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. Many states have legalized the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal reasons. The concept that some states (fewer) even allow the recreational use of pot would have been unimaginable a decade ago.

Any substances produced by the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, essentially) are known as cannabinoids. In spite of their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still learning new things about cannabinoids. It’s a common idea that cannabinoid compounds have widespread healing attributes. But research implies a strong link between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also contradictory studies.

Cannabinoids come in numerous forms

There are numerous varieties of cannabinoids that can be utilized presently. Whatever name you want to give it, pot or weed isn’t the only form. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, inhaled vapors, pills, and others.

Any of these forms that have a THC level higher than 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will vary depending on the 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 studies into how cannabinoids affect your hearing are prime examples.

Research linking hearing to cannabinoids

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been connected with improving a wide range of medical disorders. Seizures, nausea, vertigo, and more seem to be helped with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So the researchers wondered if cannabinoids could help manage tinnitus, too.

But what they discovered was that tinnitus symptoms can actually be caused by the use of cannabinoids. According to the research, more than 20% of study participants who used cannabinoid products documented hearing a ringing in their ears. And tinnitus was never formerly experienced by those participants. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times more likely with people who use marijuana.

Further research suggested that marijuana use may worsen ear-ringing symptoms in individuals who already have tinnitus. In other words, there’s some pretty convincing 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 linked to tinnitus symptoms.

Causes of tinnitus are not clear

The discovery of this connection doesn’t expose the root 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 much less evident.

There’s bound to be further research. Individuals will be in a better position to make wiser choices if we can make progress in understanding the connection between the numerous forms of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Beware the miracle cure

There has certainly been no shortage of marketing publicity around cannabinoids in recent years. That’s partly because attitudes associated with cannabinoids are rapidly changing (this also demonstrates a growing desire to get away from opioid use). But some negative effects can come from the use of cannabinoids, especially 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 especially aggressive lately.

But this research undeniably indicates 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. The link between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is unclear at best, so it’s worth exercising 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.
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