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 significantly over the past several decades. Many states now allow the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal purposes. Far fewer states have legalized pot for recreational purposes, but even that would have been unimaginable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

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

Various forms of cannabinoids

There are many varieties of cannabinoids that can be consumed presently. Whatever name you want to put on it, pot or weed is not the only form. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in the form of a pill, as topical spreads, as inhaled mists, and others.

The forms of cannabinoids available will vary state by state, and many of those forms are still actually illegal under federal law if the THC content is over 0.3%. So it’s important to be careful when using cannabinoids.

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

Research into cannabinoids and hearing

A myriad of disorders are believed to be effectively managed by cannabinoids. Seizures, nausea, vertigo, and more seem to be improved with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So the researchers wondered if cannabinoids could help manage tinnitus, too.

Turns out, cannabinoids might actually trigger tinnitus. According to the research, more than 20% of study participants who used cannabinoid products documented hearing a ringing in their ears. And tinnitus was never formerly experienced by those participants. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times higher with marijuana users.

And for those who already experience ringing in the ears, using marijuana could actually exacerbate the symptoms. So, it would seem, from this persuasive evidence, that the relationship between cannabinoids and tinnitus is not a beneficial one.

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

Unclear causes of tinnitus

Just because this connection has been found doesn’t automatically mean the underlying causes are all that well comprehended. It’s fairly clear that cannabinoids have an impact on the middle ear. But it’s far less clear what’s causing that impact.

There’s bound to be further research. Cannabinoids today are available in so many selections and forms that understanding the fundamental link between these substances and tinnitus might help people make better choices.

Don’t fall for miracle cures

There has definitely been no lack of marketing publicity surrounding cannabinoids recently. In part, that’s due to changing attitudes surrounding cannabinoids themselves (and, to an extent, is also a reflection of a wish to get away from opioids). But this new research clearly demonstrates that cannabinoids can and do produce 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 enthusiasts.

But a powerful link between cannabinoids and tinnitus is definitely indicated by this research. So if you are dealing with tinnitus–or if you’re worried about tinnitus–it might be worth steering clear of cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many advertisements for CBD oil you might come across. The link between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is unclear at best, so it’s worth using a little caution.


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