HEARING TIPS

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

Public opinion surrounding marijuana and cannabinoids has transformed significantly over the last several decades. Many states have legalized the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal purposes. Substantially fewer states have legalized pot 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, basically) are known as cannabinoids. Despite their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still learning new things about cannabinoids. We frequently view these specific compounds as having widespread healing qualities. But research suggests a strong link between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also contradictory studies.

Cannabinoids come in numerous forms

Nowadays, cannabinoids can be utilized in a number of forms. It’s not only pot or weed or whatever name you want to put on it. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in the form of a pill, as topical spreads, as inhaled mists, 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. So it’s essential to be careful when using cannabinoids.

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

Research into cannabinoids and hearing

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been linked with improving a wide range of medical conditions. 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 found 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 previously experienced by those participants. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times higher with people who use marijuana.

Further research suggested that marijuana use could worsen ear-ringing symptoms in those who already suffer from tinnitus. So, it would seem, from this persuasive evidence, that the relationship between tinnitus and cannabinoids is not a beneficial one.

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

Causes of tinnitus are not clear

The discovery of this connection doesn’t expose the root cause of the relationship. It’s pretty clear that cannabinoids have an impact on the middle ear. But what’s producing that impact is a lot less clear.

Research, undoubtedly, will carry on. Cannabinoids today come in so many varieties and forms that understanding the underlying 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 surrounding cannabinoids recently. To some extent, that’s due to changing attitudes associated with cannabinoids themselves (this also shows a growing desire to get away from opioid use). But this new research clearly demonstrates that cannabinoids can and do create some negative effects, particularly if you’re uneasy about your hearing.

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

But this research undeniably suggests a strong connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So if you have tinnitus–or if you’re worried about tinnitus–it may be worth avoiding cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many adverts for CBD oil you may come across. The connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is unclear at best, so it’s worth exercising a little caution.

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References

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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