HEARING TIPS

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

Public opinion surrounding marijuana and cannabinoids has changed remarkably over the last several decades. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now allowed for medical usage in many states. Substantially fewer states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, 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 several states. We often view these specific compounds as having widespread healing properties. But research suggests a strong connection between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also conflicting studies.

Many forms of cannabinoids

There are numerous forms of cannabinoids that can be consumed nowadays. It isn’t just pot or weed or whatever name you want to put on it. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, inhaled vapors, pills, and others.

The forms of cannabinoids available will vary state by state, and many of those forms are still actually federally illegal if the THC content is over 0.3%. So it’s essential to be careful with the use of cannabinoids.

The problem is that we don’t yet know much about some of the long-term side effects or complications of cannabinoid use. A good example is some new research into how your hearing is impacted by cannabinoid use.

Research connecting hearing to cannabinoids

A myriad of conditions are believed to be successfully managed by cannabinoids. Seizures, vertigo, nausea, and more seem to be improved with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So researchers made a decision to find out if cannabinoids could treat 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. What’s more, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to describe experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

Further investigation indicated that marijuana use could worsen ear-ringing symptoms in individuals who already have tinnitus. Put simply, there’s some rather compelling evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really work well together.

The research is unclear as to how the cannabinoids were used but it should be noted that smoking has also been linked to tinnitus symptoms.

Unknown causes of tinnitus

The discovery of this connection doesn’t reveal the root cause of the relationship. It’s fairly clear that cannabinoids have an influence on the middle ear. But what’s causing that impact is a lot less evident.

There’s bound to be additional research. People will be in a better position to make wiser choices if we can make progress in comprehending the link between the numerous forms of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Don’t fall for miracle cures

There has definitely been no lack of marketing hype associated with cannabinoids recently. That’s partly because mindsets associated with cannabinoids are rapidly changing (and, to an extent, is also an indication of a wish to turn away from opioids). But this new research clearly demonstrates that cannabinoids can and do cause some negative effects, especially if you’re uneasy about your hearing.

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

But a powerful link between cannabinoids and tinnitus is certainly implied by this research. So regardless of how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should avoid cannabinoids if you’re concerned about tinnitus. It’s not completely 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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