MEDICAL CONDITIONS

Lyme disease

Lyme disease and CBD effect
Written by Stefan K.

CBD and Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial illness which is transmitted by ticks. It is also known as Lyme borreliosis, and the bacteria in question attack the organs of those affected over the course of three different stages. In Germany, an average of between 200,000 and 220,000 people  are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. Usually, the aforementioned ticks are the carriers, but cases have also been reported where the bacteria have been transmitted by horseflies and mosquitoes.

CBD can be helpful and provide relief in cases of Lyme disease. It has often been theorised that a strong immune system can help against these infections. The immune system is controlled and regulated by the endocannabinoid system, amongst other things. As the name suggests, CBD receptors can dock to this system, and they strengthen the immune system by doing so.

The causes of Lyme disease

In the UK, as in the rest of the northern hemisphere, Lyme disease is mostly transmitted by tick bites. In Germany, for example, researchers at the renowned Robert Koch Institute believe that between 6 and 35% of all ticks in the country carry the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease.

Many assume that Lyme disease can only be caught from ticks in places such as woodlands and meadows, but in these times of increasing urban sprawl, this is not as true as it once was. Forests can also border on urban areas and in the gardens which are to be found in these areas, ticks are also increasingly present, particularly in the bushes, according to the Robert Koch Institute. Consequently, towns and cities pose a risk in just the same way that forests do. Medical experts estimate that, in Germany, only roughly every 100th tick bite leads to a genuine illness.

However, if a tick bite does trigger the disease, then mild to severe symptoms often develop. The milder symptoms include redness around the bite, pain throughout the body, fever, fatigue, headaches and a slight loss of mobility in muscles and joints.  Among the severe, sometimes enduring symptoms of Lyme disease are arthritis, joint pain, damage to the nervous system, meningitis, nervousness, depression, anxiety and confusion.

Here, CBD, in the form of CBD oil, CBD liquid, CBD ointments or CBD creams can help. In the case of Lyme disease, CBD can, amongst other things, help against arthritis, relieve joint pain and lift one’s mood, thereby countering depression.

How Lyme disease medication works

The earlier Lyme disease is diagnosed, the better. In the early stages, doctors usually prescribe courses of antibiotics. For example, tetracyclines or amoxicillin are frequently prescribed. These target the pathogens.

In patients in the late stages of the disease, antibiotics are the predominant mode of treatment. However, these can lead to antibiotic resistance in the case of long-term treatments. Studies suggest that CBD can be used as a very effective alternative to conventional antibiotics. An Australian study[1] has published results which suggest that CBD can also be used as an antibiotic (including for the treatment of Lyme disease).

CBD and Lyme disease – How cannabidiol can help

The aforementioned study points out that, currently, hospitals are often all too quick to turn to the use of standard antibiotics and to do so on too large a scale, such as in cases where there is no bacterial infection actually present, but instead a viral one. This massive deployment of antibiotics results in increasing bacterial resistance against the various antibiotics which are available. This trend can be counteracted by using CBD to treat Lyme disease as an alternative to antibiotics.

A number of renowned studies show that CBD can improve the quality of the life of those with Lyme disease when used as a dietary supplement. One example of this is a study[2], which looked at the antibacterial effect of CBD in the case of Lyme disease as well as its effect on the symptoms pain, headache and nausea. In the case of Lyme disease, CBD strengthens the immune system, acts as an anticonvulsant, and enables those affected to get depression, anxiety and nervousness under control. Cannabidiol is thus now included in the therapeutic measures used by many specialists to treat Lyme disease.

A study published in 2008 by the “The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy” [3] showed that CBD can successfully combat the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease. This study not only demonstrated the efficacy of CBD against Lyme disease, but also showed that, in the case of Lyme disease, CBD can also be effective against antibiotic-resistant germs; a significant factor for many sufferers.

Not only are there empirical studies, of course, but product reviews by CBD users are also very encouraging. One patient, for example, reported that, by vaping  CBD e-liquid over an extended period with an e-cigarette, she managed to reduce the flare-ups caused by Lyme disease.

cbd-and-lyme-disease

In the case of Lyme disease, CBD can not only can help to fight the bacteria themselves but it can also help to get many of the symptoms under control. Lyme disease often causes damage to the nervous system.  Some researchers suspect that CBD may help as it can constitute a means of protecting the nerves. One of the most important properties of CBD – and one which is also significant for Lyme disease – is that it provides pain relief and prevention. It can, for example be effective in soothing aches in the muscles, bones and joints.

The positive effects[4] of CBD on migraines and headaches can also often help in alleviating the symptoms of Lyme disease.

Conclusion

  • CBD not only has a supporting role in the treatment of Lyme disease, but can also help in cases of antibiotic resistance.
  • In addition to scientific studies, it is ultimately the positive reports from those who have taken CBD for Lyme disease which has provided their sufferers with more cause to be optimistic.
  • Many doctors are of the opinion that CBD, in combination with pharmaceutical antibiotics, can also be used against Lyme disease.


[1] https://www.ganjapreneur.com/study-cbd-potential-potent-antibiotic/ – 16.09.2019

[2] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40538-018-0125-0 – 16.09.2019

[3] https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/np8002673 – 16.09.2019

[4] https://www.springermedizin.de/patterns-of-medicinal-cannabis-use-strain-analysis-and-substitut/15790304 – 16.09.2019

Further Studies

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/np8002673

http://www.stcm.ch/en/files/paper_izzo_tips_2009.pdf

http://www.murakamicentreforlyme.org/

Taking products containing cannabinoids may result in interactions with various medications. If you are already taking medication, the use of CBD and other cannabinoids should be discussed with your doctor beforehand.

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About the author

Stefan K.

Stefan K.

Stefan is not only a valuable part of the CannaTrust magazine but also convinces with his sound knowledge about the effects of cannabinoids. As an author in Austria he gathered valuable experiences when writing for 'Stadtblatt Salzburg'. He got in contact with cannabis through several positive media reports. Nowadays he writes about everything around the most popular cannabinoid these days: CBD.