The Link Between Tinnitus and Cannabinoids

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

Over the last several decades the public perception of cannabinoids and marijuana has transformed a lot. Many states now allow the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal reasons. Far fewer states have legalized marijuana for recreational reasons, but even that would have been unimaginable even just ten or fifteen years ago.

Cannabinoids are any compounds derived from the cannabis plant (basically, the marijuana plant). And we’re still discovering new things about cannabis despite the fact that it’s recently been legalized in several states. It’s a common idea that cannabinoid compounds have widespread healing attributes. There have been contradictory studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research indicates there may also be negative effects like a strong link between cannabinoid use and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Numerous forms of cannabinoids

At present, cannabinoids can be consumed in lots of forms. It’s not just pot or weed or whatever name you want to give it. These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in pill form, as topical spreads, as inhaled mists, 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 essential to be careful with the use of cannabinoids.

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

Research linking hearing to cannabinoids

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

Turns out, cannabinoids might actually cause tinnitus. Ringing in the ears was documented, according to the study, by 20% of the participants who used cannabinoids. And that’s in individuals who had never experienced tinnitus before. What’s more, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to report experiencing tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption.

And for people who already experience ringing in the ears, using marijuana would actually exacerbate the symptoms. So, it would appear, from this compelling evidence, that the link between tinnitus and cannabinoids is not a positive one.

The research isn’t clear as to how the cannabinoids were consumed but it should be noted that smoking has also been connected to tinnitus symptoms.

Causes of tinnitus are not clear

Just because this connection has been uncovered doesn’t necessarily mean the root causes are all that well comprehended. It’s pretty clear that cannabinoids have an influence on the middle ear. But what’s producing that impact is far less evident.

Research, undoubtedly, will continue. Cannabinoids today come in so many varieties and types that comprehending the fundamental link between these substances and tinnitus could help individuals make smarter choices.

Beware the miracle cure

Recently, there has been a great deal of marketing publicity surrounding cannabinoids. In part, that’s the result of changing attitudes surrounding cannabinoids themselves (this also reflects a growing desire to get away from opioid use). But this new research makes clear that cannabinoids can and do produce some negative effects, especially if you’re uneasy about your hearing.

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

But a powerful connection 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 steering clear of cannabinoids if you can, no matter how many adverts for CBD oil you might come across. 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.