Does marijuana help with the symptoms of Lyme Disease?
3 years ago
I was diagnosed with Lyme's a year ago and struggled through different treatments but have not made any positive improvements. Is there any form of marijuana that could help me? If so, what would the effect be? I am ready to try anything at this point.
Answer - Doctor Mark Edmunds
Lyme is a fascinating tick-born illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi (in the U.S.) The bacterium is a spirochete, which is very difficult for the immune system to detect and kill. The most important way to treat and potentially cure Lyme disease is to be tested and treated within the first month of being bitten by a tick. The hallmark of a tick bite is a "bullseye pattern" around the bite. It is recommended if you live or work in woodsy / grassy areas where ticks live that you apply tick repellant. Unfortunately, many patients don't know they have been bitten and don't seek treatment before it is too late. While cannabis has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti fungal properties, more research needs to be performed to determine if it will be helpful in treating infectious diseases.
There are many possible symptoms associated with Lyme disease. Early symptoms tend to be "flu-like" and include fever, chills, fatigue, headache, swollen lymph nodes, body aches, and muscle / joint stiffness. Long term symptoms may include attacks of painful / swollen joints lasting for days to weeks, severe headaches, peripheral neuropathy, Bell's palsy, meningitis, heart arrhythmias, memory loss, fatigue, sleeping problems, and mood disorders.
Fortunately, marijuana may be helpful for treating several of these symptoms. Cannabis has been found to alleviate pain, including bodily pain and headaches, and peripheral neuropathy. It can improve comfort and sleep. And, it can aid in mood disorders, especially anxiety and depression.
Thank you for your interesting question!