The Connection Between Tinnitus and Cannabinoids

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

Public opinion about marijuana and cannabinoids has transformed remarkably over the last several decades. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now legal for medical use in many states. Far fewer states have legalized pot for recreational reasons, but even that would have been unimaginable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Any compounds produced by the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, essentially) are known as cannabinoids. Despite their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still learning new things about cannabinoids. It’s a common notion that cannabinoid compounds have widespread healing attributes. There have been conflicting studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research indicates there may also be negative effects like a direct link between cannabinoid use and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Various forms of cannabinoids

There are numerous forms of cannabinoids that can be used presently. Whatever name you want to put on it, pot or weed is not the only form. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in pill form, as topical spreads, as inhaled mists, and more.

Any of these forms that have a THC level above 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 long-term complications and side effects of cannabinoid use are not well known and that’s the problem. A great example is some new research into how your hearing is impacted by cannabinoid use.

Research linking hearing to cannabinoids

A myriad of conditions are believed to be successfully managed by cannabinoids. According to anecdotal evidence vertigo, nausea, and seizures are just a few of the conditions that cannabinoids can help. So the researchers wondered if cannabinoids could help treat tinnitus, too.

But what they found was that tinnitus symptoms can actually be caused by the use of cannabinoids. Ringing in the ears was documented, according to the study, by 20% of the participants who used cannabinoids. And that’s in people who had never experienced tinnitus before. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times higher with marijuana users.

Further studies suggested that marijuana use could exacerbate ear-ringing symptoms in those who already suffer from tinnitus. Put simply, there’s some pretty persuasive evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really mix all that well.

It should be noted 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 link doesn’t reveal the root cause of the relationship. It’s quite clear that cannabinoids have an impact on the middle ear. But what’s producing that impact is far less clear.

There’s bound to be more research. Cannabinoids today are available in so many selections and forms that comprehending the fundamental connection between these substances and tinnitus could help people make smarter choices.

Beware the miracle cure

There has certainly been no scarcity of marketing hype surrounding cannabinoids recently. In part, that’s the result of changing mindsets associated with cannabinoids themselves (this also demonstrates a growing desire to get away from the use of opioids). But some negative effects can come from the use of cannabinoids, especially regarding your hearing and this is reflected in this new research.

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

But a powerful connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus is definitely implied 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 link 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. Schedule an appointment to see if hearing aids could benefit you.