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Cannabis and Long Covid (Part 1 & 2)

Presented by Professor Kylie O'Brien, PhD and Dr Philip Blair, MD.

About this module:

The aftermath of an initial infection with COVID-19 has been found to cause many different symptoms and signs that can last for many weeks or months. This phenomenon has been referred to as Long Covid Syndrome. Could medicinal cannabis play a role in its management? In Part 1 of a two-part presentation, medicinal cannabis educator and research Professor Kylie O’Brien, discusses the endocannabinoid system, key components of the cannabis and symptoms/signs associated with Long Covid. In Part 2, she is joined by cannabis expert and prescriber Dr Philip Blair MD in the US where they discuss how key cannabinoids and terpenes might address the pathomechanisms associated with Long Covid Syndrome as well as various symptoms and signs associated with this syndrome. 

This presentation is pitched at the level of healthcare practitioners and those with a background in biomedical sciences. An introduction of the endocannabinoid system and cannabis is included in this presentation for those who have no background knowledge.
Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module, learners will be able to:

  • Describe many of the symptoms and signs that characterise Long Covid.
  • Discuss how key cannabinoids and terpenes might address the pathomechanisms associated with Long Covid Syndrome 
  • Describe how palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) might address the pathomechanisms associated with Long Covid Syndrome. 
  • Discuss how key cannabinoids and terpenes might address cognitive impairment associated with Long Covid Syndrome.
  • Argue whether there is any scientific evidence to support the contention that key cannabinoids and terpenes may have a role to play in the treatment of symptoms and signs associated with Long Covid Syndrome.

Professor Kylie O'Brien, PhD

Professor Kylie O’Brien PhD is an Adjunct Professor at Torrens University. She has a strong academic career in the fields of Chinese medicine, integrative medicine, and, since 2018, in medicinal cannabis. She has worked for the Victorian Department of Human Services, and held senior leadership roles in the university and private education sector. An internationally recognised expert in Chinese medicine and integrative medicine, she has published extensively, including a book on integrative oncology (US: Springer, 2017). Kylie’s second book, with co-author Dr Philip Blair, O’Brien K, Blair P, Medicinal Cannabis and CBD in Mental Healthcare, Springer, 2021 has now been published (Springer). She is a member of the Australian government’s Tertiary Education and Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) Expert Panel and a previous member of the TGA Advisory Committee for Complementary Medicines.

Kylie has been leading doctor education on medicinal cannabis in Australia since 2018. Her courses were the first to receive RACGP Category 1 CPD accreditation. She also set up the pathway via the National Institute of Integrative Medicine Ethics Committee for doctors to apply to become authorised prescribers of medicinal cannabis under the TGA’s Authorised Prescriber Scheme.
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