The Connection Between Tinnitus and Cannabinoids

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

Over the last several decades the public opinion about cannabinoids and marijuana has changed considerably. Many states now allow the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal purposes. The concept that some states (fewer) even allow the recreational usage of pot would have been unimaginable a decade ago.

Cannabinoids are any substances derived from the cannabis plant (essentially, the marijuana plant). And we’re still learning new things about cannabis in spite of the fact that it’s recently been legalized in a number of states. We frequently think of these particular compounds as having widespread healing properties. But research implies a strong link between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also contradictory studies.

Many forms of cannabinoids

Today, cannabinoids can be used in a number of forms. It’s not just pot or weed or whatever name you want to put on it. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, inhaled vapors, pills, and more.

The forms of cannabinoids available will vary state by state, and many of those forms are still actually illegal under federal law if the amount of THC is over 0.3%. So it’s important to be cautious with the use of 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. A good example is some new research into how your hearing is impacted by cannabinoid use.

Studies linking hearing to cannabinoids

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been associated with helping a large number of medical disorders. Seizures, vertigo, nausea, and more seem to be helped with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So the researchers wondered if cannabinoids could help treat tinnitus, too.

Turns out, cannabinoids may actually cause tinnitus. Ringing in the ears was reported, according to the study, by 20% of the participants who used cannabinoids. And tinnitus was never previously experienced by those participants. 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 individuals who already have tinnitus. Put simply, there’s some pretty persuasive evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really mix all that well.

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

Causes of tinnitus are not clear

The discovery of this link doesn’t reveal the underlying cause of the relationship. That cannabinoids can have an influence on the middle ear and on tinnitus is rather obvious. But what’s producing that impact is a lot less evident.

Research, obviously, will continue. Cannabinoids today are available in so many selections and types that comprehending the underlying link between these substances and tinnitus could help people make wiser choices.

Beware the miracle cure

There has undeniably been no scarcity of marketing hype associated with cannabinoids recently. That’s partly because perceptions associated with cannabinoids are quickly changing (and, to an extent, is also an indication of a desire to move away from opioids). But some negative effects can result from the use of cannabinoids, especially regarding your hearing and this is demonstrated in this new research.

You’ll never be capable of avoiding all of the cannabinoid enthusiasts and devotees in the world–the marketing for cannabinoids has been particularly intense lately.

But a powerful connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus is certainly implied by this research. So if you have tinnitus–or if you’re worried about tinnitus–it may be worth steering clear of cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many advertisements for CBD oil you might come across. It’s not completely clear what the connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids so exercise 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.