The Link Between Tinnitus and Cannabinoids

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. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now legal for medical use in many states. Substantially fewer states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, but even that would have been unimaginable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Any substances produced by the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, essentially) are known as cannabinoids. And we’re still learning new things about cannabis despite the fact that it’s recently been legalized in several states. We frequently view these particular compounds as having universal healing properties. There have been contradictory studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research indicates there might also be negative effects such as a strong connection between the use of cannabinoids and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Various forms of cannabinoids

Today, cannabinoids can be utilized in lots of forms. Whatever name you want to put on it, pot or weed isn’t the only form. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in pill form, as inhaled mists, as topical spreads, and others.

Any of these forms that contain a THC level higher than 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will vary depending on the state. That’s why most people tend to be quite careful about cannabinoids.

The long-term complications and side effects of cannabinoid use are not well understood and that’s the issue. Some new research into how cannabinoids impact your hearing are prime examples.

Studies connecting hearing to cannabinoids

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been linked with helping a wide range of medical conditions. Seizures, nausea, vertigo, and more seem to be improved with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So the researchers wondered if cannabinoids could help treat tinnitus, too.

Turns out, cannabinoids might actually cause tinnitus. According to the research, more than 20% of study participants who used cannabinoid products documented hearing a ringing in their ears. And that’s in individuals who had never experienced tinnitus before. Furthermore, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to describe experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

Further investigation suggested that marijuana use could worsen ear-ringing symptoms in people who already have tinnitus. Put simply, there’s some fairly persuasive evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really mix all that well.

It should be noted that smoking has also been linked with tinnitus and the research was unclear on how participants were consuming cannabinoids.

Unclear causes of tinnitus

Just because this link has been discovered doesn’t automatically mean the underlying causes are all that well understood. It’s pretty clear that cannabinoids have an influence on the middle ear. But it’s much less evident what’s producing that impact.

Research, undoubtedly, will continue. Cannabinoids today are available in so many selections and types that understanding the fundamental link between these substances and tinnitus could help individuals make better choices.

Beware the miracle cure

There has certainly been no scarcity of marketing publicity associated with cannabinoids recently. That’s partly because perceptions surrounding cannabinoids are quickly changing (this also reflects a growing wish to get away from the use of opioids). But some negative effects can come from cannabinoid use, particularly regarding your hearing and this is reflected in this new research.

You’ll never be able to avoid all of the cannabinoid enthusiasts and evangelists in the world–the advertising for cannabinoids has been particularly aggressive lately.

But this research certainly suggests a strong link between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So no matter 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 exercising some caution.


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