CBD oil has shown promise in treating Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Learn how this compound may improve thyroid and immune function. CBD for Hashimoto’s Disease: How Can It Help? CBD is a powerful and versatile compound; it can help regulate various functions throughout the body, including hormonal balance. With new Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is an inflammation of the thyroid that causes the gland to stop producing hormones.
5 reasons to Consider CBD oil for Hashimoto’s: Benefits, Safety & More
Can CBD oil (or CBD in other forms) help treat the autoimmune condition Hashimoto’s thyroiditis?
When you start to see places lik e Harvard (1) talking about the benefits of CBD oil you know there may be something to this compound.
This over the counter therapy may be considered in certain thyroid patients, especially those with Hashimoto’s who haven’t found success with more conventional treatments.
In this article, you are going to learn about CBD, how it may influence Hashimoto’s, and 5 reasons you may want to consider using it.
Can CBD Oil Help Treat Hashimoto’s?
CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is one of many cannabinoids found inside of marijuana.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are the compounds which interact with certain receptors inside of your body.
You’re probably familiar with the high that marijuana can cause and this is caused by one of these cannabinoids (known as THC (2)).
Not all cannabinoids, however, cause a “high” and some even exert action on other tissues in your body. The activation of these tissues may lead to the powerful health benefits of CBD.
While marijuana does contain CBD, it’s important to realize that CBD is not the same thing as marijuana (even though marijuana seems to have some positive benefit on thyroid function (3)).
Some people are afraid that taking CBD is the same thing as marijuana and this is NOT the case.
It’s been shown, in an increasing number of studies (4), that some of these cannabinoids may act on certain cells in your body by influencing specific endocannabinoid receptors.
These receptors control and regulate incredibly important tissues including the following:
- The limbic system (the system that controls pleasure)
- The hypothalamus (the portion of your brain that helps regulate thyroid, metabolism, and appetite)
- The gastrointestinal tract (which influences many systems in your body including appetite, metabolism, and weight)
- Adipose tissue or fat tissue (your fat cells are a rich source of hormones such as leptin which feedback to your brain and other systems)
Can you see now why so many people are interested in CBD?
CBD, acting on cannabinoid receptors, may interact with these organs and tissues and to influence your hormones, immune system, appetite, and weight.
What’s important here, at least for our discussion, is that CBD is a legal supplement and can be purchased over the counter in almost every State.
This provides you, as the patient, with the power and a potential therapy which can influence these important systems.
And this is why I’m interested in CBD oil, especially as a treatment for thyroid diseases such as Hashimoto’s t hyroiditis.
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Potential Benefits of CBD Oil
We know that CBD is powerful but how does CBD help your thyroid?
The benefits of CBD in this setting probably (we don’t know for sure) stem from its ability to impact your immune system, your thyroid directly, and your hypothalamus.
Let’s break each of these down in more detail:
How does CBD affect your immune system?
This is not well understood but it appears that CBD reduces inflammation by increasing levels of IL-10 while simultaneously decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-2, IL-3, INF-y, and TNF-alpha.
You don’t really need to understand the specifics here but what you do need to know is that there is a tug-of-war occurring in your body between pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
If you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (or any other autoimmune disease), your body is losing the war.
CBD oil may help ‘even the odds’ by promoting an increase in the cytokines that you want while decreasing those that cause harm.
This effect is probably why certain people with Hashimoto’s see improvement and why other patients with autoimmune conditions do as well.
In addition, CBD may have a direct effect on the production of thyroid hormone (5) by stimulating your thyroid gland directly.
The impact CBD has on the thyroid gland is somewhat confusing, to say the least.
Studies show that CBD can reduce the amount of T4 and T3 that the thyroid gland produces while also reducing the TSH (6).
In addition, these same studies show that CBD seems to have a protective effect against the production of anti-thyroid antibodies.
To summarize, CBD seems to impact all levels of thyroid function including TSH, free thyroid hormones, and thyroid antibody levels.
But how can something which decreases your free thyroid hormone levels be “good”?
My feeling is that it probably impact cellular sensitivity in some way which makes the amount of thyroid hormone in your body more effective.
This might reduce the amount of free thyroid hormone necessary in your bloodstream which would in turn cause a reduction in TSH.
This is just speculation, however, and I will be keeping an eye on the research as it unfolds.
Lastly, CBD also probably impacts your thyroid gland indirectly by influencing your hypothalamic function.
Your hypothalamus is a major regulator of metabolism and, therefore, T3 levels in the body.
Anything which stimulates or regulates the hypothalamus will necessarily have at least some impact on your thyroid gland.
In our case, this stimulation is a positive thing as it may help promote T3 production directly and conversion of T3 from T4.
It may also have an impact on leptin sensitivity and leptin levels which also indirectly impact T3.
While we don’t have all of the details, we do have enough information to suggest that CBD may be helpful for some thyroid patients presumably from the three areas listed above.
Looking at these areas may be enough to make you consider using CBD but there are still some other important points you should be aware of as well.
With that in mind, take a look at 5 reasons that I believe you should consider using CBD oil if you have Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism:
#1. Safety Profile
Just because a therapy is considered to be “effective” doesn’t mean that it should be used.
We have plenty of therapies in medicine which have been shown to be effective but which cause negative side effects or consequences.
On the flip side, we have plenty of therapies which can POTENTIALLY help people with Hashimoto’s which are very safe but not very effective.
What we really want is something that is shown to be both VERY effective and yet VERY safe.
How safe a medication or therapy is, is referred to as its safety profile.
And whenever you, as a patient, consider any therapy you should always ask yourself about the safety profile of that thing.
CBD, as a therapy, has a strong safety pr ofile (7).
Meaning, it is considered to be a safe therapy.
The most commonly reported symptoms associated with using CBD include nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in weight or appetite.
*Note: CBD oil can also impact some prescription medications such as coumadin.
You can get these kinds of side effects from certain healthy foods!
Does this mean CBD is safe and that all people will tolerate it well?
Not necessarily, but it does mean that your risk of developing some serious issues as a result of using it is very low to non-existent.
While it’s important to understand the safety profile of certain medications and supplements, you should also consider the inherent bias that exists between over the counter supplements and medications.
Certain prescription medications, for instance, are notoriously dangerous but this danger is tolerated simply due to the bias that exists in the system.
Take statins, as an example:
We know that people who take statins have an increased risk of developing muscl e damage (8) (1 in 24) and even diabe tes mellitus (9) (1 in 204) and yet statins are prescribed like candy by most conventional doctors.
You might think the benefits of these medications are enough to outweigh the risks but there is enough information to put e ven that into question (10).
Can you imagine if an over the counter supplement was known to increase the risk of diabetes even if it was at a rate of 1 in 10,000?
It would no doubt be all over the news and it would ripped off the market by the FDA.
Why do I bring this up?
Because as a patient, you need to be aware of this bias so that you don’t get confused by sensational headlines that you might see regarding CBD (or other supplements) in the news cycle.
Stay grounded and take a look at what the studies show before you make a decision regarding what to take (or not).
#2. Additional Benefits Beyond Hashimoto’s
I think another reason to consider using CBD oil would be that it impacts more than just one system in your body.
This is true of MOST over the counter supplements, by the way, but is not necessarily true of prescription medications.
Over the counter supplements and herbal remedies tend to impact multiple systems because they are less specific than prescription medications.
Medications are created to impact very specific enzymes or receptors and may not impact ANY other cellular components.
This makes them potentially efficacious but also very narrow in terms of how they help.
You can think of supplements as being less specific and more broad in how they impact your cells.
The result is that you can take a supplement and experience multiple sets of positive effects.
CBD oil seems to fit into the former category probably because there are receptors on multiple cells.
The result is that CBD oil can potentially help you in many other ways aside from just impacting your immune system.
Additional benefits may include:
(11) (very important as many thyroid patients also suffer from anxiety) (12) (many thyroid patients suffer from insomnia) (13) (many thyroid patients suffer from chronic pain) (14) (inflammation may reduce T4 to T3 conversion and impact your thyroid)
If you have any of the symptoms listed above then there might be a stronger case for you to at least trial CBD oil.
#3. Another Therapy for Hashimoto’s
As a patient with Hashimoto’s, you are probably all too familiar with the current treatment paradigm (or lack thereof).
The standard treatment for Hashimoto’s is really just a ‘wait and see’ approach in which your doctor typically waits until your body destroys enough of itself that you require some form of therapy (usually thyroid medication).
As a patient, this can be troubling to hear.
The good news is that there are several therapies which are available to Hashimoto’s patients who don’t want to take the ‘wait and see’ approach.
The only problem with some of these therapies is that they are not always effective and the results that each patient may obtain varies.
Changing your diet, reducing yo ur stress, taking supplements, and so on are all helpful therapies, but they do not guarantee that you will be able to treat or reverse your condition.
So whenever I see a therapy which can potentially help treat Hashimoto’s I get a little bit excited.
And, as a patient, you should be aware of all of these therapies, not because you necessarily want to use them all right away, so that you can come back to them at a later date.
Even if you don’t plan on using CBD, for whatever reason, at least put it in the back of your brain as a potential option to come back to later.
#4. Availability over the counter
Another big reason is how easy it is to get!
I constantly hear of the frustrations that patients feel regarding obtaining prescription thyroid medication.
In many cases, patients may know more about thyroid medications than your doctor (you probably fit into this category if you are reading this) and yet they are not able to get the thing that they need.
Because something stands in their way. The prescription pad from the doctor.
It doesn’t matter what you know if your doctor isn’t willing to provide you with a prescription.
You don’t have this problem with certain supplements and it doesn’t exist with CBD.
CBD is currently (and for the foreseeable future) available over the counter and can be purchased easily.
Even though you can get it without a prescription from a doctor I still recommend that you discuss what you are taking with your doctor!
It’s important to have an open dialogue with your doctor to ensure that you are not doing anything which would negatively influence your other therapies.
If your doctor is not willing to work with you on this then you may need to seek a second opinion (use this r esource to help you find one).
#5. Patient Success Stories
Some people tend to rely more on clinical studies to support how they treat themselves while others tend to focus on the results of others.
I really think that there is value in both and I tend to look at both sides of the story before recommending therapies to patients.
Clinical studies, while necessary and very helpful, don’t always tell the full story.
The results can be skewed or interpreted in virtually any way that suites the bias of the author of the study.
In addition, we don’t always get to see the results of studies which were not published.
If a study doesn’t show the results that the author was looking for he/she doesn’t have to publish it.
It’s possible for the same study to be run 3-4x until it finally produces the results that the author is looking for (we see something similar happen with some phal medications (15)).
Lastly, just because a study shows that something is effective doesn’t mean it translates into clinical practice!
I’ve been very excited about several therapies when I read about them in studies only to find out that they simply are not nearly as effective as I thought they would be in the real world.
Patient success stories, on the other hand, tend to come from a different place.
They lack the controls that clinical studies have but they still have value as a “proof of concept”.
Do we see that CBD oil has been used successfully in patients with Hashimoto’s and thyroid disease?
The answer is yes.
We see positive success stories in those who have taken it and they have shared their results.
If you are someone who fits into this category I would encourage you to leave your comments or experiences below as it may help those who are on the fence.
Should you try it?
While CBD shows promise and may be something worth considering, just because it has the potential to be effective doesn’t necessarily mean you should take it.
One of the downsides to CBD and I see this same thing in many other supplements and therapies, is that while it may work to improve your thyroid function, it’s not necessarily working by reversing the issues which are causing your conditions to begin with.
If you are pounding down refined sugar, eating out on a regular basis, and suffering from serious stress from work or other aspects of your life, then CBD is probably not going to solve those issues.
But, if you’ve tried all of the natural therapies that I’ve listed above and have found some improvement, but not a complete improvement, then CBD may be a good idea in that situation.
It might also be a good idea to use if you have Hashimoto’s triggered by something which is not necessarily treatable or reversible.
If an acutely stressful event triggered your Hashimoto’s then it’s not really possible to go back in time to prevent it from occurring.
If this is the case for you, then CBD may be an option worth considering.
Like other thyroid therapies, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach that you can or should take.
Instead, make sure you weigh the potential benefits against the potential side effects and determine if it is right for YOU.
Update: I’ve been experimenting with this CBD product which I have used both personally, on my family, and I have seen the third party verification of THC/CBD ratios.
If you choose to use CBD ensure that you are getting a quality product if you want to see results!
I’m coming to understand that there are MANY cheap products available which do NOT contain what they claim (in a somewhat unregulated supplement industry).
So if you try one of these brands and do not see results do not blame the CBD! Instead, it’s probably more related to the low quality of the product.
For now, with this CBD product that I have had success with and continue to both use and recommend.
CBD oil shows promise as an emerging treatment for those with thyroid disease and especially Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
It’s not clear exactly how or why CBD oil is effective but it probably has to do with how it impacts your thyroid gland directly and other systems, such as the hypothalamus, indirectly.
The net result may be an improvement in both direct thyroid symptoms and indirect symptoms such as anxiety, pain, and insomnia.
As a thyroid patient, it may be worth exploring this therapy especially given its excellent safety profile and relatively cheap cost.
CBD oil is available over the counter and can be purchased online, making it an ideal complementary therapy to whatever you are currently doing to treat your Hashimoto’s.
CBD for Hashimoto’s Disease: How Can It Help?
CBD is a powerful and versatile compound; it can help regulate various functions throughout the body, including hormonal balance.
With new research emerging every month, scientists are discovering new health benefits of CBD — but can it be used to treat Hashimoto’s disease and other thyroid conditions?
Most benefits of CBD stem from its modulatory actions on the immune system. Cannabinoid receptors are also found on the surface of hormonal glands, including the thyroid.
If you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (or any other autoimmune disease), it means your body is losing the war against an aggressive immune system.
Although there are no direct studies focusing on using CBD for Hashimoto’s, several research papers suggest that it can improve the quality of life of patients with thyroid disorders.
Today, we elaborate on how you can use CBD oil for Hashimoto’s to control its symptoms and regulate your immune system.
What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?
Hashimoto’s disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland. It causes a person’s immune system to become aggressive toward the thyroid (autoimmunity), damaging to the point where it can’t produce its own hormones any longer.
Hashimoto’s involves inflammation of the thyroid gland and is the major contributor to hypothyroidism — a condition characterized by an underactive thyroid.
Some patients with Hashimoto’s can develop a goiter, which is a lump on the thyroid triggered by inflammation and causing neck discomfort. One way to diagnose Hashimoto’s is through blood test results that check thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormones (FT4 and T4).
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Disease
Hashimoto’s disease develops more often in women. However, it can occur at any age and even men and children can suffer from it.
The most common symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease include:
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Puffy face
- Ple skin
- Hair loss
- Sensitivity to cold
The symptoms may not be noticeable at first, but as the disease progresses over the years, their severity will increase — deteriorating your quality of life.
Conventional Treatments for Hashimoto’s (High Risk)
Researchers have yet to find the underlying cause of Hashimoto’s disease and other thyroid disorders. However, the main hypothesis revolves around chronic inflammation caused by an aggressive immune system.
The conventional Hashimoto treatment involves taking levothyroxine, which is a thyroid medication using a specific hormone to level the deficiency in thyroid hormones.
Unfortunately, when you’re prescribed levothyroxine, you usually need to take it for life.
Taking high doses of the drug can have negative side effects, such as osteoporosis or irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia). Your doctor should titrate the medicine appropriately, but most of the time, the dose is gradually increased to the point where another treatment must be considered.
Meanwhile, CBD may offer a theoretically safer way to treat people with Hashimoto’s.
Can CBD Oil Help Treat Hashimoto’s?
CBD is one of over 115 cannabinoids identified in cannabis plants. Unlike the other major cannabinoid, THC, CBD doesn’t cause mind-altering effects when you take it. Researchers have found that cannabinoids, including CBD, offer remarkable anti-inflammatory properties.
A 2010 review of studies published in the journal Future Medicinal Chemistry found that daily supplementation with CBD inhibited disease progression in mice.
The research team learned that CBD decreased the amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are known to trigger inflammatory reactions.
Cytokines have been highlighted as one of the contributors to the onset of thyroid diseases, such as Hashimoto’s.
In a 2011 study, the authors concluded that cytokines play an important role in the pathogenesis (formation) of autoimmune disorders in the thyroid. They also found that cytokine modulation may help treat autoimmune conditions.
A 2020 study mentioned CBD and other cannabinoids as potential immunosuppressants due to their ability to block the production of inflammatory cytokines. These properties suggest that CBD — and cannabis in general — may have the potential to curb chronic inflammation in the body.
Another study showed that CBD is involved in regulating inflammatory response and expression by acting on various receptors throughout the body. The authors noted that CBD administration in animals could inhibit the release of excess cytokines.
Since CBD can reduce the number of substances that trigger inflammation, it may theoretically be used as an adjunctive treatment for Hashimoto’s — at least for symptom control.
However, there are no direct studies that would examine CBD’s impact on thyroid disorders, including Hashimoto’s disease. No clinical trials exist to prove the long-term efficacy of CBD for Hashimoto’s as a monotherapy.
How does CBD Work to Help with Hashimoto’s?
In a study published in 2017, the research team mentions that specific receptors in the human body could modulate the production of cytokines. The CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are the components of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), are said to play a part in signaling that influences cytokines.
The ECS promotes and helps to maintain homeostasis throughout the body. It regulates various physiological functions, including inflammation.
CBD influences the ECS structures, particularly the CB2 receptor — which would explain its anti-inflammatory effects.
On top of acting on CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD may also use other pathways that reduce inflammation.
Meanwhile, the authors of a 2015 study that evaluated the ECS’s role in thyroid tumors found that cannabinoid receptors are linked to tumor malignancy.
They concluded that CB1 and CB2 receptors are potential therapeutic targets for future treatments.
Another study also found that CB1 receptors of the ECS control hormone production in the thyroid.
Thyroid hormones help regulate body temperature, energy, and other important metabolic functions.
Since CBD is the modulator of the ECS, there’s a chance that it can be used to regulate thyroid conditions by acting on its structures.
However, more clinical human studies are needed to confirm CBD’s long-term efficacy in treating Hashimoto’s.
5 Reasons to Consider Taking CBD for Hashimoto’s
Looking at the above studies, this may be enough to convince you to try CBD for Hashimoto’s. That being said, there’s more to CBD and thyroid than just symptom control.
After all, conventional treatments are also focused on managing the symptoms of thyroid disorders.
Here’s why you may want to consider taking CBD for Hashimoto’s.
1. Safety Profile
If therapy is effective, that doesn’t mean it’s safe in the long run.
There are plenty of treatments in contemporary medicine which have been shown to be effective — but cause negative side effects.
On the other hand, there are plenty of therapies with the potential to treat Hashimoto’s while being very safe for our health.
The degree of a medication’s safety is referred to as its safety profile.
CBD has an excellent safety profile. Even doses as high as 1,500 mg administered daily for several weeks didn’t cause any dangerous side effects in patients.
The side effects of CBD are benign and include changes in appetite, dry mouth, dizziness, and — in case you took way too much — diarrhea.
Any healthy foods can get you these kinds of side effects if you take them in excess amounts.
According to the WHO, CBD is safe and well-tolerated in humans.
That being said, CBD can interact with many pharmaceutical medications. It can compromise the liver’s ability to metabolize these drugs, resulting in either too low or too high concentrations of the drug in the bloodstream.
If you’re unsure if you can take CBD for Hashimoto’s alongside your thyroid medications, consult a holistic doctor experienced in cannabis use.
2. Additional Benefits Aside from Hashimoto’s
Another reason to consider using CBD oil for Hashimoto’s is its versatility.
Medications are made to impact specific enzymes or receptors and may not interact with any other cellular components.
Unlike medications, herbal extracts like CBD oil can act on several different molecular pathways. CBD has over 65 such targets. It greatly helps one’s health due to its various benefits.
Additional benefits may include:
- Reduced anxiety thanks to the modulation of GABA, serotonin, and anandamide (Hashimoto’s patients often experience anxiety)
- Improved sleep as a result of the circadian rhythm regulation (many thyroid patients suffer from insomnia)
- Reduced pain due to its analgesic properties (people with Hashimoto’s often have chronic pain)
- Reduced inflammation (inflammation impacts conversion from T4 to T3)
If you have any of these symptoms, you could use CBD oil to improve your overall quality of life with Hashimoto’s.
3. Complementary Effects with Other Treatments
The current treatment paradigm for Hashimoto’s has caused many patients to look for natural alternative therapies because it’s just a standard “wait and see approach.”
As a patient, you don’t want to rely on taking synthetic hormones for life.
The good news is that you can use CBD along with other lifestyle modifications to achieve a better result. When you see the big picture, you’ll notice that Hashimoto’s requires a multifaceted approach, not just some miracle pill.
Changing your diet, reducing your stress, and supplementing CBD oil can help your body get back on track and heal itself from excess inflammation — but they don’t guarantee that you’ll be able to reverse your condition.
They are, however, much safer than conventional methods. Taking CBD oil on a daily basis can help improve the functioning of your ECS — translating into more effective management of vital functions throughout the body.
This, on top of an anti-inflammatory diet, proper stress hygiene, and an active lifestyle, can help you achieve better results for your thyroid health overall.
CBD oil is legal in all 50 states and you can buy it without a prescription — unlike thyroid medications, which must be prescribed by a doctor.
In most cases, patients may know more about their disease and possible treatments than their doctor and yet they’re not able to get the right medication.
Because they are limited by the doctor and the prescription.
If your doctor isn’t willing to prescribe you the medication you’re asking for, your knowledge doesn’t matter.
This problem is nonexistent with CBD and other herbal supplements.
Nevertheless, we still advise you to consult a doctor before adding CBD oil to your daily routine. Doing so will help you find the right dosage to start with — not to mention that you can avoid negative interactions with other medications.
5. Patient Success Stories
Clinical trials are important for evaluating the long-term efficacy and safety of certain medications, but all clinical trials start with anecdotal evidence, better known as success stories of patients.
Both types of evidence have strong value. While clinical studies are very helpful, they don’t always tell the full story. The results can be interpreted in any way that suits the thesis of the study’s author.
Moreover, some clinical trials aren’t published, so we don’t always get to see their results. The author simply doesn’t have to publish the study if it doesn’t show the results they were looking for.
Some studies can be run 3-4 times until they finally yield satisfying results.
Last but not least, just because studies show that something is effective doesn’t mean it will work for every individual.
Doctors are often excited about novel therapies when they read about them in scientific magazines only to find out that they’re not nearly as effective as they believe them to be in the real world.
When it comes to patient success stories, they take a different approach.
There are no controls that clinical studies can provide but they still provide value as a “proof of concept.”
Are there any direct studies on the effectiveness of CBD for Hashimoto’s?
Do we see positive stories of patients who have taken it and seen great results?
The so-called anecdotal evidence often provides inspiration for clinical trials.
How to Choose CBD Oil for Hashimoto’s
CBD can be found in three major types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate.
The full-spectrum type of CBD is the most popular because it contains cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and trace amounts of THC. Together, these compounds create the entourage effect, which means that the plant-based compounds work together in synergy — producing greater therapeutic effects than each of them alone.
Broad-spectrum CBD is another popular type. This option contains the same compounds as full-spectrum CBD — except for the THC content.
The third variant is CBD isolate. This is just pure CBD in crystalline or powdered form. It carries the highest dose of CBD per serving; it’s also odorless and flavorless, which is why some people prefer it over the two above formats. That being said, CBD isolates lack the entourage effect, so they are less desired among consumers.
Tips for Buying CBD Oil for Hashimoto’s
- Look for a certificate of analysis (COA) for the chosen product. This document shows that the product has undergone proper testing and its contents match the ones that are listed on the label.
- Read product reviews and do a solid background check on your potential vendor. If buying from a local store, make sure to check if it has the proper authorization to sell CBD extracts.
- The best CBD oils for Hashimoto’s are made from organic hemp; it’s the most dependable source of high-quality CBD.
- Ensure that there are no limits to the availability of CBD in your state. Hemp-derived CBD is federally legal but the state laws are dynamic, so it’s always worth it to keep yourself up to date with your local regulations surrounding cannabis.
- Consult a holistic doctor, preferably someone experienced in cannabis use, before buying CBD products.
CBD Dosage for Hashimoto’s
Since CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA, there are no official dosage guidelines when it comes to using CBD for Hashimoto’s, or any other condition for that matter.
There are a few factors you should consider when determining your dose of CBD, including:
- Tolerance to CBD
- Severity of symptoms
- Expected results
The best approach to starting your CBD regime is to take a small amount of CBD (5 or 10 mg) and gradually increase it until you come to the point where you experience the desired results without any side effects.
You can also use different studies on CBD for specific symptoms to analyze different dosages try them out on yourself.
How to Take CBD for Hashimoto’s
CBD is available in many different forms, including CBD oils, edibles, capsules, vapes, and topicals.
Beginners often choose edibles or capsules because they contain a fixed dose of CBD per serving. Since oral forms of CBD need to pass through the digestive system, they have a delayed onset (up to 90 minutes) but last longer than other forms (up to 10 hours).
More experienced users turn to CBD oil because it combines dosage accuracy with a higher bioavailability and faster onset. CBD oils absorb through the mucous membrane in your mouth, avoiding the first-pass metabolism in the liver. As a result, your body receives more active ingredients. The CBD also acts faster (15-30 minutes) lasting for up to 6 hours.
Vaporization offers the fastest and most effective way to consume CBD. When you inhale CBD through a vape pen, it travels to your bloodstream through lung tissues — producing almost instantaneous effects. Vapes have the highest bioavailability (56%) and they last for up to 4 hours.
For localized problems, such as inflammatory flare-ups, you can use CBD topicals such as creams, balms, lotions, or gels. They target the CB2 receptors in your skin, providing relief from inflammation and pain. The absorption rate and duration of topicals vary between different formulations.
CBD vs Other Natural Remedies for Hashimoto’s
Diet modifications are one of the first steps that a person with Hashimoto’s should take. This includes choosing animal foods rich in zinc, as well as fruits and vegetables.
Vegetables contain phytosterols, which are anti-inflammatory compounds. Low-calorie fruits have high levels of antioxidants and can help the body recover from the damage caused by inflammation.
Animal-based foods high in zinc, such as meats and eggs, are recommended several times a week. Zinc deficiency is often cited as one of the causes of hypothyroid conditions.
Iodine supplements are another possible option, but they need to be taken in the right form, as certain forms of iodine can be toxic for the body and actually exacerbate your condition.
Other Types of Thyroid Disorders
Aside from Hashimoto’s disease, people can suffer from one of the following thyroid conditions that are triggered by the chronic inflammation of this gland:
Hyperthyroidism occurs where the gland produces more hormones than the body actually needs. Excessive thyroid hormone production can result in symptoms such as irritability, fast heart rate, weight loss, muscle weakness, and nervousness.
Grave’s Disease is another thyroid disorder that occurs when a person’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland by accident. This leads to the production of excess thyroid antibodies.
People with Grave’s disease often have high blood pressure and increased metabolism as a result of enlarged thyroid glands.
Key Takeaways on Using CBD for Hashimoto’s
CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain, showing as a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of Hashimoto’s disease.
There is some evidence to support the use of CBD in reducing chronic inflammation associated with thyroid conditions. Several studies have shown that CBD may block the excess activation of the immune system by inhibiting the release of pro-inflammatory proteins.
Researchers believe that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in regulating the activity of hormonal glands — including the thyroid. By modulating cannabinoid receptors, CBD can act as an adaptogen — adjusting the production of thyroid hormones.
More clinical trials are needed to confirm CBD’s efficacy for Hashimoto in the long run, but current findings are very promising, to say the least.
You can also use CBD oil to help with other symptoms associated with Hashimoto’s, including anxiety, pain, sleep problems, and low energy levels.
Always consult a doctor before buying a CBD product for any condition. Doing so will help you figure out the best CBD dosage for your situation and avoid potential CBD-drug interactions.
Do you take CBD for Hashimoto’s? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
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Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
CBD Oil for Hashimoto’s Disease – September 2022
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 ) and thyroid hormones (FT4 and T4).
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 – and is usually prescribed for life.
Taking an excessive amount of the drug can lead to harmful effects, such as irregular heartbeats and osteoporosis. However, you and your doctor will titrate the medicine appropriately. You should not stop taking it or adjust this medicine without talking to your doctor first.
Meanwhile, cannabidiol ( CBD ) may theoretically offer a supplementary 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 the 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 theoretically 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 yet non-existent. No clinical trials exist to prove that CBD can effectively treat the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease and other thyroid issues .
How CBD Oil May Work 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, among many other important metabolic functions, 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 theoretically 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, if any, 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 yet to be shown as a potential therapeutic agent in reducing inflammation prevalent in Hashimoto’s disease . There is some evidence, however, related to CBD and general inflammation which may or may not apply to the auto-immune process involved 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.