First Advisor

Deanna K. Meinke

First Committee Member

Gregory A. Flamme

Second Committee Member

Donald Finan

Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Date Created


Embargo Date



The purpose of this study was to assess the cross-sectional relationship between cannabis use and hearing thresholds to determine if cannabis use is associated with poorer hearing sensitivity while controlling for covariates and other risk factors in a large population-based data set. To answer this question, we analyzed audiometric hearing threshold data, drug use data, and covariate data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cycles. A total of 5,140 participants from 2009–2012 and 2015–2016 aged 20–59 years were included in the analyses. Univariable and multivariable main effects logistic regression models were used to compare cannabis use and covariate data to hearing thresholds. Cannabis use, both current (p = .988) and former use (p = .423) were not significantly associated with hearing loss across all univariable and multivariable models. The final adjusted multivariable analysis revealed female sex, non-Hispanic other race/ethnicity, black race, and alcohol use were significantly associated with a reduced risk for hearing loss (p < .05), and age ≥ 30 years, tobacco smoking, bothersome tinnitus, and history of otitis media were significantly associated with an increased risk for hearing loss (p < .05). In conclusion, the current study adds to the body of evidence suggesting there is no significant relationship between cannabis use and hearing loss at the population level while controlling for demographic variables, cardiovascular risk factors, noise exposure, ear pathologies, and other drug use covariates in a large US population-based data set.

Abstract Format



Communication Sciences and Disorders


149 pages

Rights Statement

Copyright is held by the author.

Available for download on Friday, May 01, 2026