Cannabinoids and Tinnitus – What’s the Connection?

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

Public opinion surrounding marijuana and cannabinoids has transformed remarkably over the last several decades. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now allowed for medical use in many states. The concept that some states (fewer) even allow the recreational use of pot would have been unimaginable a decade ago.

Any substances produced by the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, essentially) are known as cannabinoids. In spite of their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still learning new things about cannabinoids. We often think of these particular compounds as having widespread healing properties. But research implies a strong connection between the use of cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms but there are also contradictory studies.

Cannabinoids come in various forms

There are numerous forms of cannabinoids that can be used nowadays. 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 others.

The forms of cannabinoids available will differ state by state, and many of those forms are still actually illegal under federal law if the THC content is over 0.3%. That’s why most individuals 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 issue. Some new studies into how cannabinoids impact your hearing are perfect examples.

Studies linking hearing to cannabinoids

A myriad of disorders are believed to be successfully managed by cannabinoids. Seizures, nausea, vertigo, and more seem to be helped with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So the researchers wondered if cannabinoids could help treat tinnitus, too.

But what they discovered was that tinnitus symptoms can actually be activated by the use of cannabinoids. Ringing in the ears was documented, according to the study, by 20% of the participants who used cannabinoids. And tinnitus was never formerly experienced by those participants. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times higher with marijuana users.

Further studies indicated that marijuana use may exacerbate ear-ringing symptoms in those who already suffer from tinnitus. In other words, 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 mentioned that smoking has also been connected to tinnitus symptoms.

Unclear causes of tinnitus

Just because this connection has been found doesn’t necessarily mean the root causes are all that well understood. It’s fairly clear that cannabinoids have an impact 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 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 plenty of marketing hype around cannabinoids. In part, that’s due to changing attitudes surrounding cannabinoids themselves (this also demonstrates a growing wish to get away from opioid use). But some negative effects can come from cannabinoid use, particularly with regards to your hearing and this is demonstrated in this new research.

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

But this research undeniably indicates a powerful connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So if you are dealing with tinnitus–or if you’re worried about tinnitus–it may be worth steering clear of 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 using some caution.


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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