THC works by binding directly to CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD works indirectly by limiting the destruction of 2-AG and anandamide. This leaves more of these chemicals available to bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors. In addition to indirectly raising anandamide and 2-AG, CBD may bind to minor receptors exerting a direct influence on the organs and the nervous system.
I lived in Washington state until late 2018 where state law provides for both medicinal and recreational use of marijuana. Federal law does not allow for medical marijuana, but it allows for the unrestricted sale of products derived from hemp. Hemp and marijuana are forms of cannabis. I recommended medical cannabis in my Seattle practice from marijuana or hemp for some of my Lyme disease patients based on the limited science available and based on the positive responses I witness. In this article I review
Cannabis, Marijuana, Hemp, CBD, THC
Based on the above research and what I see in my patients I recommend medical marijuana and medical cannabis for people with Lyme for the following reasons or conditions:
Marty Ross MD on CBD and Marijuana in Lyme Disease
Note:This is a long article with a lot of background. Skip to the bottom to see the conditions medical marijuana helps and information on how to take it.
While THC is only available in states that have legalized medical marijuana, CBD from hemp oil is available everywhere—although the attorney general in Nebraska seems to be confused about that. You can buy it on the Internet, travel across state lines, and I have even taken it out of the country when I traveled to Israel to visit my daughter.
If you have problems with both sleep initiation and maintenance, you can take sublingual extract or vape to fall asleep, and a THC tablet to stay asleep. The table below includes some considerations for choosing among the available options.
While properly administered marijuana has been extremely effective in helping people with PTSD, in some people it will make anxiety worse. Similarly, THC can help depression in some people, but in others can make depression worse, particularly if it is abused by chronic users. If you develop tolerance to the benefits of cannabis because of chronic use, it is important to take a drug holiday. Pregnant women should not take marijuana.
There are two strains of cannabis: indica and sativa. Indica is great for pain but is sedating, so it is best used in nighttime. Sativa is activating, can increase energy, and is better suited for daytime use. The difference between indica and sativa is another ingredient, terpenes. Terpenes modify the activity of CBD and THC. There are also a number of hybrid strains now available that essentially cross categories.
The analgesic, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties of cannabis make it extremely valuable as an adjunct to the treatment of tick-borne diseases. There is a lot of research available on the medical uses of cannabis. A couple of good resources are listed below.
For sleep, take a THC-dominant indica strain. THC is not only sedating, it increases the time spent in the deeper stages of sleep, so sleep is more restorative. If your problem is difficulty falling asleep, use a short-acting vehicle like vaping, which kicks in within 15 minutes. Vaping is high-tech smoking without the ill effects of the smoke. Alternatively, use a sublingual extract, which has an onset within 30 minutes. Both of these will hang around for up to an hour.
Marijuana is not the only product that supplies CBDs. Hemp, a variety of cannabis that is used to make rope, fabric and paper, contains CBDs. Hemp has less than 0.3% THC, and is not psychoactive.
I have a confession to make. I proposed a talk on medical marijuana at ILADS because it would force me to learn everything I could on the topic. I live in Colorado where it seems there is a dispensary on every corner, and many of my patients have been using medical cannabis. But the huge assortment of products is confusing, and I wanted to give specific recommendations to help patients get the most benefit. Here is what I learned.
However, although CBD doesn’t get you high, it does affect your brain. Research shows CBD interacts with receptors found in the central nervous system. This is why CBD can be used to help anxiety, PTSD, depression and many other neurological/mental health disorders.
CBD can also help you sleep. It increases the availability of serotonin which has soothing, anti-anxiety effects. It also helps lower inflammation which promotes sounder sleep. CBD can act as an alternative natural method to help you fall asleep and stay asleep, helping you get the rest you need. Sleep is so crucial to a healthy mind and body
CBD possesses an antibacterial effect, can reduce headache and nausea, strengthens the immune system, decreases pain caused by peripheral neuropathy, provides anticonvulsant properties and controls nerve episodes, anxiety, and depression. These are many symptoms exhibited by those suffering from Lyme disease. It is best to discuss a CBD regimen with your healthcare provider to determine the best method of treatment.
Finally, a diagnosis
After initial antibiotic treatment, symptoms persisted. I was then misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia and again handed pharmaceuticals. Diagnosed with Lyme once again by a specialist, I was given more pharmaceuticals. After rounds of antibiotics and enduring their never-ending list of side effects, I decided to stop using them.
One question I get a lot is whether or not it’s legal. CBD is federally legal as long as there is less than .03% THC. While it is federally legal, states have different laws and restrictions on CBD. In some states, CBD is illegal. In others, you can buy it with a prescription. In some others, you can walk into a store and purchase CBD legally right then and there. Click here to find out the laws in your state.
As I tried a variety of CBD products, I quickly learned that not all CBD is created equal. Some companies were selling falsely advertised CBD products with little to no CBD. I needed a high-quality product – from a company I could trust to share what was in their products and, more importantly, what was not in them. Eventually, I formed my own CBD company. Now, I find that educating people about how CBD can help them is a significant part of my job.
Important things to know about CBD
At that point, I had had enough! During my freshman year of college, I explained my symptoms to my doctor. Still the same height since early high school, I could no longer blame my symptoms on growing pains. Finally, tests showed that I had Lyme disease.
As a young, adventurous girl, I loved exploring the outdoors and its beauty. I grew up on Long Island, where the threat of ticks is high and playing in the woods did not reduce my chances of being infected. Around the age of seven, I was bitten by a tick and developed a fever of 104 degrees.