((Originally Published in SKUNK Magazine, Women In Weed Issue, as well as on their site here))
I remember the morning in May 2011 when the truth I had subconsciously scrambled to conceal from my very own self, the one stating I had a serious and rapidly progressing illness, fully saw the light of day for the first time as if it were yesterday. I remember opening my eyes and, for whatever reason, deciding to pause and breathe in the warmth of the sun basking through my windows with every fiber of my being before I got out of my bed that morning. I remember the way the luminous glow it cast not only lit up my room, but the deepest parts of my soul too. I also remember the reason why I remember it so well –when I stood up to brush my teeth, I collapsed and went unconscious. While I came to and managed to pull my body up off the floor later that morning, it was not until a year later that the person who I am at my inner most core stood up to once again inhabit my body.
After developing well over 30 symptoms in under two weeks, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and Lyme disease co-infections, including Bartonella, Babesia, and Mycoplasma. I had numerous seizures a day, sometimes over ten an hour, and I could no longer read, write, walk, or talk correctly, among other things. I felt so excruciatingly powerless that I unknowingly gave up the one last thing I had power over –my ability to feel, and to use my feelings to guide me. I handed myself over to conventional medicine, and took grotesque amounts of antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals to no avail on a steady basis for close to a year. The conventional Lyme disease treatments I endured were dark, so dark they inevitably evoked a deep feeling sense within me over time, leading me to quit conventional treatment and seek out my own answers. I became fascinated with plant medicine, and began taking Stephen Buhner’s Lyme disease protocols. Although gradual and minute, I finally began to show progress for the first time. Still, though, after about another year, my seizures remained debilitating and rendered me bed ridden most of the time. So, I decided to try smoking weed to subdue them.
Once I started smoking cannabis, I went ten days without a seizure, then twenty, then months, and so on. Eventually, I realized I had never heard of anyone using cannabis to actually treat Lyme disease. While trying an unknown treatment for a serious illness like Lyme disease may seem silly from the outside looking in, not doing so seemed silly from the inside looking out. So, one night when I was exceptionally depressed, I grabbed my weed and committed to smoking ungodly amounts. When I woke the next morning, my head felt clearer than it had in years, and thus began my journey of healing from Lyme disease with cannabis.
Within a few months, cannabis managed to do what no other medication had been able to do over the past two years and I became symptom free. After hitting remission, though, I made a dire mistake and quit taking it on a regular, consistent basis. That, upon various other factors, led to my inevitable relapse.
I now know that, for me, staying on a maintenance dose of cannabis oil is key for avoiding severe flares in Lyme disease symptoms. Of course, chronic Lyme disease rarely travels alone, and is often accompanied by various co-infections. Therefore, I am not comfortable calling cannabis a “cure” for Lyme disease, as no two cases are identical in nature. I can, however, say with confidence that cannabis dramatically improves my quality of life, as well as that of many others who I speak with, even when undergoing treatment for other aspects or infections related to Lyme disease. I personally feel cannabis has potent anti-bacterial effects on Lyme disease when taken in relatively large amounts, and serves as an excellent tool for symptom management when taken in tepid amounts throughout the day.
Writing my new book, Cannabis Oil for Lyme and Related Conditions, really opened my eyes to the fact that humans have made the self-destructive mistake of ignorantly assuming bacteria are unintelligent organisms, allowing them to adapt and evolve in ways enabling them to evade antibiotics –resulting in the steady emergence of drug resistant bacteria, such as the Lyme disease bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Despite cannabis’ exceptional ability to successfully inhibit and/or destroy growth of drug-resistant bacteria, as it is equipped with secondary metabolites with antibacterial properties potent enough to treat drug resistant bacteria and cannabinoids seem to go unscathed by the mechanisms drug resistant bacteria use to evade antibiotics, antibiotic properties of plants in general remain markedly unexploited, especially those of cannabis. While humans desperately strive to create synthetic drugs to treat bacterial infections and other conditions, plants like cannabis that are endowed with the very medical properties we struggle to create in labs are right under our feet. At some point, we must stop living on nature, and live with it –ultimately, our survival depends on it.