Lyme disease affects more people in the US than HIV and breast cancer combined. It is so underreported, underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed that most Americans do not realize that the number of cases has reached epidemic proportions. Can cannabis, more specifically hemp-based CBD oil, kill the bacteria that causes Lyme disease? Canadian doctor and Lyme disease expert, Dr. Ernie Murakami, thinks so.
What is Lyme disease? It originates with the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferri, a spiral-shaped bacteria which is closely related to syphilis. It is spread to humans through black-legged deer ticks. The bacterium lays eggs in the host which can remain dormant for long periods, depending on the strength of the immune system of the host. If the eggs are allowed to remain and mature, this can result in potentially more severe symptoms and multi-organ implications. Lyme disease attacks every organ and migrates from place to place in the body. Suicide is the leading cause of death for those with long-term Lyme disease due to depression. Lyme disease can also be spread by mosquitoes, sand flies, black flies or any insect that bites humans or other animals such as deer mice and chipmunks.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease:
Rash The most well-known symptoms is a rash caused by the tick bite which forms a solid red oval or bull’s eye. It is flat and does not itch. The rash becomes more extensive but then recedes over time, if not treated.
Fatigue with flu-like symptoms
Swollen Joints that are achy and stiff
Headaches with dizziness and fever
Night Sweats causing disturbed sleep
Cognitive Difficulties with the inability to concentrate and with memory lapses
Sensitivity to Light and changes with vision
Other Neurological Problems including balance problems, tripping and falling, cranial nerve involvement leading to Bell’s Palsy, numbness and tingling
Other Rashes including unexplained rashes and bruises
Heart Problems Lyme carditis can invade the heart tissue, cause chest pains, lightheadedness, shortness of breath and palpitations
Mood Swings including irritability, anxiety, and depression
Unexplained Pain with tinnitus, hearing loss, jaw pain, and cranial nerve pain
Lyme disease can mimic chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, MS, and depression which leads to an alarming number of misdiagnoses by doctors. There are 2 blood tests; ELISA, Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the Western blot test. They are not reliable as they only detect whether or not you have been exposed to Borrelia burgdoferri. The tests are unable to determine if you have an asymptomatic active infection. False negatives are not uncommon as well as is low sensitivity to the tests. Here is a link to information about Lyme diseases testing.
The conventional treatment for Lyme disease is the following:
Stage 1: 1-month treatment of antibiotics
Stage 2: 2-3 months treatment of spirochetes and eggs, using a combination of antibiotics which have serious side effects
Stage 3: 3 months of intravenous antibiotics to treat seizures, paralysis, and neuropathy which can occur in this stage
Dr. Murakami has degrees in Immunology and Bacteriology and teaches at the University of British Colombia. He had a very personal story which completely changed his mind about cannabis usage. He had been very opposed to cannabis until he sustained a head injury which caused a brain tumor to form. He decided to investigate the usage of CBD oil as a treatment option for his tumor. He began using hemp-based CBD oil and was amazed that within four months, his Glioma tumor was completely resolved.
He was so amazed by his own experience that he decided to expose live spirochete, Borrelia burgdoferri, to CBD oil, in a laboratory setting. In 2014, he asked a colleague to conduct such a test. The results conclusively showed that CBD oil killed the spirochete. In 2015, he conducted another test exposing the spirochete and the biofilm, which acts as a protective coating to the spirochete, to a 10 millimole/cc solution of CBD oil. The results showed that both the spirochete and the biofilm were killed by the CBD oil. In 2016, Dr. Murakami did a final test on the eggs which are harder to kill. He had another positive outcome.
Dr. Murakami decided to prescribe hemp-based oil CBD, 10 millimoles/cc, to his Lyme disease patients who did not improve with antibiotics usage. 15% of patients do not respond to antibiotics. Not only were their symptoms much improved, but their symptoms did not return 2-3 years after they stopped using the CBD oil. This corroborates his study that CBD oil actually kills the spirochete, the biofilm, and the eggs that cause Lyme disease and trigger other coinfections. Dr. Murakami recommends starting with a lower dose of 5 millimoles/cc, slowly increasing up to 15 millimoles/cc, if need be.
I have been unable to find any actually written studies conducted by Dr. Murakami, but I listened to an interview on Cannabis Health Radio where he discussed the studies he conducted and his results. I have also looked on his Facebook page which has many testimonials from patients who have been cured of Lyme disease, using CBD oil. Many of these people have had debilitating symptoms for years, even decades, and had given up hope before finding Dr. Murakami and his CBD treatment.
While the anecdotal evidence is very strong, actually human studies are needed to convince the scientific community that his results have validity. He realizes that what is needed is a double-blind human study on those patients where antibiotics failed; half would be given CBD oil and the other half would receive a placebo. He would need to find funding.
Please note: There are skeptics in the cannabis community that do not believe that cannabis kills the Lyme bacteria. However, they do highly recommend cannabis to treat all of the many symptoms of Lyme disease.
Source: youtube, Cannabis Health Radio: Episode 45: Research Shows Cannabidiol Is Effective Treatment for Lyme Disease
Healthline.com, 13 Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease, September 27, 2017, Marjorie Hecht