CBD Oil For Vertigo

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We take a look at CBD oil for vertigo. Could the cannabis-based medicine help with this distressing condition? Read more to find out. Can CBD treat vertigo and dizziness? Read here to understand how CBD's anti-nausea, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties can aid people.

Can I Use CBD Oil to STOP My Vertigo?

Vertigo is a condition that affects many people each year. Individuals with vertigo often describe a fear of heights, roller coasters, or even mountain climbing. Often these fears are related to symptoms they experience as a result of these activities.

These symptoms may include extreme dizziness and a loss of balance. Vertigo attacks may impact the lives of individuals along a spectrum, from mild to severe. In severe cases, some people can not walk across a bridge or climb stairs due to this condition’s effects.

Many today are left wondering if CBD oil can stop vertigo symptoms. This article will detail the vertigo condition and explore how CBD oil may help individuals suffering from vertigo.

What Is Vertigo?

Vertigo is a condition in the inner ear that makes a person feel like everything around them is suddenly spinning. It can be brought on by a sudden change in height or a change in pressure.

Vertigo can occur as a symptom of many different conditions. These include conditions that affect the brain’s ability to orient itself physically or ones that impact the inner ear.

The sensation of vertigo is more than just dizziness. People that have experienced vertigo describe it as the world spinning around them. It can leave them feeling both nauseous and panicky, with vomiting and sweating being frequent subsequent reactions.

Some people only experience vertigo as an occasional reaction to adverse conditions, such as climbing to extremely tall heights or sudden pressure changes. However, some individuals experience this phenomenon for reasons that they cannot pinpoint. It severely hinders many aspects of their lives. Routine activities such as walking, jogging, or simply watching television may prove challenging.

There are various types of medications available that aim to reduce the effects of vertigo. Sometimes these medications aren’t effective, as they either only reduce the intensity of the episode or don’t work at all based on an individual’s unique body chemistry.

People who suffer from vertigo need another way to control their condition. The question is, is CBD oil a viable option?

How Does CBD Oil Work?

Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t cause any intoxicating high due to how it interacts with the body.

When THC enters the body, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system, latching on to the CB1 receptors and overstimulating them. This produces the telltale psychoactive high that makes marijuana so well known.

The effects that CBD oil has on the body are surprisingly diverse. It produces all manner of different results. One of the most famous is its ability to help reduce inflammation, especially after activities such as exercise. It essentially is telling the body to shut down its inflammation response.

However, no matter how many different conditions CBD oil can help with, the real question is whether or not CBD can be used to help treat vertigo.

How Can CBD Oil Help with Vertigo?

Despite the prolific nature of vertigo among people worldwide, there have up to now been no studies published concerning the effect of CBD oil and vertigo-dizziness.

A meta-analysis by Pamplona et al. for the Journal of Frontiers in Neurology found that when patients were taking CBD oil as part of an epilepsy study, there was a considerable reduction in their self reported dizziness.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that CBD could help alleviate the dizziness caused by vertigo. Vertigo is an entirely different intensity when compared to regular dizziness.

There is also the issue of whether or not CBD will be able to help with vertigo dizziness caused by certain conditions.

One of the main conditions that causes these sensations of vertigo – labyrinthitis – is nothing more than a recurrent inflammation of the inner ear. CBD oil has a proven ability to help reduce inflammation, as many studies have shown – like the ones in this review by Bruni et al. for the Journal of Molecules.

This makes it possible to use CBD oil as a potential option to address the inflammation that may lead to vertigo, but not necessarily as a treatment for vertigo itself.

Final Thoughts: Can I Use CBD Oil to STOP My Vertigo?

Currently, there is no empirical evidence that shows that CBD oil can act as an effective treatment for vertigo. Although there is little definitive proof CBD oil can make a difference, there are personal testimonies from many users stating that the compound does help. These anecdotal accounts also describe reduced stress from the anxiety that commonly accompanies the feelings of dizziness associated with vertigo.

What some studies have shown is that CBD oil can reduce inflammation. As inflammation of the inner ear is one of the primary causes of the dizziness associated with vertigo, CBD oil may potentially be able to help. However, until more studies are carried out, it is impossible to say that CBD oil can effectively manage vertigo symptoms definitively.

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 .

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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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