What You Should Know About Cannabis and Hearing Loss

Thanks to the unnecessarily harsh federal scheduling of cannabis, there aren’t nearly enough studies on the impact of the herb’s health benefits.

But that’s been changing over the recent past with the advent of medical marijuana and accelerated since 2012 when Colorado and Washington voted to legalize cannabis. Even so, medical studies take time and some afflictions have taken more time than others to get off the ground.

Cannabis for Tinnitus

At or near the top of the list a little late to the party are tinnitus and other forms of hearing loss. Cannabis is emerging as a potential treatment for tinnitus, which isn’t a disease. Instead, the persistent noise in one’s ears not caused by environmental factors or external sounds is the symptom of an underlying condition.

It’s estimated that at nearly one in five adults suffer from tinnitus in one form or another.

Two years ago, ‘80s rock star Huey Lewis said that he might never sing on stage again because of tinnitus, believed to be caused by Meniere’s disease. He has sat in on at least one show in St. Andrews, Scotland in the last year and has returned the recording studio for an album that is likely to drop by the end of the year. Lewis, like many others, talks about his hearing coming and going in cycles.

Cannabis Boosts Immune System

In the studies that have been put forward, cannabis has been shown to treat many of the underlying conditions that cause tinnitus. Conditions that have been shown to cause tinnitus include ear or sinus infections, blockage, damage to the sound-sensitive cells of the cochlea (the spiral cavity of the inner ear), damage to the tiny hairs of the inner ear, benign tumors on the auditor nerve, aging, Meniere’s disease, insomnia, high blood pressure, otosclerosis, anemia, allergies, diabetes, autoimmune disease and cardiovascular disease.

One theory currently in vogue is that tinnitus is a form of sensory epilepsy caused by hyperactivity in the cochlear. For that reason, anti-epileptic drugs are being seen as potential tinnitus treatments. And that’s where cannabis comes in.

CBD has been shown to be an effective treatment for insomnia, stress, anxiety and depression in addition to epilepsy.

Cannabidiol Works For Epilepsy and Seizures

The FDA has said it is moving forward in exploring the use of cannabis in dealing with epilepsy. A year before the FDA approval, the United Kingdom’s chief medical regulator, the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) came down on the side of cannabis when it said all CBD products available via the internet and in licensed shots should be classified as medicines.

And Scientific American said UK funding was crucial in funding research that a placebo-controlled study published in the New England Journal of Medicine “clearly established cannabidiol as an effective anti-seizure drug for this disorder and this age group,” according to principal investigator Orrin Devinsky, director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. “It certainly deserves to be studied in other types of epilepsy.

In studies involving mice, cannabis has been shown to have a positive effect for subjects that show behavioral evidence of experiencing tinnitus. The introduction of cannabis creates hyperactive behavior in the cochlear nucleus, which appears to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus in the subjects. The brain’s endocannabinoid system helps to control brain elasticity in both humans and mice, which can enable it to help reduce or at least mitigate the symptoms of tinnitus.

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