Since cannabis is already used to alleviate symptoms similar to long Covid, an Australian company will be starting clinical trials to see if medical pot can be used as a treatment for the condition.
On Monday, cannabis-centric healthcare company Bod Australia Limited. (ASX: BOD) said it received authorization from U.K. regulators to immediately start a six-month clinical trial on the effectiveness of medical cannabis for long Covid. Bod will work with the independent scientific body Drug Science UK for the clinical trial.
“While there aren’t any existing treatments for long Covid, our medicinal cannabis products have been used to treat and alleviate a number of similar conditions,” Bod CEO Jo Patterson says. “We anticipate that this clinical trial will provide us with great insight into its potential to treat long Covid and build on the body of evidence for the use of cannabis-based medicines, in place of other pharmaceuticals.”
If the trial produces successful results, Bod says it plans to commercialize its product that treats the disease.
Bod Australia has secured Clinical Trial Authorisation secured to commence UK-based trial into #medicinalcannabis efficacy on long-COVID. Read our full announcement here: https://t.co/k2koOhnlwH $BOD $BOD.ax #COVID19 #health #cannabis #ASX pic.twitter.com/SA5AtF3QQz
— Bod Australia (@BodAustralia) January 16, 2022
Long Covid is a condition that refers to persistent or new symptoms after an initial Covid-19 infection. There’s a wide range of symptoms, including shortness of breath, chronic pain, anxiety, sleep disturbances and fatigue.
The World Health Organization notes that symptoms may fluctuate or relapse over time, and can have a general impact on everyday functioning.
Recent estimates say about 1.3 million people in the U.K. have long Covid. Most (70 per cent) reported catching the virus 12 weeks before, and around 40 per cent said they first got the illness at least a year prior.
For the clinical trials, 30 participants over the age of 18 suffering from long Covid will be recruited to take daily doses of Bod’s medicinal cannabis product, MediCabilis 5%, for six months.
Participants will self-report their symptoms on a daily and monthly basis through a smartphone app. Those results will determine the feasibility and safety of the medical cannabis product as a treatment.
Bod says a trial protocol has been finalized and an ethics approval secured, while patient recruitment is underway.
Cannabis and Covid headlines have cycled through newsfeeds following a recent lab study showing that cannabinoids can block entry of the virus into cells.