The Connection Between Tinnitus and Cannabinoids

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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 purposes. Far fewer states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, but even that would have been unimaginable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Cannabinoids are any compounds derived from the cannabis plant (basically, the marijuana plant). Despite their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still learning new things about cannabinoids. We often think of these particular compounds as having universal healing properties. There have been conflicting studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research indicates there may also be negative effects like a strong link between the use of cannabinoids and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Numerous forms of cannabinoids

Today, cannabinoids can be utilized in lots of forms. Whatever name you want to give it, pot or weed is not the only form. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in the form of a pill, as inhaled mists, as topical spreads, 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 vary by state. So it’s essential 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 good example is some new research into how your hearing is affected by cannabinoid use.

Research connecting hearing to cannabinoids

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

But what they discovered was that tinnitus symptoms can actually be caused by the use of cannabinoids. 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 previously experienced by those participants. Furthermore, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to report experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

And for people who already experience ringing in the ears, using marijuana may actually exacerbate the symptoms. Put simply, there’s some rather persuasive evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really work well together.

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

Unclear causes of tinnitus

Just because this connection has been found doesn’t automatically 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 what’s causing that impact is far less evident.

There’s bound to be more research. Cannabinoids today are available in so many varieties and types that understanding the underlying link between these substances and tinnitus might help individuals make better choices.

Don’t fall for miracle cures

There has definitely been no scarcity of marketing publicity associated with cannabinoids in recent years. In part, that’s due to changing mindsets surrounding cannabinoids themselves (and, to an extent, is also a reflection of a wish to turn away from 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.

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

But a powerful link between cannabinoids and tinnitus is certainly indicated by this research. So if you are dealing with tinnitus–or if you’re worried about tinnitus–it may be worth avoiding cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many adverts for CBD oil you might come across. The connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is uncertain at best, so it’s worth using 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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