Updated on December 10, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid condition that can be accompanied by many different symptoms and associated complications. It’s characterized by the overproduction of hormones by the thyroid gland in the neck.
One of the primary causes of hyperthyroidism is a disorder known as Graves’ disease. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease where the body’s own immune system produces an antibody that mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland causing hyperthyroidism.
Another complication that can develop because of Graves’ disease is Grave’s ophthalmopathy, which occurs in 30 percent of patients with the condition. This complication leads to eye issues such as pain, pressure or red, bulging eyes. Most doctors prescribe medications or procedures that address the overactive thyroid. However, this doesn’t immediately treat the eye pressure caused by Graves’ ophthalmopathy.
Medical marijuana has been known to treat the eye pressure caused by glaucoma, but it could also help patients with Graves’ ophthalmopathy. This is a great solution for patients waiting for their hyperthyroidism medication to address their overactive thyroid. However, since cannabis also treats some of the other symptoms caused by hyperthyroidism, it could be an effective treatment in and of itself.
When a patient develops Graves’ disease, the immune system goes into overdrive and begins making unfortunate mistakes. Not only do antibodies that are supposed to protect the body go after healthy tissue in the thyroid gland, but they also seem drawn to other soft tissue — namely those surrounding the eyes.
When this happens, a series of different eye-related symptoms can develop, including:
Medical marijuana’s healthful benefits are tied to how it interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system features a series of receptors and bodily chemicals called cannabinoids that work together to bring balance to our bodily functions. They impact such things as immune response, inflammation, pain modulation and more.
Researchers have found that the chemical components of marijuana, mainly the cannabinoids THC and CBD, can bind to our body’s ECS receptors and produce surprising medicinal benefits. One of these is the reduction of interocular or eye pressure. They’re not exactly sure how cannabis works to reduce eye pressure, but it may have something to do with ECS receptors located in the ocular tissues of the eye.
Since the 1970s, the medical world has explored using medical marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma because of its ability to reduce eye pressure. Although further research is required to make it a more efficient option, many medical professionals are hopeful that cannabis-based medications could be the key to eradicating interocular pressure.
However, on top of being a treatment for the pressure itself, patients with hyperthyroidism also benefit from marijuana’s other medicinal qualities. It’s ability to stabilize immune response and reduce inflammation make it a great solution for Graves’ ophthalmopathy since the condition is caused by an autoimmune disorder and creates inflammation.
In most states, cannabis is only legally available to patients who join their medical marijuana program. However, to get an MMJ card, you must first have a consultation with a qualified physician. Not only can they assess your condition and determine if you meet your state’s requirements, but they also can guide you through your cannabis selection process and answer any questions you may have you’re your hyperthyroidism is starting to create adverse side effects, contact a marijuana doctor today.
For more information about how cannabis can be used to treat Hyperthyroidism, check out our resources: