Lyme Disease and CBD Oil
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by a type of bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (B. burgdorferi). Humans pick up the B. burgdorferi bacteria as a result of a bite from a black-legged or deer tick. These ticks can only transmit the disease once they become infected themselves, and this tends to happen after they feed on mice or deer that are infected.
The infection is slowly transmitted as it requires the tick to be present on the skin for anywhere between 24 to 48 hours. Unfortunately, the presence of the tick and the resulting bite are so subtle that many infected persons are unable to recall being bitten.
Basic Overview of the Symptoms, Stages, and Diagnosis of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a progressive disease, and the progression passes through three stages. These are:
- Stage one – early localized
- Stage two – early disseminated
- Stage three – late disseminated
The early localized stage is the initial stage, and symptoms begin to emerge one or two weeks after the bite occurs. The first telling sign that typically occurs is erythema migrans. This is a painless, non-itching rash that forms around the site of the tick bite. It is an indicator of the fact that the B. burgdorferi bacteria are multiplying throughout the bloodstream.
The early disseminated stage beings several weeks after the bite occurs. At this stage, the bacteria has begun to spread throughout the body. Typically, this results in erythema migrans in other areas, chills, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes, vision issues, muscle pains, headaches, and a feeling of overall unwellness.
The late disseminated stage usually comes about when the disease remains untreated throughout the other stages. Depending on the individual, this stage can happen in weeks, months, or even years after the bite occurs. At this point, symptoms become more severe and dangerous. The symptoms experienced here are short-term memory loss, concentration issues, arthritis, encephalopathy, conversational issues, limb numbness, and severe headaches.
Doctors diagnose Lyme disease using a physical exam, health history review, blood tests, and an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test.
Cannabidiol (CBD) and Lyme Disease
Unfortunately, while there is much known about Lyme disease, there is still much that is yet to be understood. This is particularly true for those who have chronic Lyme disease.
This has resulted in varying success of conventional treatment methods and, often causes patients to seek out alternative treatment methods. Perhaps one of the most popular of these thus far is CBD.
The cannabis plant has long been no more than a way for people to get stoned. The hemp plant has hundreds of uses from textiles to topical extracts. However, the intricacies of the plant mean that it has quite a bit more to offer than just the “stoned” part supplied by the THC in cannabis (but very little to none in industrial hemp, used in most CBD products you find online) There are compounds synthesized by cannabis that are known as phytocannabinoids. In total, there are over 480; however, most people are only aware of the effects of the cannaninoid known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, such as becoming high or euphoric. THC has also been proven to promote better sleep patterns, reduce pain, improve appetite, and mitigate nausea. However, the side effects mean that some people may try to stay away from THC, or they may have a job that requires drug testing. It’s also advisable not to operate machinery and limit your liability if ingesting anything with high THC.
In the past, the non-THC phytocannabinoids were thought to be inactive at best; however, more recent research in the last 20 years is convincingly proving that this is not the case. Many of the cannabinoids have been shown in numerous studies to have a variety of possible health benefits. Unfortunately, due to the legal status of hemp and cannabis in many countries, we still desperately need more research done to confirm many of these findings in real human studies.
CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which runs throughout the entire body has and receptors. These receptors can be broken divided into two categories, known as CB1 and CB2. The distinction depends on the location of the receptors and their associated purpose.
CB1 receptors can be found on organs such as the brain, and various bodily systems such as the nervous system. Their primary purpose is to control neural function by regulating the brain’s neurotransmitter release. These receptors have a default release level, which varies from person to person. This release controls functions such as the perception of pain, and CBD alters the default levels so that they are more balanced. As an example, CBD can reduce pain by essentially having the pain receptors of the brain reduce its sensitivity to pain detection. CB1 also receptors allow for the psychoactive effects of compounds such as THC in marijuana. It is communication with these receptors that results in effects such as feeling high. This is made possible because these receptors directly control emotions, pain, muscular control, energy, sensory perception, and more.
In contrast, CB2 receptors control immune system processes and serve more of an anti-inflammatory process. The primary locations of these receptors are on various white blood cells, including T cells that combat Lyme disease. It is because these receptors exist within the human body with the functions that they have, that CBD is possibly feasible for being a viable treatment option for the condition.
How CBD May Alleviate Symptoms of the Disease
Earlier in this article, the various symptoms of Lyme diseases were discussed at various stages of the condition. Depending on the symptom, it may be wise to attack it at optimal times of the day. Additionally, the symptoms that a person experiences go a far way in determining what cannabis-based products are best for use and the best times to use them. Below is a breakdown of what products can be best used at what time based on the most common Lyme disease issues that CBD may provide relief for:
- The first set of symptoms that can be grouped are those that have to do with pain, fatigue, and anxiety. The best thing to use here is possibly CBD that comes from industrial hemp oil. The specific function of CBD means it may not only reduce fatigue, but also inhibit the body’s pain sensors, which leads to a normalization of a person’s mood, which causes a reduction in anxiety. The CBD is recommended for use in the daytime so these symptoms can be reduced and lead to more energetic and more comfortable days. An argument could be made for THC here, but it is important to remember the associated high that may not be best for someone trying to carry out his/her daily tasks. Or you may have a job that requires clean drug testing.
- During the evening, soome people try not to focus on the pain caused by inflammation and instead allow the brain and body to enter a state of relaxation. Medicinal marijuana may be good here with an equal concentration of both CBD and THC, or perhaps heavier on the THC if allowed in your lifestyle.. This combination possibly has a diminishing effect on pain without sacrificing consciousness or cognitive abilities and is ideal for the time of the day when you need to wind down and dial it back a bit.
- In the night time, a THC dominant strain may be best as it has been shown to have a sedation type effect that not only promotes sleep that Lyme disease may prevent, but also enhances the deeper stages of sleep and allows you to remain in them for longer, leading to a more rested feeling upon awakening.
Research is still underway and not definitive by any means, but CBD and THC both may have their place in the treatment of Lyme disease. Once you’re diagnosed, there are a couple of things to note:
- CBD products that contain THC may not be readily available everywhere as it is still deemed illegal in places that have not legalized marijuana. It may also make you fail a drug test, and you cannot operate machinery and do many intensive job-related tasks if on high THC products.
- Medicinal cannabis is under-researched, and doctors may not list it in your recommendations for treatment. This means you may need to take your treatment into your own hands and do your own independent research. You should still discuss with your doctor and take their advice. Don’t take advice from the internet without verifying with your local professionals.
- Lyme disease diagnosis is not easy, and sometimes the signs are even ignored by medical professionals and dismissed as something else. If you think you may have Lyme disease, please insist on the proper blood testing and diagnosis.