The Connection Between Tinnitus and Cannabinoids

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

Over the past several decades the public opinion about cannabinoids and marijuana has transformed considerably. Many states have legalized the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid products for medicinal reasons. The concept that some states (fewer) even allow the recreational use of pot would have been unimaginable a decade ago.

Any compounds derived from the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant, essentially) are known as cannabinoids. In spite of their recent legalization (in some states), we’re still discovering new things about cannabinoids. It’s a common notion that cannabinoid compounds have widespread healing properties. There have been contradictory studies about cannabinoids and tinnitus but research indicates there might also be negative effects like a direct connection between the use of cannabinoids and the development of tinnitus symptoms.

Numerous forms of cannabinoids

There are many forms of cannabinoids that can be utilized nowadays. It’s not just pot or weed or whatever name you want to put on it. Other forms can include topical spreads, edibles, pills, inhalable vapors, and more.

Any of these forms that contain a THC level above 0.3% are technically still federally illegal and the available forms will differ depending on the state. That’s why many individuals tend to be quite careful about 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 studies into how cannabinoids impact your hearing are perfect examples.

Research connecting hearing to cannabinoids

Whatever you want to call it, cannabinoids have long been connected with helping a large number of medical disorders. Seizures, nausea, vertigo, and more seem to be improved with cannabinoids, according to anecdotally available evidence. So researchers decided to find out if cannabinoids could treat tinnitus, too.

But what they discovered was that tinnitus symptoms can actually be caused by the use of cannabinoids. According to the research, more than 20% of study participants who used cannabinoid products documented hearing a ringing in their ears. And tinnitus was never previously experienced by those participants. And tinnitus symptoms within 24 hours of consumption were 20-times more likely with people who use marijuana.

And for people who already experience ringing in the ears, using marijuana could actually worsen the symptoms. So, it would seem, from this persuasive evidence, that the link between cannabinoids and tinnitus isn’t a positive one.

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

Causes of tinnitus are not clear

Just because this link has been uncovered doesn’t necessarily mean the root causes are all that well known. That cannabinoids can have an influence on the middle ear and on tinnitus is fairly obvious. But it’s far less clear what’s producing that impact.

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

Don’t fall for miracle cures

In recent years, there has been a great deal of marketing hype surrounding cannabinoids. In part, that’s because of changing mindsets surrounding cannabinoids themselves (this also shows a growing wish to get away from opioid use). But some negative effects can result from cannabinoid use, especially regarding your hearing and this is demonstrated in this new research.

You’ll never be capable of avoiding all of the cannabinoid aficionados and devotees in the world–the advertising for cannabinoids has been particularly aggressive lately.

But this research certainly indicates a powerful connection 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. The connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus symptoms is unclear at best, so it’s worth using a little 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.