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. Many states have legalized the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal purposes. The concept that some states (fewer) even allow the recreational use of pot would have been unimaginable 10 years ago.

Any substances derived from the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, basically) are known as cannabinoids. In spite of their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still discovering new things about cannabinoids. We often think of these specific compounds as having widespread healing properties. There have been conflicting studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research suggests there might also be negative effects such as a direct connection between cannabinoid use and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Various forms of cannabinoids

There are numerous forms of cannabinoids that can be utilized today. It’s not only pot or weed or whatever name you want to give it. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in the form of a pill, as topical spreads, as inhaled mists, and others.

The forms of cannabinoids available will vary state by state, and many of those forms are still actually federally illegal if the amount of THC is over 0.3%. So it’s important to be careful with the use of cannabinoids.

The long-term complications and side effects of cannabinoid use are not well known and that’s the problem. Some new studies into how cannabinoids impact your hearing are perfect examples.

Studies About cannabinoids and hearing

A wide array of disorders 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 manage tinnitus, too.

But what they found was that tinnitus symptoms can actually be triggered by the use of cannabinoids. Ringing in the ears was reported, 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.

And for individuals who already experience ringing in the ears, using marijuana may actually exacerbate the symptoms. In other words, there’s some fairly compelling evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really work well together.

It should be mentioned that smoking has also been associated with tinnitus and the research was unclear on how participants were using cannabinoids.

Causes of tinnitus are not clear

The discovery of this link doesn’t expose the underlying cause of the relationship. That cannabinoids can have an affect on the middle ear and on tinnitus is pretty clear. But what’s causing that impact is far less evident.

There’s bound to be more research. People will be in a better position to make wiser choices if we can make progress in comprehending the connection between the many forms of cannabinoids and tinnitus.

Beware the miracle cure

There has certainly been no shortage of marketing hype around cannabinoids recently. In part, that’s because of changing perceptions associated with cannabinoids themselves (this also reflects a growing wish to get away from opioid use). But some negative effects can result from cannabinoid use, particularly regarding your hearing and this is reflected in this new research.

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

But a powerful link between cannabinoids and tinnitus is definitely implied by this research. 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 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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