Lyme disease is caused by four main species of bacteria: Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia mayonii, Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii bacteria. Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii cause Lyme disease in the United States, while Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii are the leading causes of Lyme disease in Europe and Asia. The most common tick-borne illness in these regions, Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected black-legged tick, commonly known as a deer tick.
You’re more likely to get Lyme disease if you live or spend time in grassy and heavily wooded areas where ticks carrying the disease thrive. It’s important to take common-sense precautions in areas where ticks are prevalent.
The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary and usually appear in stages.
Early signs and symptoms:
A small, red bump often appears at the site of a tick bite or tick removal and resolves over a few days. This is normal after a tick bite and does not indicate Lyme disease.
However, these signs and symptoms may occur within a month after you’ve been infected:
- Rash. From 3 to 30 days after an infected tick bite, an expanding red area might appear that sometimes clears in the center, forming a bull’&s-eye pattern. The rash (erythema migrans) expands slowly over days and can spread to 12 inches (30 centimeters) across. It is typically not itchy or painful.
- Erythema migrans is one of the hallmarks of Lyme disease. Some people develop this rash at more than one place on their bodies.
Flu-like symptoms. Fever, chills, fatigue, body aches and a headache may accompany the rash.
Later signs and symptoms:
If untreated, new signs and symptoms of Lyme infection might appear in the following weeks to months. These include:
- Erythema migrans appearing in other areas of your body.
- Joint pain. Bouts of severe joint pain and swelling are especially likely to affect your knees, but the pain can shift from one joint to another.
- Neurological problems. Weeks, months or even years after infection, you might develop inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain (meningitis), temporary paralysis of one side of your face (Bell’s palsy), numbness or weakness in your limbs, and impaired muscle movement.
Signs and symptoms caused by the bacterium Borrelia mayonii may also include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diffuse rashes (rather than a single bull’s-eye rash commonly associated with Lyme disease)
- Less common signs and symptoms
- Several weeks after infection, some people develop:
- Heart problems, such as an irregular heartbeat. Heart problems rarely last more than a few days or weeks.
- Eye inflammation.
- Liver inflammation (hepatitis).
- Severe fatigue.
Medical Marijuana Efficacy
Cannabis is effective at killing bacteria, viruses, and fungus. All 5 major cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, and CBC) has been shown to kill MRSA, known as the “flesh eating virus.” Less studied cannabinoids such as 8-hydroxycannabinol have potent antibacterial properties, and single extracts may provide new targets to kill the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
Cannabis may also be effective at treating the later stage symptoms of Lyme disease. Cannabis can help reduce pain, spams, headaches and nausea. Dr. Sanjay Gupta (researcher) stated that cannabis is one of the safest and effective treatments for peripheral neuropathy, a crippling symptom most patients with Lyme disease suffer from.
Official Research Reports
Biologically active cannabinoids from high-potency Cannabis sativa. Journal of Natural Products, 72(5), 906-11. Radwan, M.M., ElSohly, M.A., Slade, D., Ahmed, S.A., Khan, I.A., and Ross, S.A. (2009, May 22).
Non-cannabinoid constituents from a high potency Cannabis sativa variety. Phytochemistry, 69(14), 2627–2633 Radwan, M.M., ElSohly, M.A., Slade, D., Ahmed, S.A., Wilson, L., El-Alfy, A.T., Khan, I.A., and Ross, S.A. (2008).
Low-dose vaporized cannabis significantly improves neuropathic pain. The Journal of Pain, 14(2), 136-48. Wilsey, B., Marcotte, T., Deutsch, R., Gouaux, B., Sakai, S., and Donaghe, H. (2013, February).