The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Lyme as the fastest growing vector-borne infectious disease in the US. The disorder affects nearly 300,000 people in the United States, but the number is projected to be higher since most Lyme patients are usually misdiagnosed with other conditions. Ticks are generally responsible for spreading Lyme disease, and symptoms include a rash, severe headaches, facial palsy, arthritis, nerve pain, and more.
Antibiotics have generally proved to be less effective in treating the condition. However, patients are now staring at the possibility of a new treatment — CBD (cannabidiol) — to alleviate the many symptoms associated with the disease. CBD is one of the components found in indica plant and Cannabis sativa. Unlike THC, it doesn’t possess the psychoactive effects associated with medical cannabis (marijuana). This article examines various studies that demonstrate how CBD may help with Lyme disease.
It Helps To Reduce Anxiety
One of the major effects of Lyme disease is anxiety, and a majority of the patients have expressed their dissatisfaction with the pharmaceutical options available to control the condition. In fact, some of the treatment options may lead to more symptoms and side effects among patients. A Neurotherapeutics study conducted in 2015 revealed substantial evidence that demonstrated CBD’s ability to lower anxiety in patients dealing with anxiety disorders and healthy individuals, too.
Patients dealing with chronic anxiety have often been advised to keep off cannabis since THC can amplify the problem. However, this study suggests that CBD may assist in reducing specific anxiety disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
According to the peer-reviewed medical journal, CBD may also be used to better the outcome of cognitive behavioral therapy. The compound is yet to reveal any adverse side effects to date. However, the study indicates that more research needs to be conducted to investigate the impact it could have on a person’s body after consistently using it for an extended period.
It’s A Natural Anti-Inflammatory
Many Lyme patients often deal with chronic pain. Most of them usually can’t seem to shake off this distressing symptom even after using traditional medicine. The Lyme community is now looking at CBD as a possible palliative option. According to a study conducted by Journal of Experimental Medicine in 2012, this unique compound can repress inflammation and nerve pain.
The study used rodents in the experiment. CBD and its derivatives were administered to rodents and were able to repress chronic inflammation and neuropathic pain significantly without leading to analgesic tolerance. The hope is that you can use CBD and other compounds as an effective treatment strategy for chronic pain, without the building of tolerance in your body, a phenomenon associated with traditional medicines.
It Helps in Reducing Acne
Acne remains one of the most common human skin diseases that is affecting millions of people globally. Despite research efforts, we still haven’t found a curative anti-acne agent that targets its multiple pathogenetic steps and that has favorable side effect profiles. But a study in 2014 raised hopes among many acne patients. The study, which was conducted by The Journal of Clinical Investigation, showed that CBD might be able to suppress acne.
The research revealed that the compound reduced the production of sebum, which is an oily secretion from the sebaceous glands in the skin. Additionally, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that may assist in curtailing acne occurrence, too.
It Has Neuroprotective Qualities
A neuroprotective substance preserves the neuronal structure and its function. The die-off reactions that appear in Lyme patients when treatments kill the infection lead to the accumulation of neurotoxins in their bodies. Some of the symptoms associated with neurotoxicity include depression, brain fog, dysregulation of hormones, insomnia, autoimmune conditions, seizures and much more.
According to research conducted in 2003, CBD may assist in reducing neurotoxicity. The study revealed that CBD possesses a neuroprotective quality. It blocks the formation of nitrotyrosine, which is necessary for neuroprotection. Additionally, the investigation revealed that CBD might have antioxidant properties enabling it to shield the brain from oxidative stress.
Side Effects of Using CBD
The above studies consider CBD to be safe and tolerable for most patients. It’s important to note that Cannabidiol is metabolized in the liver’s cytochrome p450 pathway and may come into contact with other drugs that use the same path including anti-anxiety medication, steroids, pain medication, etc. That means you need to be vigilant about contraindications.
Some patients report mild side effects including lightheadedness, digest upset, tiredness and low blood pressure. But the side effects may differ from one patient to the next depending on the dosages taken and the individual’s sensitivity to the compound. You should always consider talking to a doctor before incorporating CBD in your treatment protocol.
Will CBD Really Help My Lyme Disease?
Many Lyme sufferers are, anecdotally, turning to CBD as an additional option to combat many of the side effects of the disease. Various studies have revealed that it may help reduce anxiety, alleviate chronic pain and reduce acne. It also possesses neuroprotective qualities. Although generally safe, you should always consult with your physician before changing your treatment plan. In the meantime, if your current Lyme treatment strategy isn’t where you’d like it to be, consider seeing if CBD offers you relief from any of the disease’s associated symptoms.