Dr. Frankel's Journal

LYME DISEASE AND CANNABIS

December 19, 2016
Allan Frankel, MD

I see a few new and follow up Lyme Disease patients every month. Although there are differences with every patient, in most cases they have similar histories and symptoms. The folloLyme Disease and Cannabiswing are my findings on Lyme Disease and cannabis.

First, most have either been on or are currently on antibiotics, which is the generally accepted treatment for Lyme. Antibiotics are used at the initial Lyme diagnosis as well as for recurring Lyme symptoms.

Antibiotic therapies work well for many patients, but some still suffer from the following long-term Lyme symptoms:
1. Depression
2. Sleep disorders
3. Chronic and often severe pain.
4. Anxiety
5. Assorted neurological disorders with frequent neuropathic pain.

I see each patient as a complex combination of conditions, therapies and symptoms that often require more than one cannabis therapy.

As a general rule, Lyme patients ultimately see the best results with varying ratios of CBD and THC. Depending on the patients’ chief complaint, they may need medicine with more THC and may need to be titrated up to the recommended ratio. Often they might use this at night and more CBD for daytime. Regardless of dosing details, Lyme patients seem to be in the group that requires daily cannabis with several doses daily. There are many situations where using cannabis as needed works great, but this is not one of them. In many chronic diseases that require ongoing therapy, we often find that over many months, the average dose can be decreased.

In Conclusion

If most patients will work closely with their physician, as a result, a regimen can usually be found that helps enough symptoms to be quite worthwhile. I would encourage any patient with Lyme Disease seeking cannabis therapy to select a physician willing to work closely in follow up. The first visit and the first treatment plan, is just a starting point. Time and titration is the key.