Request An Appointment Today

Complete this form to have a patient support specialist find and book an appointment with a certified physician near you.

Medical Marijuana and Tinnitus

Tinnitus and Medical Marijuana Research 

Tinnitus research has conclusively shown that it is a brain problem. Of course, it can stem from problems in the ear. However, it is occurring in the brain. This was proven when people with complete hearing loss, including cutting of the auditory nerve, presented with tinnitus. Therefore, any treatment for tinnitus that does not involve treating complications, underlying conditions and producing sound in the ear must affect the body on a neurological level. 

Dr. Thanos Tzounopoulos is a leading researcher in tinnitus. He discovered the plasticity of the auditory brain stem. Put simply, the auditory messages in the brain can "learn" to be more sensitive to certain stimuli. He published his research in 2009. In 2011, he published further research that showed exaggerated activity in the brains of mice with tinnitus. Tzounopoulos has also made breakthroughs in the understanding of the endocannabinoid system, which he finds controls plasticity in the brain. It is also what reacts to medical marijuana. He compares tinnitus to chronic pain and addiction, which also involve plasticity in the brain and are also treated with medical marijuana. While this does not shed light on the precise mechanism by which medical marijuana provides relief for tinnitus, it does show the components of the mechanism. 

Thanos Tzounopoulos, Ph.D. is currently on the cutting edge of research in this area. His findings are still relatively new and he is still working on this research, so there may be more information forthcoming about the endocannabinoid system and tinnitus soon. He is currently working as an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh and is part of their auditory research group. 

Tinnitus Complications and Medical Marijuana Research

As mentioned above, some of the conditions that cause tinnitus can be treated with medical marijuana. Additionally, some of the complications of tinnitus can also be treated with medical marijuana. These complications include anxiety, insomnia, depression, irritability and difficulty concentrating. Doctors may prescribe medical marijuana to treat these complications, particularly insomnia, anxiety and depression. Medical marijuana may also be used to treat conditions that can co-occur with tinnitus, resulting in relief from both tinnitus and the other conditions. One example of such a condition is PTSD. Soldiers often experience tinnitus and hearing loss resulting from explosions. They are also among the most common PTSD patients. There is research supporting the use of medical marijuana for all of the abovementioned symptoms and conditions. Therefore, it has potential as a multipurpose drug.

Book Appointment | Back to List