CBD for Hashimoto’s disease
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 using CBD – but can it be used to treat Hashimoto’s disease and other thyroid conditions?
Most of the benefits of CBD come from its regulatory actions on the immune system. Cannabinoid receptors are also found on the surface of hormone 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 the use of CBD for Hashimoto’s, several research papers suggest that it may improve the quality of life of patients with thyroid disorders.
Today, we analyze 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 towards the thyroid (autoimmunity), destroying it to the point where it can no longer produce its own hormones.
Hashimoto’s involves inflammation of the thyroid gland and is the main contributing factor to hypothyroidism – a condition characterised by underactive thyroid function.
Some patients with Hashimoto’s may develop goiter, which is a lump on the thyroid caused by inflammation that causes discomfort in the neck. One way to diagnose Hashimoto’s is through blood test results that check thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormones (FT4 and T4).
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 increase
- Dry skin
- Face swollen
- 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 – worsening your quality of life.
Conventional treatments for Hashimoto ‘s (high-risk)
Researchers have not yet found 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.
Conventional Hashimoto’s treatment involves taking levothyroxine, which is a thyroid medication that uses a specific hormone to balance the deficiency of thyroid hormones.
Unfortunately, when you are 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 will need to titrate the medicine appropriately, but most of the time, the dose is gradually increased until the point where another treatment should be considered.
Meanwhile, CBD may offer a theoretically safer way of treating people with Hashimoto’s.
Can CBD oil help treat Hashimoto’s disease?
CBD is one of more than 115 cannabinoids that have been identified in cannabis plants. Unlike the other major cannabinoid, THC, CBD does not cause mind-altering effects when you take it. Researchers have discovered 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 reduced the amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are known to cause inflammatory reactions.
Cytokines have been identified as one of the contributing factors in the development 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 in the treatment of autoimmune conditions.
A 2020 study cited 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 reduce chronic inflammation in the body.
Another study showed that CBD is involved in regulating the inflammatory response and expression by acting on various receptors throughout the body. The authors noted that administering CBD to animals could inhibit the release of excess cytokines.
Since CBD can reduce the number of substances that cause inflammation, it can theoretically be used as an adjunctive treatment for Hashimoto’s – at least for symptom control.
However, there are no direct studies examining the impact of CBD on thyroid disorders, including Hashimoto’s disease. There are no clinical trials demonstrating 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 reports that specific receptors in the human body could regulate the production of cytokines. CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are components of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), are said to play a role in signalling that affects cytokines.
The ECS promotes and helps maintain homeostasis throughout the body. It regulates various physiological functions, including inflammation.
CBD affects ECS structures, particularly the CB2 receptor – which would explain its anti-inflammatory effects.
In addition to acting on CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD can also use other pathways that reduce inflammation.
Meanwhile, the authors of a 2015 study evaluating the role of ECS in thyroid tumors found that cannabinoid receptors are associated with tumor malignancy.
They concluded that CB1 and CB2 receptors are potential therapeutic targets for future therapies.
Another study also found that ECS CB1 receptors 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 is a possibility that it can be used to regulate thyroid conditions by acting on its structures.
However, more clinical studies in humans are needed to confirm the long-term efficacy of CBD in the treatment of Hashimoto’s disease.
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 said, CBD and the thyroid have more than just symptom control.
Besides, conventional treatments also focus on managing the symptoms of thyroid disorders.
Here’s why you may want to consider taking CBD for Hashimoto’s.
If the treatment is effective, this does not mean it is safe in the long term.
There are many treatments in modern medicine that have been proven effective – but cause negative side effects.
On the other hand, there are many treatments with the potential to cure Hashimoto’s while being very safe for our health.
The degree of safety of a medicine is referred to as its safety profile.
CBD has an excellent safety profile. Even doses as high as 1,500 mg given daily for several weeks did not cause dangerous side effects in patients.
The side effects of CBD are benign and include changes in appetite, dry mouth, dizziness and – in case of overuse – diarrhoea.
Any healthy food can cause these kinds of side effects if you take them in excessive amounts.
According to the WHO, CBD is safe and well tolerated in humans.
That said, CBD can interact with many pharmaceutical drugs. It can compromise the liver’s ability to metabolise these drugs, resulting in either very low or very high concentrations of the drug in the bloodstream.
If you are not sure if you can take CBD for Hashimoto’s along with your thyroid medications, consult a holistic doctor with experience using cannabis.
Additional Benefits Besides Hashimoto’s
Another reason to consider using CBD oil for Hashimoto’s is its versatility.
Drugs are made to affect specific enzymes or receptors and may not interact with other cellular components.
Unlike drugs, plant extracts such as CBD oil can act on many different molecular pathways. CBD has over 65 such targets. It helps one’s health a lot because of its various benefits.
Additional benefits may include:
- Reduced anxiety thanks to the regulation of GABA, serotonin and anandamide (Hashimoto’s patients often experience anxiety)
- Improved sleep as a result of regulation of the circadian rhythm (many thyroid patients suffer from insomnia)
- Reduced pain due to its analgesic properties (people with Hashimoto’s often have chronic pain)
- Reduced inflammation (inflammation affects the 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.
Complementary effects with other treatments
The current treatment paradigm for Hashimoto’s has forced many patients to seek natural alternative treatments because it is just a typical “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 look at the big picture, you will notice that Hashimoto’s requires a multi-faceted approach, not just a miracle pill.
Changing your diet, reducing stress and supplementing with CBD oil can help your body get back on track and heal itself from excessive 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 function of your ECS – translating to more efficient management of vital functions throughout the body.
This, in addition to an anti-inflammatory diet, proper stress hygiene and an active lifestyle, can help you achieve better results for your overall thyroid health.
Key findings on the use of CBD for Hashimoto‘s
CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain, pointing to it 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 disease. Several studies have shown that CBD can prevent excessive 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 hormone glands – including the thyroid. By modulating cannabinoid receptors, CBD can act as an adaptogen – regulating the production of thyroid hormones.
More clinical trials are needed to confirm the efficacy of CBD for Hashimoto’s in the long term, but the current findings are, at least, promising.
You can also use CBD oil to help with other symptoms associated with Hashimoto’s, such as anxiety, pain, sleep problems and low energy levels.
Always consult a doctor before purchasing a CBD product for any condition. Doing so will help you figure out the best CBD dose for your condition and avoid potential CBD-drug interactions.
Source : https://cfah.org