Is cannabis going to bring salvation to people who have had Covid for a long time, and long-term symptoms caused by their corona infection? To test this in practice, a clinical trial is now starting in the UK. The Australian medical cannabis company Bod Australia has received permission from the British Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
There have been quite a few scientific studies done on the potential of cannabis as a medicine against the new SARS COV2 virus that has been gripping the world for two years now. Although sometimes promising, up to now these have always been laboratory tests with animals or with human (lung) cells in petri dishes. But now, finally, in England they are going to test cannabis as a treatment in real people!
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Trial of Australian cannabis medicine for people who have had Covid for a long period
The trial is being conducted by the Australians in Britain in collaboration with the organization Drug Science. Specifically, people who continue to suffer from corona for a long time (i.e. even after 8 weeks after infection) – such as symptoms as fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle aches, headaches, palpitations, persistent highs, forgetfulness, prolonged loss of the sense of smell – are being treated with the drug MediCabilis® 5 percent.
Covid is a vast and global problem
Covid now also involves large groups of people. In Britain, for example, there are currently around 1.3 million people suffering from Covid, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). One in forty corona patients experience symptoms that last at least three months.
As you well know, cannabis is widely prescribed – and much more widely used without an official prescription – for the control of chronic pain, something that is also the case with Covid, of course. But anxiety and insomnia, which many Covid patients experience according to the ONS, are also among the most common conditions for which people use cannabis. Not surprisingly, it is thought that many symptoms caused by Covid may well benefit from treatment with cannabis.
Similarities between Covid symptoms and reasons for cannabis use
Bod Australia is already looking for 30 patients at least 18 years old who have Long Covid after Clinical Trial Authorization so that the clinical trial can start as soon as possible. Participants will soon be administered the cannabis medicine MediCabilis on a daily basis, over a period of six months. Through a smartphone app, they must provide daily and monthly ratings of symptoms such as breathlessness, fatigue, cognition (attention, concentration, etc.), and pain.
The results will determine whether this cannabis medicine is suitable and safe to be included in the Covid treatment package. Lead investigator is Dr Elizabeth Iverson and she says: ‘We are delighted that permission for a clinical trial has been granted so that we can conduct this trial into the potential use of medicinal cannabis products to treat Long Covid. Given the ongoing and global presence of Covid-19 and its long-term effects, a scientific approach towards potential treatment mechanisms associated with the condition (Covid, ed.) is important.’
Professor David Nutt: ‘Exciting step’
The founder of partner Drug Science at the Australian company, is no stranger: Professor David Nutt. Made world famous with his ranking of drugs ranked by harmfulness. Once he lost his job as drug advisor to the British government for saying that horseback riding is more harmful to public health than swallowing xtc.
So now the professor is chief scientific officer at Drug Science and thus also involved in the clinical trial of cannabis as a Covid treatment. Nutt: “Long Covid shares symptoms with conditions that medicinal cannabis has already proven to be able to cure. So this new study could be an exciting and important step for patients and for wider understanding regarding this medication. Covid is a problem in many countries, our hope is that this UK study will ensure that patients can be helped worldwide.
Cannabis medicine instead of pills
The CEO of Bod Australia is also optimistic in nature. Jo Patterson: ‘While there are no (successful) existing treatments for Long Covid, our medicinal cannabis products have been used to treat and relieve a number of the same conditions. We expect this clinical trial to give us great insight into the potential of cannabis to treat Covid, and to put more evidence on the table for the use of cannabis medication rather than other pharmaceuticals.’
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