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

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

Cannabinoids are any compounds produced by the cannabis plant (essentially, the marijuana plant). Despite their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still learning new things about cannabinoids. It’s a common notion that cannabinoid compounds have widespread healing qualities. There have been conflicting studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research indicates there might also be negative effects like a strong link between cannabinoid use and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Cannabinoids come in many forms

Nowadays, cannabinoids can be consumed in a number of varieties. Whatever name you want to give it, pot or weed isn’t the only form. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, pills, inhalable vapors, and more.

Any of these forms that contain a THC level above 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will vary 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 issue. Some new studies into how cannabinoids impact your hearing are perfect examples.

Research into cannabinoids and hearing

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been associated with helping a large number of medical disorders. Seizures, nausea, vertigo, and more seem to be helped with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So researchers decided 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. According to the research, over 20% of study participants who used cannabinoid products documented hearing a ringing in their ears. And tinnitus was never formerly experienced by those participants. What’s more, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to report experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

And for people who already experience ringing in the ears, using marijuana would actually worsen the symptoms. Put simply, there’s some rather persuasive evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really work well together.

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

Causes of tinnitus are not clear

Just because this connection has been found doesn’t automatically mean the root causes are all that well known. It’s pretty clear that cannabinoids have an influence on the middle ear. But what’s producing that impact is much less evident.

Research, obviously, will carry on. People will be in a better position to make better choices if we can make progress in comprehending the connection between the numerous forms of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Beware the miracle cure

There has undeniably been no lack of marketing hype associated with cannabinoids recently. In part, that’s the result of changing attitudes surrounding cannabinoids themselves (and, to an extent, is also a reflection of a desire to turn away from opioids). But this new research clearly demonstrates that cannabinoids can and do produce some negative effects, especially if you’re concerned about your hearing.

You’ll never be capable of avoiding all of the cannabinoid enthusiasts and devotees in the world–the marketing for cannabinoids has been especially aggressive lately.

But this research certainly suggests a strong connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So no matter how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should steer clear of cannabinoids if you’re concerned about tinnitus. The link between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is uncertain 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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