Audiology & Hearing Care of SWFL - Bonita Springs, FL

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

Over the last several decades the public perception of 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.

Cannabinoids are any substances derived from the cannabis plant (essentially, the marijuana plant). Despite their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still discovering new things about cannabinoids. We often think of these particular compounds as having widespread healing properties. But research suggests a strong connection between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also conflicting studies.

Cannabinoids come in numerous forms

At present, cannabinoids can be consumed in lots of varieties. 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 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 above 0.3%. That’s why many people 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 issue. Some new research into how cannabinoids impact your hearing are prime examples.

Research into cannabinoids and hearing

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

Turns out, cannabinoids may 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. Furthermore, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to describe experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

Further research suggested that marijuana use may worsen ear-ringing symptoms in individuals who already suffer from tinnitus. In other words, there’s some fairly persuasive evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really work well together.

It should be mentioned that smoking has also been associated with tinnitus and the research wasn’t clear on how participants were using cannabinoids.

Unclear causes of tinnitus

The discovery of this connection doesn’t reveal the root cause of the relationship. It’s fairly clear that cannabinoids have an impact on the middle ear. But it’s much less evident what’s producing that impact.

Research, obviously, will continue. 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.

Don’t fall for miracle cures

There has certainly been no lack of marketing hype surrounding cannabinoids in recent years. To some extent, that’s due to changing mindsets associated with cannabinoids themselves (and, to an extent, is also a reflection of a desire to move away from opioids). But this new research makes clear that cannabinoids can and do create some negative effects, especially if you’re uneasy about your hearing.

You’ll never be capable of avoiding all of the cannabinoid aficionados and evangelists in the world–the marketing for cannabinoids has been especially intense lately.

But this research certainly indicates a strong 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 unclear at best, so it’s worth exercising a little caution.

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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.