One hypothesis suggests that tinnitus is a form of sensory epilepsy, arising partly from neuronal hyperactivity in auditory regions of the brain such as the cochlear nucleus and inferior colliculus. Although there is currently no effective drug treatment for tinnitus, anti-epileptic drugs are used in some cases as a potential treatment option. There is increasing evidence to suggest that cannabinoid drugs, i.e. cannabinoid receptor agonists, can also have anti-epileptic effects, at least in some cases and in some parts of the brain. It has been reported that cannabinoid CB1 receptors and the endogenous cannabinoid, 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), are expressed in the cochlear nucleus and that they are involved in the regulation of plasticity. This review explores the question of whether cannabinoid receptor agonists are likely to be pro- or anti-epileptic in the cochlear nucleus and therefore whether cannabinoids and Cannabis itself are likely to make tinnitus better or worse.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.