The Black Death, also known as the yersinia pestis plague, has caused significant epidemics across Europe and Asia throughout the past 2,000 years. In the 14th century, it killed more than one-third of the population of Europe within a few years. The plague is caused by a bacterium called yersinia pestis that is carried by infected rodents, such as mice, rats, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, and rabbits. An infected flea most often spreads the rare infection to humans in the U.S.
There are three types of plague: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic. The bubonic plague infects the lymph nodes, the septicemic plague infects the bloodstream, and the pneumonic—rarest—plague affects the lungs. Hospitalization is required to recover from yersinia pestis. Medical professionals will administer antibiotics intravenously and monitor bleeding and breathing problems.
Each type of infection carries separate symptoms, many of which may be relieved with medical cannabis. For example, the bubonic plague causes headaches, muscle cramps, and soreness that may be relieved by specific cannabis plant properties. Medical cannabis is just as useful for relieving muscle cramps. Animal research suggests that marijuana calms muscle spasticity. Spasms are thought to originate in areas of the brain that control movement.
While cases of yersinia pestis require hospitalization and antibiotics, medical cannabis is capable of helping to relieve some of its symptoms including pain, muscle aches, headache, and nausea. Further research into the antibacterial properties of cannabis is needed. Researchers admit in studying the correlation between bacteria and cannabis that some factors are unknown including cellular immune levels of the plant. But they did report that many studies in rodent models have demonstrated that THC can modulate the immune system’s function.
Medical cannabis’ ability to ease some of the infection’s harsh symptoms like headaches and muscle cramps could alleviate some of the harsh realities of the plague. Prevention includes avoiding contact with rodents, removing food sources for them, and wearing insect repellent containing DEET. The only treatment is hospital care to fight the infection and manage the uncomfortable symptoms of each plague type.
In conclusion, medical cannabis has demonstrated potential for relieving symptoms associated with yersinia pestis infection. Future research may lead to a better understanding of its antibacterial properties and how they can aid in fighting infections.