Cannabinoids and Tinnitus – What’s the Connection?

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

Over the last several decades the public opinion about cannabinoids and marijuana has transformed a lot. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now legal for medical use in many states. Substantially fewer states have legalized pot for recreational reasons, but even that would have been unthinkable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Cannabinoids are any substances produced by the cannabis plant (basically, the marijuana plant). Despite their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still learning new things about cannabinoids. It’s a common idea that cannabinoid compounds have extensive healing attributes. But research suggests a strong link between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also conflicting studies.

Cannabinoids come in various forms

There are numerous varieties of cannabinoids that can be utilized presently. It’s not only pot or weed or whatever name you want to give it. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, inhaled vapors, pills, 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 depending on the state. That’s why many individuals tend to be quite careful about cannabinoids.

The long-term complications and side effects of cannabinoid use are not well known and that’s the issue. Some new studies into how cannabinoids impact your hearing are perfect examples.

Research into cannabinoids and hearing

A myriad of conditions are believed to be successfully managed by cannabinoids. 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 help with tinnitus, too.

But what they discovered was that tinnitus symptoms can actually be activated by the use of cannabinoids. Ringing in the ears was reported, according to the study, by 20% of the participants who used cannabinoids. And that’s in individuals who had never experienced tinnitus before. Furthermore, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to describe experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

Further research suggested that marijuana use may worsen ear-ringing symptoms in those who already have tinnitus. Put simply, there’s some rather convincing evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really mix all that well.

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

Unknown causes of tinnitus

The discovery of this connection doesn’t expose the underlying cause of the relationship. It’s quite clear that cannabinoids have an influence on the middle ear. But what’s causing that impact is much less clear.

Research, undoubtedly, will continue. Cannabinoids today come in so many varieties and forms that comprehending the underlying link between these substances and tinnitus might help individuals make wiser choices.

Beware the miracle cure

There has certainly been no scarcity of marketing publicity around cannabinoids recently. In part, that’s due to changing perceptions surrounding cannabinoids themselves (this also shows a growing wish to get away from opioid use). But this new research makes clear that cannabinoids can and do produce some negative effects, particularly if you’re concerned about your hearing.

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

But this research certainly indicates a strong connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So if you are dealing with tinnitus–or if you’re worried 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. It’s not completely clear what the connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids so exercise some caution.

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

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