Cannabinoids and Tinnitus – What’s the Link?

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

Public opinion about marijuana and cannabinoids has transformed remarkably over the last several decades. Many states now allow the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal purposes. The concept that some states (fewer) even allow the recreational usage of pot would have been hard to imagine a decade 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 often think of these particular compounds as having widespread healing qualities. There have been conflicting studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research suggests there might also be negative effects like a direct link between cannabinoid use and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Many forms of cannabinoids

Today, cannabinoids can be utilized in many varieties. It’s not just pot or weed or whatever name you want to put on it. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in pill form, 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 amount of THC is above 0.3%. That’s why most individuals tend to be quite cautious about cannabinoids.

The long-term complications and side effects of cannabinoid use are not well known and that’s the problem. Some new research into how cannabinoids affect your hearing are perfect examples.

Research into cannabinoids and hearing

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been linked with improving a wide range of medical disorders. According to anecdotal evidence vertigo, nausea, and seizures are just a few of the afflictions that cannabinoids can help. So the researchers wondered if cannabinoids could help manage tinnitus, too.

Turns out, cannabinoids might actually cause tinnitus. Ringing in the ears was reported, according to the study, by 20% of the participants who used cannabinoids. 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.

Further studies indicated that marijuana use could exacerbate ear-ringing symptoms in those who already suffer from tinnitus. So, it would appear, from this compelling evidence, that the link between cannabinoids and tinnitus isn’t a positive one.

It should be mentioned that smoking has also been linked with tinnitus and the research was unclear on how participants were consuming cannabinoids.

Unclear causes of tinnitus

Just because this connection has been uncovered doesn’t automatically mean the root causes are all that well comprehended. It’s pretty clear that cannabinoids have an influence on the middle ear. But it’s a lot less evident what’s causing that impact.

There’s bound to be further research. People will be in a better position to make wiser choices if we can make progress in comprehending the connection between the many forms of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Beware the miracle cure

In recent years, there has been a great deal of marketing publicity around cannabinoids. In part, that’s because of changing attitudes surrounding cannabinoids themselves (this also shows a growing desire to get away from the use of opioids). But some negative effects can come from the use of cannabinoids, particularly with regards to your hearing and this is reflected in this new research.

Lately, there’s been aggressive advertising about cannabinoids and you’ll never avoid all of the cannabinoid enthusiasts.

But a strong link between cannabinoids and tinnitus is certainly indicated by this research. So no matter how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should steer clear of cannabinoids if you’re worried about tinnitus. The link between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is uncertain at best, so it’s worth exercising some caution.

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

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