CBD for Thyroid Conditions
Over 20 million individuals in the U.S. suffer from a thyroid condition. Furthermore, many people do not know that their thyroid is not functioning optimally and, therefore, are not diagnosed. Thyroid disorders include both over-functioning and under-functioning conditions. In either case, autoimmunity, inflammation, and genetics are typically involved in the development of the disease. But is CBD for thyroid the answer?
Currently, thyroid conditions are managed by replacing thyroid hormones or preventing thyroid hormone output. In both cases, the underlying issue which led to the condition is rarely addressed. People have begun to wonder about CBD for thyroid conditions, given its anti-inflammatory properties through the endocannabinoid system.
Scientists have also begun to research on CBD for thyroid conditions to see if it can help manage thyroid symptoms or even address some of the underlying causes. The information below is what we know so far.
CBD for Thyroid Conditions: Just the Facts
The thyroid controls numerous aspects of our bodily functions. When out of balance, either in hyper or hypo, a person experiences a variety of symptoms, some of which are extremely serious. Treatments aimed at replacing thyroid hormones, or decreasing thyroid function, are the typical course of action. Many causes of thyroid conditions are influenced by autoimmunity and inflammation. Given that CBD stimulates CB1 and CB2 receptors, it is possible that there is a place for CBD in treating thyroid conditions, but it also may be too soon to tell.
What Does the Thyroid Do?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland which sits in the front of the throat. It controls several vital functions in the body through its production of thyroid hormones.
The thyroid controls the body’s metabolism and affects numerous systems in the body such as the digestive tract, nervous system, cardiovascular system, hair, skin, and nail growth, as well as weight and appetite. Therefore, an increase or decrease in thyroid functioning can cause a variety of symptoms.
The thyroid is sensitive to nutrient deficiencies such as zinc, iodine, and selenium, as well as environmental pollutants which can cause it to over function (hyperthyroid), or under function (hypothyroid). In addition, the immune system can also begin attacking the thyroid gland, resulting in autoimmune thyroid conditions–Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s Disease.
What Causes Thyroid Conditions?
Hyperthyroidism can be caused by a few different circumstances, including autoimmunity where the immune system attacks the thyroid (known as Grave’s Disease), inflammation of the thyroid (Thyroiditis), as well as tumors that secrete excess thyroid hormones.
Risk Factors for Hyperthyroid
Hyperthyroidism is more common in women, and more common in people who have a relative with a previous thyroid condition. For the most part, however, the risk factors are unknown. Given that most of the causes of hyperthyroidism involve an overactive immune system causing inflammation, managing inflammation and sources should be considered when looking at hyperthyroidism causes.
The symptoms of hyperthyroidism are all associated with the increase in metabolic rate that the excess thyroid hormones cause. Common symptoms include:
- Unintentional weight loss (often with increased hunger)
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Anxiety and irritability
- Muscle tremors
- Unusual sweating
- Feeling hot
- Changes in menstrual patterns
- Changes in hair, skin, and nails
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is the autoimmune condition, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Like most autoimmune conditions, the exact causes are unknown, but a combination of environmental factors and genetics are likely at play.
Other causes include treatment for hyperthyroidism which can result in diminished thyroid hormone output. Also, medications like Lithium for mental health conditions can lead to hypothyroidism.
Certain nutrients are needed to make thyroid hormones, such as iodine, selenium, and zinc. A deficiency in any of these can impair proper thyroid hormone synthesis.
Risk Factors for Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is most common in women over 60 years of age, as well as people with a family history of hypothyroidism. Also, people who have had radiation to their neck or have been treated for hyperthyroidism are at increased risk of hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism can cause an array of different symptoms. For some, the symptoms are mild and develop slowly, and for others, they are severe and come on more suddenly. Since the symptoms of hypothyroidism can look like symptoms of many other conditions, testing thyroid levels through blood tests are often used by doctors. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Fatigue and muscle weakness
- Difficulty losing weight or weight gain
- Water retention
- Brain fog
- Depressed mood
- Heart palpitations and slow heart rate
- Hair loss
- Joint and muscle pain
- High cholesterol
- Sensitivity to cold
- Dry hair and skin
- Hoarse voice
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
How Do We Treat Thyroid Conditions?
For hyperthyroidism, the treatment plan is not quite so simple. The common drugs used to manage hyperthyroidism include:
- Radioactive iodine, which the thyroid takes up and causes it to shrink.
- Anti-thyroid drugs such as methimazole (Tapazole) and propylthiouracil, which stop the thyroid from producing thyroid hormones. What’s scary is these drugs can cause liver failure and death!
- Beta-blockers, to slow down the heart rate while the other drugs begin to take effect.
If the cause of hyperthyroidism is due to a tumor, then surgery is often needed.
Management of hyperthyroidism is essential because, if left untreated, it can cause adverse health outcomes. For instance, the rapid heartbeat caused by hyperthyroidism can lead to life-threatening heart conditions like atrial fibrillation — where the heart cannot contract and relax appropriately — as well as stroke.
After treatment for hyperthyroidism, some thyroid patients become hypothyroid and must take thyroid replacements for the rest of their lives.
The typical treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid replacement with a medication such as levothyroxine. This medicine supplies the T4 thyroid hormone, which the body must then convert to the active form T3. This conversion is dependent on the mineral selenium.
When left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to depression, infertility, heart conditions, peripheral neuropathy, and even to a life-threatening condition called myxedema. Myxedema is when low levels of thyroid hormone lead to weakness, cold intolerance, mental and physical slowness, and even death.
To manage their hypothyroidism, people must take this medication for the rest of their lives, in most cases. In short, the medication does not fix the underlying cause of the problem — it just manages it.
In both cases of hyper and hypothyroidism, people are left with very few options for treatment, and many are interested in exploring alternative, more natural, and safe options.
CBD has been a popular topic for many other health conditions, including anxiety and pain. Many positive research studies have prompted further exploration into CBD’s potential use for a variety of conditions. But can CBD be helpful for specifically thyroid conditions?
CBD for Thyroid Conditions
So far, there has not been much research on CBD for thyroid conditions. However, as previously mentioned, many of the causes of thyroid conditions are associated with autoimmunity and inflammation. CBD oil has been researched for its effects on the endocannabinoid system, which has been found to control inflammation.
This sparks interest in the value of CBD for thyroid conditions. Let’s look at what we know so far…
What the Research Says
A clinical study looked at the role of the endocannabinoid system in thyroid tumors. They found an association between CB1 and CB2 receptors and tumor malignancy, meaning how likely a tumor is to spread and become dangerous. The study found that both of these receptors influenced thyroid tumors and believed they could both be a target of future therapies.
Another study found that the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system controls the output of thyroid hormones. Given that CBD stimulates these receptors, it is possible that CBD may influence thyroid conditions through this mechanism. However, more research on human models is needed.
In summary, there has not been a lot of research on CBD for thyroid conditions as of yet. Researchers have just scratched the surface. However, there have not been any studies with negative outcomes on CBD for thyroid conditions; therefore, it is possible that CBD has a place in thyroid health.
Final Thoughts on CBD for Thyroid Conditions
CBD for thyroid conditions is an area that still needs a lot more research. It seems possible that CBD may have an effect on thyroid tumors and thyroid hormone production. However, without more research, is it too soon to say for sure.
If you are interested in trying CBD, always use a reputable source who uses third-party testing to ensure the quality and safety of the product. Never makes changes to your health care regime without the supervision of your trusted health care provider.
One of the main organs involved in feeling good and full of energy is the thyroid. Check out this article and see if CBD is useful for those thyroid conditions.
Best CBD Oil for Hashimoto’s Disease – November 2020
Can CBD Help With Hashimoto’s Disease ?
- Hashimoto’s disease , also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis , is an inflammation of the thyroid that causes the gland to stop producing hormones (1) . The condition is a common cause of hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid in the United States (2) .
- Levothyroxine , which works to replace lost hormones, is the first-line treatment for Hashimoto’s disease . However, excessive supplementation of this drug can cause adverse side effects (3) .
- Cannabidiol ( CBD )’s anti-inflammatory properties may help inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (4) and suppress immune activation in the body (5) .
- One study mentioned that the cannabis compound could control inflammatory response and expression via receptors in the endocannabinoid system (6) .
- However, studies on cannabidiol and thyroid disorders are lacking. Clinical trials on patients with Hashimoto’s disease are necessary to determine its efficacy in treating the condition.
Best CBD Oils for Hashimoto’s Disease
Spruce 750mg Lab Grade CBD Oil
Specifically formulated to be more palatable to CBD users
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Each bottle of the 750mg CBD oil tincture contains 25mg of CBD per dropper full. The oil is peppermint flavor to mask any unpleasant tastes related to CBD.
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NuLeaf Naturals 900mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
Perfect for anyone who are looking for CBD products that promote a healthy body and mind.
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Natural remedy for various illnesses. NuLeaf Naturals’ CBD oil is a whole-plant extract containing a full spectrum of naturally occurring synergistic cannabinoids and terpenes.
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Sabaidee Super Good Vibes CBD Oil
4x the strength of a regular cbd oil
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Super Good Vibes CBD Oil provides the purest and highest quality Cannabidiol (CBD) on the market as well as other high quality phytocannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, omega fatty acids, trace minerals, and other beneficial for your health elements, which all work together to provide benefits.
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cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 1500mg
Uses USA hemp that is grown on non-GMO farms, and is both vegan and gluten-free
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cbdMD’s CBD oil tinctures are made using only CBD sourced from medical hemp and MCT oil as a carrier oil. Tinctures are offered in orange, mint, natural, and berry flavors. Safe for daily use, the oil tinctures are packaged with a built-in rubber dropper to adjust CBD dosage easily. The packaging is made to be easy to transport and discreet to use.
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Why People Are Turning to CBD for Hashimoto’s Disease
Hashimoto’s disease , also called chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis , is an autoimmune condition where the thyroid gland fails to function correctly (7) . The disorder causes a person’s immune system to attack the thyroid ( autoimmunity ), damaging it to the point where it stops producing hormones.
The disease involves inflammation of the thyroid gland and is the most common cause of hypothyroidism ( underactive thyroid ) in the United States (8) .
In some cases of Hashimoto’s disease , the inflammation can cause the thyroid gland to be enlarged ( goiter ), causing neck discomfort. One way to diagnose the disease is through blood test results that measure thyroid-stimulating hormone ( TSH ).
Hashimoto’s disease occurs more often in women. However, it is seen at any age and may develop in men and children (9) .
The most common signs of Hashimoto’s disease include fatigue, constipation, joint pain , pale skin, puffy face, weight gain , dry skin , hair loss , and increased sensitivity to cold.
A person with the condition may not notice its symptoms at first, as the disease typically progresses slowly over the years (10) .
Researchers are unsure of what causes some individuals to develop thyroid problems , like Hashimoto’s disease .
The conventional treatment for Hashimoto’s disease is a dose of levothyroxine ( Synthroid ) (11) . This thyroid medication is a manufactured form of a specific hormone used to treat the deficiency caused by the condition.
However, taking an excessive amount of the drug can lead to harmful effects, such as irregular heartbeats and osteoporosis.
Meanwhile, cannabidiol ( CBD ) may offer an alternative solution to treating people with Hashimoto’s disease .
CBD is one of many compounds obtained from cannabis plants that do not cause mind-altering effects upon consumption. Researchers believe that cannabinoids, like CBD , have anti-inflammatory properties.
A 2010 review published by the journal Future Medicinal Chemistry found that daily cannabidiol intake inhibited disease progression in mice (12) .
The authors learned that the CBD -treated subjects showed decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines or molecules that cause inflammatory reactions.
Cytokines have been implicated in development of thyroid diseases , such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis .
Authors of a 2011 study learned that cytokines play an essential role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disorders of the thyroid. They also discovered that modulating cytokine responses may help treat autoimmune diseases (13) .
A study in 2020 mentioned that cannabinoids, like CBD , may suppress immune activation and production of inflammatory cytokines. This action suggests that the cannabis compound may have the potential to reduce excessive inflammation in the body (14) .
Another study revealed that cannabidiol is involved in controlling inflammatory response and expression through various bodily receptors. The authors of the study reported that CBD administration in an animal model could inhibit cytokine response (15) .
CBD has been shown to reduce substances that cause inflammation. It may be used as a therapeutic agent to alleviate the symptoms of thyroid disorders , like Hashimoto’s disease .
However, studies on cannabidiol and thyroid health conditions are lacking. No clinical trials exist to prove that CBD can effectively treat the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease and other thyroid issues .
How CBD Oil Works to Help with Hashimoto’s Disease
A study published in 2017 mentioned that specific receptors in the human body could affect cytokine production (16) . The CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are primarily used by the endocannabinoid system (ECS), are said to modulate signaling that influences cytokines.
The ECS regulates various bodily functions, one of which is inflammation (17) . Researchers learned that CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors are involved in managing inflammation-causing cytokines (18) .
Cannabidiol reportedly binds to these ECS structures, particularly with the CB2 receptor, which may explain its anti-inflammatory properties (19) .
Besides CB1 and CB2 receptor activation, the compound may also have other actions that may reduce inflammation.
Meanwhile, researchers of a 2015 study analyzed the endocannabinoid system ‘s role in thyroid tumors and found that its receptors are associated with tumor malignancy (20) .
They learned that CB1 and CB2 receptors influenced thyroid tumors and hypothesized that both could be targets for future therapies.
Another study also implicated the CB1 receptors of the ECS in the control of thyroid hormone output (21) .
Thyroid hormones help regulate body temperature by increasing the available energy in the body.
Since CBD is said to stimulate both CB1 and CB2 receptors, there is a possibility that the compound may be used to influence thyroid conditions through this action.
However, more clinical data on human subjects is needed to confirm CBD ‘s efficacy for thyroid disorders .
The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Hashimoto’s Disease
- Using CBD may help people with Hashimoto’s disease . Studies revealed that CBD might have anti-inflammatory properties, which the compound expresses through its interaction with receptors in the body.
- Unlike THC ( tetrahydrocannabinol ), the psychoactive compound of cannabis, CBD does not cause mind-altering effects upon consumption.
- Individuals can purchase and use CBD in most areas in the United States. In places where CBD is sold legally, users can buy CBD products even if they do not have a prescription from a doctor.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes the potential health benefits of cannabis constituents, such as CBD (22) .
- The World Health Organization (WHO) claims that CBD is well-tolerated in humans, according to several controlled and open-label trials (23) . Subjects were reported to have not developed substance dependence with the use of CBD .
- There is a significant lack of human studies on CBD ‘s efficacy for Hashimoto’s disease , making it difficult to determine its effectiveness in treating the condition.
- Epidiolex, a drug used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy, is the only CBD product approved by the FDA. The agency has not yet allowed any other CBD marketing application for the treatment of a specific disease or condition (24) .
- A review in 2017 assessed the safety and possible side effects of CBD use. Although it has a favorable safety profile, CBD can still cause interactions with other prescription medications that can lead to adverse reactions (25) .
- Many CBD products , particularly items sold online and in some physical dispensaries, are prone to mislabeling (26) . Users who buy CBD from these channels are at risk of consuming more or less of the compound than expected.
How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Hashimoto’s Disease
Multi-disciplinary diets may help improve the quality of life and thyroid function of patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (27) .
According to a study that evaluated the various diets for the condition, consuming vegetables, fruits, and animal foods rich in zinc are recommended by experts (28) .
Eating vegetables several times a day is advised because they contain phytosterols, which are compounds present in plants that have shown anti-inflammatory activity.
However, raw cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage, should only be eaten once a week as these can interfere with thyroid hormone production .
The consumption of fruits at least once a day is also suggested as these are abundant in polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (29) .
Eating animal-based foods that are high in zinc, such as meats and eggs, are recommended several times a week. According to a report, zinc deficiency could be linked to hypothyroid (30) .
Meanwhile, iodine supplements are not advised for patients with Hashimoto’s disease . People with abnormal thyroid glands risk exacerbating their condition if they take too much iodine (31) .
Cannabidiol is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties that could contribute to alleviating thyroid disorder symptoms. CBD products are often promoted as an alternative to combat inflammation.
Meanwhile, CBD capsules containing zinc are sold by some brands. These CBD products are often advertised as useful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
How to Choose the Right CBD for Hashimoto’s Disease
There are currently three types of CBD sold today: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolates.
The most popular of the three is the full-spectrum CBD . This variant contains all of the phytocannabinoids present in Cannabis sativa plants.
CBD oil labeled as full-spectrum has flavonoids, terpenes, THC , and other minerals. The ideal full-spectrum CBD oil has high amounts of cannabidiol while containing small amounts of other compounds.
Broad-spectrum CBD is the next type of cannabidiol product. This variant has the same compounds as that of full-spectrum except for the THC content.
Since THC is psychoactive and often associated with medical marijuana , some individuals prefer to buy broad-spectrum CBD because it does not have the psychoactive compound.
The third variety of CBD is called isolates. CBD isolates are usually sold in crystalline or powdered form.
People looking to purchase pure CBD often decide to get CBD isolates. CBD products containing only pure cannabidiol do not have a distinct smell or taste.
Whichever type of CBD a person chooses, it is vital to select the best quality product available to maximize its health benefits.
Follow these tips to choose only the best CBD oil for Hashimoto’s disease :
- Get a certificate of analysis (COA) or the laboratory report of the CBD product chosen. This document is essential since it indicates that the product has undergone proper testing and contains exactly the specifications mentioned on the label.
- Read product and shop reviews if purchasing from an online CBD store. If deciding to buy from a physical dispensary, check if the establishment has the proper authorization to sell cannabidiol products.
- Buy organic CBD obtained from hemp plants. Industrial hemp is the most dependable source for high-quality cannabidiol .
- Ensure that the legalities involving CBD are followed in the state where one plans to buy and use it.
- Talk to a health care expert, preferably someone experienced in using medical cannabis, before buying any CBD product .
CBD Dosage for Hashimoto’s Disease
The FDA has not approved a CBD product for treating patients with Hashimoto’s disease . Therefore, no official guidelines are available on the proper dosage of CBD for the condition.
However, some users believe that a few factors need to be considered in determining the right dose of CBD .
A person’s body weight and the amount of CBD content in each product are two of the most commonly cited factors.
How to Take CBD Oil for Hashimoto’s Disease
Taking CBD oil in the form of edibles or capsules is the most straightforward way of consuming CBD . For beginners, CBD gummies , brownies, and tablets are recommended.
CBD tinctures that allow users to apply CBD oil under the tongue is suitable for those who want to control the amount of CBD they take.
Meanwhile, CBD , in the form of topicals, like balms, creams, and salves, may be used in massage therapies for relaxation and well-being .
Other Types of Thyroid Disorders
The following are the other common disorders associated with inflammation of the thyroid.
People with hyperthyroidism experience an overactive thyroid wherein the gland produces hormones in excess.
Grave’s disease is a common cause of this disorder. Excessive thyroid hormone levels can lead to symptoms, such as nervousness, irritability, fast heart rate , muscle weakness , and weight loss .
Grave’s disease is another endocrine system disorder that happens when the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland by mistake. As a result, a body part produces excess thyroid antibodies .
Patients with Grave’s disease often have enlarged thyroid glands , high blood pressure , and increased metabolism.
CBD has shown to be a potential therapeutic agent in reducing inflammation prevalent in Hashimoto’s disease .
Several studies have revealed that cannabidiol might suppress immune activation and the production of pro-inflammatory molecules.
Researchers believe that CBD activates certain cannabinoid receptors in the body to exert its anti-inflammatory effects. The CB2 receptor of the endocannabinoid system was especially mentioned.
Although CBD is said to have a favorable safety profile, there is a significant lack of clinical trials on CBD and its efficacy in treating Hashimoto’s thyroiditis .
Users should consult a doctor, particularly one who is experienced in cannabis products, before purchasing any CBD product for their condition.
Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is an inflammation of the thyroid that causes the gland to stop producing hormones.