Meniere’s Disease and Medical Cannabis
Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disorder that can lead to vertigo, a condition that causes dizzy spells and hearing loss according to the Mayo Clinic. Meniere’s Disease, which most often occurs in young and middle-aged adults, is a chronic condition in which excess fluid collects in the inner ear.
After being assessed with balance and hearing tests, patients diagnosed with Meniere’s disease are commonly prescribed anti-nausea medications and medications for motion sickness. Medical cannabis is an alternative treatment for many of the symptoms of Meniere’s disease, such as nausea and headaches.
Meniere’s Disease Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
There is no known cause for Meniere’s Disease, but research suggests that the condition manifests from improper ear fluid drainage, excessive fluid in the inner ear, viral infection, abnormal immune response, and genetics, reports the Mayo Clinic. The disease can cause more significant complications, including vertigo, which may cause slips and falls due to dizziness.
Symptoms of the condition are recurring. The episodes, which range from 20 minutes to 24 hours, cause extreme dizziness and nausea. Other signs of Meniere’s disease are hearing loss, tinnitus, and aural fullness. Motion sickness and anti-nausea are the prescribed treatment for the ear disease.
Meniere’s Disease and Cannabinoids
Medical cannabis is not a cure for Meniere’s disease, but it does have the potential to help those suffering from the symptoms of the condition. Living with chronic conditions like Meniere’s disease and tinnitus often cause higher than average levels of stress, anxiety, and depression due to living with frequent challenges like dizziness and/or ringing in the ears. Therefore, it is theorized that cannabinoids like THC and CBD can help provide relief for patients with Meniere’s disease and tinnitus.
A study conducted in 2019, published in The Hearing Journal, reported that, “Only a few studies have looked into the use of cannabinoids for hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders.” The author cites an article in the U.S. National Library of Medicine that suggests that endocannabinoids can potentially inhibit the action of the TRPV1 receptor. The study states that “the use of antagonists, including CBD, to target this receptor may have a clinically therapeutic potential.” Activation of the TRPV1 receptor is “considered responsible for the pathology development of cystitis, asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, and hearing loss.” More research is needed to fully explain the extent of this potential inhibition.
Medical cannabis can ease symptoms associated with inner ear disorders; those who have Meniere’s disease can seek novel relief from a condition that dramatically affects their quality of life.