Cannabinoids and Tinnitus – What’s the Link?

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

Over the past several decades the public opinion about cannabinoids and marijuana has changed considerably. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now legal for medical use in many states. Substantially fewer states have legalized pot for recreational purposes, but even that would have been unimaginable 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 numerous states. We frequently view these particular compounds as having widespread healing properties. There have been conflicting studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research indicates there might also be negative effects such as a direct link between the use of cannabinoids and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Cannabinoids come in many forms

At present, cannabinoids can be consumed in many varieties. Whatever name you want to put on it, pot or weed isn’t the only form. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in pill form, as topical spreads, as inhaled mists, and others.

The forms of cannabinoids available will differ state by state, and many of those forms are still actually federally illegal if the THC content is over 0.3%. So it’s important to be cautious when using 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 research into how cannabinoids impact your hearing are perfect examples.

Studies About cannabinoids and hearing

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

But what they found was that tinnitus symptoms can actually be caused by the use of cannabinoids. Ringing in the ears was reported, according to the study, by 20% of the participants who used cannabinoids. And tinnitus was never formerly experienced by those participants. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times higher with people who use marijuana.

Further studies suggested that marijuana use could worsen ear-ringing symptoms in people who already suffer from tinnitus. Put simply, there’s some pretty persuasive evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really work well together.

The research isn’t clear as to how the cannabinoids were used but it should be noted that smoking has also been connected to tinnitus symptoms.

Unknown causes of tinnitus

Just because this link has been found doesn’t automatically mean the underlying causes are all that well known. It’s fairly clear that cannabinoids have an impact on the middle ear. But what’s causing that impact is much less evident.

There’s bound to be additional research. Cannabinoids today come in so many varieties and types that understanding the underlying connection between these substances and tinnitus might help individuals make smarter choices.

Don’t fall for miracle cures

Recently, there has been plenty of marketing hype surrounding cannabinoids. To some extent, that’s the result of changing attitudes surrounding cannabinoids themselves (and, to some extent, is also a reflection of a wish to get away from opioids). But this new research makes clear that cannabinoids can and do create some negative effects, particularly if you’re concerned about your hearing.

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

But a strong connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus is definitely indicated by this research. So no matter how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should avoid cannabinoids if you’re worried about tinnitus. It’s not completely clear what the link between tinnitus and cannabinoids so exercise some caution.


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