Can Cannabis Provide Relief for Tinnitus?

With cannabis legalized for both medical and recreational use in Illinois, there has been a marked increase in the number of people consuming it.

There are many potential benefits to cannabis but sometimes the claims warrant a closer investigation. One of those is the idea that cannabis can relieve the symptoms of tinnitus.

Can Cannabis Provide Relief From Tinnitus?

While some argue for the use of cannabis as a potential treatment, the relationship between marijuana consumption and tinnitus relief remains uncertain. This 2019 study aimed to examine the connections between cannabis use and various factors associated with tinnitus, including its prevalence, intensity, and frequency.

In the study, researchers performed a statistical analysis on data collected from 2,705 non-institutionalized adults aged 20-69. These individuals underwent comprehensive audiometric testing and completed detailed questionnaires regarding their hearing, drug use, current health status, and medical history.

The results indicated that subjects that had used cannabis were more likely to experience tinnitus instead of relief from tinnitus. However, results did not observe any dose-response between marijuana use and tinnitus (i.e., using more marijuana caused more tinnitus or less).

Important Considerations Before Using Cannabis

Cannabis has been a subject of curiosity due to its potential medicinal properties. Its two main cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have been studied for their effects on various health conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and epilepsy.

Because of these positive results, many continued to explore cannabis as a promising treatment for alleviating tinnitus symptoms despite the findings of the study mentioned above.

Limited Scientific Evidence

While anecdotal reports suggest that some individuals experience temporary relief from tinnitus through cannabis use, scientific evidence on this topic remains limited. No large-scale, rigorous studies have confirmed cannabis as a definitive treatment for tinnitus.

However, some researchers speculate that cannabis’s potential anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties could contribute to reducing tinnitus symptoms in some cases.

Considerations and Cautions

If you’re considering using cannabis to manage your tinnitus, there are essential factors to keep in mind:

  1. Legal Status: The legal status of cannabis varies widely depending on your location. Before considering its use, it’s essential to be aware of the applicable state laws and regulations.
  2. Consult a Professional: Tinnitus management should involve consultation with an audiologist. They can help determine the underlying cause of your tinnitus and recommend appropriate treatments.
  3. Individual Variability: Responses to cannabis can vary significantly among individuals. What works for one person might not work for another. Additionally, potential side effects and interactions with other medications should be considered.
  4. Temporary Relief: If cannabis does provide relief, it’s important to note that the effects might be temporary. Tinnitus symptoms could return once the effects of cannabis wear off.

The Bottom Line

Tinnitus poses a complex challenge with diverse underlying factors, necessitating personalized treatment approaches that cater to individual needs. To effectively manage tinnitus, it is crucial to seek the guidance and expertise of an audiologist.

During a tinnitus evaluation, a comprehensive series of tests will be conducted by an audiologist to gauge the severity of the condition. Although tinnitus cannot be cured, effective management strategies can be employed to achieve relief. These may include lifestyle changes, the use of hearing aids, cognitive behavioral therapy, among other evidence-based treatments.

If you are experiencing tinnitus or want to further discuss your treatment options, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

About Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.