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 opinion about cannabinoids and marijuana has transformed considerably. 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 hard to imagine a decade ago.

Cannabinoids are any substances derived from the cannabis plant (basically, the marijuana plant). In spite of their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still learning new things about cannabinoids. It’s a common idea that cannabinoid compounds have extensive healing qualities. There have been conflicting studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research suggests there may also be negative effects like a strong connection between cannabinoid use and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Cannabinoids come in numerous forms

Nowadays, cannabinoids can be used in a number of varieties. Whatever name you want to put on it, pot or weed is not the only form. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, pills, inhalable vapors, and more.

The forms of cannabinoids available will differ state by state, and many of those forms are still technically illegal under federal law if the amount of THC is over 0.3%. That’s why most individuals tend to be quite careful 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. Some new research into how cannabinoids affect your hearing are prime examples.

Studies About cannabinoids and hearing

A myriad of conditions are believed to be effectively treated 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.

Turns out, cannabinoids may actually trigger tinnitus. According to the research, more than 20% of study participants who used cannabinoid products reported hearing a ringing in their ears. And that’s in individuals 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 those who already experience ringing in the ears, using marijuana could actually exacerbate the symptoms. So, it would seem, from this compelling evidence, that the relationship between cannabinoids and tinnitus isn’t a positive one.

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

Causes of tinnitus are unclear

The discovery of this connection doesn’t reveal the root cause of the relationship. That cannabinoids can have an affect on the middle ear and on tinnitus is fairly obvious. But what’s causing that impact is a lot less clear.

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

Beware the miracle cure

In recent years, there has been plenty of marketing hype around cannabinoids. To some extent, that’s due to changing attitudes surrounding cannabinoids themselves (this also demonstrates a growing wish to get away from opioid use). But this new research clearly demonstrates 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 devotees.

But this research undeniably suggests a powerful link between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So no matter how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should steer clear of cannabinoids if you’re concerned about tinnitus. The link between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is uncertain at best, so it’s worth using a little caution.


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