audiology and has published and lectured extensively on pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals for hearing loss and tinnitus ( 27 ) .

However, in an article published by the American Academy of Audiology, DiSogra says that, although essential oils possess numerous therapeutic properties, they do not help with vertigo or tinnitus.

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More importantly, DiSograa advises against the ingestion of essential oils or its placement into the ear canal, saying that massage is the best way to apply essential oils to help relieve symptoms ( 28 ) .

A 2013 study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal showed the anti-inflammatory effects of lavender on the central nervous system ( 29 ) . However, note that using essential oils is not a recognized treatment for vertigo. Instead, these oils are used to help ease the symptoms linked to the disorder.

Magnesium therapy is another tool that may help with vertigo symptoms.

In a 2018 study published in Open Heart Journal , vertigo was presented as a less severe sign of magnesium deficiency ( 30 ) .

However, there is no substantial evidence that links vertigo to magnesium deficiency. Neither is there a study that supports magnesium therapy as a treatment for vertigo. More studies are needed.

Also, despite the efficacy of prescription medications, like antihistamines, used to help with vertigo symptoms, these drugs bring about side effects.

Side effects that may be caused by antihistamines include clumsiness or unsteadiness, nausea, vomiting and headache ( 31 ) . Ironically, these are the same symptoms of most vertigo cases ( 32 ) .

Cannabidiol (CBD), on the other hand, is a natural alternative that has shown to have little side effects, and the side effects of CBD are less common than those associated with most pharmaceutical medications used to treat vertigo symptoms.

CBD may also be used as a dietary supplement like magnesium or as a topical like essential oils.

Given CBD’s potential to help with vertigo symptoms, as shown in the studies mentioned earlier, using it may help provide some much-needed and quick relief.

Still, before experimenting with different CBD products, speak to a doctor about a CBD treatment or using CBD oil for treating vertigo symptoms.

How to Choose The Right CBD for Vertigo

Pure CBD oil, tinctures, and concentrates are CBD products designed for the sublingual method of application, which is ideal when taking CBD for vertigo symptoms.

CBD products in these forms can easily be held in the mouth to give time for the active ingredients to be absorbed by the capillaries in the mouth before being swallowed ( 33 ) .

However, regardless of the form of CBD product of choice, careful consideration must be employed in choosing the best CBD oil for vertigo symptoms.

The following factors are essential to ensure the safety and reliability of the CBD products purchased:

  1. Research on the exact legal stipulations applicable to CBD in the area where it would be purchased and used.
  2. Purchase only from legitimate and reliable big brands. Majority of companies that manufacture the best CBD oil products purchase their hemp from farms that are located in California, Texas, Europe, and Colorado.
  3. When buying from an online store, research product reviews. When buying from a physical store or dispensary, check whether the store is authorized by the government to sell CBD.
  4. One important thing to look for in CBD products is certification codes. Several certification authorities approve certain products only after some thorough screening tests.
  5. Compare company claims about their products’ potency with that of the third-party lab reports.
  6. Consulting with a trusted medical professional who is experienced in CBD use is ideal before one purchases his or her first bottle of CBD.

CBD Dosage For Vertigo

There are no standard CBD doses prescribed for vertigo. Thus, it may be best to start with a dosage that is recommended and displayed on the product label.

Recording any progress and side effects that may be experienced during the therapy may also be beneficial.

How to Take CBD Oil for Vertigo

As vertigo symptoms come on suddenly, the sublingual method of taking CBD may be ideal.

In this method, CBD oil is held under the tongue for up to 90 seconds, giving time for the mucous membranes in the mouth to absorb the oil’s active ingredients before the oil is swallowed.

The benefit of the sublingual process is that CBD oil bypasses the digestive system and liver metabolization, allowing the compounds to reach the bloodstream and interact with the ECS more quickly (3 4 ) .

Pure CBD oil, tinctures, and concentrates are CBD products that are excellent for the sublingual method of application.

Still, a consultation with a physician is an excellent idea before using any CBD supplements to ensure there are no adverse reactions to existing medications.

Understanding Vertigo

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that about 35% percent of Americans over 40 years old had had some form of vestibular dysfunction, the most common of which is vertigo ( 35 ) .

Researchers of a study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal said that while dizziness and vertigo are common, the cause of this disorder often remains unexplained ( 36 ) .

The authors also said, “The underestimation of dizziness and vertigo symptoms with regard to their effect on personal and health care is reflected in the fact that large percentages of the underlying disorders remain underdiagnosed and, therefore, are presumed to be insufficiently treated.”

What Causes Vertigo?

Vertigo could be caused by many factors, including inner ear infections and migraines. It could also be brought about by some medications, including those used to treat anxiety or high blood pressure or anxiety ( 37 ) .

However, one of the most common causes is an inner-ear condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) ( 38 ) .

BPPV is believed to be caused by calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) coming loose within the ear canals. BPPV can also be caused by a head injury, damage caused by an inner ear disorder, or degeneration of the vestibular system in the inner ear due to ageing.

Although there is also an association between BPPV and osteoporosis, in a large number of cases, there is no known cause (39 ) .

Ménière’s disease is an inner ear disorder that causes a feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear, severe dizziness (vertigo), ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and hearing loss. Usually, Ménière’s disease affects only one ear.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that more than 600,000 people in the United States are currently diagnosed with Ménière’s disease and, as of 2017, 45,500 cases are newly diagnosed each year ( 40 ) .

Labyrinthitis is the irritation and swelling of the inner ear that can cause vertigo and hearing loss.

Labyrinthitis is often caused by a virus and, sometimes, by bacteria. Having a cold or flu can trigger the condition. Other causes include allergies or certain medicines that are damaging to the inner ear.

Smoking, drinking large amounts of alcohol, and stress may raise an individual’s risk for labyrinthitis ( 41 ) .

While there are cases when vertigo is the side effect of other medical conditions, there are also times when doctors are baffled by the exact cause of vertigo in some people.

Understanding CBD

Medical marijuana is a natural medicine from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica family of plants. Hemp and marijuana are both primary species of Cannabis sativa.

Medical cannabis is a broad term for any cannabis-based medicine, and it is often used interchangeably with the term medical marijuana.

Of the many active compounds found in a Cannabis sativa plant, two are of interest for medical purposes: THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).

THC induces psychoactive effects like nausea and dizziness when consumed in high concentrations. CBD, a cannabinoid mostly derived from hemp, is best known for its therapeutic benefits without the euphoric high.

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Medicines derived from Cannabis indica plants have higher CBD and lower THC counts. Meanwhile, medicines produced from Cannabis sativa plants have lower CBD and higher THC counts.

CBD oil is derived from the stalks, flowers, and leaves of the hemp plant. Hemp oil, or hemp seed oil, is made from hemp seeds, that contain little to no CBD.

Under U.S. federal law, the use of whole plant Cannabis sativa or its derivatives for any purpose is illegal. On the other hand, CBD derived from the hemp plant that contains < 0.3% THC is legal to consume ( 42 ) .

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as medicine.

For more information on studies related to cannabis, go to https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

Conclusion

There is a complexity involved with using CBD oil to treat vertigo directly. Vertigo is a complicated disorder, so it is also challenging to establish whether or not the sudden and intense dizziness is part of a specific medical condition.

Although CBD oil is a potential treatment for the underlying conditions that might cause vertigo, CBD is not necessarily a treatment for vertigo itself.

Still, CBD’s anti-nausea, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties, as shown in some studies, may be a potential remedy to vertigo symptoms that people experience.

However, before starting a CBD regimen, it would benefit individuals who would like to include CBD in their therapy to do some research and exercise caution when choosing which CBD products to use.

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Table of Contents

Nervous & Sensory System

Dr. Kimberly Langdon, MD

Kimberly Langdon, MD is a retired, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University.

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