I think Cannabis put my tick borne Lyme Disease symptoms into remission.
I had been hiking in the mountains six miles a day before I got sick with tickborne Lyme Disease. Six months after the tick bite, I was flat on my back. I had soreness in one joint one day, and soreness in another joint days later. This is because the spirochetes (the bacteria from Lyme tick) migrate. I felt like I was pulling a truck. Then I couldn’t walk. And then I couldn’t function. My ears were ringing and I had a sore throat that wouldn’t go away. I felt like I was turning to stone.
Originally misdiagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis – Not Tick Borne Lyme Disease
So, for three and a half years, I was treated with chemotherapy. The chemo destroyed my blood. One spirochete turns into 6 million spirochetes in one year. My body swelled, my blood pressure went through the roof. I was near death.
A friend brought me some Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). I’ve been smoking cannabis for thirty years, so he suggested I give this a try. This was three years ago. RSO caused a Herxheimer reaction after three months (This reaction is needed to clear bacteria from the blood – results in fatigue, brain fog, muscle and nerve pain, chills). It also completely cleared my liver function to normal.
I have to tell you, my doctor wanted me to quit cannabis or she wouldn’t treat me any longer. I was in a Lyme remission, and I didn’t want to stop working with her. So, I quit which caused a full relapse of Lyme symptoms. It caused seizures too. So I went back on the cannabis. My symptoms subsided again. And now my doctor has me talk to other Lyme patients about marijuana!
I think cannabis kicked my Lyme to the curb. Nature provides it. I found it has to get into the body to fight Lyme, so I always tell people that they have to eat it. What I do is make coconut oil with it. Then I freeze it and break off small pieces of that, to add into food.
Now I help others get their cards and then meet them at the dispensary so they can make an informed purchase. I want to empower others to get well.
From RxLeaf: The Symptoms of Tick Borne Lyme Disease
Note: If you or a loved one has been bitten by a tick, or may be suffering from Tickborne Lyme Disease, see a doctor immediately. Early intervention with antibiotics is the best treatment available.
Since the early 1990s, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that rates of infection have tripled in the US. By the most conservative estimates, 30,000 Americans get a Lyme Disease diagnosis every year. The disease, caused by a bacterial infection from a tick, is spreading across North America as the tick’s territory increases.
Just as Celeste describes, the symptoms are frustrating, varied, and as time passes, life-altering. There are technically two stages of symptoms: early-stage (under 30 days) and later signs (months into the infection). As per the CDC, the early signs consist of:
- Fever and chills
- Muscle and joint aches
- Swollen lymph nodes or rash
The longer-term effects, which Celeste describes, become progressively more serious if the disease goes undiagnosed and untreated:
- Facial palsy
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling
- Pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
- Nerve pain
Celeste details her relief from cannabis, but what does the research tell us about cannabis for Lyme disease?
Pain Relief and More: What Cannabis Might Do Against Tick Borne Lyme Disease
For patients like Celeste, whose Lyme Disease was undiagnosed until the later stage, there is, frustratingly, no cure.
In the early stage, a blast of antibiotics is extremely beneficial, but as the disease progresses, it’s more challenging to cure completely.
Later stage treatments often try to reduce the severity of symptoms, which means anti-inflammatories, antidepressants, and more. In the later stages of Lyme Disease, cannabis might offer powerful relief, especially if other treatments have failed.
Nerve pain, including tingling sensations and a pins-and-needles sensation, is one of the most common symptoms of Lyme Disease. Cannabis is an established and effective pain reliever, especially for nerve pain (neuropathic pain).
Neuropathic pain is one of the most well-researched areas of cannabis medicine. According to what we know thus far, THC seems to reduce the sensation of pain by muting this pain stimulus. Although there is no information on cannabis for neuropathy related to Lyme Disease, the current body of research is strongly applicable.
Fatigue is another symptom and also one reported by Celeste. Fatigue itself is a broad concern, covering a host of issues, including lack of energy, concentration, headaches, and more. One of the primary culprits behind fatigue is chronic low-level inflammation, which is likely with a Lyme Disease diagnosis. Arthritis, another sign of Lyme Disease, is also caused by inflammation. Lacourt, T. E., Vichaya, E. G., Chiu, G. S., Dantzer, R., & Heijnen, C. J. (2018). The High Costs of Low-Grade Inflammation: Persistent Fatigue as a Consequence of Reduced Cellular-Energy … Continue reading
The anti-inflammatory potential of cannabis was summarized recently in “Cannabis and Its Secondary Metabolites: Their Use as Therapeutic Drugs, Toxicological Aspects, and Analytical Determination.” The authors discuss the biological basis of CBD for inflammatory disease, especially useful for the treatment of neuroinflammation. In smaller studies, THC also demonstrated anti-inflammatory tendencies. Gonçalves, J., Rosado, T., Soares, S., Simão, A. Y., Caramelo, D., Luís, Â., Fernández, N., Barroso, M., Gallardo, E., & Duarte, A. P. (2019). Cannabis and Its Secondary Metabolites: Their … Continue reading
A Big Future of Potential: Cannabis for Lyme Disease
There are not any studies specifically looking at cannabis for Lyme Disease to date.
However, there are still dozens of patient stories detailing their positive experience. Many aspects of the disease remain a mystery, so it may be some time before medical experts introduce cannabis into the treatment picture in any real way. Similar to trends in the research for other so called “emerging diseases,” cannabis is a bright spot in the research for Lyme disease.
Cannabis isn’t a cure for the disease.
However, it may offer patients relief from many of the most common (and most painful) symptoms, including arthritis, fatigue, nerve pain, and more. For many patients, like Celeste, who suffer from later stage Lyme Disease, cannabis might be a valuable addition to their medicine cabinet, especially compared to conventional pharmaceuticals with strong side effects. Speak to your doctor about trying it.
|↑1||Lacourt, T. E., Vichaya, E. G., Chiu, G. S., Dantzer, R., & Heijnen, C. J. (2018). The High Costs of Low-Grade Inflammation: Persistent Fatigue as a Consequence of Reduced Cellular-Energy Availability and Non-adaptive Energy Expenditure. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 12, 78. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00078.|
|↑2||Gonçalves, J., Rosado, T., Soares, S., Simão, A. Y., Caramelo, D., Luís, Â., Fernández, N., Barroso, M., Gallardo, E., & Duarte, A. P. (2019). Cannabis and Its Secondary Metabolites: Their Use as Therapeutic Drugs, Toxicological Aspects, and Analytical Determination. Medicines (Basel, Switzerland), 6(1), 31. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines6010031.|