New Studies Showing Promise in Using Cannabinoids to Help Patients with Long COVID-19
Multiple medical studies suggest that CBD could be beneficial for people who suffer from long COVID. Long COVID refers to multiple symptoms that affect health after the COVID-19 symptoms are gone. The lingering long CVOID symptoms can last as long as nine months.
Some of the symptoms that plague long COVID patients include difficulty breathing, brain fog, extreme fatigue, to name a few. The symptoms last beyond 12 weeks after the COVID infection which is why it is called “long COVID.” Now several studies have found some of the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant may contribute to the treatment of COVID and relief from long COVID symptoms for “long haulers.”
A study published in April 2021 targeted three human proteins which had been found to be damaged by COVID-19 proteins during infection and remain unregulated post-COVID. Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabivarin (CVN) from the cannabis plant can bind to symptoms that are related to proteins in the central nervous system. These are symptoms that continue after COVID infection. The cannabinoids downregulate the three human proteins and provide therapeutic benefits.
Another study at the Rabin Medical Center involved 11 patients. The participants were very sick with COVID. The study tested CBD on the patients, and eight experienced improvements in their infection. CBD oil was administered, and the eight patients in the serious condition experienced a stop in their health decline.
“After giving CBD oil we saw a drop in signs of the infection, and this is definitely encouraging and gives a foundation to continue the research,” said Dr. Iliya Kagan, head of the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
There are other studies, including one in January 2022 at Oregon State University. This study investigated cannabigerol acid (CBGA) and cannabidiol acid (CBDA) for COVID treatment. These are cannabinoid precursor acids for CBG and CBD. The study chose these acids because they are known to be safe for humans. The researchers found the hemp compounds blocked the COVID virus from infecting people by binding to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
It is exciting to see so much research taking place to study cannabinoids as possible virus prevention and therapeutic options. If they can prevent or treat a virus infection, or reduce symptoms post-CVOID, they have the potential to treat viruses that appear in the future. What they learn now during an active pandemic can lead to future virus treatments that may ease suffering.