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

Public opinion about marijuana and cannabinoids has changed significantly over the past several decades. Many states have legalized the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal purposes. Substantially fewer states have legalized marijuana for recreational reasons, but even that would have been unimaginable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Any substances derived from the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, essentially) are known as cannabinoids. And we’re still learning new things about cannabis despite the fact that it’s recently been legalized in numerous states. We often think of these specific compounds as having widespread healing qualities. But research implies a strong connection between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also conflicting studies.

Cannabinoids come in various forms

There are numerous varieties of cannabinoids that can be consumed today. It’s not just 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 higher than 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will differ by state. That’s why many people tend to be rather careful about cannabinoids.

The long-term complications and side effects of cannabinoid use are not well known and that’s the problem. A great example is some new research into how your hearing is impacted by cannabinoid use.

Studies About cannabinoids and hearing

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been connected with improving a large number of medical conditions. Seizures, nausea, vertigo, and more seem to be helped with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So researchers made a decision to find out if cannabinoids could treat tinnitus, too.

But what they discovered was that tinnitus symptoms can actually be caused by the use of cannabinoids. Ringing in the ears was documented, according to the study, by 20% of the participants who used cannabinoids. And that’s in people who had never experienced tinnitus before. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times more likely with people who use marijuana.

Further research indicated that marijuana use could exacerbate ear-ringing symptoms in individuals who already suffer from tinnitus. So, it would seem, from this compelling research, that the link between tinnitus and cannabinoids is not a positive one.

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

Unknown causes of tinnitus

Just because this link has been discovered doesn’t necessarily mean the root causes are all that well comprehended. That cannabinoids can have an affect on the middle ear and on tinnitus is fairly obvious. But it’s much less clear what’s producing that impact.

Research, obviously, will continue. Cannabinoids today are available in so many selections and forms that understanding the fundamental connection between these substances and tinnitus might help people make smarter choices.

Beware the miracle cure

There has certainly been no shortage of marketing publicity around cannabinoids in recent years. That’s in part because attitudes about cannabinoids are rapidly changing (and, to some extent, is also a reflection of a wish to get away from opioids). But some negative effects can result from cannabinoid use, especially with regards to your hearing and this is demonstrated in this new research.

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

But this research certainly indicates a powerful link between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So if you are dealing with tinnitus–or if you’re concerned 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. It’s not exactly clear what the connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids so use 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

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