Can Medical Marijuana Treat Thyroid Conditions?
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If you are unsure if you qualify for your Florida Medical Marijuana card, this survey will determine if you are eligible for a physician’s approval. If you have any additional questions about the Florida Medical Marijuana Program you can visit this FAQ page to learn more.
What is the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland is an important hormone gland. It plays a large role in the metabolism, growth, and development of the body. It regulates multiple body functions by releasing a steady amount of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. If the body needs more energy in certain situations, like during pregnancy, the thyroid gland will produce more hormones.
This butterfly shaped organ is found at the front of the neck, right under the larynx. The two side lobes wrap around the trachea and are joined at the front by a thin piece of tissue. Individual lobes that make up the thyroid tissue contain large amounts of small sacs called follicles that store the hormones.
The thyroid gland produces three hormones:
- Triiodothyronine, also known as T3
- Tetraiodothyronine, also called thyroxine or T4
Iodine is one of the essential ingredients of both thyroid hormones. Since our bodies can not produce iodine on its own we have to get enough of it through our diets. It is absorbed into our bloodstream through the bowel during digestion. The iodine is then carried to the thyroid gland, where it is then used to make the hormones.
Over and Underactive Thyroids
An overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, occurs if the thyroid gland makes too many hormones, while an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) occurs when it doesn’t make enough of the hormones. Both of these imbalances can lead to a great number of symptoms and other health complications. 
The thyroid can also grow in size too. The whole gland becomes enlarged, and sometimes grows individual lumps known as nodules. Thyroid scintigraphy can be used to determine if these nodules are producing the right amounts of hormones. When they make more hormones than the rest of the thyroid tissue,they are called “hot” nodules and when they make less they are called “cold” nodules.
In the majority of cases, having nodules or an enlarged thyroid are not a result of a serious condition and are only rarely cancer. It is still important to see a doctor if you notice any changes in your thyroid gland as it can be a range of health concerns.
Common Thyroid Conditions
There are two main types of thyroid disease,hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Both of these conditions can be caused by other conditions that impact the functionality of the thyroid gland.
Conditions that can cause hyperthyroidism include: 
- Thyroiditis: This disorder can be either painful or not felt at all. In thyroiditis, the thyroid releases hormones that were stored there. This can last for a few weeks or months.
- Graves’ disease: In this condition the entire thyroid gland might be overactive and produce too much hormone. This problem is also called diffuse toxic goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).
- Nodules: If the nodules on your thyroid are overactive it can cause hyperthyroidism. A single nodule is known as a toxic autonomously functioning thyroid nodule, while a gland with several nodules is a toxic multinodular goiter.
- Excessive iodine: When you produce too much iodine the thyroid makes more thyroid hormones than necessary. Excessive iodine can be found in some medications and cough syrups.
Conditions that can cause hypothyroidism include: 
- Thyroiditis: This condition is inflammation of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis lowers the amount of hormones produced by the thyroid.
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where the body’s cells attack and damage the thyroid. This is an inherited condition and usually does not cause any type of pain.
- Postpartum thyroiditis: This condition occurs in 5% to 9% of women after childbirth and is typically temporary.
- Iodine deficiency: Iodine is used by the thyroid to produce hormones.
- A non-functioning thyroid gland: Sometimes, the thyroid gland doesn’t work correctly from birth. This affects around 1 in 4,000 newborns and if left untreated, the child could have both physical and mental issues in the future. Every newborn is given a blood test in the hospital after birth to check their thyroid function.
Common Symptoms of Thyroid Conditions
While marijuana has not shown to cure thyroid issues, it can help manage symptoms caused by the different thyroid conditions. There are a variety of symptoms one could experience if you have a thyroid disease and symptoms of a thyroid condition are often similar to the signs of other medical conditions. This can make it difficult to determine if the symptoms are related to a thyroid issue or something else.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include:
- Weight loss.
- Muscle weakness and/or tremors.
- Feeling sensitive to heat.
- Having vision problems or eye irritation.
- Irregular menstrual periods or having no menstrual cycle at all..
Symptoms of an hypothyroidism can include:
- Weight gain.
- Having dry and coarse hair.
- Hoarse sounding voice.
- Intolerance to cold temperatures.
- Having frequent and heavy menstrual periods.
Cannabis for Thyroid Conditions
A group of scientists performed a cross-sectional analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted between 2007 and 2012 to analyze the effects of marijuana on thyroid function and autoimmunity in users. There were a total of 5,280 adults ages 18 to 69 years, who answered a questionnaire related to marijuana use and had laboratory results related to thyroid parameters. 
The scientists categorized the subjects as nonusers, past users, and recent users and compared recent users with nonusers and past users and calculated the ratios for the clinically significant thyroid dysfunction in those groups.
Fifty-four percent of subjects reported lifetime cannabis use, with fifteen percent using it recently. The analysis showed that recent marijuana users had significantly lower levels of elevated thyrotropin and positive anti-thyroperoxidase antibody in comparison to the nonusers/past users. The scientists determined that recent marijuana had no association with thyroid dysfunction but was significantly associated with lower levels of TSH.
Managing Symptoms of Thyroid Conditions with Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana for thyroid disorders can treat a range of symptoms caused by thyroid conditions.
- Thyroid Hormone Imbalance: Research shows cannabinoids in marijuana for thyroid disorders play a significant role in hyperthyroidism and the regulation of the endocrine system. Hyperthyroidism is an imbalance in your body’s normal hormone levels and marijuana helps maintain the body’s homeostasis.
- Depression and Anxiety. Thyroid imbalances can also cause anxiety and depression, CBD and small amounts of THC have been shown to help manage both.
- Inflammation: Particular thyroid disorders cause inflammation of the thyroid gland. Cannabinoids have been shown to reduce inflammation in a variety of conditions.
- Pain: Cannabis can help decrease pain levels associated with thyroid conditions..
- Fatigue: Certain strains can help with fatigue as the terpenes can produce energizing effects.
How to Qualify for a Florida Medical Marijuana Card.
Qualifying for your Florida Medical Marijana Card is a quick and simple process if you have been previously diagnosed with a qualifying condition. The following conditions have been approved by the Department of Health: 
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to the others listed.
- A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification.
- Chronic nonmalignant pain caused by a qualifying medical condition or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition.
A Qualified Patient Must Also:
- Be a permanent or seasonal Florida resident
- Be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by a qualified physician
- Be entered into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry
- Obtain a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card
If you are still unsure if you are eligible for a Medical Marijuana Recommendation, this survey will tell you in minutes if you pre-qualify. If you are ready to book an appointment, this scheduler will show you if there are any appointments available near you.