The Connection Between Tinnitus and Cannabinoids

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

Over the past several decades the public opinion about cannabinoids and marijuana has transformed significantly. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now allowed for medical use in many states. Far 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 substances derived from the cannabis plant (basically, the marijuana plant). And we’re still discovering new things about cannabis in spite of the fact that it’s recently been legalized in several states. It’s a common belief that cannabinoid compounds have extensive healing qualities. There have been contradictory studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research suggests there may also be negative effects like a strong link between cannabinoid use and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Many forms of cannabinoids

At present, cannabinoids can be utilized in lots of varieties. Whatever name you want to give it, pot or weed isn’t the only form. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in pill form, as inhaled mists, as topical spreads, and others.

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. That’s why most people tend to be rather cautious about 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 affected by cannabinoid use.

Research connecting hearing to cannabinoids

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been connected with improving a large number of medical conditions. 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.

Turns out, cannabinoids might actually cause tinnitus. Ringing in the ears was documented, according to the study, by 20% of the participants who used cannabinoids. And tinnitus was never previously experienced by those participants. Furthermore, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to describe experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

And for those who already experience ringing in the ears, using marijuana would actually worsen the symptoms. So, it would seem, from this persuasive evidence, that the link between cannabinoids and tinnitus is not a positive one.

It should be noted that smoking has also been linked with tinnitus and the research wasn’t clear on how participants were using cannabinoids.

Causes of tinnitus are not clear

Just because this link has been found doesn’t automatically mean the root causes are all that well comprehended. That cannabinoids can have an influence on the middle ear and on tinnitus is rather clear. But it’s a lot less evident what’s producing that impact.

There’s bound to be additional research. Cannabinoids today come in so many selections and forms that understanding the root connection between these substances and tinnitus might help people make wiser choices.

Don’t fall for miracle cures

Recently, there has been a great deal of marketing publicity around cannabinoids. That’s partly because attitudes associated with cannabinoids are quickly changing (this also demonstrates a growing wish to get away from the use of opioids). But some negative effects can result from cannabinoid use, especially with regards to your hearing and this is demonstrated in this new research.

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

But this research undeniably indicates a strong connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So if you are dealing with tinnitus–or if you’re concerned about tinnitus–it may be worth avoiding cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many advertisements for CBD oil you may come across. The link between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is uncertain 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.