Cannabinoids and Tinnitus – What’s the Link?

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

Over the last several decades the public perception of cannabinoids and marijuana has changed considerably. Cannabinoids, marijuana, and THC products are now legal for medical use in many states. Substantially fewer states have legalized pot for recreational reasons, but even that would have been unimaginable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Cannabinoids are any substances produced by the cannabis plant (essentially, the marijuana plant). And we’re still discovering new things about cannabis despite the fact that it’s recently been legalized in several states. We often view these specific compounds as having widespread healing properties. There have been conflicting studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research suggests there may also be negative effects such as a strong connection between cannabinoid use and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Numerous forms of cannabinoids

There are many forms of cannabinoids that can be consumed presently. Whatever name you want to give it, pot or weed isn’t the only form. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, pills, inhalable vapors, and others.

The forms of cannabinoids available will differ state by state, and most of those forms are still technically illegal under federal law if the amount of THC is above 0.3%. So it’s important to be cautious with the use of 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. A great example is some new research into how your hearing is impacted by cannabinoid use.

Research into cannabinoids and hearing

A wide array 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 manage tinnitus, too.

But what they found was that tinnitus symptoms can actually be activated by the use of cannabinoids. According to the research, more than 20% of study participants who used cannabinoid products reported hearing a ringing in their ears. And that’s in people who had never experienced tinnitus before. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times higher with people who use marijuana.

Further research suggested that marijuana use may exacerbate ear-ringing symptoms in individuals who already suffer from tinnitus. Put simply, there’s some rather persuasive evidence that cannabinoids and tinnitus don’t really work well together.

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

Unclear causes of tinnitus

The discovery of this connection doesn’t expose the underlying cause of the relationship. It’s fairly clear that cannabinoids have an impact on the middle ear. But it’s far less clear what’s producing that impact.

There’s bound to be further research. Cannabinoids today are available in so many varieties and forms that understanding the root link between these substances and tinnitus could help individuals make wiser choices.

Beware the miracle cure

There has undeniably been no scarcity of marketing publicity associated with cannabinoids in recent years. To some extent, that’s the result of changing perceptions associated with cannabinoids themselves (this also shows a growing desire to get away from the use of opioids). But this new research makes clear that cannabinoids can and do cause some negative effects, particularly if you’re concerned about your hearing.

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

But this research certainly indicates a powerful link between tinnitus and cannabinoids. So regardless of how many ads for CBD oil you see, you should avoid cannabinoids if you’re worried about tinnitus. It’s not exactly clear what the connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids so use 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.