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

Over the past several decades the public opinion about cannabinoids and marijuana has transformed significantly. Many states now allow the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal reasons. Far fewer states have legalized marijuana for recreational reasons, but even that would have been unthinkable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Cannabinoids are any substances produced by the cannabis plant (basically, the marijuana plant). And we’re still discovering new things about cannabis in spite of the fact that it’s recently been legalized in numerous states. We often think of these particular compounds as having widespread healing qualities. There have been conflicting studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research suggests there may also be negative effects like a direct connection between cannabinoid use and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Cannabinoids come in many forms

At present, cannabinoids can be consumed in a number 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.

Any of these forms that have a THC level higher than 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will fluctuate depending on the state. So it’s important to be careful with the use of cannabinoids.

The issue is that we don’t yet know 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 affected by cannabinoid use.

Research into cannabinoids and hearing

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been linked with improving a wide range of medical disorders. Seizures, vertigo, nausea, and more seem to be helped with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So researchers decided to see if cannabinoids could help with 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 tinnitus was never previously experienced by those participants. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times more likely with marijuana users.

And for people who already cope with ringing in the ears, using marijuana would actually exacerbate the symptoms. Put simply, there’s some rather convincing evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really mix all that well.

It should be noted that smoking has also been associated with tinnitus and the research was unclear on how participants were using cannabinoids.

Causes of tinnitus are not clear

Just because this link has been found doesn’t necessarily mean the underlying causes are all that well understood. That cannabinoids can have an impact on the middle ear and on tinnitus is fairly obvious. But it’s far less evident what’s producing that impact.

Research, undoubtedly, will continue. Individuals will be in a better position to make wiser choices if we can make progress in understanding the link between the numerous varieties of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Beware the miracle cure

In recent years, there has been lots of marketing hype around cannabinoids. To some extent, that’s the result of changing mindsets associated with cannabinoids themselves (and, to an extent, is also a reflection of a desire to get away from opioids). But this new research makes clear that cannabinoids can and do cause some negative effects, especially if you’re concerned about your hearing.

You’ll never be able to avoid all of the cannabinoid enthusiasts and devotees in the world–the advertising for cannabinoids has been particularly intense lately.

But a strong connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus is definitely implied by this research. So no matter how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should avoid cannabinoids if you’re concerned about tinnitus. The connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is unclear at best, so it’s worth using a little caution.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

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.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call or Text Us