Audiology Associates of North Florida - Tallahassee, FL

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

Public opinion about marijuana and cannabinoids has transformed remarkably over the past several decades. Many states now allow the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal purposes. The concept that some states (fewer) even allow the recreational usage of pot would have been hard to imagine 10 years ago.

Cannabinoids are any substances derived from the cannabis plant (essentially, the marijuana plant). And we’re still learning new things about cannabis in spite of the fact that it’s recently been legalized in several states. We frequently think of these particular compounds as having widespread healing properties. There have been contradictory studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research suggests there may also be negative effects such as a strong connection between cannabinoid use and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Various forms of cannabinoids

Today, cannabinoids can be used in lots of varieties. Whatever name you want to give it, pot or weed is not the only form. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, inhaled vapors, pills, and others.

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

The issue is that we don’t yet know much about some of the long-term side effects or complications of cannabinoid use. Some new research into how cannabinoids impact your hearing are prime examples.

Research into cannabinoids and hearing

A wide array of disorders are believed to be effectively managed by cannabinoids. Seizures, vertigo, nausea, and more seem to be helped with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. 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 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.

And for people who already cope with ringing in the ears, using marijuana may actually worsen the symptoms. So, it would appear, from this compelling evidence, that the relationship between cannabinoids and tinnitus is not a beneficial one.

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

Unknown causes of tinnitus

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

There’s bound to be more research. People will be in a better position to make better 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 scarcity of marketing publicity around cannabinoids in recent years. That’s in part because attitudes surrounding cannabinoids are rapidly changing (this also shows a growing wish to get away from the use of opioids). But some negative effects can come from cannabinoid use, particularly regarding your hearing and this is reflected in this new research.

You’ll never be able to avoid all of the cannabinoid aficionados and evangelists in the world–the advertising for cannabinoids has been particularly aggressive lately.

But a strong connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus is certainly indicated by this research. So if you have tinnitus–or if you’re worried about tinnitus–it may be worth avoiding cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many advertisements for CBD oil you may come across. The link between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is unclear at best, so it’s worth using some caution.

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