Hearing Health Blog

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

Over the last several decades the public opinion about cannabinoids and marijuana has transformed a lot. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now legal for medical usage in many states. The idea that some states (fewer) even allow the recreational use 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 learning new things about cannabis in spite of the fact that it’s recently been legalized in numerous states. It’s a common notion that cannabinoid compounds have widespread healing qualities. There have been conflicting studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research indicates there might also be negative effects such as a direct connection between the use of cannabinoids and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Many forms of cannabinoids

Nowadays, cannabinoids can be used in a number of forms. Whatever name you want to give it, pot or weed is not the only form. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in the form of a pill, as inhaled mists, as topical spreads, and more.

Any of these forms that contain a THC level higher than 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will differ depending on the state. That’s why most individuals 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 problem. A good example is some new research into how your hearing is impacted by cannabinoid use.

Studies About cannabinoids and hearing

A myriad of disorders are believed to be successfully treated by cannabinoids. According to anecdotal evidence vertigo, nausea, and seizures are just a few of the afflictions that cannabinoids can benefit. So the researchers wondered if cannabinoids could help manage tinnitus, too.

But what they found was that tinnitus symptoms can actually be caused 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. What’s more, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to report experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

And for individuals who already experience ringing in the ears, using marijuana could actually worsen the symptoms. In other words, there’s some rather convincing evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really mix all that well.

The research is unclear as to how the cannabinoids were consumed but it should be mentioned that smoking has also been linked to tinnitus symptoms.

Unclear causes of tinnitus

The discovery of this link doesn’t reveal the root cause of the relationship. That cannabinoids can have an impact on the middle ear and on tinnitus is rather clear. But what’s causing that impact is much less clear.

There’s bound to be further research. Individuals will be in a better position to make better choices if we can make progress in comprehending the connection between the numerous forms of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Beware the miracle cure

In recent years, there has been a great deal of marketing publicity around cannabinoids. In part, that’s the result of changing attitudes associated with cannabinoids themselves (this also reflects a growing wish to get away from the use of opioids). But this new research makes clear that cannabinoids can and do create some negative effects, particularly 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 a strong connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus is definitely indicated by this research. So regardless of how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should steer clear of cannabinoids if you’re concerned about tinnitus. It’s not completely clear what the link between tinnitus and cannabinoids so use some caution.

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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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