Can CBD oil help Hashimoto's?

Welcome to episode 56. 

I have a question that I think could be good for your podcast. I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism (presence of TPO antibodies but only at 10) and came across your podcast in my research. 

I was wondering what you thought about the use of CBD oil to treat autoimmune diseases, Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism. I haven’t found a lot of research on it, but I’m always interested in anything that has the potential to reduce inflammation. 

Thank you!  Tiffany

Well Tiffany, this is a good question. I’ve tried CBD myself and have not found much of a difference but that doesn’t mean you won’t.   

Let’s talk a bit about what CBD is. Cannabis sativa L. plant has around 750 chemical compounds of which more than 100 are cannabinoids. THC which is what has a psychotropic effect on you when you take it, and cannabidiol or CBD are the most plentiful chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. 

Both of these have a lot of therapeutic effects and when taken together, they work together. CBD has been found very useful for treating all kinds of chronic illness including seizures, cancers. 

CBD has no mind altering properties to it but it does have really great anti-inflammatory properties so in the case of autoimmune disease in general it may be very helpful. CBD is also a great anti-oxidant, anti-seizure, helps with inflammation in joints, muscles and fibrous tissues, helps keep you from vomiting or being nauseous and has properties to it that make it antibacterial. 

CBD is found in hemp seeds and fiber but probably so low that you would have to consume a fair amount of the seeds to get the effects of the cannabinoid. 

We have receptors all over the body for cannabinoid which causes a physiological response to CBD and other biologically active compounds found in cannabis along with the cannabinoids our own body naturally produces. 

In 1992 a whole entire system called the endocannabinoid receptor system was discovered. This means we make our own cannabinoids. 

Some studies show that CBD is not toxic even at high doses but it can affect how your liver processes some drugs- actually stopping metabolism of other drugs causing you to need more and more of the drug.  Other studies have shown it can affect your fertility. Low doses may be stimulating and high doses of CBD can cause the opposite effect. 

Let’s talk a bit more about the endocannabinoid receptor system. 

We are made up of trillions of cells. Those cells make up tissues which make up organs which make up systems. We have a cardiovascular system, and immune system, endocrine system, nervous system and so on.  The cells that make up your nervous system will talk to another system through neurotransmitters, hormones, cells and even drugs to cause things to happen in the nervous system as well as other systems. So stress of any kind will affect the nervous system which will also affect the immune system and the chemical messaging endocannabinoid system. 

This system helps the nervous system cells talk to each other and their environment which has a goal of achieving balance or homeostasis throughout the body.  Apparently it plays a general role in our health but especially is important to our brain and immune system. 

This endocannabinoid system influences to some degree the immune system to help protect us from autoimmune disease and to reduce inflammation. 

I found one study particularly for cannabinoids and autoimmune disease but when I pulled it up it was all in Hebrew, literally. There is a ton of research on it for schizophrenia and other brain type disorders as well as pain management. 

Where cannabinoids may be helpful for us is in regulating the immune system, in how they affect the brain and as an anti-inflammatory. It helps to keep the immune cells in our brain in check but other studies show it can raise the Th-1 response and if you are Th-1 dominant that can be a problem but that it can also help the immune system behave. 

So as with everything, you can give it a try and pay close attention to how your body responds. It is not the panacea it is made out to be, that is for sure. 

Also, be aware that many products on the market are testing negative for CBD according to a 2015 study and 70% of online CBD products are testing negative or are mislabled.  Get it from a trusted source. Personally I cannot recommend any products.