Cannabinoids and Tinnitus – What’s the Link?

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

Public opinion surrounding marijuana and cannabinoids has changed remarkably over the last several decades. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now legal for medical use in many states. The concept that some states (fewer) even allow the recreational use of pot would have been hard to imagine a decade ago.

Any substances derived from the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, essentially) are known as cannabinoids. Despite their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still learning new things about cannabinoids. We frequently think of these specific compounds as having universal healing qualities. But research implies a strong link between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also conflicting studies.

Cannabinoids come in many forms

Today, cannabinoids can be used 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 the form of a pill, as inhaled mists, as topical spreads, and others.

Any of these forms that have a THC level above 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will differ by state. That’s why most people tend to be rather cautious 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. A great example is some new research into how your hearing is impacted by cannabinoid use.

Studies About cannabinoids and hearing

A wide array of disorders are believed to be successfully managed by cannabinoids. According to anecdotal evidence vertigo, nausea, and seizures are just a few of the conditions 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 activated by the use of cannabinoids. According to the research, over 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. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times more likely with people who use marijuana.

Further research indicated that marijuana use may exacerbate ear-ringing symptoms in those who already suffer from tinnitus. So, it would seem, from this persuasive research, that the relationship between tinnitus and cannabinoids is not a beneficial one.

The research is unclear as to how the cannabinoids were used but it should be pointed out that smoking has also been connected to tinnitus symptoms.

Causes of tinnitus are not clear

Just because this link has been discovered doesn’t automatically mean the root causes are all that well understood. That cannabinoids can have an influence on the middle ear and on tinnitus is rather obvious. But what’s causing that impact is much less evident.

Research, obviously, will carry on. People will be in a better position to make smarter choices if we can make progress in understanding the connection between the many varieties of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Beware the miracle cure

Recently, there has been lots of marketing hype surrounding cannabinoids. That’s partly because perceptions about cannabinoids are quickly changing (and, to an extent, is also an indication of a wish to get away from opioids). But this new research makes clear that cannabinoids can and do produce some negative effects, especially if you’re concerned about your hearing.

You’ll never be capable of avoiding all of the cannabinoid aficionados and devotees in the world–the advertising for cannabinoids has been especially aggressive lately.

But a powerful connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus is certainly implied by this research. So if you are dealing with tinnitus–or if you’re worried about tinnitus–it may be worth steering clear of cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many adverts for CBD oil you may come across. The link between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is unclear at best, so it’s worth exercising some caution.


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