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

Public opinion about marijuana and cannabinoids has transformed significantly over the past several decades. 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 compounds produced by the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, basically) are known as cannabinoids. In spite of their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still learning new things about cannabinoids. We frequently think of these particular compounds as having universal healing qualities. There have been contradictory studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research indicates there may also be negative effects such as a strong connection between the use of cannabinoids and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Many forms of cannabinoids

Today, cannabinoids can be consumed in lots of varieties. Whatever name you want to put on it, pot or weed isn’t the only form. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in pill form, as inhaled mists, as topical spreads, 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 essential to be cautious when using cannabinoids.

The long-term complications and side effects of cannabinoid use are not well understood and that’s the problem. Some new research into how cannabinoids affect your hearing are perfect examples.

Studies About 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 researchers decided to find out if cannabinoids could help with 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 cope with ringing in the ears, using marijuana could actually worsen the symptoms. So, it would seem, from this compelling evidence, that the relationship between tinnitus and cannabinoids isn’t a beneficial one.

The research isn’t clear as to how the cannabinoids were consumed but it should be noted that smoking has also been connected to tinnitus symptoms.

Unclear causes of tinnitus

The discovery of this connection doesn’t expose the underlying cause of the relationship. It’s pretty clear that cannabinoids have an impact on the middle ear. But it’s far less clear what’s causing that impact.

Research, undoubtedly, will carry on. Cannabinoids today are available in so many selections and forms that understanding the underlying link between these substances and tinnitus could help people make smarter choices.

Beware the miracle cure

There has definitely been no lack of marketing hype associated with cannabinoids in recent years. To some extent, that’s the result of changing perceptions associated with cannabinoids themselves (this also reflects a growing desire to get away from opioid use). But some negative effects can come 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 avoid 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 worried about tinnitus–it may be worth steering clear of cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many advertisements for CBD oil you might come across. The connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is uncertain 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.