Cannabinoids and Tinnitus - What's the Connection?

HEARING TIPS

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

Over the last several decades the public perception of cannabinoids and marijuana has changed considerably. 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 unthinkable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Cannabinoids are any substances derived from the cannabis plant (basically, the marijuana plant). And we’re still learning new things about cannabis despite the fact that it’s recently been legalized in several states. We frequently view these particular compounds as having universal healing properties. But research suggests a strong link between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also conflicting studies.

Cannabinoids come in many forms

Nowadays, cannabinoids can be utilized in lots of varieties. It’s not only pot or weed or whatever name you want to give it. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in pill form, as inhaled mists, as topical spreads, and others.

Any of these forms that have a THC level over 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will vary by state. That’s why most individuals tend to be rather careful about 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. Some new studies into how cannabinoids affect your hearing are perfect examples.

Research connecting hearing to cannabinoids

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been associated 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 researchers made a decision to find out if cannabinoids could treat tinnitus, too.

Turns out, cannabinoids might actually cause 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. What’s more, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to describe experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

And for those who already cope with ringing in the ears, using marijuana could actually exacerbate the symptoms. So, it would seem, from this compelling evidence, that the relationship 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 using 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 quite clear that cannabinoids have an influence on the middle ear. But what’s causing that impact is a lot less clear.

Research, obviously, will carry on. People will be in a better position to make smarter choices if we can make progress in comprehending the link between the numerous varieties of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Don’t fall for miracle cures

There has certainly been no lack of marketing publicity surrounding cannabinoids in recent years. That’s in part because attitudes associated with cannabinoids are rapidly changing (and, to some extent, is also an indication of a desire to get away from opioids). But some negative effects can result from the use of cannabinoids, especially regarding your hearing and this is reflected in this new research.

Lately, there’s been aggressive marketing about cannabinoids and you’ll never escape all of the cannabinoid devotees.

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 concerned about tinnitus–it may be worth steering clear of cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many adverts for CBD oil you might come across. The link between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is unclear 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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