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Hearing & Balance Doctors is currently open. We are taking special measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including offering a curbside service for hearing aids. Please call 435-688-8991 for more information. Utah: 435-688-8991 | Nevada: 702-896-0031
Hearing & Balance Doctors is currently open. We are taking special measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including offering a curbside service for hearing aids. Please call 435-688-8991 for more information. Utah: 435-688-8991 | Nevada: 702-896-0031

Cannabis Isn’t A Tinnitus Cure, It’s A Tinnitus Irritant

Cannabis isn't a tinnitus cure, it's a tinnitus irritant
If some cannabis enthusiasts are to be believed, regular usage of marijuana can cure pretty much everything from headaches to cancer. However, the research on the efficacy of cannabis as a medical tool is still very limited, and what research that does exist hasn’t necessarily been proven one way or another.

One way that people are hoping that cannabis can help is with tinnitus. It can be difficult to even have your tinnitus taken seriously without a tinnitus evaluation, so many people turn to self-medicating with marijuana. The problem is that it turns out that more signs point to cannabis being a tinnitus irritant rather than it helping with symptoms.

Cannabis Research Leans Towards It Being A Tinnitus Irritant

In late 2011, researchers made a splash when they made the initial claims that cannabis might help with tinnitus, as it may improve the plasticity of the brain. As tinnitus is generally considered a side-effect of misfiring of the auditory system, using cannabis to alter the brain and help it around the damaged area made sense. With this new area to focus on, other scientists looked at how cannabis impacts tinnitus—but they found less positive results.

In a 2015 study, researchers took several groups of rats, some of which were exposed to acoustic trauma, others who weren’t, then treated them with cannabis. Interestingly, the study pointed to cannabis usage triggering the development in rats, particularly in those rats who already suffered from hearing loss.

If you aren’t particularly convinced by the reaction of rats, there is a 2020 study that points to an association between tinnitus and marijuana usage. In this study, participants between the ages of 20-69 were surveyed by the National Center for Health Statistics (a branch of the CDC).

Thanks to the large reach of this survey, the researchers were able to receive a comprehensive number of respondents and were able to make a case that cannabis can worsen tinnitus. However, the study does conclude that there are a number of uncontrollable factors, such as marijuana dosage size, which can influence the level of tinnitus irritation.

Does Cannabidiol—CBD—Help With Tinnitus?

For those who don’t live in a state where cannabis is legal or who prefer not to get high, cannabidiol—also known as CBD—products are available. CBD has far lower amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which prevents the user from reaching the high that cannabis users experience but may allow for the benefits, such as stress relief.

The problem with using CBD products is that there is no FDA oversight. So, while you can find CBD products in everything from oils to lip balm, it may not do a thing for your tinnitus. Instead, if you want to get a handle on your tinnitus in proven ways, Hearing and Balance Doctors is here to help.

Proven Ways You Can Manage Your Tinnitus Symptoms

Rather than trying unproven methods and self-medicating to manage your tinnitus, there are ways that our doctors of audiology can help you effectively manage your tinnitus.

  • Tinnitus evaluation to determine the extent of tinnitus impact and to check for hearing loss.
  • Using hearing aids as mobile sound generators, even if you don’t have any hearing impairment.
  • Undergoing tinnitus retraining therapy to help teach your brain to stop listening for your tinnitus.
  • Develop a progressive tinnitus management plan with one of our doctors of audiology.
  • Use a sound generator at night to allow you to drop into sleep naturally.

If you are ready to take charge of your tinnitus with proven methods, it all starts with having a tinnitus evaluation and then consulting with one of our doctors of audiology. Contact us today to set up your appointment so that you can start managing your tinnitus, rather than just learning to live with it.

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