Cannabinoids and Tinnitus – What’s the Connection?

Researcher examining leaves of cannabinoids that have been linked to tinnitus.

Over the past several decades the public perception of cannabinoids and marijuana has changed a lot. Many states now allow the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal reasons. Far fewer states have legalized pot for recreational purposes, but even that would have been unimaginable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Any substances derived from the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, basically) are known as cannabinoids. And we’re still discovering new things about cannabis despite the fact that it’s recently been legalized in numerous states. We often think of these particular compounds as having universal healing properties. But research suggests a strong link between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also contradictory studies.

Many forms of cannabinoids

There are many varieties of cannabinoids that can be used nowadays. Whatever name you want to give it, pot or weed isn’t the only form. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in the form of a pill, as topical spreads, as inhaled mists, and others.

The forms of cannabinoids available will vary state by state, and most of those forms are still actually illegal under federal law if the THC content is above 0.3%. So it’s essential to be cautious when using cannabinoids.

The issue is that we don’t yet know much about some of the long-term side effects or complications of cannabinoid use. A good example is some new research into how your hearing is impacted by cannabinoid use.

Studies linking hearing to cannabinoids

A wide array of conditions are believed to be successfully treated by cannabinoids. Seizures, nausea, vertigo, and more seem to be helped with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So the researchers wondered if cannabinoids could help manage tinnitus, too.

But what they discovered was that tinnitus symptoms can actually be activated by the use of cannabinoids. Ringing in the ears was documented, according to the study, by 20% of the participants who used cannabinoids. And that’s in people who had never experienced tinnitus before. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times more likely with marijuana users.

Further investigation indicated that marijuana use may worsen ear-ringing symptoms in people who already have tinnitus. So, it would appear, from this compelling evidence, that the link between cannabinoids and tinnitus is not a beneficial one.

The research isn’t clear as to how the cannabinoids were used but it should be noted that smoking has also been linked to tinnitus symptoms.

Unclear causes of tinnitus

Just because this connection has been found doesn’t necessarily mean the underlying causes are all that well known. It’s pretty clear that cannabinoids have an influence on the middle ear. But what’s causing that impact is much less evident.

Research, obviously, will carry on. Individuals will be in a better position to make smarter choices if we can make progress in understanding the link between the many varieties of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Don’t fall for miracle cures

In recent years, there has been plenty of marketing hype around cannabinoids. In part, that’s because of changing mindsets surrounding cannabinoids themselves (this also demonstrates a growing wish to get away from opioid use). But this new research makes clear that cannabinoids can and do create some negative effects, especially if you’re concerned about your hearing.

Lately, there’s been aggressive advertising about cannabinoids and you’ll never escape all of the cannabinoid devotees.

But this research undeniably indicates a powerful connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So regardless of how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should avoid cannabinoids if you’re worried about tinnitus. The connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is unclear at best, so it’s worth using some caution.


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