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

Public opinion surrounding marijuana and cannabinoids has changed remarkably over the past several decades. Many states now allow the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal reasons. 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 compounds produced by the cannabis plant (basically, the marijuana plant). In spite of their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still discovering new things about cannabinoids. We frequently view 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 like a direct link between the use of cannabinoids and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Cannabinoids come in many forms

Nowadays, cannabinoids can be used in many varieties. It isn’t just pot or weed or whatever name you want to put on it. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, inhaled vapors, pills, and more.

The forms of cannabinoids available will vary state by state, and many of those forms are still technically illegal under federal law if the amount of THC is over 0.3%. That’s why many individuals tend to be rather careful about 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 affect your hearing are prime examples.

Research into cannabinoids and hearing

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

Turns out, cannabinoids may actually cause tinnitus. According to the research, more than 20% of study participants who used cannabinoid products documented hearing a ringing in their ears. And that’s in people who had never experienced tinnitus before. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times higher with people who use marijuana.

And for those 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 isn’t a beneficial one.

It should be mentioned that smoking has also been linked with tinnitus and the research was unclear on how participants were consuming cannabinoids.

Unclear causes of tinnitus

Just because this connection has been found doesn’t automatically mean the underlying causes are all that well understood. That cannabinoids can have an impact on the middle ear and on tinnitus is rather clear. But what’s producing that impact is far less clear.

Research, obviously, will continue. People will be in a better position to make wiser choices if we can make progress in understanding the link between the many forms of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Don’t fall for miracle cures

There has undeniably been no shortage of marketing hype around cannabinoids in recent years. In part, that’s the result of changing perceptions surrounding cannabinoids themselves (and, to an extent, is also an indication of a wish to turn away from opioids). But some negative effects can result from cannabinoid use, especially 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 strong connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus is definitely indicated by this research. So if you are dealing with tinnitus–or if you’re concerned about tinnitus–it might be worth steering clear of cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many adverts for CBD oil you might come across. The link between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is uncertain at best, so it’s worth using a little caution.

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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

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.