I've been wanting to write about CBD hemp oil for some time since we've found it to be one of the best additions to our Lyme arsenal even though we added it only recently. CBD oil made from hemp, a relative of marijuana without the psychoactive component called THC which causes the "high" has been a very useful addition to our son's supplements.
He started it about 1 1/2 years into his treatment after I brought it up with his LLNP who told us it was fine to try. After starting it, he has not had another chronic fatigue day nor more knee swelling, both of which were still occurring at the time he started using CBD hemp oil.
CBD hemp oil is currently legal throughout the US while medical marijuana, also quite useful for adult Lyme patients, is only available in certain states - currently over half of US states have legalized it. For some adults with tick infections, the synergistic or "entourage" effect of having a medicinal strain of marijuana with high CBD/low THC (not no THC like the CBD hemp) is key for relief but this is obviously not for use by children or teens.
We found that CBD hemp oil alone provided relief from fatigue, swelling and foul moods in our son. It often works for many other symptoms including seizures/tics, headaches, nerve pain and many more.
How to Use CBD Hemp
Our LLNP recommended the following when trying CBD hemp. She said that their practice found some patients experienced relief and others didn't and we could give it a try.
She recommended using it twice daily for a month before deciding if it was working or not and to play around with the dosing to see if there was a sweet spot. Many Lyme patients say they use a full dropper morning and evening, but we find just 3-5 drops of a concentrated form taken once daily works for him.
While we use it (I use it myself for headaches) under the tongue for quicker absorption, you can chase it down with water or juice too. The brand we use has coconut oil mixed in to help the fat soluble CBD get picked up in the intestine. Some brands taste very strong and grassy. Many kids tolerate an oil that has a chocolate mint flavor and its the one we also prefer. You can also purchase salves with CBD to put directly on sore joints.
What to Consider When Purchasing CBD Hemp Oil
What Convinced Me About CBD Hemp's Benefits
I read various articles including this one from Hemp Oil Facts on Conditions Hemp May Help.
This video series by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta and one about Medical Marijuana had a huge influence but there are others out there:
I believe it is and I'm here to tell you about it.
I've been hesitant to write this post because of all the unpredictability Lyme and related co-infections bring into our children's and our lives but after today's clean blood report and with the holidays approaching, I've decided to share some great news. Like all things Lyme, time will be the ultimate judge but for now we're celebrating! I'll try to keep the news brief so below is a very brief synopsis of the latest part of the journey.
It was 2 years ago and just a month after his Lyme diagnosis that we decided to host Christmas at our house for family in the area because we weren't sure if our son would be able to get out of bed that day and if not, he would surely enjoy his cousins being nearby. This year we will host again and fully expect him to participate thanks to progress made since July 2017.
Last year, our son continued to miss school - 1 day per week or 20% of the year. He often missed the same day weekly which happened to be the day after restarting medication most weeks. Keeping up with school work was a struggle despite his 504 plan and the teachers who thankfully adhered to it. His LLNP believed he was reinfected with mycoplasma last winter after his numbers finally started dropping and started to climb again into very positive territory. Thus his breathing issues continued and he used an inhaler until just recently when he told me he needed it much less all the sudden. Today his blood work report came back clear for the first time since treatment began.
By last summer, eager to earn some money, he found a great job working part-time outside in the sun at a marina. It was the perfect mix of sun, work and rest between heavy lifting of boats and he wasn't sick at all with the exception of 1 day of rest needed after his first post-diagnosis airplane flight (no herxing side effects) and a week of volunteering at high altitude. This was the first sign things might be improving since he had been sick through June, the very end of school.
He also ended up switching schools at the end of the summer. In a more positive environment and with a personal incentive to not miss a day of school, he took it upon himself to get to bed early every night. I'm thrilled to report he has not had a sick day yet this school year - the first time in 3 years. He also made it past his tick bite day without falling super ill - another first.
He is to continue on a more robust mycoplasma treatment for a few more months and then if everything is still good, he will move to maintenance which is 1 week of treatment after 3 weeks off. This continues for at least a year and then he will hopefully be done with treatment. Because he's a teen, I remind him that for the time being he will need to really stay in touch with his need for rest and that as he moves toward adulthood it will be his responsibility to recognize if symptoms are creeping back and get in touch with his LLNP immediately to squash it back down. I hope he will be willing to try some herbal maintenance and continue his supplements once he's off the meds but he understandably has serious pill fatigue and is a young adult male.
So, some of you might be wondering if there is anything that we think might have contributed to his progress beginning last summer after school was out. Obviously his treatment continued to decrease the pathogen load but I also honestly think that being in direct sunlight, shirtless and (naughtily) not using enough sunscreen as well as working barefoot really helped as did the change in schools. These intangibles seemed to push him in the right direction.
Other than that, he started taking CBD hemp oil daily under the tongue - 3 drops of a concentrated strain in July, diligently followed the LLNP's orders and has also taken probiotics and a few other supplements (currently CBD hemp oil, magnesium, multivitamin, vit D in winter, methyl B12 (under tongue and injections when he felt he needed) without fail. The CBD hemp oil could be playing a role in the absence of his chronic fatigue and better state of mind. I also cannot overstate how much he enjoys his new school combined with being able to play his sport full-time again and how that improved mental outlook has helped his overall health and mood.
While most all of his symptoms are gone, we did have one stumbling block this fall which may or may not be related to Lyme. Our feeling is that while the underlying cause was there, but manageable before Lyme, it was exacerbated by the tick infections and now needs attention for school success to ensue after these 3 years of sub-par participation.
After the school switch, he came to us asking to be checked for ADHD as he couldn't focus or remember what he'd just read and so on. He researched it and gave us his reasons for being tested which included impulsivity (which had peaked just before diagnosis). Last year I wondered myself how prepared he would be for college given 3 years of brain fog, missed school and so on as I felt I could see and hear a difference in him despite the fact that he still functioned at a pretty high level on well days.
His psycho-educational testing results showed pretty strongly ADHD with low working memory and slow processing speeds, which Lyme and tick co-infections also cause. As the psychologist said, he probably always had ADHD given our descriptions of life prior to Lyme back to preschool days, but that Lyme was dragging down everything by some unknown level. This does feel like what we've noticed but of course it's not quantifiable. I poked around online and read many adults with Lyme feel like that part of the disease never leaves, even after getting back to normal (which seems to be less than 100% for most) so I'm not sure we'll ever really be able to tease out the full or lasting impacts of these tick infections.
So, that in a nutshell, is the story of the last few months in an effort to offer hope to those of you still in the thick of it with your kids. It is a long road, full of potholes, threatened by storms and sometimes long, very painful, exhausting and even dangerous detours, but there can be a joyous reunion with better health at the end of it. So keep at it, one step and one day at a time!
Working wife and mom to two, including a teen son who was diagnosed with Lyme and other co-infections from an unseen tick bite with no bulls-eye.
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