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Cannabinoids and Tinnitus – What’s the Link?

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

Over the last several decades the public perception of cannabinoids and marijuana has changed significantly. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now allowed for medical use in many states. The concept that some states (fewer) even allow the recreational usage of pot would have been unimaginable 10 years ago.

Any compounds derived from the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, essentially) 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 specific compounds as having universal healing properties. But research suggests a strong link between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also conflicting studies.

Cannabinoids come in numerous forms

At present, cannabinoids can be consumed in a number of forms. Whatever name you want to give 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 above 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will vary depending on the state. That’s why most individuals tend to be quite careful about cannabinoids.

The issue is that we don’t yet know very much about some of the long-term side effects or complications of cannabinoid use. Some new research into how cannabinoids affect your hearing are prime examples.

Studies About cannabinoids and hearing

A myriad of conditions are believed to be effectively treated by cannabinoids. Seizures, vertigo, nausea, and more seem to be helped with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So researchers made a decision to find out if cannabinoids could help with tinnitus, too.

Turns out, cannabinoids may actually cause tinnitus. 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. Furthermore, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to report experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

And for those who already experience ringing in the ears, using marijuana would actually exacerbate the symptoms. Put simply, there’s some rather persuasive evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really mix all that well.

It should be mentioned that smoking has also been associated with tinnitus and the research wasn’t clear on how participants were consuming cannabinoids.

Unknown causes of tinnitus

The discovery of this connection doesn’t expose the underlying cause of the relationship. That cannabinoids can have an affect on the middle ear and on tinnitus is pretty clear. But what’s causing that impact is a lot less clear.

Research, undoubtedly, will continue. Cannabinoids today come in so many varieties and forms that understanding the root connection between these substances and tinnitus might help individuals make smarter choices.

Beware the miracle cure

Recently, there has been lots of marketing hype around cannabinoids. That’s partly because perceptions associated with cannabinoids are quickly changing (this also shows a growing wish to get away from opioid use). But some negative effects can result from cannabinoid use, especially with regards to your hearing and this is reflected in this new research.

You’ll never be able to avoid all of the cannabinoid aficionados and devotees in the world–the marketing for cannabinoids has been particularly intense lately.

But a strong connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus is certainly implied by this research. So no matter how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should steer clear of cannabinoids if you’re concerned about tinnitus. The connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is unclear at best, so it’s worth exercising some caution.

References

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/lio2.479
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855477/
https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/aaohnsf/82180

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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