CBD for Thyroid [Understanding Hormone Release]
The thyroid is an important endocrine gland that wraps around the front of the trachea at the base of the neck. It secretes a variety of hormones that regulate systems throughout the body. A healthy thyroid gland ensures good heart, bone, and muscle function.
The gland maintains communication with the brain, which helps it to modulate internal homeostasis. The thyroid also affects processes like metabolism, heart rate, body temperature, and even emotional responses. Thyroid disorders can produce a wide range of symptoms, as well as life-threatening health complications.
Researchers have uncovered some connections between the thyroid/brain communication network and the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS (which is present in both the central nervous system and the thyroid gland itself) might play a role in facilitating hormone release. If true, this would mean products like CBD oil might be able to impact various types of thyroid disorders.
In this article, we discuss what the thyroid does and the symptoms of a dysfunctional thyroid gland. We’ll also go over the use of CBD for thyroid disorders and take a look at academic research on the topic.
What Is the Thyroid, and What Are Thyroid Disorders?
The thyroid is an endocrine gland that releases hormones to control dozens of different internal processes. Thyroid activity influences metabolism, growth, brain development (especially during infancy), body temperature, heart and muscle functioning, and a variety of other processes. The gland releases various collective hormones (such as thyroxine, or T4) called thyroid hormones.
Thyroid glands that release either too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) hormone can be catastrophic to organ functioning and to your health and well-being. Specific disorders of the thyroid can include things like:
- Goiter (swelling of the thyroid)
- Thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid due to infection or autoimmune conditions)
- Graves’ disease (which causes an overactive thyroid)
- Thyroid cancer
- Small lumps on the thyroid that may lead to excess hormone production, aka thyroid nodules
- Thyroid storm (a rare form of hyperthyroidism that results in high levels of hormone secretion)
Because thyroid conditions can cause so many malfunctions in the body, it can be difficult to detect a specific disorder. There are certain tests to check for thyroid imbalances. These tests include biopsies, imaging scans (such as ultrasounds or iodine scans), and blood tests that check for proper levels of T3, T4, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
The Prevalence of Thyroid Disorder in the U.S.
The American Thyroid Association (ATA) estimates that thyroid disorders currently affect up to 20 million Americans. Furthermore, as much as 12% of the U.S. population will at some point in their lives develop a thyroid condition.
The three most common thyroid conditions are nodules, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism. The causes of thyroid disorders are largely unknown. Researchers believe that autoimmune conditions, stress, high cholesterol, and smoking can be factors.
The causes of thyroid disorders are largely unknown; however, stress and smoking may play a part.
Plus, women are statistically five to eight times more likely to develop a thyroid problem than men.
Untreated hypothyroidism in pregnant women can lead to a litany of issues. These issues include miscarriage, preterm delivery, and growth/developmental problems.
Conventional Thyroid Disorder Treatments (Not CBD)
There are many conventional treatment options for thyroid conditions. These treatments often include pharmaceutical medications.
For underactive thyroid, T4 replacement medications like levothyroxine and Synthroid are common. For hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), treatments that reduce hormone secretion are necessary.
These treatments include radioactive iodine and antithyroid drugs like methimazole and propylthiouracil (PTU). While effective, these drugs can cause severe side effects in the liver and immune system.
They are not recommended outside the most necessary of circumstances. Surgery can also be a common treatment method. Surgery may address lumps and masses that occur due to cancers or thyroid nodules.
Living with Thyroid Disorders
Thyroid disorders can cause many different problems within the body and brain. These problems can impact the quality of an individual’s day to day life and can include things like:
- Extreme weight gain or loss
- Heavy mood swings (along with anxiety and depression)
- Reproductive issues (low sex drive, irregular menstrual cycles, etc.)
- Severe muscle/joint pain
- Neck swelling
- Severe fatigue/energy drain
- Hoarse or scratchy voice
- Irregular body temperature (especially the inability to tolerate cold weather)
- Cognitive issues such as brain fog, poor memory, and an inability to concentrate
Lifestyle changes can sometimes be effective in minimizing these symptomatic conditions. Yet, the thyroid network is a very complex web of cellular machinery. Because of this, it can be difficult to pinpoint how to induce positive changes.
This is why people are beginning to talk about CBD for thyroid disorders. By acting upon the endocannabinoid system, CBD can work to regulate internal homeostasis on the whole-body level.
This is different compared to the isolated chemical pathways that prescription medications manipulate. And products like CBD oil present far fewer side effects than most prescription-strength drugs.
Exploring the advantages and d…
CBD for Thyroid Disorders: What the Studies Are Showing
Most people who use CBD for thyroid disorders often use a single high-quality CBD oil. CBD oil may address a variety of thyroid malfunctions. These malfunctions include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiter, thyroiditis, and thyroid storm. Of course, the question is – how well does it work?
Many people have indicated that their use of CBD oil has produced positive results. There have also been scientific studies suggesting CBD’s regulatory effects on the endocrine gland.
For example, a 2002 study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology proposed evidence of functional cannabinoid receptors in rat thyroids. These receptors appeared to be able to influence both T3 and T4 hormone release. The study also utilized a molecular detection technique called immunohistochemical localization.
The results showed the intracellular presence of cannabinoid receptors. Experts recorded a 30% decrease in hormone release within hours of administration of the synthetic CB1 receptor agonist. CBD is an indirect antagonist of the CB1 receptor. This suggests that it could lead to the reverse outcome.
Also, the general properties of CBD may be able to help with the effects of thyroid disorders. CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Dozens of studies state the role of cannabinoids in reducing organ and tissue inflammation.
More clinical trials can determine how effective CBD is for thyroid disorders. Thus far, research of CBD’s relationship with hormone activity is promising.
Yet, it is not enough to claim the compound as an effective treatment. CBD receptors may play a role in thyroid regulation. However, we need more research to come to this conclusion.
Why CBD for Thyroid – What About ‘Regular’ Marijuana?
If you’re wondering why so many folks are talking about CBD for thyroid disorders and not THC, you’re not alone. Simply put, the overwhelming interest stems from the fact that CBD is non-psychoactive.
In other words, it won’t get you high. Individuals often use cannabis due to its lack of mind-altering effects. They want a natural treatment, but they don’t want to be under the influence.
This is why most CBD products come from industrial hemp – a cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC. When cannabis contains a THC content higher than 0.3%, it is determined to be “marijuana.” This can be confusing as many people use the terms hemp and marijuana interchangeably.
Millions of people worldwide smoke marijuana for its therapeutic benefit. This is the basis of the medical marijuana market. Hemp-based products often boast the benefits of cannabis without the high.
The Bottom Line on CBD for Thyroid Disorders
Doctors, scientists, and medical researchers are looking into CBD as an alternative treatment. More research is necessary to come to any definitive medical conclusions.
Most are choosing to go with high-quality CBD oil as a daily supplement. Oils act as molecular carriers. They are able to “hold” more cannabidiol molecules by volume than other forms of CBD (i.e., gummies or capsules).
CBD oils are also easily ingested and are efficiently absorbed into the body when placed under the tongue and held for 90 seconds.
Determining the proper dosing can be a trial and error process. It’s important to make sure you always read the label on your product and understand how much you’re consuming.
Lastly, it is important to take into consideration the quality of CBD oil you’re using. If you do decide to use CBD oil for a thyroid disorder, understand that not all products are equal. It’s important to look for companies with thorough lab-testing, transparent ingredient lists, and helpful customer service.
In the past several years, the FDA has been trying to crack down on disreputable companies. To help guide you along, we’ve listed a few well-reviewed manufacturers below.
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 4 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 5 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:
It’s a non-cancerous swelling of the gland, with the most common cause being an iodine-deficient diet. Goiter could affect people at any age, but it’s most common in people who are 40 years old or more. Other risk factors are certain medication usage, family medical history, radiation exposure, and pregnancy.
A thyroid nodule is a common endocrine complaint that doesn’t give out signs or symptoms. But when they do show symptoms, those include hyperthyroidism, pain at the nodule site that could move to the jaw or ear, difficulty swallowing or shortness of breath (in case of a large nodule), and rare instances of speaking difficulties or voice hoarseness complaints. Most thyroid nodules are not harmful. They become cancerous usually in males or in an aged person.
This cancer isn’t the most common form of cancer in general, but it certainly is common within the endocrine realm. DNA mutations occurring spontaneously or as a response to toxic substances or environmental exposure could modify regular thyroid cells. The hereditary alterations push the cells to reproduce their own selves rapidly without regular controls that are usually synonymous to the remaining parts of the gland. The real cause of this disease is unknown, or the risk factors are unclear.
What is hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid condition that indicates denotes an overactive thyroid gland. One out of every 100 women 6 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
CBD for Thyroid – 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 7 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.