Guest Blog post by Dr. Mingma Sony, King Harvest


Cannabidiol (CBD) may help improve thyroid health and successfully treat thyroid problems. This is due to interactions between the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the thyroid. Also, the ECS is a possible therapeutic target for hormone production regulation. In this article, we’ll go over the potential advantages CBD may have on thyroid health.


What Is the Thyroid Gland?

The thyroid is a gland situated low at the front of the neck. It produces vital hormones that play a role in numerous functions in the body.  It regulates the body’s metabolic processes, which help maintain heart, muscle, and digestive function. It also aids in brain development and bone maintenance. Its functions depend on a healthy supply of iodine from the diet.

The thyroid gland produces two hormones: T4 (thyroxine, which includes four iodine atoms) and T3 (thyroxine, which contains three iodine atoms). These two hormones regulate the metabolism and tell the body’s cells how much energy to use. When your thyroid is functioning properly, it will produce the appropriate amount of hormones to keep the metabolism running smoothly. When it’s not, it can cause a variety of negative health effects.  


Types of Thyroid Diseases

Thyroid disease can be broadly divided into hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and thyroid tumors.  These conditions can be caused by other issues that influence the way the thyroid gland works. Every person’s thyroid condition may vary and be unique, like a custom tapestry.  


Conditions that can cause hypothyroidism include:

    • Thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid gland, that can cause underproduction of thyroid hormones.
    • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: An autoimmune condition where the body’s cells attack and damage the thyroid.
    • Postpartum thyroiditis: Occurs in some women after childbirth.
    • Iodine deficiency: Inadequate levels of the element iodine, which can cause the thyroid gland to enlarge over time.
    • Non-functioning thyroid gland


Conditions that cause hyperthyroidism include: 

    • Graves’ disease: Caused by an overactive thyroid that produces too many hormones.
    • Thyroid nodules: Can cause inflammation and irregular production of thyroid hormones.
    • Excess iodine intake


The Endocannabinoid System and the Thyroid Gland

Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids), and proteins responsible for their metabolism make up the endocannabinoid system.  This system plays a variety of roles in homeostatic regulation in many tissues of the body. It also possesses antitumor effects. Homeostasis is when the body has a stable internal environment, which is critical for all living organisms, and homeostatic regulation is the body making changes to the systems within a cell to reach homeostasis. CBD and other cannabinoids can help with the symptoms of thyroid disease. This includes symptoms such as skin issues, inflammation, pain, anxiety and depression, weight gain, and poor energy levels. It can also help treat Hashimoto’s disease by fighting inflammation. A study conducted in 2015 showed that CB1 and CB2 receptors were more expressed in papillary carcinomas. And CB2 was more expressed in thyroid lesions that had metastasis.  This may mean that CB receptors could play a role in malignant thyroid transformation, and that the CB2 receptor, in particular, could be used as a biomarker and therapeutic target in thyroid neoplasia.  More research on CBD could reveal that it can antagonize these receptors and potentially inhibit the growth of malignant cells in the thyroid. 


What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most common active component in cannabis or marijuana. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not contain psychoactive properties and instead has healing characteristics that can be used in many ways. CBD is sold as a supplement in a variety of forms including full extract cannabis oil (FECO), gummies, and tinctures. Here are the five possible benefits of CBD for thyroid health:

1. Maintain Hormonal Balance

Endocannabinoids can help maintain and regulate various parts of the endocrine system, including the thyroid. Researchers found CB1 receptors functioning in the thyroid gland of rodents. These receptors can influence the production of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Cannabinoid receptors have also been discovered in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), a region of the brain that connects to the pituitary gland and stimulates it to generate hormones for the adrenal glands, gonads, and thyroid gland. CBD interacts indirectly with these receptors, showing potential for treating thyroid illnesses, particularly hormonal imbalances.

2. Decrease Anxiety

Anxiety can be a result of thyroid disorders. CBD has shown to be effective as an acute treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  CBD can act as an agonist to the 5-HT1A receptor, which controls serotonin secretion. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, relaxation, and well-being. Regular exercise also releases serotonin and dopamine, so it’s important to include fitness goals with any supplemental regimen. Forty percent of gym members enroll in group classes, which is a great way to exercise, socialize, and improve anxiety.

3. Regulate Sleep

Thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism can cause sleep disorders. An individual may have trouble falling asleep and feeling rested.  CBD has shown promise as an aid in treating sleep disorders and insomnia. This may be due to CBD induced activation of 5-HT1A receptors.  Additionally, CBD is also known to decrease cortisol levels in the blood, which can help decrease stress and help the patient fall asleep faster. 

4. Improve Wakefulness

In some cases of hypothyroidism, the patient may feel drowsy or have a hard time paying attention.  In low doses, CBD can act as a wakefulness-inducing drug. Lower doses taken in the morning may help to alleviate anxiety as well as boost energy and attention, resulting in increased productivity.  Increasing alertness throughout the day helps our bodies receive signals that they have completed their tasks for the day and that it is time to retire for the night.  CBD supplementation can assist the body in maintaining melatonin levels—the hormone that aids in the body’s ability to fall asleep. This allows the body to recharge completely and thus have a more successful day.

5. CBD Can Decrease Inflammation

Thyroiditis is the inflammation of the thyroid gland. It can cause problems such as weight loss, trouble sleeping, rapid heart rate, fatigue, and muscle weakness.  CBD can help decrease inflammation levels in the body by lowering pro-inflammatory cytokines, inhibiting T-cell proliferation, causing T-cell apoptosis, and inhibiting immune cell migration and adhesion.  CBD also works as an antioxidant that can protect your cells against free radicals which may worsen disease.  Both actions could help you lead a more active lifestyle, with more energy to perform daily activities. 

In Conclusion

CBD with its anxiety-relieving, hormone balancing, and anti-inflammatory properties may help relieve symptoms of thyroid disorders.  


About the Author

Dr. Mingma Sony is a board-certified clinical doctor and expert writer at King Harvest.  Mingma currently works as a medical officer in the emergency department at Mahendra Narayan Nidhi Hospital and helps many patients daily.