Cannabinoids, Inner Ear, Hearing, and Tinnitus: A Neuroimmunological Perspective

Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is a common problem affecting 15-20% of the population. It is not a condition, but a symptom of an underlying condition (ear injury, age related hearing loss, circulatory system disorder).

Italian researchers reviewed the possible use of cannabinoids as protective/therapeutic agents in auditory system, with focus on tinnitus, and concluded:

1. Cannabinoids are involved in neural processing in the healthy auditory system, in protective reaction to auditory damage, and in most non-auditory circuits known to be associated with tinnitus.

2. Given the availability of a large number of drugs with a wide spectrum of different effects on the EC system, it appears possible that some of them may reduce tinnitus percept or risk factors.

3. EC modulation of neuroinflammatory responses in the auditory system, in particular by CBD, which is neuroprotective, is anti-inflammatory, undergoes clinical trial as an anxiolytic, and acts on pathways involved in cochlear damage protection, may represent a novel pharmacological approach to hearing loss and tinnitus, although more data are necessary (especially on humans) to assess the therapeutic value of this or other EC drugs.

Cannabis has been used for centuries for recreational and therapeutic purposes. Whereas, the recreative uses are based on the psychotropic effect of some of its compounds, its therapeutic effects range over a wide spectrum of actions, most of which target the brain or the immune system. Several stud…

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December 22, 2020 9:15 pm