Cannabis and Tinnitus
Tinnitus – the perception of a sound when no external noise is present – is an extremely common and often debilitating problem. In fact, around 50 million Americans experience some form of tinnitus and 2 million suffer from such severe symptoms, they struggle to function on a day-to-day basis. While there are several measures you can take to improve tinnitus symptoms, there is currently no cure for the condition. Seeking relief, some tinnitus patients are dabbling with cannabidiol, also known as CBD. CBD has made a major splash in the wellness industry as a treatment for a variety of conditions, including headaches and anxiety. But is there a link between cannabis and tinnitus relief?
Cannabis and Tinnitus
The Difference Between Marijuana and CBD
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical compound that can be extracted from cannabis, or hemp plants. While hemp plants are very similar to marijuana plants, they contain significantly lower levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical that creates the psychoactive “high” for marijuana users. CBD users don’t experience a high, but they may experience the plant’s calming effects, in addition to several other wellness benefits. CBD is available in a variety of products, everything from oils and lotions to chocolate truffles, gummy candies, and lip balms.
Can Cannabis Really Ease the Effects of Tinnitus?
Short answer: maybe and no. CBD works thanks to the role of two receptors in the brain, known as CB1 and CB2. Research has shown that CB1 and CB2 may play a role in balance and hearing disorders like tinnitus; however, the research is fairly limited, and the results are mixed. In one 2015 study, researchers used CBD to treat lab rats, and it actually worsened the rats’ tinnitus symptoms. However, CBD has been used to treat some other neurological disorders, like epilepsy.
Overall, studies testing the connection between cannabis and tinnitus have been deemed inconclusive. Cannabis has not been proven as an effective treatment of tinnitus.
Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t currently regulate CBD products, so the quality of CBD-containing supplements is uncertain. If you’re interested in using CBD products for your tinnitus symptoms, it’s important to work with a healthcare professional to evaluate your options. Your doctor can tell you if CBD will interact with any medications you’re currently taking, such as blood thinners. If you begin taking CBD, keep a close eye out for side effects like diarrhea, drowsiness, fatigue, and dry mouth.
Effective Tinnitus Relief Options
If you’re struggling with tinnitus and not sure where to turn, contact Sound Relief Hearing Center for help. We specialize in tinnitus relief methods and can recommend an individualized treatment plan to get you the relief you deserve. Our team uses only evidence-based treatments to ensure that our patients experience effective, life-changing results. Our treatment methods include Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) using sound therapy as well as hearing aids, counseling, and relaxation techniques.
Although CBD has been used by many people to help relieve their condition, it is still too early to determine if CBD benefits individuals living with tinnitus. For now, your best bet is to work with a tinnitus specialist who can address your individual symptoms with a unique treatment plan.
When you’re ready to get your tinnitus under control, reach out to Sound Relief Hearing Center in Colorado or Arizona. We are a family-owned and operated audiology practice, so we always have the patient’s best interest at heart. Plus, our state-of-the-art technology ensures that our patients receive the best treatment available. With our unparalleled excellence in the hearing health industry, our dedication to patient care, and our commitment to helping people control and conquer their hearing issues, you can count on Sound Relief Hearing Center. To learn more about us, please browse our website, visit our YouTube channel, or give us a call at 720-259-9962. You can also schedule an appointment online to meet with one of our audiologists. We look forward to hearing from you!
Some tinnitus patients are intrigued by the link between cannabis and tinnitus relief. But how promising is the science, really? Let's explore the research.
Cannabinoids Linked to Tinnitus
Public opinion about marijuana and cannabinoids have transformed remarkably in the last several decades. THC, cannabinoids, and even marijuana are legal for medical usage in most states. Not as many states have legalized pot for recreational applications, but even that would have been impossible even just a decade ago.
A group of compounds derived from the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, essentially) are known as cannabinoids. Regardless of their recent legalization in certain states, we’re still uncovering new things about cannabinoids. Despite the fact that we now are beginning to know the many medical positive aspects of these chemical substances, it has been well known for a while that tinnitus may be triggered by cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids Come in Several Forms
Nowadays, cannabinoids can be taken in many forms. It isn’t just weed (or ganja, or pot…..ok, there are plenty of nicknames for marijuana so let’s move on). Oils, mists, pills and other variations of cannabinoids are currently available.
Every state has it’s own laws regarding which forms of cannabinoids you can purchase, and many of those forms are still technically illegal under federal law if the amount of THC is over 0.3%. So it’s still normal for people to be very cautious about cannabinoids.
We still need more study and experience before we will truly know the long lasting and side effects of cannabinoids. A good example is the new information about how cannabinoids impact your hearing.
New Studies Into Cannabinoids And Hearing
Whatever you would like to call it, cannabinoids have long been connected to helping a wide variety of medical conditions. Vertigo, nausea, seizures, and more seem to be helped with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available information. So is it possible that cannabinoids assist with tinnitus? That’s just what researchers resolved to figure out.
Tinnitus might actually be caused by cannabinoid use, as it turns out. Ringing in the ears was recorded by more than 29% of participants after implementing cannabinoids. And these participants had never had tinnitus symptoms before the study. Furthermore, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to report experiencing tinnitus symptoms after 24 hours.
And for individuals who already suffered from tinnitus, marijuana usage made it worse. In a nutshell, there’s some pretty strong evidence that tinnitus and cannabinoids don’t really mix very well.
How Cannabinoids Make Tinnitus Worse
Your tinnitus can be worsened by cannabinoids in a couple of concrete ways. To start with, the incidents of tinnitus symptoms can become more frequent, you could experience the ringing or buzzing in your ears more frequently. Cannabinoids can also cause tinnitus symptoms to become more overwhelming. The discomfort from the ringing might become louder or harder to ignore.
Cannabinoids have also been demonstrated to trigger the onset of tinnitus symptoms. To put it a different way: after you start using cannabinoids you might start to experience tinnitus symptoms even if you had no symptoms before.
Uncertain Causes of Tinnitus
We understand that there’s a link between tinnitus and certain triggers but we’re still uncertain what the actual underlying causes are. That cannabinoids can have an affect on the middle ear and on tinnitus is fairly clear. But what’s causing that impact is much less obvious.
But we can say for certain that marijuana is one of the few frequently used mood-altering substances that causes tinnitus (alcohol, as an example, hasn’t been demonstrated to have a strong connection with tinnitus).
Research, invariably, will continue. People will be enabled to make a practical choice regarding which of the many forms of cannabinoid to choose as we obtain greater insight into their link to tinnitus.
Beware The Miracle Cure
There has definitely been no lack of marketing hype surrounding cannabinoids in recent years. Partly, that’s due to changing attitudes surrounding cannabinoids themselves (and, to some extent, is also an indication of a desire to turn away from opioid use). But this new research makes it clear that cannabinoids can and do create some negative consequence, especially if you’re worried about your hearing.
You’ll never be able to steer clear of all of the cannabinoid enthusiasts and evangelists out there, the marketing of cannabinoids has been extremely assertive.
But tinnitus and cannabinoids are clearly linked based on this research. So regardless of how many adds you see for CBD oils, if you’re concerned about tinnitus, you should most likely avoid them. It’s worth being cautious when the connection between tinnitus and cannabinoids has been so firmly established.
CBD or cannabinoids have been called a miracle cure. But beware of these potential side effects.