“It’s like being in a torture chamber all the time but that chamber is your own body and you can’t escape it.” -Sarah Hook, a 35-year-old health and wellness coach, describing her battle with Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is a debilitating disease that is difficult to diagnose and even harder to treat. Today we’re going to talk about how utilizing CBD for Lyme disease might be able to help.
CBD for Lyme disease at a glance
Claims: CBD can help relieve many of the symptoms and complications of Lyme disease, including pain and inflammation.
What the studies show: While more studies are needed, research supports using CBD to manage some of the symptoms of the disease, such as pain and inflammation. However, so far the evidence does not suggest that it addresses the root cause.
All the facts: Early studies, as well as anecdotal evidence, appear to support that adopting a CBD regimen is beneficial for many people struggling with Lyme. However, researchers must continue to search for a cure.
What exactly is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is caused by four main species of bacteria: Borrelia burgdorferi, borrelia mayonii, borrelia afzelii, and borrelia garinii. These types of bacteria can be transmitted through a bite from the black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness and effects more than 300,000 people a year in the United States.
People who spend time in grassy or heavily wooded areas where deer ticks are prevalent are more likely to get Lyme disease, but it’s possible that just a short traipse through a manicured lawn could result in a tick bite. The longer the tick remains attached to your skin, the greater your risk of getting the disease. If the tick is attached for less than 36 to 48 hours, it’s very unlikely that you will contract this disease.
The most important thing to note about Lyme is that the earlier it’s caught, the easier it is to treat. On that note, keep your eyes peeled for the following, especially if you’ve recently spent some time outdoors:
Between 3 and 30 days from the date of the initial tick bite, a rash that is lighter or even absent in the center and radiates outward into a red circle often appears. Typically, these rashes don’t hurt or feel itchy, but they are one of the hallmark signs of Lyme disease. If you have a rash that matches this description, especially one that spreads, give your doctor a call.
Because baby deer ticks can be the size of a pinhead, sometimes people don’t even know they were bitten. When in doubt, check it out! However, it’s important to note that many people who have Lyme disease don’t get a bulls-eye rash, so it’s still important to visit the doctor if any of the following symptoms occur.
Flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, headache, stiff neck, and swollen lymph nodes could indicate Lyme disease.
Joint pain, specially in your knees, but the pain can shift from one joint to another.
As the disease progresses, meningitis, Bell’s palsy (temporary paralysis of one side of the face), and weakness in limbs can occur.
While some doctors still reject the notion of chronic Lyme disease and believe the disease itself can be cured with a simple round of antibiotics, many others believe that, if left undiagnosed or untreated, the effects of this disease can cause a lifelong struggle. Anecdotal evidence seems to support the latter, as many people find that they still battle pain and many other complications, seemingly without end.
How can CBD be used to help with Lyme disease?
So far, it seems that CBD may be able to address some of the most common symptoms of Lyme disease. First, it can work to eliminate the inflammation and joint pain that often come hand in hand with this disease.
Our bodies’ endocannabinoid systems help regulate various cognitive and physiological functions, including our moods and response to pain sensations. Because CBD (cannabidiol) interacts with our natural cannabinoid receptors, it can help alleviate both the pain and inflammation that some people with Lyme disease experience.
People with chronic Lyme may also have trouble falling or staying asleep. CBD for Lyme disease might be able to assist on that front as well since it has been shown to help regulate sleep patterns.
It also bears mentioning that chronic pain diseases can be detrimental to a person’s mood and mental health. Having to crawl out of bed each day and try to function when you’re feeling fatigued and achy can be emotionally draining. Having a disease that some people don’t even believe in can make it even more difficult. Early studies have shown that CBD can alleviate anxiety and even help with depression, which might be a lifesaver for some struggling with the effects of chronic Lyme.
What are the risks of using CBD for Lyme disease?
It’s rare to have side effects or negative reactions from using CBD. It’s widely considered to be safe, well-tolerated, and, according to a recent study by the World Health Organization, is not associated with abuse potential.
Should I give CBD for Lyme disease a try?
At this time, both research and anecdotal evidence seem to support the benefits of CBD for managing the symptoms of Lyme disease. Everyone is different, so, while CBD is a game-changer for many people with Lyme, others find it might only help with certain symptoms, like anxiety or sleeplessness.
Because symptoms vary in severity so greatly, it’s also important to pay close attention to how you’re feeling when you begin your regimen and note any changes or improvements. This will help in determining the proper dosage for optimal results.
It’s also important to note that while CBD may help manage symptoms of chronic Lyme, it is not a cure. Lyme is best treated early on, so if you think you may have Lyme disease, it is imperative to seek medical attention early.
As with any change to your healthcare regimen, you should talk to your doctor before trying CBD for Lyme disease. And, if you’re currently taking any prescription medications, you should check with your pharmacist to ensure that CBD won’t interact with any of them in a negative way.