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.
- American Thyroid Association. (2019). Thyroid Information | American Thyroid Association. [online] [↩]
- Lakiotaki, E., Giaginis, C., Tolia, M., Alexandrou, P., Delladetsima, I., Giannopoulou, I., Kyrgias, G., Patsouris, E. and Theocharis, S. (2015). Clinical Significance of Cannabinoid Receptors CB1 and CB2 Expression in Human Malignant and Benign Thyroid Lesions. BioMed Research International, 2015, pp.1-7. [↩] [↩]
- Porcella, A., Marchese, G., Casu, M., Rocchitta, A., Lai, M., Gessa, G. and Pani, L. (2002). Evidence for functional CB1 cannabinoid receptor expressed in the rat thyroid. European Journal of Endocrinology, pp.255-261. [↩]
- Pagotto, U., Marsicano, G., Cota, D., Lutz, B. and Pasquali, R. (2006). The Emerging Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Endocrine Regulation and Energy Balance. Endocrine Reviews, 27(1), pp.73-100. [↩]
- Hormone.org. (2019). Thyroid | Hormone Health Network. [online] [↩]
- Bailey, D., Dresser, G. and Arnold, J. (2012). Grapefruit-medication interactions: Forbidden fruit or avoidable consequences?. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 185(4), pp.309-316. [↩]
- Leinow,, L. and Birnbaum, J. (2017). CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis. North Atlantic Books. [↩]
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Have you heard of any results using CBD oil for people with Parkinson’s Disease?
Hemppedia Team March 2, 2020 at 2:13 pm
It is always best to consult with a doctor if you are interested in using CBD for any particular health condition.
Nonetheless, you should also do your own research. We recommend that you connect with other CBD users online, who can share their experience with CBD products. A good way of doing that is to look for communities such as Facebook groups like this one https://www.facebook.com/groups/989690568041150/
We wish you good luck in your CBD journey!
The Hemppedia Team
Where is best place to by CBD with more cannabinol day for Hashimoto
Hemppedia Team February 10, 2020 at 1:39 pm
CBD is widely available online and in stores. We always recommend that you look for a trustworthy supplier with great customer service, so they can advise you properly and recommend the correct product. We urge people to do their own research before buying any CBD products. Our recommendation is the brand Nordic Oil. They have excellent customer service and high-quality CBD oil.
The Hemppedia Team
What kind type name of cbd oil can i use for hypothyroidism?
Hemppedia Team February 10, 2020 at 2:42 pm
We always recommend that you look for a trustworthy supplier with competent customer service, so they can advise you properly and recommend the correct product for your specific needs. We urge people to do their own research before buying any CBD products. Our recommendation is the brand Nordic Oil. They have excellent customer service and high-quality CBD oil and proven themselves as a reliable supplier.
A good way to look for a trustworthy supplier is to read into the experience of other people in CBD groups such as this one: https://www.facebook.com/groups/989690568041150/
The Hemppedia Team
Iam taking synthroid med 1 a day will CBd oil interfer with meds Does anyone the answer to this question
Hemppedia Team February 10, 2020 at 2:33 pm
For the best advice, always consult with a licensed doctor. It is true that CBD can interact with medication. To get a general understanding of which medication interacts with CBD, please see our dedicated article on CBD and drug interactions https://hemppedia.org/cbd-and-drug-interactions/. However, this should only act as a guide and not professional health advice. Since every person is unique and reacts differently to CBD, it is always best to consult with a doctor, who is familiar with your medical history.
The Hemppedia Team
I have being on synroid for my lack of toroidal due to cancerous thyroid removed years ago, have being on CBD/THC for 3-4 months &just found out from blood work that my thyroid is on the high end, need to be retested in 2 months, could the elevating of my thyroid be from the CBD/THC ?
Thank you for writing.
Please seek professional support to check your thyroid levels.
The Hemppedia Team
Hi Margaret. I have hypothyroidism and have started to use CBD topically on my aches, but I am finding some issues with my thyroid meds when I take it orally. I take Thyroid S, that comes from pigs, and it is better than the Synthroid I was on before. However, the CBD, it seems to disagree with my prescription. The only way for me to take CBD orally would be to get off the prescription meds first. I am not telling anyone what to do here, but wanted to put my input down because I feel it’s very important. As far as how I feel when I take both, my heart palpitates and I get anxious. So for now, I will just use my CBD oil as a pain reliever that I rub on my sore spots when needed. I hope this helps.
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
The Most Important Thing You May Not Know about Hypothyroidism
Last updated on August 12, 2019
This article is part of a special report on Thyroid Disorders. To see a comprehensive eBook on thyroid health, click here.
An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. Up to 60 percent of these people are unaware of their condition. One in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime. The number of people suffering from thyroid disorders continues to rise each year. (1)
Hypothyroidism is one of the most common thyroid disorders. It’s estimated that nearly 5 percent of Americans age 12 and up have hypothyroidism. (2) It is characterized by mental slowing, depression, dementia, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, cold intolerance, hoarse voice, irregular menstruation, infertility, muscle stiffness and pain, and a wide range of other not-so-fun symptoms.
Every cell in the body has receptors for thyroid hormone. These hormones are responsible for the most basic aspects of body function, impacting all major systems of the body.
You can think of the thyroid as the central gear in a sophisticated engine. If that gear breaks, the entire engine goes down with it.
That’s why people with hypothyroidism experience everything from weight gain and depression to infertility, bone fractures and hair loss.
Want to learn more about hypothyroidism?
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One of the biggest challenges facing those with hypothyroidism is that the standard of care for thyroid disorders in both conventional and alternative medicine is hopelessly inadequate.
The dream of patients with thyroid disorders and the practitioners who treat them is to find that single substance that will magically reverse the course of the disease. For doctors, this is either synthetic or bio-identical thyroid hormone. For the alternative types, this is iodine.
Unfortunately, in the vast majority of cases neither approach is effective. Patients may get relief for a short period of time, but inevitably symptoms return or the disease progresses.
So what’s the problem? Why have replacement hormones and supplemental iodine been such dismal failures?
Because Hypothyroidism Is Caused by an Autoimmune Disease
Studies show that 90 percent of people with hypothyroidism are producing antibodies to thyroid tissue. (3) This causes the immune system to attack and destroy the thyroid, which over time causes a decline in thyroid hormone levels.
This autoimmune form of hypothyroidism is called Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s is the most common autoimmune disorder in the United States. (4) While not all people with Hashimoto’s have hypothyroid symptoms, thyroid antibodies have been found to be a marker for future thyroid disease.
Most doctors know hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease. But most patients don’t. The reason doctors don’t tell their patients is simple: it doesn’t affect their treatment plan.
But in the case of Hashimoto’s, the consequences—i.e. side effects and complications—of using immunosuppressive drugs are believed to outweigh the potential benefits. (Thanks to conventional medicine for a relative moment of sanity here.)
So the standard of care for a Hashimoto’s patient is to simply wait until the immune system has destroyed enough thyroid tissue to classify them as hypothyroid, and then give them thyroid hormone replacement. If they start to exhibit other symptoms commonly associated with their condition, like depression or insulin resistance, they’ll get additional drugs for those problems.
The obvious shortcoming of this approach is that it doesn’t address the underlying cause of the problem, which is the immune system attacking the thyroid gland. And if the underlying cause isn’t addressed, the treatment isn’t going to work very well—or for very long.
If you’re in a leaky rowboat, bailing water will only get you so far. If you want to stop the boat from sinking, you’ve got to plug the leaks.
Extending this metaphor to Hashimoto’s disease, thyroid hormones are like bailing water. They may be a necessary part of the treatment. But unless the immune dysregulation is addressed (plugging the leaks), whoever is in that boat will be fighting a losing battle to keep it from sinking.
Hashimoto’s often manifests as a “polyendocrine autoimmune pattern.” This means that in addition to having antibodies to thyroid tissue, it’s not uncommon for Hashimoto’s patients to have antibodies to other tissues or enzymes as well. The most common are transglutaminase (Celiac disease), the cerebellum (neurological disorders), intrinsic factor (pernicious anemia), glutamic acid decarboxylase (anxiety/panic attacks and late onset type 1 diabetes).
For more on how to balance the immune system and treat Hashimoto’s, check out this article.
Research Spotlight: Health Coaching and Thyroid Health
With the Support of Health Coaches, Diet and Other Lifestyle Changes Reduce Hashimoto’s Symptoms
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States, and sufferers score lower on quality of life measures compared to healthy controls. Additional symptoms can include chronic fatigue, dry skin, hair loss, and irritability, making work and social life difficult. A study published in Cureus, a medical journal known for raising funds via crowdsourcing, indicates that through collaborative healthcare, including health coach support, patients with Hashimoto’s can successfully change lifestyle behaviors to result in improved quality of life and lower symptom burden.
The main objectives and findings of the article were the following:
- In this pilot study, researchers sought to determine whether the support of health coaches and other professionals could help women with Hashimoto’s successfully change diet and other lifestyle behaviors, leading to improved thyroid function, metabolic profile, and quality of life.
- Seventeen normal and overweight women, aged 20 to 45, with Hashimoto’s participated in a 10-week online health coaching program that focused on implementing the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet along with other lifestyle modifications, including sleep hygiene, stress management, and increased movement. Participants were also part of an online support community with each other and met with nutritional nurse practitioners and physicians periodically.
- During the duration of the 10-week program, patients were strictly adherent to the AIP diet about 95 to 100 percent of the time. Although no significant changes in thyroid function were measured after the program, six of the 13 women who were initially on thyroid medication were able to lower their doses. Symptom burden, BMI, weight, and inflammation all significantly decreased. Furthermore, patients reported improvement in all eight subscales of the quality of life survey, including physical, mental, social, and emotional health.
Key Findings and Significance
These findings stress the role of health coaches as change agents. The AIP, Paleo diet, and other similar diets are often discounted for being too “restrictive” and impossible to practically follow. However, participants in this study were 95 percent compliant with the dietary template and lost weight without tracking calories or macronutrients. And the diet resulted in significant health improvements! There is no doubt that the health coaches and online support group played key roles in the participants’ success. The program used in this study is called the “SAD to AIP in SIX”: Standard American Diet to Autoimmune Protocol in SIX weeks.
Although no measures of thyroid function significantly improved after the 10-week program, patients reported significant improvements in symptoms and quality of life, and many were able to lower their medication doses. When patients have support outside the 15-minute doctor’s appointment every six months, they are more able to change behaviors and lifestyles to benefit their health.
Reference:Efficacy of the Autoimmune Protocol Diet as Part of a Multi-disciplinary, Supported Lifestyle Intervention for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Health coaches support people who are trying to make big changes—like adopting a new diet or incorporating yoga into their exercise routine. How do they do it? By developing and honing skills like facilitating change and learning to listen. Find out more about becoming a health coach with the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program.
The ADAPT Health Coach Training Program is an Approved Health and Wellness Coach Training & Education Program by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC).
Want to learn the single most important factor – that almost nobody is aware of – in treating hypothyroidism? Continue reading to find out.