There is a growing movement to investigate whether psychedelic drugs can treat Lung COVID, an often debilitating chronic condition for which there is currently no proven cure.
Psychedelics and Long COVID are a somewhat unlikely match. While research on psychedelics has exploded in recent years, much of it has focused on mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance use disorders.
The research on psychedelics and Lung COVID is negligible so far – and there's a lot standing in the way. Psychedelic drugs are federally illegal, categorized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as having a high potential for abuse and not accepted for medical use.
Research into psychedelics is increasing
Dr. Joel Castellanos, associate medical director at the University of California, San Diego's Psychedelics and Health Research Initiative, says he hears from many lung COVID patients who have tried or are interested in psychedelics. One patient saw such a drastic improvement in fatigue, headaches, depression and brain fog after taking a combination of psilocybin and MDMA that Castellanos is currently publishing a case study of patient experiences. While case studies don't prove cause and effect, Castellanos says he's excited about psychedelics. It's a whole new way of looking at many different symptoms that people experience.
There is already some research – albeit not in humans – suggesting that inflammation can be cured with psychedelic therapies. Charles Nichols, a professor of pharmacology at Louisiana State University School of Medicine, has found that some psychedelic drugs have anti-inflammatory effects in rodents. If the same turns out to be true for humans, Nichols says it makes sense to think that psychedelics could bring relief to people with lung COVID.
Psychoactive drugs have been shown to regulate neurotransmitters, stimulate cell growth in the brain, and reduce inflammation in the central nervous system, so it's possible those properties could translate into improvements in brain-related symptoms of lung COVID. Despite the positive rumors about Long COVID and psychedelics, much more research is needed.
Source: time.com (EN)