The Connection Between Tinnitus and Cannabinoids

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

Public opinion about marijuana and cannabinoids has changed remarkably over the past several decades. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now legal for medical use in many states. Far fewer states have legalized pot for recreational reasons, but even that would have been unthinkable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Any substances produced by the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, essentially) are known as cannabinoids. And we’re still learning new things about cannabis in spite of the fact that it’s recently been legalized in a number of states. We often think of these particular compounds as having universal healing qualities. There have been conflicting studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research indicates there may also be negative effects such as a direct link between the use of cannabinoids and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Cannabinoids come in various forms

Nowadays, cannabinoids can be consumed in lots of 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.

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

Studies connecting hearing to cannabinoids

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been associated with improving a large number 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 treat tinnitus, too.

But what they discovered was that tinnitus symptoms can actually be caused by the use of cannabinoids. Ringing in the ears was documented, according to the study, by 20% of the participants who used cannabinoids. 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 could actually exacerbate the symptoms. Put simply, there’s some fairly compelling evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really mix all that well.

The research is unclear as to how the cannabinoids were used but it should be noted that smoking has also been linked to tinnitus symptoms.

Unclear causes of tinnitus

The discovery of this link 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 clear what’s producing that impact.

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

Don’t fall for miracle cures

There has undeniably been no shortage of marketing publicity associated with cannabinoids recently. That’s partly because attitudes about cannabinoids are swiftly changing (and, to some extent, is also an indication of a wish to turn away from opioids). But some negative effects can result from the use of cannabinoids, particularly regarding 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 devotees.

But this research undeniably indicates a powerful link between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So no matter how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should avoid cannabinoids if you’re worried about tinnitus. It’s not exactly clear what the link between tinnitus and cannabinoids so use some caution.


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