Doctor examining ear of senior man

Does Marijuana help patients with Meniere’s disease?  

A vestibular disorder, Meniere’s disease (MD) originates in the inner ear. Idiopathic Endolymphatic Hydrops is another name for this condition, which refers to an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear that has no known cause. Extreme episodes of vertigo, where the space rotates or objects move around you, and tinnitus is common in patients with MDs (ringing of the ears). Many MD patients suffer from hearing loss as a result of these attacks or episodes. Both ears can be affected at the same time, but it usually only affects one of them. You may also experience migraines and fullness or pressure in your ears. If these symptoms are present and timed to occur, a diagnosis can be made and additional hearing and stability testing may be required.

Many patients also suffer from unmanageable vomiting and nausea as a result of these attacks. Because recreational marijuana and its cannabinoids, which include THC and CBD, are shown to be very helpful in alleviating nausea, it is fortunate that this is the case.

The body’s endocannabinoid system is where cannabidiol begins its work in the body (ECS). In addition to modulating the immune system and our perception of pain, these fat-based neurotransmitters play a role in many other bodily functions. The cannabis-based receptors CB1 and CB2 of the ECS are used by cannabinoids to interact with the body.

CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well as 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, have been discovered in the inner ear nucleus, a region of the brainstem responsible for balance (2-AG). Tinnitus, among the most common symptoms of Meniere’s disease, is thought to be a type of sensory epilepsy brought on by the cochlear nucleus’s neurons firing too quickly.

The vestibular nucleus has a large number of CB1 receptors, according to research (VNC). The VNC, located in the medulla, works with both the cerebellum to give us a clear picture of our surroundings and the speed at which our head moves. Because of this, scientists believe we may be able to identify vertigo with the ECS.

Medicinal Cannabis for Meniere’s Disease

Despite the lack of research on the use of cannabis to treat MD, several of the symptoms linked to the condition have been studied. MD symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and dizziness have been alleviated by medical cannabis use.

  • Anxiety – Chronic conditions like Meniere’s disease can cause a lot of anxiety, and cannabis can help alleviate some of that stress. When the CB1 receptors are stimulated, the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor and the transient receptor vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) are directly affected. Fear and anxious behaviors are regulated by these receptors.
  • Vomiting & Nausea – In cancer patients and HIV/AIDS, medical marijuana appears to have a positive effect on nausea and vomiting, according to a large body of evidence. Dorsal vagal nerves, which control vomiting, are activated by THC through CB1 receptors in the frontal vagal complex. Select serotonin receptors may be modified rather than activated, which could help CBD’s anti-nausea effects. Select serotonin receptors may be modified rather than activated, which could help CBD’s anti-nausea effects.
  • Vertigo – As many cannabis users report experiencing vertigo as a side effect, researchers believe this symptom may be related to the endocannabinoid system. Many patients report that cannabis alleviates their vertigo symptoms despite the lack of research on the subject.

Few things to remember

Because many MD patients actually take epilepsy drugs to control their symptoms, it is essential to consult with a doctor about medical cannabis to alleviate your symptoms. They may interact with marijuana, notably by raising liver enzymes, but this is only speculation at this point.

A much more severe or insidious cause for your Meniere’s disease could be ruled out with imaging or other highly specialized testing ordered by your healthcare provider. A healthcare provider should be consulted as soon as possible if a patient experiences unexpected hearing loss, extreme pain, or other neurologic symptoms.

Tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizzy spells, and multiple sclerosis (MD) are all conditions for which marijuana has not been proven effective. There is a dearth of research into the side effects of medical marijuana, such as tinnitus and vertigo. The use of cannabis for MD has been supported by patient personal testimonies and case studies.

Subtypes and Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease

Migraines, hearing loss, ear pressure, Vertigo, and ringing in the ears are all common symptoms of Meniere’s Disease, which worsens with age. However, there is no known age at which symptoms typically begin. Patients with autoimmune conditions and migraine sufferers are both at high risk of developing MD. It can be divided into the following subcategories:

Classic Meniere’s Disease (MD)

Random vertigo attacks with nausea, vomiting, hearing loss, ringing in the ears, and the sensation of a full or swollen ear are all symptoms of classic MD. In the affected ear, hearing loss begins with low-frequency sounds and progresses up to the loss of hearing higher-frequency sounds in the long run. As the number of attacks increases, so does the severity of the patient’s hearing loss.

80% of MD patients are estimated to have unilateral, or classic, MD, according to research.

Bilateral Meniere’s Disease (BMD)

Classic MD and BMD are very similar, but BMD is described by fluctuating hearing problems in both ears and episodes of vertigo. MD usually begins for one ear and spreads to the other over time. Approximately half of the time, it occurs within two years. In addition, 75% of patients developing BMD within 5 years of the onset of MD have already developed MD. After taking oral human growth hormone, a BMD patient may get a diagnostic test of immune-mediated inner ear disease if they notice an improvement in their symptoms.

Familial Meniere’s Disease (FMD)

Doctors suspect a genetic component in the condition in some Meniere’s patients. They attribute this to the fact that patients of European ancestry are more likely than those of African or Asian ancestry to suffer from MD. FAM136A genes and  DTNA  have been linked to FMD patients by researchers.

Vestibular Meniere’s Disease (VMD)

As with classic MD, episodes of vertigo attack are common in VMD. They don’t experience any of these symptoms in patients with VMD. VMD patients don’t experience any of these symptoms in their ears.

Meniere’s Disease Stages

Many Meniere’s disease sufferers have symptoms that change over time. The step of MD also changes as a result of these changes in symptoms. MD’s stages have recently been proposed to also include testing metrics, but as of now, these stages are as follows:

Stage 1 – Patients who are experiencing able hearing loss and tinnitus are said to be in the “cochlear stage.”

Stage 2 – The vestibular system is involved in this stage. Patients report dizziness and other symptoms of stage 1.

Stage 3 – The ear labyrinthic hydrops has become more extensive and is obstructing endolymph flow. Perpetual hearing loss, fainting, and serious beeping in the ears are the symptoms of these patients.

Stage 4 – Endolymph stress cannot rise as a result of inner ear hydrops, which is causing dizziness to lessen but unsteadiness to persist. The patient’s hearing loss has gotten worse.

Stage 5 – After numerous ruptures of the eardrum labyrinth, the patient no longer feels dizzy or unsteady, and this is the end of this stage. Either a severe or complete loss of hearing is present.

*DigiDrs is not offering this as professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self diagnose, or prescribe treatment based on the information provided in these pages. Consult a physician before making decisions on the treatment of any of these medical conditions.

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