When we think of hormonal imbalances, many associate them with unstable emotions, acne, or bloating. In reality, however, having too much or too few hormones have far-reaching effects on our general health and quality of life.
Hormones are chemical messengers that can interact with the receptors of various body organs and tissues. The endocrine system produces and releases dozens of hormones, mainly through the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, gonads, adrenal glands, pancreas, and thyroid gland.
According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), around 20 million people in the country suffer from disorders related to the thyroid—an endocrinal gland responsible for producing and secreting various hormones that affect almost every critical bodily process.
Numerous research studies have been conducted over the years to uncover how we can ensure the health and proper functioning of the thyroid gland. One promising area involves the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which can be influenced by CBD (cannabidiol) and other cannabis plant compounds.
In this article, we will discuss how you can harness the power of cannabinoids to address hormonal imbalances and lower the risk of developing other severe thyroid conditions. However, since the ATA stated that 60% of those with these afflictions aren’t aware of them in the first place, we believe it’s critical to provide an overview of the signs and symptoms you should look out for.
Understanding Hormonal Imbalances
Women are five to eight times more likely to experience this condition than men. This figure increases further as they enter the menopausal period. Nonetheless, everyone can suffer from hormonal imbalances due to different reasons. Find out if you’re one of them by going through the list of the critical indicators that your hormones or their secreting glands are not functioning correctly.
- Blurred vision
- Decreased libido
- Dry skin
- Elevated or slow heart rate
- Excessive hair fall
- Excessive sweating
- Higher levels of thirst or hunger
- Increased sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures
- Inexplicable and/or sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Stiff or painful joints
- More frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate or defecate
- Muscle aches and weakness
Take note that possessing one or a few of these signs and symptoms does not automatically mean that the cause is hormonal imbalance. They might be due to other chronic health conditions. Therefore, it’s best to seek confirmation from a medical professional if you’re going through any of these conditions.
You will first undergo a physical examination, and they will inquire about the timeline. Depending on their assessment, they might recommend you to undergo various tests, including blood tests, ultrasound, and thyroid scan.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?
Since hormones may originate from different glands, the root cause of the signs and symptoms may be traced back to various health conditions. One probable cause is a stressful lifestyle. Those taking certain medications like birth control pills or undergoing cancer treatments may also experience hormonal imbalance as one of the adverse side effects.
Problems can also arise depending on the gland’s activity. For instance, an overactive thyroid gland leads to hyperthyroidism. On the other end of the spectrum is hypothyroidism, which happens when the thyroid slows down.
The hormones released by the thyroid gland can influence the following internal processes:
- Body and brain development during childhood
- Body temperature
- Basal metabolic rate
- Heart rate regulation
- Ovulation and fertility among women
- Muscle development
Other probable causes of hormonal imbalances that are unique to women occur when they enter specific life stages. It can be as early as puberty or during pregnancy. Breastfeeding mothers and menopausal women may also become afflicted with this health condition.
Can CBD Make a Difference?
Though research on the therapeutic benefits of CBD still has a long way to go, some experts have noted that it can help manage hormonal imbalances. To understand how, let’s first discuss how the interrelation of ECS and the endocrine system makes this possible.
ECS is one of the lesser-known body systems, but that doesn’t mean that they have a minor role in our daily lives. Recently, however, a growing number of people have become more attuned to it because the ECS affects our homeostasis—or simply our internal balance. With the endocannabinoids and the network of receptors all over the body, the ECS helps us:
- Enhance our defenses against disease-causing viruses and bacteria
- Improve digestive health
- Maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle
- Reduce pain and inflammation
- Regulate the hormone production
The ECS influences the endocrine system because the CB1 and CB2 ECS receptors can be found in the significant hormone-secreting glands. Studies have demonstrated how endocannabinoids can alter the rate of production and release of hormones.
That’s where CBD comes in.
Cannabidiol originates from the cannabis plant, just like the infamous THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The latter is considered a controlled substance to this day, but CBD derived from the hemp plant and contains no more than 0.3% THC has been declared legal by the federal government. As a result, CBD products have risen to stardom as natural alternatives to conventional health solutions.
We haven’t fully understood how CBD interacts with ECS because it does not bind to receptors like THC. However, it can influence the CB1 and CB2 receptors without triggering a psychoactive state. Because of this, experts suggest that cannabidiol can:
- Increase or decrease hormone production
- Enhance or diminish the sensitivity of the endocrine glands
- Quicken or slow down the breakdown of hormones
Given these, we can say that taking CBD can help balance your hormones. Let’s look at the various studies detailing the positive impacts of these cannabinoids on some of the major hormones.
CBD and Cortisol
Commonly referred to as the stress hormone, cortisol isn’t inherently wrong. In small amounts, it can serve us well when facing an emergency. However, too much of it for an extended period leads to anxiety disorders. One of the primary benefits of CBD is lowering our stress levels. According to experts, this cannabinoid can stop the production and secretion of cortisol through its influence on the CB1 receptors.
CBD and Estrogen
Estrogen plays a considerable role, particularly among women, because it influences the health and development of their reproductive system. Research indicates that CBD has strong anti-estrogenic properties. It can prevent its breakdown and thus reduce its presence in the body. Experts believe that CBD may effectively prevent or treat breast cancer, but more studies involving human or animal subjects are still needed to verify this.
CBD and Testosterone
Testosterone is responsible for men’s physical and sexual development, especially during puberty. That’s why many assume this hormone is gender-specific. However, experts have refuted this by showing how important it is in the healthy functioning of women’s ovaries and bone formation, among others.
A study shows that CBD can reduce testosterone levels, but only in extremely high amounts. Despite the lack of evidence, some believe that CBD indirectly increases testosterone production by eliminating inflammations and reducing stress—two factors known for inhibiting normal hormone activities.
CBD and Thyroid Hormones
The thyroid gland is home to numerous CB1 and CB2 receptors. Though further research is required, preliminary findings indicate that CBD’s contribution to the production of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), T3, and T4 depends on the gland’s activity. That means whether you have an overactive or underactive thyroid, CBD can influence the ECS system to prevent hormone fluctuations in your system.
In addition to this, cannabidiol can be effective in treating or eliminating the symptoms brought about by thyroid conditions. For example, people suffering from hyperthyroidism experience difficulties in sleeping, elevated anxiety, and shaky hands. CBD has demonstrated its effectiveness in addressing such issues, provided that you take it regularly and in the correct dosage.
On the other hand, hypothyroidism can lead to pain in the muscle tissues and joints. CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties when applied directly to the affected areas.
Important Tips and Reminders Before Using CBD
If you’re convinced that CBD can help you better manage your hormones and improve your thyroid health, you must take heed of the following critical points to ensure your health and safety and prevent this plan from backfiring. Remember, a tiny change in your hormonal balance can have rippling effects on your overall health and wellness.
Beware of the interaction between CBD and thyroid medication
Even though the WHO (World Health Organization) deemed CBD safe, you must first seek the opinion of your medical health provider before taking it. Studies show that adverse side effects might occur if CBD interacts with other medications, such as antidepressants, stimulants, and antihistamines.
CBD can also prevent them from working as intended, thus causing more severe health problems. Therefore, we encourage discussing your intentions to use CBD with your physician and listening well to their recommendations.
Look for trusted and reliable CBD brands
Despite the FDA’s statements on CBD, the industry remains underregulated. New companies seem to sprout day by day, offering a myriad of choices to the willing consumers. As tempting as it is to try what they offer, we recommend sticking to the leading CBD companies widely known for releasing quality hemp-derived products and providing excellent customer service.
These brands also guarantee our peace of mind by giving access to the products’ test results from third-party labs. If you want a head-start on which brands you can trust, we compiled our reviews of the top CBD brands and companies.
Choose full-spectrum CBD oil to address hormonal imbalance
CBD comes in different forms and potencies these days. Many enjoy smoking or vaping, but these methods have added complications from the heat and other chemicals involved. A lot of beginners consume CBD as gummies or capsules because they are convenient and portable. However, their applications are pretty limited compared to the classic CBD oil. You can take the oil on its own or mix it with your favorite food or beverages.
We also suggest choosing products made of full-spectrum CBD extract rather than broad-spectrum or isolates. Though the latter two also promise to bring you the therapeutic benefits of CBD, the full-spectrum variant can take things up a notch because of the so-called “entourage effect” brought about by the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and natural plant compounds.
Maintaining the balance within can be easier and more achievable with the help of CBD. Though we need more extensive studies to understand its therapeutic benefits fully, we have ample evidence supporting its potential in addressing our hormones and thyroid gland issues.
These health conditions can impact anyone at any time. There are plenty of treatments and preventive measures that we can do, but even the tried-and-tested methods require some experimentation because of our differing responses and chemical makeups.
Therefore, the safest course of action—whether you intend to make lifestyle changes, undergo treatments, or take CBD—is to consult with your doctor first. You don’t have to suffer in silence and wait for the symptoms to disappear on their own. With careful research and under the watch of a medical expert, you can find a solution for hormonal imbalance that works well for you.
If you want to learn more about the recommended CBD products that will help you manage the symptoms and promote a healthy endocrine system, speak to our team here at TheCBDGuru.com or check out our reviews of the best CBD products of 2022.