Study reveals long COVID case cured by psychedelics

psychedelics for long covid: covid spore with psychedelic pattern

Long COVID impacts many, whether they are vaccinated or not. In 2022, 14 percent of Americans struggled with the condition known to cause lingering chronic pain, brain fog, shortness of breath, chest pain, and intense fatigue that sometimes lasts for years.

Vaccinations shrink the possibility of contracting long COVID. Unvaccinated people who contracted the lingering condition were shown to face more intense symptoms compared to those who were vaccinated. With very few proven treatment methods, any potential option piques the interest of those struggling.

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There aren’t many holistic long COVID treatments, but one case study has drawn some attention. A 41-year-old fully vaccinated woman seems to have found symptomatic relief from a self-prescribed combination of psilocybin and MDMA. There are obvious limitations to a one-person case study. However, with so few treatment options, the positive outcome warrants a look.

Psychedelics for long COVID

This case study was published recently, but treatment took place from May to November 2022. Before seeking help, the patient contracted the virus despite getting all three shots, developing a sore throat, headache, fever, cough, fatigue, body aches, diminished smell, and the inability to taste anything but salt. Pre-COVID, she experienced about two to four migraines each month since she was a teen, but the virus brought on a new kind of headache.

Though comprehensive, her COVID symptoms were considered acute–but they persisted a month after the illness resolved. She now experienced a global, pressured headache five times a week, and it could last up to 12 hours, which was different from her familiar migraines. This was on top of other post-COVID symptoms like decreased libido, trouble finding the words she was hoping to say, and more.

The patient took prescribed medications for the headaches, and pain improved up to 60 percent, but the headaches kept rolling in. Massage therapy, nutrition changes, chiropractic therapy, and meditation also failed to quash the issues. As a result of nothing working, she was referred to a long COVID clinic and got her name on a long waitlist. While waiting, the patient sought guidance from a therapist for a protocol of MDMA and Golden Teacher psilocybin mushrooms.

The MDMA and psilocybin regimen

In May 2022, she received her first dose: one gram of Golden Teachers purchased online (which is illegal). tested the psychedelics used. Though she had an uncomfortable come-up featuring a shivering chill, the report states that “The patient subjectively reported a 20% improvement in her depression, fatigue, joint pains, and headache for seven days.”

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Almost a month later, she consumed 125 milligrams of MDMA, followed by two grams of Golden Teachers in mushroom tea one hour later. This trip featured a less shivery initiation, but the patient got nauseous. Effects also came on slower than in the previous session. During this experience, she self-described “feeling very detached from Long-COVID symptoms.”

One hour into the second session, she ranked her pain a zero out of 10. After this session, her fatigue, depression, anxiety, joint pain, and headaches improved enough that she resumed her PhD studies.

The unique headaches became less intense and less frequent after the second treatment. She suffered about five of these headaches a week, lasting anywhere from eight to 12 hours at the start. Three months after that second dose, she self-reported one headache per week, lasting just two to four hours. At this point, she clocked herself at 80 percent for symptom improvement.

Four months after her final dose, the patient experienced a long COVID relapse. Still, headaches were not as frequent or intense as before taking the regimen. She returned for another two-gram psilocybin dose, after which she reported “complete resolution of her symptoms.”

Take results with a grain of salt

Though exciting, this case study is just that: the story of one person’s success potentially treating long COVID with psychedelics. It is interesting fodder for future studies but only proves that there’s room to research, not that psychedelics cure long COVID.

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A study would need to be blind and randomized, procurement and dosing monitored by researchers to identify a universal connection between long COVID and psychedelics. However, it does highlight interesting biological processes that might be at play in this widely mysterious condition.

“Further research is needed to determine whether psychedelics are safe and effective for Long-COVID and to understand the potential mechanisms of action,” the study concludes.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.