Cannabinoids and Tinnitus – What’s the Connection?

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

Over the past several decades the public perception of cannabinoids and marijuana has transformed significantly. Many states have legalized the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal purposes. 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 (essentially, the marijuana plant). And we’re still discovering new things about cannabis despite the fact that it’s recently been legalized in numerous states. It’s a common belief that cannabinoid compounds have extensive healing properties. But research implies a strong link between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also conflicting studies.

Cannabinoids come in numerous forms

There are numerous varieties of cannabinoids that can be consumed nowadays. It’s not just pot or weed or whatever name you want to put on it. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in the form of a pill, as inhaled mists, as topical spreads, and more.

Any of these forms that have a THC level higher than 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will fluctuate depending on the state. That’s why many people 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. A good example is some new research into how your hearing is affected by cannabinoid use.

Studies connecting hearing to cannabinoids

A myriad of conditions are believed to be successfully managed by cannabinoids. Seizures, nausea, vertigo, and more seem to be improved with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So researchers decided to find out if cannabinoids could help with tinnitus, too.

Turns out, cannabinoids might actually cause tinnitus. Ringing in the ears was documented, 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 report experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

Further studies suggested that marijuana use could exacerbate ear-ringing symptoms in those who already suffer from tinnitus. So, it would seem, from this compelling evidence, that the relationship between cannabinoids and tinnitus isn’t a beneficial one.

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

Unknown causes of tinnitus

The discovery of this connection doesn’t reveal the root cause of the relationship. It’s pretty clear that cannabinoids have an influence on the middle ear. But what’s producing that impact is much less clear.

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

Beware the miracle cure

Recently, there has been lots of marketing hype surrounding cannabinoids. That’s partly because mindsets about cannabinoids are swiftly changing (and, to some extent, is also an indication of a desire to turn away from opioids). But this new research clearly demonstrates 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 avoid all of the cannabinoid devotees.

But this research certainly suggests a strong connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So regardless of how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should avoid cannabinoids if you’re concerned about tinnitus. It’s not completely clear what the link between tinnitus and cannabinoids so exercise some caution.


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