Hearing Health Blog

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 a lot. Many states have legalized the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal reasons. Far fewer states have legalized pot for recreational reasons, but even that would have been unimaginable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Any compounds produced by the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, basically) are known as cannabinoids. Despite their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still discovering new things about cannabinoids. It’s a common belief that cannabinoid compounds have extensive healing qualities. But research implies a strong connection between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also conflicting studies.

Numerous forms of cannabinoids

Today, cannabinoids can be consumed in lots of varieties. Whatever name you want to put on it, pot or weed isn’t the only form. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, inhaled vapors, pills, and more.

Any of these forms that have a THC level higher than 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will differ by state. That’s why many individuals tend to be rather careful about cannabinoids.

The long-term complications and side effects of cannabinoid use are not well understood and that’s the problem. A good 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 helping a wide variety of medical disorders. According to anecdotal evidence vertigo, nausea, and seizures are just a few of the afflictions that cannabinoids can help. So researchers decided to see if cannabinoids could treat 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 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 individuals who already experience ringing in the ears, using marijuana would actually worsen the symptoms. So, it would seem, from this persuasive research, that the link between tinnitus and cannabinoids isn’t a beneficial one.

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

Causes of tinnitus are not clear

Just because this link has been found doesn’t necessarily mean the root causes are all that well comprehended. It’s pretty clear that cannabinoids have an impact on the middle ear. But what’s producing that impact is far less evident.

There’s bound to be more research. People will be in a better position to make smarter choices if we can make progress in comprehending the connection between the numerous varieties of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Don’t fall for miracle cures

In recent years, there has been lots of marketing publicity around cannabinoids. That’s partly because mindsets associated with cannabinoids are quickly changing (this also shows a growing desire to get away from the use of opioids). But this new research clearly demonstrates that cannabinoids can and do create 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 strong connection 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. It’s not exactly clear what the connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids so use some caution.

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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.
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