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

Over the last 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 purposes. Far fewer states have legalized pot for recreational purposes, but even that would have been unthinkable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Cannabinoids are any substances produced by the cannabis plant (basically, the marijuana plant). And we’re still learning new things about cannabis despite the fact that it’s recently been legalized in several states. We often view these specific compounds as having universal healing qualities. But research suggests a strong connection between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also contradictory studies.

Cannabinoids come in various forms

There are many forms of cannabinoids that can be consumed presently. It’s not just pot or weed or whatever name you want to give it. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, pills, inhalable vapors, and others.

Any of these forms that contain a THC level above 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will vary by state. So it’s essential 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. A great 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 treated by cannabinoids. Seizures, vertigo, nausea, and more seem to be improved with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So the researchers wondered if cannabinoids could help treat tinnitus, too.

Turns out, cannabinoids might actually trigger tinnitus. According to the research, over 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. 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 exacerbate the symptoms. Put simply, there’s some rather convincing evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really mix all that well.

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

Causes of tinnitus are unclear

Just because this link has been discovered doesn’t automatically mean the root causes are all that well comprehended. It’s pretty clear that cannabinoids have an impact on the middle ear. But what’s producing that impact is far less clear.

Research, obviously, will continue. Cannabinoids today come in so many varieties and types that understanding the root link between these substances and tinnitus could help individuals make smarter choices.

Beware the miracle cure

There has definitely been no lack of marketing publicity associated with cannabinoids recently. To some extent, that’s the result of changing mindsets associated with cannabinoids themselves (this also reflects a growing wish to get away from opioid use). But this new research makes clear that cannabinoids can and do create some negative effects, particularly if you’re concerned about your hearing.

You’ll never be able to avoid all of the cannabinoid enthusiasts and devotees in the world–the marketing for cannabinoids has been particularly intense lately.

But this research certainly indicates a strong connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So if you are dealing with tinnitus–or if you’re worried about tinnitus–it might be worth avoiding cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many advertisements for CBD oil you might come across. It’s not exactly clear what the link between tinnitus and cannabinoids so exercise 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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