Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound present in the cannabis plant. While more research is necessary, some evidence suggests that CBD may interact with the thyroid gland and may also help to alleviate symptoms of some thyroid conditions.

CBD is one of the most well-known cannabinoids present in the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike another well-known cannabinoid — delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — CBD does not result in a “high” sensation. While research is ongoing, evidence suggests that CBD may provide health benefits.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland present in the front of the neck. It plays an important role in regulating metabolism by producing hormones. If a person develops a thyroid condition, it can negatively affect their health due to hormonal imbalances.

Some evidence suggests that CBD may also have a role in hormonal regulation. As such, it may provide an alternative option to managing thyroid hormones. Additionally, it may help relieve some symptoms of thyroid conditions. However, more research is necessary and a person should consult a doctor before using any CBD products.

In this article, we will discuss the connection between CBD and the thyroid gland and whether it may be beneficial for supporting thyroid health.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

CBD is one of the many active compounds, or cannabinoids, within the cannabis plant. While research is still in the early stages, evidence indicates that these compounds could be helpful in treating conditions and their associated symptoms. As such, CBD may have the potential to support thyroid health.

The endocrine and endocannabinoid systems

The thyroid gland is one of the 8 major glands that comprise the endocrine system. This term refers to the system that produces and secretes a number of hormones in the body. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) describes a biological system that also regulates and balances key bodily functions. Two important components of this system include endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors.

Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring chemicals in the body with a similar structure to cannabinoids. Both endocannabinoids and cannabinoids can bind to cannabinoid receptors and cause different results depending on the location of the receptor in the body. As such, some evidence suggests the ECS may interrelate with the endocrine system and may influence the performance of the thyroid gland.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism refers to an overactive thyroid. This means the thyroid produces more thyroid hormones than necessary. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include anxiety, sleeping difficulties, and hand tremors.

Evidence notes that CBD could be beneficial for treating and managing anxiety, sleeping problems, and movement disorders. Therefore, CBD may offer an alternative option for relieving these symptoms.

Click here to learn more about CBD and anxiety, as well as CBD and sleep.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism instead describes an underactive thyroid. This means the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones to meet the body’s requirements. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include joint and muscle pain, as well as dry skin.

Evidence suggests that CBD could be an effective treatment option for reducing pain. Research notes that it may be beneficial for both joint and muscle pain. CBD might also benefit skin health and could help relieve dry skin.

Click here to learn more about CBD and pain, as well as CBD and skin.

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It is a type of autoimmune disease that involves chronic inflammation of the thyroid. Evidence highlights that CBD possesses anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it may help to reduce thyroid inflammation.

Click here to learn more about CBD and inflammation.

Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer is uncommon cancer that develops in the thyroid cells. The type of thyroid cancer varies depending on which cells it affects.

Evidence notes that the ECS could play a role in the treatment of thyroid cancer. While more research is necessary, some sources note that cannabinoid receptors may interfere with molecular pathways in the development of thyroid cancer, and could be potential therapeutic targets to suppress tumor progression. Other research highlights that CBD has potential as an anticancer drug.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD is generally well-tolerated and has a good safety profile. Additionally, evidence does not suggest that CBD negatively impacts the function of the thyroid. For example, a 2017 study could not find an association between thyroid problems and cannabis usage.

However, some evidence notes that CBD may alter the effects of other drugs. For example, CBD and some thyroid drugs may compete for metabolism, and they both require the cytochrome P450 pathway to metabolize. Notably, CBD may compete with a hypothyroidism drug known as levothyroxine.

While there is great interest in the therapeutic potential of CBD and health experts note that it is generally well-tolerated, it may also have some side effects. It’s also important to consider the dosage, potency, route of administration, and possible drug interactions. Potential side effects of CBD may include:

  • drowsiness or other changes in alertness
  • digestive problems, such as diarrhea and decreased appetite
  • changes in mood, such as irritability and agitation

It can be difficult to prevent some thyroid gland conditions, as people cannot modify known risk factors, such as genetics. However, a person can take certain measures to reduce the likelihood.

For example, to reduce the risk of hypothyroidism, people can try to consume sufficient iodine, as it plays an essential role in thyroid functioning. As the body does not produce iodine, people must eat foods containing iodine or take dietary supplements. However, it is important that people do not exceed a daily amount of 150 micrograms (mcg), as too much iodine can result in thyroid gland inflammation and thyroid cancer.

CBD is an important chemical compound that naturally occurs in the cannabis plant and may provide health benefits.

Some research suggests that CBD may support thyroid health and could reduce symptoms of certain thyroid conditions. However, more research is necessary to confirm these findings. As CBD may interact with certain thyroid drugs, it is advisable for a person to consult with their doctor before using any CBD products.