The Connection Between Tinnitus and Cannabinoids

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

Public opinion surrounding marijuana and cannabinoids has changed significantly over the last several decades. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now legal for medical usage in many states. The idea that some states (fewer) even allow the recreational use of pot would have been hard to imagine a decade ago.

Cannabinoids are any substances derived from the cannabis plant (basically, the marijuana plant). And we’re still learning new things about cannabis despite the fact that it’s recently been legalized in a number of states. We frequently view these particular compounds as having universal healing qualities. There have been contradictory studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research suggests there may also be negative effects like a direct connection between the use of cannabinoids and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Many forms of cannabinoids

There are many varieties of cannabinoids that can be utilized today. It’s not just pot or weed or whatever name you want to put on it. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in pill form, as inhaled mists, as topical spreads, and more.

Any of these forms that contain a THC level higher than 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will vary by state. That’s why most individuals tend to be rather careful about cannabinoids.

The issue is that we don’t yet know very much about some of the long-term side effects or complications of cannabinoid use. Some new studies into how cannabinoids affect your hearing are prime examples.

Research connecting hearing to cannabinoids

A wide array of disorders are believed to be effectively treated by cannabinoids. Seizures, vertigo, nausea, and more seem to be improved with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So the researchers wondered if cannabinoids could help treat tinnitus, too.

Turns out, cannabinoids may actually trigger tinnitus. Ringing in the ears was reported, 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.

And for individuals who already cope with ringing in the ears, using marijuana could actually worsen the symptoms. So, it would seem, from this persuasive research, that the relationship between cannabinoids and tinnitus is not a beneficial one.

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

Causes of tinnitus are unclear

The discovery of this connection doesn’t expose the underlying cause of the relationship. That cannabinoids can have an impact on the middle ear and on tinnitus is pretty obvious. But what’s producing that impact is much less clear.

Research, obviously, will carry on. Cannabinoids today are available in so many varieties and forms that comprehending the underlying connection between these substances and tinnitus could help people make smarter choices.

Beware the miracle cure

In recent years, there has been lots of marketing publicity surrounding cannabinoids. To some extent, that’s the result of changing perceptions surrounding cannabinoids themselves (this also demonstrates a growing desire to get away from opioid use). But some negative effects can result from the use of cannabinoids, particularly regarding your hearing and this is reflected in this new research.

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

But a strong link between cannabinoids and tinnitus is certainly indicated by this research. So regardless of how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should steer clear of cannabinoids if you’re concerned about tinnitus. The connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is uncertain at best, so it’s worth exercising 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.