The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that sits in your neck, right around the trachea. Thyroid problems can be difficult to live with, typically causing extreme weight loss or gain, mood swings, abnormal body temperatures, and mental cloudiness. Cannabidiol (CBD) is gaining more and more attention for its ability to treat a multitude of illnesses, including those that involve the thyroid. Let’s take a deeper look and learn more about CBD oil and how you can use it for a thyroid disorder.
What is Thyroid Disorder?
The thyroid plays an important role in regulating body temperature, metabolism, and heart rate. Drastic changes to any of these factors can significantly affect your body’s homeostasis.
A dysfunctional thyroid releases abnormal amounts of the thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Specific thyroid problems include goiter, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s disease, toxic adenomas, and thyroiditis.
Each of these disorders leads to either hyperthyroidism (overproduction of thyroid hormones) or hypothyroidism (under-production of thyroid hormones).
Causes of Thyroid Disorder
One of the main causes of thyroid disorder is a nutrient deficiency. Iodine is a key player in thyroid hormone synthesis. Iodine deficiency can cause both hypothyroidism and goiter.
You may notice that the table salt you buy is typically iodized. This is an incredibly efficient way to receive a crucial nutrient because salt is used in almost all foods.
Another important element for proper thyroid functioning, zinc is required for converting T4 into the active, more potent T3 version. As a result, zinc deficiency can cause hypothyroidism.
Selenium is also necessary for the conversion of T4 into T3. Lack of selenium in the diet can lead to hypothyroidism.
Thyroid disorders can also result from autoimmune diseases, Hashimoto’s disease being the most common.
In Hashimoto’s disease, the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Over time, the thyroid is destroyed and thyroid hormone production becomes insufficient, leading to hypothyroidism.
Another common disease is Graves’ disease, which causes the thyroid to become overactive, leading to hyperthyroidism.
Sometimes a viral or bacterial infection of the thyroid can occur. This can cause inflammation of the thyroid, often accompanied by pain.
What are the Symptoms of Thyroid Disorder?
Both the overproduction and underproduction of thyroid hormones can have many different symptoms.
- Cold intolerance
- Sudden weight gain
- Muscle aches
- Hair loss
- Dry, scaly skin
- Goiter (swelling of the neck due to enlarged thyroid)
- High cholesterol
- Tremors, jitteriness
- Heat intolerance
- Excessive sweating
- Protruding eyes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Frequent bowel movements
- Enlarged thyroid
- Hair loss
- Increased appetite
Diagnosing Thyroid Disorders
If you find you have any of the above-listed symptoms you should report it to your physician. If they suspect a thyroid disorder they may request one or more blood test to send to the lab.
At the lab, they will check the levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in your blood. THS is a hormone that the pituitary gland makes. The TSH hormone is responsible for governing how much T3 and T4 the thyroid produces. Measuring the blood’s TSH level can help identify a thyroid disorder.
They will also measure T3 and T4 levels in your blood to check for any indication of a thyroid problem. However, if the levels are of there could be a simple explanation. For example, if you are pregnant or on a contraceptive, this could lower your T4 level. This serves as a possible indication of a problem and will most likely lead to more testing.
If any of the test results suggest a possible thyroid disorder you physician may want to perform more tests. One example of these tests is a thyroid antibody test. These antibodies are made when the immune system mistakingly attacks the thyroid. As a result, high levels of antibodies may indicate thyroid issues.
They may perform an ultrasound of your thyroid to get a better look at what is going on. During this, they will look for nodules and inspect any for signs of cancer.
Another type of test they may want to perform is a radiation iodine uptake test. To perform this test they will inject you or feed you (in a capsule form) iodine. You see the thyroid naturally uses iodine from your blood to produce thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). They will visually inspect your thyroid area with a gamma probe which can measure the amount of iodine your thyroid is using. Through analyzing the data of levels of iodine “uptake” they can get a better idea of potential thyroid problems.
If during your visit the physician finds a lump or nodule they will most likely perform a fine needle biopsy. They will use a needle to extract a sample of the nodule and check it to see if it is cancerous or not.
If you or anyone you know has thyroid disorder CBD oil may be able to offer help in a variety of ways.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a product of industrial hemp plants and is quickly gaining popularity as a do-it-all medicine. It is natural, has virtually no side effects, and has the ability to treat various illnesses.
Many studies already show positive results of CBD oil treatments for anxiety, epilepsy, pain, inflammation, sleep, and stroke recovery, to name a few. Growing evidence of CBD’s effectiveness in treating so many conditions is making it an ideal alternative to conventional treatments.
CBD is non-intoxicating, unlike its chemical cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD and THC come from the same family of plants, cannabis. However, CBD derived from hemp, one subspecies, has no psychoactive properties because hemp naturally contains less than 0.3% THC.
This makes it ideal to use hemp-derived CBD products for therapeutic purposes because it can treat a wide variety of illnesses without leaving the user intoxicated.
CBD is a cannabinoid, and cannabinoids act on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a regulatory system in our bodies that affects the functions of the brain, various glands, organs, and immune cells.
The ECS is comprised of cannabinoid receptors such as CB1 and CB2 are found throughout the body: CB1 receptors are mostly located in the brain; CB2 receptors are located primarily in the organs and in much of the immune system. In short, the ECS functions to maintain the body’s internal environment, or to promote homeostasis.
How Can CBD Oil Help Thyroid Problems?
CBD oil shows promising evidence as a therapy for thyroid disorder. Studies reveal that CB1 receptors regulate thyroid activity through influencing on neurons which control the thyroid. Furthermore, studies show that cannabinoids influence the release of thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Because of this, CB1 receptors in the brain may directly affect the activity of neurons that control the thyroid.
The thyroid gland is important for regulating body temperature, heart rate, and metabolism. Thyroid hormones act on various organs, glands, and tissues to control these various processes.
The secretion of T3 and T4 works via a negative feedback loop in the body called the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. High levels of T3 and T4 in the blood serve as a signal to inhibit thyroid hormone secretion. Similarly, low levels of T3 and T4 serve as a signal to stimulate thyroid hormone secretion.
As you can see, this negative feedback loop is an important mechanism for maintaining proper amounts of thyroid hormones in the circulation. Therefore, an issue with the thyroid gland itself can greatly impair the regulatory feedback loop. As a result, a thyroid hormone deficiency or surplus can cause many adverse symptoms that affect your life.
CBD oil can regulate thyroid hormone secretion:
You can use CBD oil to help treat thyroid disorder, whether it is hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. This is because the ECS acts on the thyroid gland and can influence thyroid hormone secretion.
The ECS communicates with neurons in the brain that act on the thyroid, making it an important regulator of thyroid activity. This points to CBD as a potential therapy for abnormal thyroid hormone secretion.
CBD oil can manage inflammation associated with thyroid disorder:
CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation of the thyroid gland. Most of the CB2 receptors in the body are located in immune cells. This is important because the immune system is the entity responsible for the inflammatory response.
Since immune cells have a high concentration of cannabinoid receptors, they can be suppressed when acted on by CBD. The result is an effective reduction of inflammation.
CBD oil can treat digestive problems associated with thyroid disorder:
An overactive or under-active thyroid can lead to frequent bowel movements and constipation, respectively. CBD oil can act on the ECS to control the digestive process and regulate intestinal contractions.
CBD oil can relieve nervousness and anxiety associated with thyroid disorder:
Jitteriness, anxiety, and nervousness all describe symptoms of hyperthyroidism. CBD oil can provide effective relief of these symptoms because it acts as a relaxant and calms the nerves.
What’s more, is that CBD is great for long-term use since it is not addictive and does not have any major side effects.
CBD oil may have anti-cancer effects on the thyroid:
CBD’s interactions with the ECS may promote tumor-suppressing effects, slowing the progression of thyroid cancer. Small research studies show that CBD may inhibit the growth of tumor cells. More research is needed for conclusive results on this matter, however.
How to Use CBD Oil for Thyroid Disorder
The recommended dosage for regular strength is 0.25 milligrams of CBD oil per 1 pound of bodyweight. For a stronger dose, the recommended amount is 0.50 milligrams of CBD oil per 1 pound of bodyweight.
For example, for a person who weighs 150 pounds, a regular strength dose would be (150 lbs x 0.25 mg =) 37.5 milligrams of CBD oil. This translates to 37.5 drops for a 300 mg tincture.
It is best to start off with using CBD oil once or twice daily. You can then adjust the frequency to every eight hours or as needed.
You may note that a smaller dose used more often is effective, or that a larger dose used once or twice daily works best. Ultimately, you will notice results and find out what works best for you.
For more information on dosing, check out our comprehensive CBD Dosage Chart.
Is CBD Oil Safe for People with Thyroid Problems?
CBD is completely safe for you to use. It is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not get you high. CBD is highly valuable for therapeutic use because it can help treat many illnesses without impairing your mental and physical abilities.
While CBD has a few minimal side effects, it is very rare to experience them. Possible side effects of CBD oil include dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, and drowsiness.
However, it is unlikely to experience these side effects, you may experience them when first using CBD. After that, side effects will most likely subside.
It is hard to ignore the many incredible benefits of CBD oil because of how life-changing they can be. CBD continues to gain awareness as more and more people realize what a great supplement it is to their day-to-day lives. Whether it’s for thyroid problems or any other ailments, CBD can provide you with desirable results.