CBD Oil for Lyme Disease: Does It Work?

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CBD Oil for Lyme Disease: Does It Work?


People recommend cannabidiol (CBD) for many ailments. And it’s true that it may offer some therapeutic benefits for things like pain, anxiety, and sleep troubles.

A CBD drug called Epidiolex has also been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating certain types of epilepsy.

But with people itching to try CBD, some untrue claims are bound to crop up.

Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease that can cause a variety of symptoms. People may even experience severe long-term effects. Some companies may try to take advantage of those searching for relief by claiming CBD is a cure or treatment, even though it’s not.

Let’s take a closer look at CBD for Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a disease that you get from the bite of a deer tick or black-legged tick infected with bacteriacalled Borrelia burgdorferi.

A tick needs to be attached to your body for at least 36 to 48 hours to pass on the infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

You’re more likely to develop Lyme disease if you spend a lot of time outside in wooded areas with deer or black-legged tick populations.

Having a pet that spends time outside can also increase your risk.

Not everyone will experience the same effects from Lyme disease. However, if you contract the infection, some common symptoms include:

Some people experience symptoms even after receiving antibiotic treatment. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, or chronic Lyme disease.

Experts don’t know why this happens, but according to a 2016 study, about 10 to 20 percent of people who develop Lyme disease go on to experience post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.

Symptoms of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome may include many of the same symptoms as those that occur when people initially develop the disease. However, they tend to go on for longer.

The CDC says the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi is responsible for all cases of Lyme disease. You can contract this infection if a deer tick bites you.

CBD isn’t a cure for Lyme disease. There’s no research suggesting that CBD products, including CBD oil, can help treat or cure Lyme disease.

Additionally, if any CBD company claims that their product can cure Lyme disease, they’re violating FDA rules. The FDA prohibits companies from selling CBD products that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, including Lyme disease.

CBD isn’t a treatment or cure for Lyme disease itself. However, some people find that CBD helps to ease specific post-Lyme disease syndrome symptoms like trouble sleeping and joint pain.

A small 2019 study suggests that CBD can help people sleep more soundly. However, this research relates to people who experience trouble sleeping due to anxiety.

Similarly, research on CBD and pain isn’t directly related to Lyme disease.

Early treatment with antibiotics is the best way to eliminate a Lyme infection.

Doctors may prescribe:

  • doxycycline, cefuroxime, or amoxicillin to treat adults and children
  • amoxicillin or cefuroxime to treat those who are breastfeeding

Treatment typically starts with an immediate course of oral antibiotics for up to 2 weeks.

In most people, this will eliminate the infection and cure the disease.

However, some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome.

CBD oil isn’t an alternative for antibiotic treatment. Still, it may help with some symptoms of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, like joint pain, inflammation, and sleep problems.

If you’re curious about CBD oil and want to see if it helps with your symptoms, it’s essential to choose a high quality product.

Here’s what to look for.

CBD type

Some evidence suggests that combining tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD produces what’s called the “entourage effect.” When used together, the two cannabinoids may work better than when taken alone.

That means that full-spectrum products, which contain tiny amounts of THC, may be more effective than broad-spectrum or CBD isolate products.

Ingredients

Scan the ingredients list before you buy, especially if you plan to rub CBD oil on your skin for targeted joint pain relief. Some topical products contain added ingredients like arnica to help with pain.

Just make sure to skip products that contain any additives you’re allergic to.

And if you plan on ingesting CBD oil for full-body effects, it may be a good idea to avoid products with added vitamins and supplements, since there’s little research on how these substances interact with CBD.

Third-party testing

The FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products the same way they do prescription drugs. And while they do send warning letters to companies peddling false claims, mislabeling still happens and some companies make wild claims regardless.

The best way to be sure of what you’re buying is to check for a certificate of analysis (COA). A COA will include third-party testing results for contaminants and potency.

You can use CBD in various ways.

Topicals are meant to be applied directly onto the skin, usually to target a specific area, like joint pain in the fingers.

You can also ingest CBD in the form of oil, gummies, or capsules. Or try adding edible oil to food or drink.

Make sure to read product labels before taking CBD. Some oils aren’t meant to be taken by mouth.

Dosage

The appropriate dosage for you may not be the same as the appropriate dosage for a friend or family member. You may need to do some trial and error to figure out what’s best for you.

Thankfully, many CBD products come in varying potencies.

If you’re new to CBD, start with the lowest dose. Increase it slowly over time if you feel the need.

Remember, edibles can take time to work, so wait an hour or so before taking more.

If you’re taking antibiotics for Lyme disease, it may not be safe to take CBD since the two may interact. And medications with a grapefruit warning may not be safe to take with CBD.

Otherwise, 2017 evidence suggests that CBD is safe and unlikely to produce side effects in most people.

However, some mild side effects are possible, including:

  • fatigue
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in weight
  • diarrhea

And if you’re applying CBD topically, it’s essential to do a patch test to check for possible allergic reactions.

Talk with your doctor before taking CBD, especially if you’re taking any prescription drugs.

Can late-stage Lyme disease be cured?

Late-stage Lyme disease happens when Lyme isn’t promptly or adequately treated. The CDC says doctors usually treat late-stage Lyme disease with intravenous (IV) antibiotics.

Can CBD cure Lyme disease?

No. There’s no evidence that CBD can cure Lyme disease.

What causes Lyme disease?

The bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease. It’s spread through deer tick bites.

Can CBD interact with antibiotics?

Yes. It’s best to talk with your doctor before taking CBD for Lyme disease or any other condition, especially if you’re taking supplements or prescription medications. Interactions are possible.

When you’re experiencing symptoms of a chronic condition, it can be tempting to believe wild claims from people who promise to deliver you a cure.

While CBD may help with some symptoms of Lyme disease and post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, it’s not a cure.

If you’re curious about trying CBD to see if it can help with sleep problems and pain caused by Lyme, make sure to talk with your doctor to avoid possible drug interactions.



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