Your thyroid is a gland that’s found around your windpipe, also called an endocrine gland. Its primary function is to secrete hormones that interact with every organ, tissue, and cell in your body.
Similarly, this endocrine gland is also responsible for communicating with your brain through neural synapses. This, in turn, helps to keep things like your emotional response, internal body temperature, heart rate and even metabolism on an even keel. Health disorders that directly affect your thyroid can result in a myriad of issues, some of which can even be life-threatening.
Recently, however, there’s been quite a lot of study done on how your thyroid glands interact with your endocannabinoid system. In fact, studies have even gone as far as to suggest that your endocannabinoid system plays a pivotal role in making sure that your thyroid gland and your brain are communicating correctly.
What this ultimately means is that the cannabinoids that your endocannabinoid system releases play an essential role in maintaining the health of your thyroid gland, which in turn helps to maintain your overall health and well-being.
In this article, we’re going to discuss exactly what it is that the thyroid does, and what happens to your body when it’s not functioning so well. We’ll also look at CBD and discuss how it is potentially a viable treatment option for thyroid conditions.
Thyroid and Thyroid Disorders: What are They?
As we mentioned, the thyroid is an important gland that’s located around your windpipe. It’s responsible for maintaining many different functions of the body, including your metabolism and your internal body temperature. It’s also important for brain development, especially when you’re a baby.
The collection of hormones that are released by your thyroid gland are named thyroid hormones, and there are many of them. Perhaps the most well-known one is called the T4 hormone.
If your thyroid gland is releasing either too much or too little of any thyroid hormones, including the T4 hormone, this can have disastrous consequences on how your organs function and the general health of your body.
The primary disorders that directly relate to the thyroid include goiter, thyroiditis, thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, and thyroid storm. Because of thyroid conditions like these wreak such havoc on the body at such a sporadic rate, it can be challenging to identify exactly which one you’re experiencing.
It can also be difficult to track your symptoms back to the thyroid at all. However, once your healthcare professional has ruled out other possible causes, there are specific tests that can be done to determine whether your symptoms are related to your thyroid or not.
These tests can include blood tests and biopsies, as well as thyroid imaging.
When it comes to determining how many people have health conditions that relate to their thyroid gland, the American Thyroid Association estimates that there are as many as 20 million Americans. While the exact causes of a thyroid condition are mostly unknown, it is believed that factors including smoking, stress and high cholesterol can contribute.
What’s even more interesting about thyroid conditions is that women are five times more likely to develop issues with their thyroid than men are. They’re particularly vulnerable when they’re pregnant, which can lead to developmental problems or even a miscarriage.
Thyroid Disorders: Conventional Treatments
Of course, this depends on the type of thyroid disorder you may be suffering from, but generally speaking, there are a number of conventional treatments available for health conditions related to the thyroid.
Unfortunately, the majority of these traditional treatments include pharmaceutical drugs that can, in turn, have adverse side effects on other areas of the body.
If you’ve got an underactive thyroid, there are prescription medications like Synthroid that can essentially replace the lack of L4. For an overactive thyroid, there are conventional treatments that serve to reduce how many hormones your thyroid is producing, which can even include radioactive iodine.
You may have guessed that something as substantial as this can negatively affect other parts of the body, including the immune system and your liver.
Surgery is, of course, the last resort, but it can also be a viable option when it comes to conventional treatments. This is particularly relevant if you’re suffering from thyroid cancer.
Living With a Thyroid Disorder
As we talked about earlier, living with and experiencing a thyroid disorder can have huge implications on other parts of the body, including your emotions, metabolism and even your brain.
As a result, these interruptions and symptoms can have a negative impact on your day to day life. The symptoms you may experience include extreme weight loss or gain, issues with reproductivity, mood swings, neck swelling, chronic joint pain, snoring, poor memory, brain fog, and an inability to concentrate.
While simple lifestyle changes can be effective at helping to reduce these symptoms, because the biology of the thyroid is so complex, it usually takes more than a simple lifestyle choice to bite the issue in the bud.
This is an excellent Segway into talking about how CBD relates to thyroid disorders. Because CBD oil positively affects the endocannabinoid system, it can help to internally regulate the rest of your body’s functioning’s, including your thyroid.
Of course, this is completely different to how prescription medication targets isolated chemicals in your body. Another reason why CBD is worth looking into for a thyroid disorder is that it’s shown no indication of having any adverse side effects on the rest of the body.
CBD Oil and Thyroid: The Studies
What’s amazing about CBD oil when used for thyroid disorders is that patients are able to use one singular medication against a whole host of different thyroid health conditions, from thyroid malfunction to goiter. What’s even more critical, however, that there have been a large number of studies published that can be used as evidence for CBD as an effective thyroid treatment.
A study in 2002 looked at how CBD interacted with both the T4 and T3 thyroid hormones, and how it was able to regulate their release and volume. When the thyroid was being too overactive, researchers noted how CBD was able to reduce the amount of hormone being produced.
Similarly, in 2009 publication gave evidence for CBD being able to connect the thyroid gland back up with the central nervous system. What these two studies tell us is that CBD has the ability to both reduce the release and volume of thyroid hormones and increase them as well, depending on what type of thyroid condition you’re suffering from.
CBD has also shown promise as a natural treatment for swelling of the thyroid gland as well. This is because CBD is well-known now for its natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Ultimately, while there is still a long way to go when it comes to conclusive evidence and studies indicating just how beneficial CBD is, the above research is a good start in regards to it being a viable treatment option for thyroid disorders.
Reputable CBD Oil Companies
So, Why CBD?
If you’ve been reading this wondering why we keep talking about CBD for thyroid disorders, and not THC, it’s because CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid of the cannabis plant.
What this means is that it won’t get you high, which is something a lot of patients are looking for these days. The vast majority are seeking to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, so they prefer it when it doesn’t include any psychoactive properties.
With this being said, let’s clear the air a little bit. The vast majority of CBD oil products that are currently being sold are made from industrial hemp. Industrial hemp always has less than 0.3% THC in it, which means it’s impossible for you to get high.
If a cannabis plant has more than 0.3% THC, then it’s called a marijuana plant instead. It’s a little bit confusing, but there is a way to enjoy the benefits of CBD without the psychoactive effects of THC. There’s also a way to benefit from CBD while enjoying the psychoactive effects. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference.
There are many different ways that you can take CBD if you have a thyroid disorder. However, the most popular method is in oil form. One of the reasons why this way is so popular is because oils are highly absorbable, which means it won’t take long for your body to digest it.
While there isn’t a recommended daily dosage, it’s important that you consult with your healthcare professional first to make sure you’re taking the right amount for your needs.
It’s also important to buy your CBD oil from a reputable source, so you know that what you’re getting is a high-quality product. There are many con artists out there in the CBD oil industry who are more than willing to sell you a sub-par product that isn’t going to help you with your thyroid condition.
The more research you do, the better you’ll be able to feel about your CBD oil.
References and Further Reading
1. Evidence for functional CB1 cannabinoid receptor expressed in the rat thyroid
2. Type 1 Cannabinoid Receptor-Containing Axons Innervate Hypophysiotropic Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone-Synthesizing Neurons
3. Anti-inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol, a Nonpsychotropic Cannabinoid, in Experimental Allergic Contact Dermatitis.