With an estimated 1.3 million people in the UK suffering late effects after initial infection with COVID-19, Australian medical cannabis company Bod Australia (ASX: BOD) intends to conduct a clinical trial of its products’ efficacy against long-term COVID .

The company announced today that it has received clinical trial approval from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, allowing it to begin a clinical trial on the efficacy of its MediCabilis 5% CBD product in long-term COVID.

This follows final protocol design and ethical approval, allowing for the immediate start of Bod’s participant recruitment process.

The study will recruit 30 study participants who have long-standing COVID – a condition without leading treatment in which symptoms of initial COVID-19 infection last longer than eight weeks.

Study participants will be administered daily doses of Bod’s medicinal cannabis product, MediCabilis 5%, over a six-month period, allowing Bod to collect efficacy data and provide a path to commercialization of a potential treatment product that would be sold across the UK and other countries.

“There is a wide range of long-term COVID indications, including shortness of breath, fatigue, worsening chest discomfort, loss of concentration, chronic pain, anxiety and insomnia,” says BOD.

“Many of these symptoms may be amenable to treatment with cannabis-based medicines, underscoring a significant opportunity for Bod.”

The medicinal cannabis company says success for the initiative would open up a major market opportunity, with the UK Office for National Statistics estimating that 1.3 million people in the UK currently have the disease and that around one in 40 people are infected with COVID -19 affected by symptoms lasting at least three months.

Bod CEO Jo Patterson said she is confident that MediCabilis can offer a solution to the condition as it is already being used to alleviate a number of conditions common in people with long COVID.

“While there are no existing treatments for long-term COVID, our medicinal cannabis products have been used to treat and alleviate a number of related conditions,” Patterson said.

“We expect this clinical study will give us great insight into its potential to treat long-term COVID and build on the evidence supporting the use of cannabis-based medicines in place of other medicines.

“We will use the generated data to better understand if MediCabilis can be used as a potential treatment and how we can accelerate further product commercialization, which will support continued sales growth.”

Shares of BOD are up 6.82 percent to $0.24 per share as of 12:09 p.m. AEDT. The company took 17th place last year List of Australia’s 20 largest publicly traded cannabis companies published in July, although the share price has since fallen 27 percent.

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