The Connection Between Tinnitus and Cannabinoids

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

Over the last several decades the public perception of cannabinoids and marijuana has transformed significantly. Many states now allow the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal purposes. The idea that some states (fewer) even allow the recreational usage of pot would have been hard to imagine a decade ago.

Any substances produced by the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, essentially) are known as cannabinoids. And we’re still discovering new things about cannabis despite the fact that it’s recently been legalized in numerous states. We often view these particular compounds as having widespread healing qualities. There have been contradictory studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research suggests there might also be negative effects such as a strong link between the use of cannabinoids and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

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.

The forms of cannabinoids available will differ state by state, and many of those forms are still technically federally illegal if the amount of THC is over 0.3%. That’s why most people tend to be rather careful about cannabinoids.

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

Studies connecting hearing to cannabinoids

A myriad of disorders are believed to be effectively managed by cannabinoids. According to anecdotal evidence vertigo, nausea, and seizures are just a few of the afflictions that cannabinoids can help. So the researchers wondered if cannabinoids could help treat tinnitus, too.

Turns out, cannabinoids might actually cause tinnitus. According to the research, over 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.

Further research suggested that marijuana use could worsen ear-ringing symptoms in those who already have tinnitus. In other words, there’s some rather persuasive evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really mix all that well.

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

Unknown causes of tinnitus

Just because this link has been uncovered doesn’t automatically mean the underlying causes are all that well known. That cannabinoids can have an influence on the middle ear and on tinnitus is pretty clear. But what’s causing that impact is far less clear.

There’s bound to be more research. Individuals will be in a better position to make smarter choices if we can make progress in comprehending the link between the many forms of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Beware the miracle cure

There has undeniably been no shortage of marketing hype around cannabinoids in recent years. That’s in part because perceptions surrounding cannabinoids are quickly changing (and, to an extent, is also a reflection of a desire to move away from opioids). But some negative effects can result from cannabinoid use, particularly 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 definitely 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. It’s not completely clear what the connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids so use some caution.


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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