By / March 9, 2023

Cannabis for Tinnitus? 80% Of Patients See Improvement

A new study has found that using cannabis for tinnitus symptoms is common among patients – and the vast majority report that it helps relieve symptoms.

The study, published in February and appearing in the Journal of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, is believed to be the first to examine cannabis for tinnitus and its effects on patient experience of its symptoms.

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Tinnitus Causes and Symptoms

Tinnitus is a condition in which a person hears sounds that do not come from an external source, such as humming, ringing, buzzing, or wheezing. 

It is often due to hearing loss caused by a number of reasons, such as a disease, like Ménière’s disease, diabetes, thyroid disorders, or a side effect of medication.

Cannabis for Tinnitus – A Study

Cannabis is known to modulate neuronal hyperactivity, provide protection against hearing damage, and has been used to treat a number of diseases that have physiological similarities to tinnitus.

The purpose of this cannabis for tinnitus study was to examine patients presenting with tinnitus for their perspectives and patterns of cannabis use.

More than seven million people in the UK suffer from long-term tinnitus, a number that is expected to increase significantly over the next decade. It can significantly affect the quality of life, affecting sleep, concentration, and mood.

About half of these patients experience psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety and depression. There is no cure for tinnitus, and current therapies include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

Researchers surveyed 45 patients with an average age of 56 to assess their perceptions of the problem, attitudes toward it, and patterns of cannabis use. According to the results, 96% of the patients said they would consider using cannabis for tinnitus treatment.

Cannabis for Tinnitus Symptoms? 80% Of Patients See Improvement

Of those patients who used cannabis for tinnitus, 80% said it helped them with relief from tinnitus-related symptoms such as dizziness, anxiety, body aches, and sleep disturbances.

Most patients interested in cannabis for tinnitus said they used or would prefer to use food products with THC, while some used pills, smoked/vaporized cannabis using vape pens, while others used oils and creams.

Nearly all (98% of patients) said they would be happy to learn more about cannabis for tinnitus if it was found to help treat THC-related conditions.

Cannabis for Tinnitus Study Limited, but Promising

Despite the cannabis for tinnitus study’s limitations, including the fact that it did not take into account the duration or severity of patients’ symptoms, the authors state: “The results of this cannabis for tinnitus study demonstrate the active interest of tinnitus patients in considering cannabis as a potential adjunct treatment for symptom relief. In addition, cannabis use is widespread and may benefit this group of patients.”

The results of this study can serve to support further research into cannabis for tinnitus, and physicians can help patients understand medical cannabis treatment in this group of patients, as most patients currently obtain information about cannabis from “non-medical” sources.

‘This data can provide a basis for further clinical trials and research on the use of cannabis for tinnitus in alleviating symptoms.’ – they conclude.

(Featured image by National Cancer Institute via Unsplash)

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