The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck which secretes hormones that regulate both growth and development through the rate of metabolism. A pretty big job for a gland that typically weighs less than an ounce! And when things go awry with a person’s thyroid, it can wreak all manner of havoc. Today we’re going to discuss the potential benefits of using CBD for thyroid health.
CBD for thyroid health at a glance
Claims: CBD can support thyroid health.
What the studies show: Studies seem to support that CBD for thyroid health can lessen inflammation, as well as help with sleep and anxiety issues which are often co-existing with thyroid disorders.
All the facts: Early studies
What types of problems can our thyroids cause?
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain crucial hormones. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is a disease called Hashimoto’s, which causes your immune system to attack the thyroid, creating this imbalance.
Hypothyroidism symptoms can be almost non-existent in its early stages but, if left untreated, can cause some major health problems over time. These include joint pain, obesity (which can bring with it a whole other set of health issues), infertility, and even heart disease.
Symptoms and signs of this condition include:
- Weight gain
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints
- Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
- Thinning hair
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
Another common thyroid issue is hyperthyroidism, which is essentially the opposite problem of hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine, which can accelerate your body’s metabolism.
There are several potential causes of hypothyroidism, with Graves’ disease being the most common. Graves’ disease is another autoimmune disorder, but in this case, it causes the antibodies produced by your immune system to target your thyroid in a way that results in an overproduction of certain thyroid hormones.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism sometimes mimic other health problems, and can make it difficult for your doctor to diagnose. Those often include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
- Heart palpitations
- Increased appetite
- Changes in menstrual patterns
- Increased sensitivity to heat
- Frequent bowel movements
- An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), which may appear as a swelling at the base of your neck
- Difficulty sleeping
- Thinning hair and skin
How can CBD be used to help with thyroid issues?
Our bodies have their own endocannabinoid systems, which assist in regulating physiological functions and pain sensations. Because CBD (cannabidiol) is known to interact with our bodies’ cannabinoid receptors, CBD affects our how we experience pain and how our bodies react to many different health issues.
In the case of thyroid health, studies as well as anecdotal evidence show that CBD can help with both insomnia and anxiety, both common symptoms of Grave’s disease and hyperthyroidism. CBD is also known to help with pain that can often accompany severe thyroid dysfunction.
Scientists have only scratched the surface of the potential benefits of CBD for thyroid health, and we’ll be sure to update you when additional studies are completed.
Medical studies on CBD for thyroid health
Studies have also shown that cannabinoids are “immunomodulators,” which means they help regulate our immune systems. Because diseases like Graves’ and Hashimoto’s are both autoimmune problems, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about adding CBD to your healthcare regimen.
On another interesting front, early studies have shown that CB receptors may interfere with molecular pathways participating in thyroid malignant transformation and could be considered as potential therapeutic targets to suppress tumor progression. This could mean some possible breakthroughs on the horizon related to CBD’s potential to help slow the growth of malignant and non-malignant thyroid tumors.
What are the risks of using CBD?
The good news is that CBD is known to be safe and well-tolerated by most and, according to a recent study by the World Health Organization, is not associated with abuse potential.
Using CBD for thyroid health also comes with very few potential side effects, and those that can present are minor.
Should I give CBD for thyroid health a try?
Some people do find that CBD isn’t helpful in treating their symptoms, while others find it to be a life changer. Because thyroid issues vary so much in both severity and frequency, there is no guarantee that it will work the same for everyone. It’s also important to note that, with certain severe thyroid conditions, CBD alone is likely not the answer.
That all said, both scientific research and anecdotal evidence seem to support the benefits of CBD for thyroid health, potentially making it a great tool in your arsenal.
As with any change to your healthcare regimen, you should talk to your doctor before trying CBD for thyroid issues. And, if you’re currently taking any prescription medications, you should check with your pharmacist to ensure that CBD won’t interact with any of them in a negative way.