Some studies indicate that CBD may be an effective natural treatment to reduce the symptoms of a vestibular disorder. CBD Oil for Vestibular Disease in Dogs In animal healthcare, the word “vestibular” is used when talking about animals’ inner ears or their sense of balance. Vestibular Disease is a lack of
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.
CBD Oil for Vestibular Disease in Dogs
In animal healthcare, the word “vestibular” is used when talking about animals’ inner ears or their sense of balance. Vestibular Disease is a lack of ability to maintain balance, leading to feelings of dizziness and nausea, as well as mobility problems.
These symptoms can be serious or mild and can last for a few days or many years.
Vestibular Disease can happen to dogs of any age, but the risk grows from around the age of 8. The disease is generally a secondary condition, which means that it occurs as a result of other issues such as ear infections, neurological disorders, or seizures. Other common causes of Vestibular Disease include hypothyroidism, stroke, and other kinds of viral infection.
Sometimes, Vestibular Disease is idiopathic, which means it happens without a clear reason behind it.
Does your dog have these symptoms?
- Difficulty standing or walking
- Holding their head at 45°
- Circling or falling down
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stress or anxiety
If you notice your pet displacing a majority of these symptoms, they may be suffering from Vestibular Disease – especially if they recently recovered from an ear infection.
How is Vestibular disease normally treated?
If Vestibular Disease is a symptom of an underlying condition, then it can most often be resolved by finding and treating the original illness.
For dogs who don’t have an underlying condition, Vestibular Disease has no direct treatment. Instead, vets are likely to prescribe a range of medications that help to manage symptoms.
- If dogs experience nausea as a result of Vestibular issues, they may be given anti-nausea medication .
- If dogs have vestibular issues due to ear infections, antibiotics are likely to be prescribed.
- If dogs have vestibular issues due to inflammation and swelling of the ear, they might receive steroids .
Does CBD help dogs with Vestibular Disease?
Because CBD is associated with the treatment of infections and inflammation, many people believe it can reduce symptoms in dogs with Vestibular Disease.
Reminder: what is CBD?
CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory compound found in hemp plants – a type of cannabis that’s known for its soothing effects.
Unlike other types of cannabis (such as marijuana), hemp contains very low amounts of psychoactive compounds, which means that consuming them won’t produce a high.
Pet CBD producers extract these anti-inflammatory compounds from hemp and infuse them into carriers – most commonly oils and treats.
A quick search of the internet provides some promising results about CBD’s credentials:
- “CBD oil is thought to reduce nausea and help to alleviate stress, both of which are symptoms associated with Vestibular Disease.”
- “CBD offers a sense of calm and positivity while warding off anxiety and depression.”
- “CBD oil may also help in a vestibular episode in dogs by providing a sedative effect.”
But is there actually any evidence behind these claims?
Currently, no scientific studies have been published that test the effects of CBD on Vestibular Disease, either in humans or dogs.
However, there is research suggesting that CBD can help dogs with many of the common symptoms of the condition, as well as the inflammation that often underlies Vestibular Disease:
The endocannabinoid system is a part of dogs’ bodies that releases hormones and enzymes during an immune response. As a result, stimulating the endocannabinoid system can help to reduce inflammation.
Many studies have shown CBD’s ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system, but this scientific paper from 2006 pinpoints an association between CBD, the endocannabinoid system, and management of vestibular function.
Dizziness & Nausea
Two of the most common symptoms of Vestibular Disease in dogs are sickness and dizziness – and while no studies have tested the effects of CBD on the disease itself – this 2018 study on the usefulness of CBD for Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy did find that CBD can effectively reduce discomfort.
In a cohort of 117 human patients, the study found that “CBD reduced the occurrence of fatigue, sleepiness, irritability, insomnia, appetite loss, aggressiveness, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, confusion, weight loss, vomiting”
Another well-cited 2011 study performed on mice and rats found that CBD “s uppresses nausea and vomiting within a limited dose range.”
Some dogs will experience ear ringing, pain, and discomfort as a result of Vestibular disease.
When a 2020 review of how cannabis compounds affect the i nner ear looked into CBD’s effects on these symptoms, it found that it may produce a “protective reaction to auditory damage, and in most non-auditory circuits known to be associated with tinnitus.”
While there are no CBD oils designed specifically for Vestibular Disease in dogs, CBD oils for dogs with anxiety are made to target many of the same symptoms – including stress, inflammation, and nausea.
When it comes to treating anxiety in dogs, CBD does have a significant amount of testimonial evidence from owners and animal healthcare experts.
So what’s the verdict?
Because Vestibular disease in dogs is often caused by high levels of inflammation, pet-safe CBD oil may help to reduce symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and anxiety.