CBD for Thyroid Disorders
In America, approximately 20 million people suffer from some kind of thyroid disorder, and close to 60 percent of the affected don’t know about their condition. According to the American Thyroid Association 1 women are a lot more likely to experience thyroid problems than men. Doctors usually prescribe traditional medicines to people with thyroid problems. However, the medicines may not always work. In fact, they could end up presenting quite a few side effects. People are, therefore, seeking refuge in alternative medicines. Many studies indicate CBD can be effective at treating an array of thyroid-related issues.
Found in the endocrine system, your thyroid gland is a vital organ. It’s a butterfly-shaped, small gland located below your voice box and in front of your neck. The gland produces and gives out two important hormones – T4 (tetraiodothyronine) and T3 (triiodothyronine) – that control your body’s metabolism and determine how your cells utilize energy. Also, the gland manages the pace of several processes, which include heart rate and body temperature. Generally, body metabolism management is critical for regulating weight, mood, and physical and mental energy levels.
Moreover, the thyroid gland converts the food you ingest into energy so that your body keeps functioning properly. Several thyroid problems are due to an atypical secretion of thyroid hormones. However, all kinds of thyroid disorder/disease have unique causes, risks, and diagnoses. It’s worth noting that many studies are pointing at how CBD could be potentially beneficial in treating thyroid diseases.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System and Their Direct Impact on the Thyroid Hormone Release
The human body’s ECS (endocannabinoid system) exerts its strong influence in different ways. For instance, it regulates poise within various processes, such as thyroid function. According to an article published by National Institute of Health (NIH) 2 , scientists have discovered that the thyroid gland’s cells have cannabinoid receptors on them.
Multiple regulations and restrictions have made it quite difficult for researchers to learn more about cannabinoids and what role they play in the treatment of a thyroid disorder. Even though human-based research on the matter isn’t extensive yet, a study 3 was carried out on animals in 2002. It discovered that CB1 receptors control thyroid hormone release. Also, it was found cannabinoids administration had a say in thyroid hormonal activity. In 2015, another 2 was carried out by the NIH, which discovered cannabinoid receptors can theoretically be therapeutic targets for benign and malignant thyroid lesions.
Furthermore, a research study 4 carried out by the Journal of Endocrinology exhibited that endocannabinoid receptors are situated within the sections of the brain. The receptors transmit signals to the gland. This shows the likelihood of cannabinoids, such as CBD, influencing the thyroid gland’s performance and overall health.
Different thyroid disorders
A thyroid disorder is a condition that impacts the thyroid gland. Different kinds of thyroid disorders either affect the gland’s function or its structure. A disorder is usually linked to the glands either releasing excessive thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism) or too little hormones (hypothyroidism). Other specific thyroid disorders are:
What is hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid condition that indicates denotes an overactive thyroid gland. One out of every 100 women 5 could be suffering from this condition. It’s not common in men, however. Several conditions could cause hyperthyroidism, which includes excess iodine consumption, thyroid inflammation, tumors of the testes or ovaries, benign pituitary or thyroid gland tumors, and large quantities of tetraiodothyronine administered through medication or dietary supplements.
Grave’s disease is among the major causes of hyperthyroidism, found in approximately 70 percent of people with a hyperactive thyroid. It induces antibodies to push the thyroid into secreting too much hormone. Thyroid nodules could also cause the thyroid gland to produce its hormones in excess. This condition is called multinodular goiter or toxic nodular goiter. Increased thyroid hormone production could present the following symptoms:
- racing heart
- increased sweating
- trouble sleeping
- brittle nails and hair
- thin skin
- weight loss
- muscle weakness
- bulging eyes
How CBD can help treat hyperthyroidism
Patients with hyperthyroidism usually report major or minor relief from negative symptoms of their disease. Regularly using CBD oil for thyroid helps individuals normalize their body weight, by putting an end to diarrhea issues and reestablishing their appetite. CBD for thyroid disorder gets rid of irritability and anxiety-related sleep disorders. Moreover, CBD for thyroid disorder helps with heart function regulation, the trembling of fingers and hands, and muscular aches, if any.
Does CBD affect thyroid medication?
There has been no clinical evidence showing interactions between CBD and thyroid medication such as Levothyroxine. A good way to get an idea if CBD will interact with your thyroid medication is to look for the “grapefruit warning” on the label.
More than 85 drugs 6 interact with grapefruit, however no thyroid medications are present on that list.
Nonetheless, we always recommend you read the label of your medication carefully and always consult with a doctor before taking CBD in combination with any medication.
What is hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is the reverse of hyperthyroidism. In this case, the thyroid gland is unable to produce enough hormones or is underactive. This disorder usually follows Hashimoto’s disease, the damage inflicted by radiation treatment, or thyroid gland removal surgery. While not all individuals with Hashimoto’s exhibit hypothyroid signs, thyroid antibodies could be the marker for thyroid diseases in the future. Most hypothyroidism cases are mild, with the symptoms being:
- memory problems
- dry skin
- heightened sensitivity to cold
- weight gain
- decreased sweating
- loss of libido
- slow heart rate
How CBD oil can help treat hypothyroidism
People with hypothyroidism issues would notice alleviation or total elimination of distressing headaches, and pain in the joints and muscles when using CBD oil. CBD lets restore the restful sleeping tendencies of the patient. Moreover, it helps increase concentration levels and eliminates depression and arduous tension.
What is Hashimoto’s disease
Also called chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s disease is one of the most common hypothyroidism causes. It could affect a person at any age, but middle-aged women are most likely to be affected. The disorder manifests when your immune system erroneously attacks and slowly annihilates the thyroid gland, along with its ability to make hormones. Some individuals with minor instances of this disease may not show obvious signs. In fact, the disease could stay stable for several years, with the symptoms often being subtle. Also, the symptoms aren’t specific. In other words, they share symptoms of several other conditions, which include:
- mild weight gain
- dry, thinning hair
- dry skin
- irregular and heavy menstruation
- puffy, pale face
- intolerance to cold
- goiter or enlarged thyroid
How to use CBD oil for Hashimoto’s
Hashimoto’s disease is literally a condition affecting the body, mind, and spirit. CBD oil for Hashimoto’s responds well to the innate cannabinoid substances of your body. CBD oil and Hashimoto’s are usually talked about in the same sentence because CBD sustains and balances the homeostasis of your body, and Hashimoto’s disease like other thyroid diseases is due to an imbalance in your body’s normal functioning. Anecdotal reports about efficient and successful treatment with CBD oil and Hashimoto’s involved corroborate these claims.
What is Thyroiditis
Thyroiditis is composed of multiple disorders that lead to thyroidal inflammation, which could either cause abnormally low or high thyroid hormone levels in the blood. Thyroiditis is usually caused when the thyroid is attacked, leading to thyroid cell damage and inflammation. The disease is typically considered as an immune system malfunction. The cause could be bacteria- or virus-induced infection. Moreover, some drugs could trigger thyroiditis due to their tendency to damage thyroid glands.
The different kinds of thyroiditis are Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (a very common hypothyroidism cause), postpartum thyroiditis (typically triggered after delivering a child), silent thyroiditis, subacute thyroiditis, radiation-induced thyroiditis, drug-induced thyroiditis, Riedel’s thyroiditis, and acute thyroiditis. Each of these thyroiditis types has its unique causes, risks, and diagnoses.
There are multiple symptoms and signs of thyroiditis, due to the various types. These could comprise:
- weight gain
- cold intolerance
- muscle cramps
- dry hair and skin
- decreased concentration
- leg swelling
- puffy eyes
When the condition becomes severe, the symptoms include low body temperature, slow heart rate, coma, and heart failure.
How CBD can help treat thyroiditis
Due to thyroiditis’ immunomodulatory traits, CBD ushers in positivity by not just alleviating thyroiditis symptoms, but also by coming down hard on the hampering inflammatory process. Though these assumptions haven’t been confirmed scientifically, they certainly help us view the conceivable inhibition of thyroid cells’ destruction courtesy cannabidiol’s positive attributes and action.
CBD oil Dosage for Thyroid Disorders
While there are more than a handful of ways to use CBD for treating thyroid disorders, high-quality CBD oil is the most effective and potent method. Oils, by nature, are molecular carriers, which means they can carry a lot more cannabinoid molecules than any other type of CBD product. Moreover, CBD oil can be ingested easily and absorbed quite efficiently when the drops are directed below the tongue and kept there for some 30 to 90 seconds prior to swallowing.
If you are just getting started, it’s recommended you administer the drops no more than three times a day.
Determining the correct CBD dose for a thyroid disorder will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Since everyone’s reaction to CBD is different, it is important to listen to your body and regulate the dose while looking for signs of improvement.
We recommend following the step up approach established by Leonard Leinow and Juliana Birnbaum in their book “CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis” 7
You can read about the step-up approach and calculate what CBD dose is right for you in our post on CBD dosage.
The most impressive thing about CBD oil treatment for thyroid disease is the single medication approach. It can be used for treating virtually every and any kind of thyroid malfunction – be it hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, or goiter. Several anecdotal pieces of evidence pertaining to CBD’s efficiency and efficacy in treating thyroid disorders have been documented. Moreover, multiple scientific studies have showcased the therapeutic regulatory effects of cannabinoid on the thyroid gland. Though not a lot of specific clinical trials have been carried out on CBD oil for thyroid diseases, the growing understanding of how CBD works with the internal endocannabinoid system is enough material to give life to the notion that CB receptors could play a major part in homeostatic thyroid regulation, along with correct cell-to-cell interaction between the brain, thyroid, and the body’s system of organ structures.
If you wonder why there is the mention of only CBD and not its family members, marijuana or THC, for treating thyroid disorders, it is because CBD constitutes the plant’s non-psychotropic cannabinoid. In other words, it won’t give you the feeling of “high” by itself. Not to mention, most people wanting to use cannabis for its medical traits are usually least interested in the drug’s mind-altering effects.
There are several different Thyroid Disorders which could all benefit from the healing properties of CBD Oil. Read more about the effects of CBD on Thyroids
If you have Hashimoto’s disease, you probably understand just how challenging it can be. With symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, muscle pain, depression and memory loss, Hashimoto’s can be a frightening and painful condition.
But cannabis may provide some relief. Let’s explore cannabis’s potential for easing the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease and how the plant may help—or hurt—your management of the condition.
What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune condition in which an overactive immune system sends antibodies to attack and damage the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system and produces hormones that coordinate many of our body’s key functions. So, Hashimoto’s disease can lead to serious inflammation and an underactive thyroid, which means there’s less of these important hormones. This results in sub-optimal body functions.
Hashimoto’s, which affects more women than it does men, can bring on an array of negative symptoms, such as:
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Pale, dry skin
- Hair loss
- Enlargement of the tongue
- Unexplained weight gain
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Muscle weakness
- Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding
- Memory lapses
3 Ways Marijuana May Help Ease Hashimoto’s Disease
Hashimoto’s disease is clearly a painful condition with a wide range of symptoms. But could cannabis help? The research on this is limited—and somewhat conflicting. But there’s some evidence to suggest that cannabis, particularly marijuana rich in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), could be a big help for those suffering from this disease.
Here are three ways that cannabis may be able to help those with Hashimoto’s:
1. THC Is an Immunosuppressant
Because Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune condition in which an overactive immune system attacks the body, one way to address it is by suppressing the immune system. And THC shows promise for doing just that.
Studies have shown that THC suppresses TH-1 cells. These cells are involved in the production of cytokines and the immune responses that damage tissues like the thyroid. By inhibiting TH-1 cells, THC may slow or stop the damage an overactive immune system can do.
2. THC Is an Anti-inflammatory Agent
One of the big symptoms of Hashimoto’s is inflammation, and both THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are potent anti-inflammatory compounds. That said, these two cannabinoids may not be equal when it comes to treating inflammation in Hashimoto’s disease.
Suppression of TH-1 cells with the consumption of THC can not only help calm an overactive immune system, but it can also help control Hashimoto’s-related inflammation. By suppressing these cells, THC dampens cytokine production, which not only slows the immune system down, but is also key in the process of inflammation.
Of course, not all Hashimoto’s sufferers benefit from the suppression of TH-1 cells. While doctors once thought Hashimoto’s disease was exclusively a TH-1-related condition, it’s been shown more recently that Hashimoto’s can also occur from overactive TH-2 cells.
TH-2 cells are another kind of T-cell that protect against toxins and bacteria. If you suffer from this version of the condition, THC may be much less helpful, since it has been shown to actually stimulate TH-2 cells. This could trigger a worsening of the situation for TH-2-dominant cases of Hashimoto’s disease.
The research on CBD for inflammation is a little less clear. While widely acknowledged as an inflammation reducer in general, research on CBD has been inconsistent when it comes to increasing or decreasing TH-1 and TH-2 activity.
If you have TH-1-dominant Hashimoto’s disease, you may want to think twice before taking CBD.
3. THC Is a Pain Reliever
Cannabis can also help relieve pain related to Hashimoto’s disease. Studies say that up to 97% of cannabis consumers take marijuana for pain.
While both THC and CBD can help reduce pain, THC is likely a better choice for those with Hashimoto’s disease, since CBD has the potential to worsen the condition in other ways.
Consuming Cannabis for Hashimoto’s Disease
If you’re interested in taking cannabis for Hashimoto’s disease, be sure to check with your doctor before you give it a try. You should definitely find out whether you have TH-1- or TH-2-dominant Hashimoto’s disease, because the research suggests THC may be more helpful for those with TH-1 dominant Hashimoto’s. Meanwhile, it may actually be harmful for folks with TH-2 dominant Hashimoto’s.
If you have the TH-1-dominant variety, THC could be a great option for you. You can try out inhaled or edible methods on a regular basis to see if it reduces your inflammation and other symptoms.
Either way, you may want to hold off on consuming CBD, since the results around its efficacy are still unclear. And for some of those with Hashimoto’s disease, CBD may have the potential to worsen the condition.
We’ll have to wait on the research to find out more, but what we have so far suggests that high-THC cannabis could be a big help for some folks dealing with this difficult disease.
Photo credit: taramara78/Shutterstock.com
If you’re new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 index of articles. And if you have questions about cannabis, ask them and our community will answer.
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It turns out THC can help with one type of Hashimoto’s disease, but make another kind worse. Meanwhile, CBD may adversely affect those with the disease.