BY RUTH HILL R.N.
SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone, with a significant impairment of quality of life. This condition is defined as “persistent post-COVID syndrome” (PPCS) or “long COVID”. Indeed, it is believed that the hyperactivation of the immune system with abnormalities in the blood clotting system could persist in predisposed individuals causing the chronic symptomatology of long COVID.
LONG COVID SYMPTOMS
The main symptoms include extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, and “brain fog” (that is problems with memory and concentration), as well as difficulty sleeping, heart palpitations, dizziness, joint pain, the persistence of inability to smell and/or neuropsychiatric complications.
From sixteen publications in the literature, I present in this article the advantages of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoids, from the cannabis plant, as a potential agent for the treatment of COVID-19. CBD has been shown to stop the proteins responsible for viral entry and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication. Non-intoxicating CBD is isolated from the Cannabis sativa plant and, apart from the psychoactive ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), represents the best-studied compound in this group.
Clinical studies, which reveal the anxiolytic and antinociceptive effects of CBD (given alone or together with THC), may be important in addition to other treatments to improve the quality of life in patients with COVID-19 and limit post-traumatic stress symptoms.
CBD and COVID STUDIES
One research study examined how CBD affected the gateways for the entry of the virus into cells. They found that high-CBD Cannabis sativa extracts decreased angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE2), the enzyme responsible for allowing the virus to enter the cell.
In another study, CBD exhibited an inhibitory effect on SARS-CoV-2 replication and was at least as potent, in this respect, as the antiviral drugs Remdesivir, chloroquine, and lopinavir, which are already used for the treatment of COVID-19. Chronic CBD administration reduced the acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by the cytokine storm.
CBD taken as a prophylactic administration or taken at the time of an event prevents the negative consequences of myocardial infarction by decreasing the infarct size or arrhythmia. Chronic administration of CBD through prophylactic and/or therapeutical interventions has numerous beneficial effects in organs that are also targeted by the coronavirus; they mainly result from CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidative actions.
With vaccine-related skepticism being on the rise, as well as breakthrough infections in the vaccinated population and the threat of a complete immune escape variant, alternative strategies in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 are urgently required. Recurrent waves of infection paired with more infectious virus variants are still placing a severe strain on public health systems, preventing governments from abolishing safety regulations.
Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a naturally occurring lipid mediator that has an entourage effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) mitigating the cytokine storm. The aim of this retrospective study is to evaluate the potential efficacy of PEA in the treatment of long COVID. Patients attending the Neurological Out Clinic in Messina, Italy, from August 2020 to September 2021 were screened for potential inclusion in the study.
The efficacy of PEA could be explained by its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its
antiviral activity. The neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effect of PEA has been recently studied in patients with smell dysfunction. In a recent clinical trial on the efficacy of PEA on olfactory dysfunction, it has been shown that a combination of PEA and luteolin (PEA-LUT) with olfactory training was more efficient in recovering smell than olfactory training alone.
Luteolin is a flavonoid possessing anti-oxidative, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory properties. Recent studies show it also offers cardiac protection. PEA-LUT is available on Amazon.
Indeed, PEA disassembles lipid droplets thanks to the activation of the PPAR-α receptor. The lack of drug interactions and absence of adverse effects of PEA is an important advantage in the management and adherence to the therapy, also in the earliest stages of COVID-19.
To learn more about the benefits of cannabis in treating numerous conditions attend one of my lectures every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at The Vault Dispensary and Lounge between 11 AM and 1 PM. Sign up by calling 760-866-9660 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.