Medical Marijuana and Acquired Hyperthyroidism

What is Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland goes into overdrive and produces way too much thyroxine – a hormone. Don’t worry about the ‘acquired’ bit of the name, which just means it’s something you’ve developed and not something you were born with. You may also hear it referred to as Grave’s Disease,  an acquired hyperthyroidism that involves the eyes.

Diagnosis of hyperthyroidism is made by measuring the amount of thyroxin (T4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in your blood.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Goiter (visibly enlarged thyroid gland) or thyroid nodules
  • Heat intolerance
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased sweating
  • Irregular menstrual periods in women
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Weight loss (rarely, weight gain)

Beware when having workups for other conditions, hyperthyroidism may affect the results of the following tests:

  • Cholesterol test
  • Glucose test
  • Radioactive iodine uptake
  • T3RU
  • Triglycerides
  • Vitamin B12 (in rare cases)

Standard Treatment for Hyperthyroidism

How the condition is treated depends on the cause and the severity of symptoms. Hyperthyroidism is usually treated with one or more of the following:

  • Antithyroid medications
  • Radioactive iodine (which destroys the thyroid and stops the excess production of hormones)
  • Surgery to remove the thyroid

If the thyroid must be removed with surgery or destroyed with radiation, you must take thyroid hormone replacement pills for the rest of your life.

Beta-blockers such as Propranolol are used to treat some of the symptoms, including rapid heart rate, sweating, and anxiety until the hyperthyroidism can be controlled.

How Marijuana can help Hyperthyroidism

A study undertaken in 1984 by Harclerode J. revealed that THC, one of marijuana’s active ingredients, depresses the function of the thyroid gland.

Marijuana is also useful in treating the following symptoms of hyperthyroidism and Grave’s disease:

  • Increased eye pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness / nervousness
  • Increased heart rate

Sativa strains are probably better for daytime use, and Indica is preferable for the late afternoon or evening. This is because Indica-heavy strains of marijuana are the ones that typically cause couch lock or extreme relaxation, whereas the Sativa strains have a more stimulating action. You can read up about the different strains of marijuana and how best to grow them at

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