Is Medical Marijuana a Remedy for Brain Fog?
Can medical marijuana help treat “Brain Fog” — a newly identified side-effect of the coronavirus. The effects of brain fog tends to continue for some time after a patient has presumably recovered from Covid-19. What causes this debilitating condition? And can medical marijuana be used to reduce, halt, or reverse brain fog?
Having trouble focusing after a bout with Covid-19, of just feeling fuzzy in the noogie? You might be suffering from a newly identified medical condition known as “Covid brain fog?” The good news is that medical marijuana might help patients suffering from brain fog to recover their wits.
It seems as if every week during this pandemic, some new and frightening symptom of Covid-19 is described. The latest scary news is that many patients are suffering from mental impairment for weeks or even months after they’ve supposedly been cured of the viral infection. Survivors of Covid-19 who are suffering from lingering symptoms are being called “long-haulers” by the medical community.
Many Americans who are reluctant to take proper precautions to protect themselves against a coronavirus infection are thinking because they are young and healthy they will “get over it” quickly. However, they don’t realize that the disease can have debilitating, lingering symptoms even with a mild case of Covid-19.
What Is Covid Brain Fog?
An important discovery was made during a recent study, indicating Covid-19 patients who endured lengthy hospitalizations, were experiencing inordinately high mortality rates. Many of the surviving patients found that carrying out simple day-to-day activities was almost impossible after their release.
Symptoms of brain fog include an inability to focus, forgetfulness, confusion, anxiety, memory loss, and even motor impairments such as dizziness. Also associated with the condition are headaches, insomnia, and fatigue.
A French report released in August focused on one hundred and twenty formerly-hospitalized patients. Shockingly, thirty-four percent reported a significant loss of memory function. An additional twenty-seven percent had seemingly lost the ability to concentrate or focus. These symptoms prevailed many months after the patients had been released from the hospital.
The Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology published a report in October 2020, disclosing more revelations regarding Covid survivors. The report stated that four hundred and seventeen out of five hundred and nine Chicago-area patients released months prior, were experiencing on-going, debilitating neurological disruptions.
Professor Natalie Lambert, of the Indiana University School of Medicine, recently conducted a survey within a group of former Covid patients aptly named “Survivor Corps.”
In the survey, about 3,400 members were polled, and the statistics were frightening. Over 50 percent of the participants reported devastating declines in their levels of concentration, and the ability to focus on even the most mundane tasks.
Covid-19 “brain-fog” was number four out of the one hundred and one long and short-term neurological, physical, and psychological issues these survivors were confronting.
It’s too early for the medical community to determine the long term effects of Covid-19, and the associated cognitive damage. Sadly, in some cases, the damage may be permanent.
Research tells us that there may be a glimmer of hope to be found in some of the healing properties of medical cannabis, and its ability to slow, prevent, or possibly reverse cognitive damage and Covid-19 brain fog.
What causes Covid 19 Long Haul brain fog?
There is still a great deal of mystery as to the exact cause of Covid brain fog. Some healthy young Covid survivors with no underlying issues who experienced mild cases are dealing with on-going cognitive impairment months after recuperation.
Inflammation of blood vessels in the brain might be the culprit behind Covid-19 brain fog, according to some medical professionals. Dr. Serena Spudich, chief of neurological infections and global neurology at Yale School of Medicine believes inflammatory molecules released during immune response “can also be toxic, particularly to the brain.”
Encephalopathy is a state of altered mental function that was a common condition observed in hospitalized Covid patients experiencing respiratory complications. This condition was also known to induce severe confusion and delirium.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke released a report stating: “The hallmark of encephalopathy is an altered mental state.” The report also refers to decreased cognition, memory loss, confusion, and lethargy caused by Covid-induced encephalopathy.
Covid-19 and its myriad symptoms seem to morph constantly, and they are not consistent in their presentation from one patient to the next. The medical community is still puzzled by the many lingering issues, and Covid brain fog is still a mystery.
How does medical marijuana help treat brain fog?
Can Marijuana Help Treat Brain Fog? Recent studies are showing that cannabis produces anti-inflammatory and anti-stress compounds known as cannabinoids. Extensive research has indicated cannabinoids’ ability to protect neurons, reduce inflammation, improve cognition, and relax the mind and body.
In a 2012 research review by Dr. Andras Bilkey-Gorzo he reported: “At first sight, it is striking that cannabinoid, substances known to impair cognitive functions, could be beneficial in neurodegenerative cognitive disorders. However, [we found] cannabinoid receptor activation could reduce oxidative stress and excitotoxicity, suppress neuroinflammatory processes, and thus alleviate the symptoms of neurodegenerative motor and cognitive diseases.”
Dr. Sanchez-Ramos, based on an early study, claimed that cannabis is known to “slow the onset and progression of neurodegenerative conditions.” Cannabinoids indicated their innate ability to facilitate neuroprotective and antioxidative actions.
In March 2014 the British Journal of Pharmacology made this statement: “A common issue with neurological disorders is the chronic inflammation of neurons. Both THC and CBD have been shown to produce strong anti-inflammatory responses… Furthermore, THC and CBD have antioxidant properties and are known to protect against the degeneration of neurons and nerve cells in the brain.”
More beneficial qualities of CBD and its profound effect on relieving symptoms of Covid brain fog were cited in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
Here is an excerpt from one of their reviews:
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid with therapeutic properties for numerous disorders exerted through molecular mechanisms that are yet to be completely identified. CBD acts in some experimental models as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic, and antipsychotic agent, and is, therefore, a potential medicine for the treatment of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety, and schizophrenia, respectively. The neuroprotective potential of CBD, based on the combination of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, is of particular interest and is presently under intense preclinical research in numerous neurodegenerative disorders.
Many benefits of CBD are mentioned in the review, including its neuroprotective qualities and its efficacy as an anxiety-reducing compound. CBD is believed to relieve factors such as stress and anxiety that might contribute to Covid brain fog.
Moreover, CBD has been shown to activate neurons in the hippocampus (where memories are consolidated) by increasing levels of calcium ion in the mitochondria.
CBD oil and other CBD-infused products may be a way for Covid-19 patients to retard or even reverse the damage inflicted by this nasty virus, including brain fog.
What Are The Best Cannabis Strains For Treating Brain Fog?
Some medical marijuana strains being touted for the efficacy in treating neurological impairment that comes with brain fog include:
If these strains are not available at your local dispensary, talk to your marijuana doctor or a knowledgeable budtender about other effective cannabis strains.
Covid brain fog is a serious medical condition that can potentially result in permanent brain damage if not taken seriously and treated in a timely manner. Medical marijuana offers a safe and natural treatment to patients suffering from Covid brain fog.
How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card for Brain Fog
In states where medical marijuana is legal, Individuals suffering from brain fog will need to contact a certified medical marijuana doctor to determine if their symptoms fall within those associated with their state’s list of qualifying medical conditions.
Some states such as Florida, Missouri and Texas list particular ailments that may be treated with medical marijuana. It’s quite possible that Covid brain fog might qualify as one of those conditions, or the ancillary effects including anxiety, depression which may be caused by PTSD. Some states permit medical marijuana doctors to determine if the patient can benefit from the use of cannabis.
Most marijuana doctors will offer a free phone consultation to determine if the patient is eligible for a medical marijuana card. If in the doctor’s judgment the patient’s condition qualifies them for a card, they will set up an appointment for an in-person evaluation.
If a patient is approved, the healthcare provider’s staff will usually assist the patient in filing the proper applications with the state. The registration process is often done online.
Sign Up for Medical Cannabis Today!
For potential patients, if you’re ready, we make it easy to connect with a medical marijuana doctor nearby or online. If you are interested in getting certified, please fill out the MMJ patient registration form below and press submit to get started. See if you qualify today!
MedCard Registration Form
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Sources And Additional Reading:
- For ‘Long-Haul’ Coronavirus Patients, Symptoms Last Months
- Common Steroid Dexamethasone May Help Severe COVID-19 Cases | Time
- Nearly One-Third of Covid-19 Patients in Study Had Altered Mental State
- Frequent neurologic manifestations and encephalopathy‐associated morbidity in Covid‐19 patients
- Neurologic manifestations in hospitalized patients with COVID-19: The ALBACOVID registry
- Neurologic Manifestations of Hospitalized Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Wuhan, China
- Post-discharge persistent symptoms and health-related quality of life after hospitalization for COVID-19
- As Their Numbers Grow, COVID-19 “Long Haulers” Stump Experts
- Cannabidiol for neurodegenerative disorders: important new clinical applications for this phytocannabinoid?