HEARING TIPS

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

Over the last several decades the public opinion about cannabinoids and marijuana has transformed considerably. Many states now allow the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal purposes. Far fewer states have legalized marijuana for recreational reasons, but even that would have been unimaginable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Any compounds derived from the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, essentially) are known as cannabinoids. And we’re still discovering new things about cannabis in spite of the fact that it’s recently been legalized in a number of states. It’s a common belief that cannabinoid compounds have extensive healing properties. But research suggests a strong link between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also conflicting studies.

Cannabinoids come in many forms

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

Any of these forms that have a THC level above 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will differ depending on the state. So it’s important to be cautious when using 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. Some new research into how cannabinoids affect your hearing are perfect examples.

Research into cannabinoids and hearing

A myriad of disorders are believed to be successfully 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 manage tinnitus, too.

But what they found 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 previously experienced by those participants. Furthermore, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to describe experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

And for those who already experience ringing in the ears, using marijuana would actually worsen the symptoms. So, it would appear, from this compelling evidence, that the link between cannabinoids and tinnitus is not 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.

Causes of tinnitus are unclear

Just because this connection has been found doesn’t automatically mean the underlying causes are all that well comprehended. It’s fairly clear that cannabinoids have an impact on the middle ear. But what’s producing that impact is a lot less evident.

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

Don’t fall for miracle cures

In recent years, there has been lots of marketing publicity surrounding cannabinoids. To some extent, that’s due to changing perceptions surrounding cannabinoids themselves (and, to an extent, is also an indication of a wish to get away from opioids). But this new research makes clear that cannabinoids can and do cause some negative effects, particularly if you’re concerned about your hearing.

Lately, there’s been aggressive marketing about cannabinoids and you’ll never avoid all of the cannabinoid enthusiasts.

But this research undeniably indicates a strong link between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So if you have tinnitus–or if you’re concerned about tinnitus–it might be worth avoiding cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many adverts for CBD oil you may come across. The link between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is unclear at best, so it’s worth exercising some 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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