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In the News: Chronic Pain and Long COVID Crossover

October 21st, 2022 by The Starseed Team

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is coming closer to an end as everything has started to shift back to normal, however its effects in physical and mental health on millions of people are still very relevant. Given the well-established relationship between stress and pain, stress related to the pandemic may exacerbate pain and impair functioning in people with chronic pain.

Pre-existing chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia and arthritis, may be a risk factor for long COVID patients because they may experience symptoms of worsening pain, sleep, mood, and general well-being. The pandemic has also resulted in a rise in new-onset immune diseases and musculoskeletal disorders.

Muscle and joint pain are common symptoms during most acute viral illnesses, including COVID infection. In persons with acute COVID infections, the pain is thought to be a non-specific expression of the acute, inflammatory response, and it affects 20% to 30% of people. These symptoms worsen in people who have been hospitalized for severe COVID and can result in muscle wasting brought on by physical inactivity.

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Recognizing the potential connection between pre-existing chronic pain conditions and long-COVID will allow for a more tailored approach to diagnosis and management. If you have specific questions regarding your chronic pain, please speak to your Healthcare Provider for a tailored treatment plan.


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Previous Article
Everyday Tips for Chronic Back Pain
Nearly all people have low back pain at some point in their lives. In some industries, such as the trades and construction, chronic back pain is a significant problem at work, with 32% of workers over-indexing for just this condition. Let's learn more about back pain and what to do if you have a flare-up of low back pain: Low back pain is defined as pain in the area between the lowest ribs and the buttock region. This area of the body is very mobile and allows us to bend forward, extend, bend side to side, and rotate. Acute low back pain can make it difficult to move or find a comfortable sleeping position. It can also make you feel worried and anxious, which can make the pain worse. Chronic low back pain is defined as pain that lasts or recurs for at least three months. Unfortunately, chronic low back pain can lead to long-lasting sleep and mood problems. For low back pain flare-ups, there are various nonpharmacological treatments available, such as: • Heat or cold therapy • Warm bath with magnesium salts • Massage therapy and physical therapy Additionally, there are positions that you can practice at home, such as the cobra pose or lying in the Z position (see image A) (image B). [caption id="attachment_8982" align="alignnone" width="327"] (A) ”Z” lie[/caption] [caption id="attachment_8983" align="alignnone" width="335"] (B) Prone-lying passive extensions[/caption] Please speak with your healthcare provider if you have low back pain so they can rule out any serious problems. Since low back pain is often considered "non-specific," it is advised to continue engaging in physical activity as much as possible. Exercise is the foundation of chronic back pain treatment. It’s one of the first treatments you should try under the guidance of your physician and spine physical therapist. Other Pharmaceutical Treatments for Chronic Back Pain Analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and other medications (ie. Opioids) can be used to help control chronic back pain. However, most come with unwanted side effects and are not intended for prolonged use. If you find yourself relying on opioids to get through the day, it may be time to seek a second opinion. NEED TO SPEAK TO A HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONER ABOUT CHRONIC BACK PAIN? Book an Appointment
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CBG and it’s potential therapeutic effects on the Chronic Pain Triad
Similar to cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-intoxicating (no high) cannabinoid that can be used as an alternative, or supplement to CBD- and THC-based cannabis products. The Entourage Effect, also known as the sum of all parts leading to the unique qualities of cannabis, is a mechanism that has been known to researchers for a long time. It is a synergistic interaction of whole plant compounds (such CBD, THC, CBG, and CBN) that produces this effect.1 What is CBG? CBG (Cannabigerol) is a type of cannabinoid obtained from the cannabis plant. It’s often referred to as the mother of all cannabinoids and is a remarkably versatile compound with significant therapeutic promise. Cannabigerolic acid (CBG-A), which is its acidic form, serves as the foundation for many other major and minor cannabinoids.2 CBG-A is the acidic chemical precursor of three primary compounds: 1. THC-A 2. CBD-A 3. CBC-A The CBG Discovery Discovered in 1964, Raphael Mechoulam called CBG "the missing link in the plant synthesis of cannabinoid compounds" when it was found the same year as THC.3 Scientists were able to create CBG biosynthetically (from scratch) in 1971 after years of research on the novel cannabinoid. Scientists started to understand CBG's possible medical benefits in 1975. First, it was discovered to be a "GABA uptake inhibitor," which may explain a few of CBG's effects as a muscle relaxant and an anti-anxiety agent. Later, CBG's potential as an antibiotic, cytotoxin, antidepressant, analgesic, and antifungal was explored. Even though the study results are still not definitive, researchers are encouraged to find out more about how CBG's potential therapeutic effects might be applied to human studies, specifically on treating the Chronic Pain Triad. The Pain Triad Chronic pain is rarely isolated; it is frequently linked with sleep disturbances and emotional distress, forming the well-known “Pain Triad”. These three interconnected ailments can affect a person’s quality of life. How is CBG used today? Let's explore some of the products provided by Starseed Medicinal to learn more about the Entourage Effect. The CBD, CBN, and CBG in the Night Night Full Spectrum CBN + CBD Vape work together to produce the following therapeutic effects: • Inhaled CBD can provide rapid relief from anxiety and panic attacks. • CBN is a sedative that has a low risk of intoxication (no high), making it ideal for use as an inhaled sleep aid (i.e., sleep induction). • CBG is starting to demonstrate benefits in treating the chronic pain triad's symptoms. In addition to the CBD and CBN, the CBG in this product will offer further assistance for pain, sleep, and anxiety. The Night Night Full Spectrum CBN + CBD Vape can be used as an adjunct to other products such as Prime CBD oral spray. For chronic pain and/or anxiety, the Prime CBD oral spray will offer long-acting relief throughout the day, and the Night Night Full Spectrum CBN + CBD Vape will offer fast-acting relief at bedtime. Recently, a team of American scientists examined the possible therapeutic effects of consuming CBG-dominant products in humans 4 (See Figure 1 below). Anxiety (51.2%), chronic pain (40.9%), depression (33.1%), and insomnia (30.7%) were the most frequent medical conditions reported to show efficacy. In addition, a significant proportion of people reported stopping taking the top three drug classes—antidepressants, non-opioid analgesics, and proton pump inhibitors. The most frequent side effects were dry eyes, dry mouth, sleepiness, and increased appetite. Both CBG and CBD have the potential to alleviate pain, anxiety, and sleep issues (the Chronic Pain Triad), but CBG appears to be more potent than CBD, requiring less mg to be effective. For instance, 100mg of CBD may be needed to provide anti-anxiety benefits, whereas 10 to 20mg of CBG appear to be effective2. By enhancing the effects of THC chemovars on pain, sleep, and mood, CBG has promise as a useful adjunct. The therapeutic index of THC may be noticeably enhanced by the anti-anxiety properties of CBG. Why is CBG so exciting? To treat anxiety, we need a medication that is safe, non-sedating, and non-addictive. Some anti-anxiety drugs, like benzodiazepines, are not very well accepted and can have negative health consequences such as addiction, memory loss, etc. Can CBG be an alternative for anxiety? It is certainly a desirable addition to other cannabis-based treatments due to its safety and versatility. [1] Russo, E. (2019). The case for the entourage effect and conventional breeding of clinical cannabis: no “strain,” no gain. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9 (1969), 1-8.  [2] Russo, E. (2021, November 4). CBG: The Up & Coming Cannabinoid [Webinar]. CReDO Science. [3] (Gaoni & Mechoulam, 1964) [4] Russo, E.B., Cuttler C., Cooper, Z.D., Stueber, A., Whiteley, V.L., & Sexton, M. (2022). Survey of patients employing cannabigerol-predominant cannabis preparations: perceived medical effects, adverse events, and withdrawal symptoms. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 7 (5), 706-716.