Despite the loss of income, severe pain, and difficulties in obtaining funding, individuals using and researching cannabis for long COVID treatment have become optimistic.
According to The Washington Post, endothelial cells that line the human brain’s blood vessels possess angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors, a protein type that the coronavirus is known to latch itself. This induces these cells to become enlarged, causing harm to the blood-brain barrier. Consequently, many people now suffer long COVID, and the effects of the disease last for weeks, months, or even years after the first exposure to COVID.
According to Dr Mikhail Kogan, a renowned cannabis clinician, what many are experiencing with long COVID is primarily long-term cognitive consequences. He added that patients suffering from long COVID exhibit cognitive decline, and in severe cases, outright dementia.” He claims that symptoms of long COVID include hair loss, mental fog, mood disorders like anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain like headaches and migraines, and changes in smell and taste and smell.
Long COVID symptoms are entirely unexpected for some people. Still, for others, it looks as if the SARS-CoV-2 virus activates latent conditions or health complications they were inclined to, and the infection becomes active. According to Dr Mikhail Kogan, When he and his team work with long COVID patients, they frequently discover other problems considering the patients had other ongoing health challenges for a long time. Still, since they were deemed mild, nobody paid adequate attention.
As The Washington Post explains, while there have been cases of older adults developing dementia due to their exposure, these neurological issues typically occur in younger people, between 20 years and 50 years old, who have never required hospitalization. Some people’s symptoms eventually go away. Others, on the other hand, are still struggling to recover from the ongoing devastation.
A 30 years old man from Enfield, Connecticut, named David and his partner of 10 years were exposed to COVID for the first time in late January 2020. His partner first picked up the virus after travelling across multiple states to pick up Ellie, their new rescue dog. Soon after, David got COVID. In David’s words, he and his partner were bedbound days after he got sick, and he had to use his bed frames and walls to hold himself up.” It felt like the flu combined with vertigo, food poisoning, and other symptoms. David further confirmed that in September of 2021, he and his partner contracted the Delta variant of the COVID virus.
David also confirmed that the health problems have persisted since they got over the initial symptoms of COVID and were no longer contagious. Davis added that in the last three years, he and his partner had noticed so many things going wrong with their health. Both experienced difficulty breathing in extreme cold and heat and frequent coughs. The preliminary findings point to lung scarring. He affirmed that he also has Sleep Apnea, while his brain appears to have aged 10-20 years. He claims to be frequently exhausted, in a lot of pain, and now has a terrible short-term memory. In addition to Fibromyalgia and POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), he says his partner has similar but more severe symptoms.
It’s not a fairytale outcome. David’s partner lost their farm job due to long COVID symptoms, and he could not keep working in fan and consumer services at LEGO because of long COVID brain fog. According to David, COVID has taken a lot from them through the years.
David is currently able to find one-time work in the video game industry. He has also discovered hope outside of the video game industry: cannabis. David affirmed that cannabis keeps him focused or, at least, keeps his mind off the negative emotions induced by long COVID. He added that cannabis helps to relieve nausea for both him and his partner; his partner literally couldn’t eat their first meal of the day without taking something to help quell their stomach. David also claimed that since using cannabis, sleeping has become so much better.
Cannabis is one of the handfuls of long-term COVID treatments that address multiple symptoms instead of just one. According to Dr Kogan, next to no patients exhibit just one symptom; everyone exhibits a bundle of symptoms. The symptoms often include three to five symptoms, such as insomnia, migraines, nausea, and anxiety, and cannabis remains nearly the only treatment that addresses all of the symptoms.
Dr Kogan says CBD is the primary line of defence; for the majority of pain, a little CBG is in order. Noting that his assertions are based on personal experience and that more studies are required, he adds that CBG is very effective for severe neuropathic pain when used in conjunction with treating depression and anxiety.
Unfortunately, this is problematic research to carry out. Not only are doctors discovering so much about long COVID every day, with only a few years to work with, but raising funds for cannabis research is difficult till the feds eliminate the Schedule I label. But don’t be concerned. The science nerds, as usual, find a solution. The NHS Research Ethics Committee and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency of the United Kingdom approved one of the world’s first scientific research on the efficacy of cannabis to treat long COVID in February 2022.The research is being conducted by the NGO Drug Science, which was established by David Nutt, a neuropsychopharmacologist who is famous for claiming that horseback riding was more threatening than using ecstasy.
Drug Science has recently completed its Phase two trials. David Badcock, Drug Science’s CEO, acknowledged that the trial is a feasibility study, and they are only halfway through it, so it will be folly to reach an early conclusion. Still, those patients appear to be responding well.” There is no dropout, which is excellent for a feasibility analysis. The study now has more than 3,000 patients uploading data every month. The study is administering to patients a full-spectrum high-CBD oil with a trace of THC but not enough to induce any psychoactive effects, thanks to the company BOD Australia.
According to Dr Mikhail Kogan, most patients treated with cannabis recover from the damaging effects of long COVID. He affirmed that such a success rate is possible, given their approach. The aim is to understand why patients develop these conditions and not just blindly prescribe treatments. So, by addressing the root cause of the symptoms, there’s no reason patients shouldn’t be hopeful.
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