Cannabinoids and Tinnitus – What’s the Connection?

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

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

Any substances 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 a number of states. It’s a common belief that cannabinoid compounds have extensive healing properties. There have been conflicting studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research indicates there may also be negative effects such as a direct connection between the use of cannabinoids and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Cannabinoids come in many forms

At present, cannabinoids can be consumed in a number of forms. Whatever name you want to put on it, pot or weed isn’t the only form. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, inhaled vapors, pills, and more.

The forms of cannabinoids available will differ state by state, and most of those forms are still actually federally illegal if the THC content is over 0.3%. So it’s essential to be careful with the use of cannabinoids.

The problem 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 affected by cannabinoid use.

Studies connecting hearing to cannabinoids

A wide array of conditions are believed to be successfully managed by cannabinoids. Seizures, nausea, vertigo, and more seem to be improved 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 trigger tinnitus. Ringing in the ears was reported, according to the study, by 20% of the participants who used cannabinoids. And that’s in individuals who had never experienced tinnitus before. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times higher with marijuana users.

Further research suggested that marijuana use may exacerbate ear-ringing symptoms in individuals who already suffer from tinnitus. So, it would appear, from this compelling evidence, that the relationship between tinnitus and cannabinoids isn’t a positive one.

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

Causes of tinnitus are not clear

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

There’s bound to be additional research. Cannabinoids today come in so many varieties and forms that understanding the underlying link between these substances and tinnitus could help people make wiser choices.

Beware the miracle cure

In recent years, there has been plenty of marketing publicity surrounding cannabinoids. That’s in part because mindsets associated with cannabinoids are rapidly changing (and, to some extent, is also an indication of a wish to turn away from opioids). But this new research makes clear that cannabinoids can and do cause some negative effects, particularly if you’re concerned about your hearing.

Lately, there’s been aggressive marketing about cannabinoids and you’ll never avoid all of the cannabinoid enthusiasts.

But a powerful connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus is definitely indicated by this research. So regardless of how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should avoid cannabinoids if you’re concerned about tinnitus. It’s not completely clear what the connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids so use some caution.


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