Tinnitus & Medical Marijuana

Tinnitus sufferers hear noises when no sound is present. Phantom sounds are described as ringing, clicking, hiss or roaring. Symptoms of Tinnitus can include depression, anxiety and poor concentration.

Tinnitus can result from a number of causes and underlying conditions. Causes include;  noise-induced hearing loss, ear infections, cardiovascular disease, Ménière's disease, tumors, medication side effects, head injury and ear wax.


“I’ve issued many recommendations for Meniere's, as well as tinnitus [ringing in the ears]. It (Medical Marijuana) works well enough to make a significant improvement in patient's’ lives"

--  Robert Sullivan, MD

MMJDOCTORONLINE Notes: Over 1500 California physicians have recommended Medical Marijuana for many conditions, including Tinnitus. If you have any questions about this article, a Medical Cannabis doctor is available for a consultation.  We provide 420 evaluations and Medical Marijuana cards that allow clients to access Medical Marijuana from any licensed dispensary in the State of California.  

Facts and Figures - Tinnitus

  • Approximately 15% report some trouble hearing
  • Men are more likely than women to report hearing loss
  • 10 percent of the U.S. adult population experienced Tinnitus in the past year.
  • Medical Cannabis works for some, but not all

--  Source, in part, National Institute on Deafness:

Tinnitus and Medical Marijuana

Some forms of Tinnitus are caused by disorders of the inner ear or the acoustic nerve, and within the head or neck. It is hypothesized that somatic tinnitus may be due to scrambled signals,  "central crosstalk",  within the brain, as some head and neck nerve system's crossover nerve routes involved in hearing.

A wealth of research indicates that Medical Marijuana is effective in the treatment of many if not most nervous system disorders.  This is why Medical Cannabis is recommended for Tinnitus. 

Patient testimonials and models of hearing loss and the brain support the idea that some Cannabinoid forms might interact favorably with some receptors and reduce hyperactive and erroneous nervous response in hearing.  

Positive / negative results are roughly a 50:50 mix.  It is known that Cannabinoids do interact with auditory nerves receptors that affect the perception of sound in the brain.  This finding alone should motivate research into the efficacy of Cannabinoids in Tinnitus.  Currently, most research revolved around the activity of the psychoactive Cannabinoid THC.  In some cases, THC was found to make phantom buzzing worse.  Though this finding is negative, it does implicate the drug in the hearing process. 

Other Cannabinoids have been shown to have an opposing effect to THC.  For example, strains high in Cannabinoid CBD were found to provide relief and avoided psychosis side effects in THC intolerant individuals.   These findings imply theoretical possibilities for other Cannabinoids in the the treatment of Tinnitus and other disorders.  Further research, especially clinical trials, with other Cannabinoids, particularly CBD is definitely in order. 

Right now, since the side effects of Cannabis and its constituent Cannabinoids carry minimal risk, physicians therapy approach is result based. 

MMJDOCTORONLINE Notes:  In the case of Tinnitus, some forms and strains of Cannabis do not work for everyone. Our 420 physicians provide advice online in a Cannabis Consultation and provide 420 evaluations, MMJ Cards that allow patients to access Medical Marijuana at Clubs across the State of California.

Further Reading

The Endocannabinoid System in the Cochlear Nucleus - Implications for Tinnitus Treatment

Cannabinoids, Cannabinoid Receptors and Tinnitus

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