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

Over the past several decades the public perception of cannabinoids and marijuana has changed considerably. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now legal for medical usage in many states. The idea that some states (fewer) even allow the recreational usage of pot would have been hard to imagine a decade ago.

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

Cannabinoids come in numerous forms

There are many forms of cannabinoids that can be used today. It isn’t only pot or weed or whatever name you want to give it. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, pills, inhalable vapors, and more.

Any of these forms that contain a THC level over 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will differ by state. So it’s important to be careful with the use of cannabinoids.

The problem is that we don’t yet know very 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 into cannabinoids and hearing

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been linked with improving a wide variety of medical disorders. Seizures, vertigo, nausea, and more seem to be helped with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So researchers decided to find out if cannabinoids could treat tinnitus, too.

Turns out, cannabinoids might actually cause tinnitus. According to the research, over 20% of study participants who used cannabinoid products reported hearing a ringing in their ears. And tinnitus was never formerly experienced by those participants. Furthermore, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to describe experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

And for people who already experience ringing in the ears, using marijuana would actually worsen the symptoms. Put simply, there’s some fairly persuasive evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really mix all that well.

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

Causes of tinnitus are unclear

The discovery of this link doesn’t expose the underlying cause of the relationship. That cannabinoids can have an impact on the middle ear and on tinnitus is pretty clear. But what’s producing that impact is much less clear.

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

Don’t fall for miracle cures

There has certainly been no lack of marketing hype surrounding cannabinoids recently. In part, that’s because of changing perceptions associated with cannabinoids themselves (this also demonstrates a growing wish to get away from opioid use). But this new research makes clear that cannabinoids can and do produce some negative effects, especially if you’re uneasy about your hearing.

You’ll never be capable of avoiding all of the cannabinoid enthusiasts and evangelists in the world–the marketing for cannabinoids has been particularly aggressive lately.

But a powerful connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus is definitely implied 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 connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is uncertain at best, so it’s worth exercising a little 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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