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

Public opinion surrounding marijuana and cannabinoids has transformed significantly over the past several decades. Many states now allow the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal purposes. Far fewer states have legalized pot for recreational reasons, but even that would have been unthinkable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Cannabinoids are any substances derived from the cannabis plant (basically, the marijuana plant). Despite their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still discovering new things about cannabinoids. We often view these specific compounds as having widespread healing qualities. There have been contradictory studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research indicates there may also be negative effects such as a direct link between the use of cannabinoids and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Cannabinoids come in many forms

There are numerous forms of cannabinoids that can be utilized nowadays. Whatever name you want to give it, pot or weed is not the only form. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, pills, inhalable vapors, and others.

Any of these forms that contain a THC level above 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will fluctuate by state. So it’s important to be cautious with the use of cannabinoids.

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

Research linking hearing to cannabinoids

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been connected with helping a wide variety of medical disorders. Seizures, nausea, vertigo, and more seem to be improved with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So researchers decided to see if cannabinoids could treat tinnitus, too.

Turns out, cannabinoids may actually cause tinnitus. Ringing in the ears was documented, according to the study, by 20% of the participants who used cannabinoids. And that’s in individuals 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 studies suggested that marijuana use may exacerbate ear-ringing symptoms in individuals who already have tinnitus. In other words, there’s some rather persuasive evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really mix all that well.

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

Causes of tinnitus are unclear

The discovery of this connection doesn’t reveal the root cause of the relationship. That cannabinoids can have an impact on the middle ear and on tinnitus is rather obvious. But it’s a lot less evident what’s causing that impact.

Research, obviously, will continue. Individuals will be in a better position to make better choices if we can make progress in comprehending the connection between the many varieties of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Beware the miracle cure

Recently, there has been a great deal of marketing publicity around cannabinoids. In part, that’s because of changing mindsets associated with cannabinoids themselves (and, to some extent, is also a reflection of a wish to move away from opioids). But this new research clearly demonstrates that cannabinoids can and do cause some negative effects, especially if you’re concerned about your hearing.

Lately, there’s been aggressive advertising about cannabinoids and you’ll never escape all of the cannabinoid enthusiasts.

But a strong connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus is certainly implied by this research. So if you have tinnitus–or if you’re concerned about tinnitus–it might be worth avoiding cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many adverts for CBD oil you may come across. It’s not exactly clear what the connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids so exercise some caution.

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