What is the evidence for cannabis use in otolaryngology?: A narrative review

Am J Otolaryngol. 2019 Sep-Oct;40(5):770-775. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2019.05.025. Epub 2019 May 30.


Objectives: Review of the English literature for all studies involving cannabis and Otolaryngology.

Methods: PubMed was searched using a combination of the terms cannabis, marijuana, otolaryngology, hearing, tinnitus, vestibular, rhinology, sinusitis, laryngology, voice, airway, head and neck, head and neck cancer, facial trauma, spasm, pediatric otolaryngology, sleep medicine, obstructive sleep apnea, and other variations. Literature included in the review provided substantive research on cannabis in Otolaryngology.

Results: Seventy-nine unique publications were found in the literature. The majority were published in the last decade and pertain to the subspecialty of Head and Neck; specifically, its association with incident cancers. A small number of studies exist that suggest cannabis may be a useful therapy for Otolaryngological patients suffering from blepharospasm, the effects of radiation, and the psychological sequelae of receiving a cancer diagnosis.

Conclusion: Further research is required to determine the potential therapeutic roles and adverse effects of cannabis on conditions related to Otolaryngology. This study serves the Otolaryngological researcher with the most current, comprehensive literature review for the exploration into possible projects to undertake.

Keywords: Cannabis; Evidence; Marijuana; Otolaryngology; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cannabis*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Marijuana / therapeutic use*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Otolaryngology / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States


  • Medical Marijuana