Everybody within the HIV/AIDS community is discussing the use of cannabis to treat this disease. According to Nature, an estimated 25 percent to 56 percent of sufferers are ordering marijuana delivery to manage the symptoms. Despite this, one question remains: Does medical marijuana actually help? Yes, it does. In fact, some cannabinoid-based medications are already available to HIV/AIDS patients.
Most people already know that cannabis has a very promising, huge variety of health benefits. For those with HIV/AIDS, it is most famous for alleviating some of the most destructive symptoms, such as anorexia or cachexia, or a loss of appetite and wasting syndrome respectively. However, cannabis is much more complex than that. As it turns out, there is far more to this story.
Extremely interesting studies have been occurring at a faster pace. Many small clinical trials have been pioneering discovery. It is clear there are positive associations between improved immune cell counts and viral loads and the use of marijuana. Although results have only formed part of the short-term study, fascinating research is brewing on the effects of medical cannabis on HIV and AIDS specifically.
HIV, or the human immunodeficiency virus, is particularly troublesome and unique for the human body. It effectively shuts down the body’s natural response to harmful pathogens, allowing them to enter peacefully and wreak destruction at will. HIV patients are more prone to dangerous infections, even some forms of cancer. As a retrovirus, HIV infects a host’s body and fuses with his or her immune cells.
Once it gains control of an immune cell, it starts to release its own genetic information or DNA. This DNA then starts fusing with other cells in the host, combining the two different genetic organisms together. Once this happens, patients develop acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. This is when the viral HIV genes become an irreversible part of your own cellular DNA, an incurable sentence.
At this point, as mutated cells divide and share their own genetic information, these viral genes come with it. The virus effectively takes over human cells, exerting control of its host and directing it to create new viruses. In turn, it then spreads these viruses to other victims. This is why early treatment is so paramount. If left untreated, the progression of HIV to AIDS becomes inevitable and tragic.
Once patient progress to having full-blown AIDS, his or her immune system is so compromised that it no longer fights off the most common issues, ones it would easily overcome otherwise, such as influenza. Bacteria and fungi alien to the body can lead to particularly severe illnesses in AIDS patients. Since the body cannot fight infection, muscles atrophy and patients cannot eat, it is often fatal.
Benefits of Cannabis for HIV/AIDS
HIV/AIDS is a legitimate medical condition that qualifies patients for cannabis therapy in most states. Yet, how does it work exactly? We already know that cannabis is a powerful painkiller and appetite stimulant, but emerging evidence suggests that there might well be much to cannabis than meets the eye, especially when it comes its other effects on HIV/AIDS:
1. Marijuana Treats Cachexia
One of the main reasons that HIV/AIDS patients use medical marijuana is because it has such powerful antiemetic and appetite-stimulating properties. It relieves nausea and vomiting, and it increases appetite. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, cannabis shows huge promise in treating HIV/AIDS-related cachexia or wasting syndrome.
Cachexia causes extreme and rapid weight loss and muscle deterioration. According to Science Direct, sufficient evidence exists to prove cannabis effective that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration already approved Nabilone, a synthetic form of 9-THC, to treat HIV/AIDS wasting specifically. The drug effectively stimulates appetite and encourages patients to gain weight.
According to Science Direct, two human clinical trials tested synthetic cannabinoids on HIV/AIDS patients. Both found increased body weight, reduced nausea, improved mood, and higher food intake in study participants. Both studies used placebo control and another synthetic THC drug called Dronabinol. Effects were positive and dramatic for patients, who all reported increased enjoyment of food too.
2. Marijuana Improves Viral Louds and Immune Cell Counts
A correlation clearly exists between the use of cannabis and improved viral loads and CD4 counts. Professor Donald Abrams, a medical doctor at the University of California in San Francisco, published a study in the U.S. National Library of Medicine back in 2003. He tested both the effects of smoked marijuana and Dronabinol against a placebo group. This involved 62 HIV-positive participants.
Each underwent a 25-day in-patient treatment, all while doctors analyzed their levels of CD4 and CD8 T-cell counts and monitored their viral loads. Both CD4 and CD8 T-cells are the specific immune cells that this virus attacks and eventually controls. By taking over these immune cells, the virus allows other microbes, viruses, and bacteria to invade, with the body unable to defend itself from them in any way.
Furthermore, all participants taking cannabinoids maintained an undetectable status by study’s end, meaning the levels of HIV virus within their blood was still below the currently detectable limit. Even better, all had increased counts of both CD4 and CB8 T-cells, CD4 by nearly 20 percent and CD8 by 20 percent in the weed smokers and 10 percent in those consuming Dronabinol.
More T-cells means a stronger ability to fight infection. A 2015 study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine supported these findings. It showed cannabis lowering viral load and increasing CD4 levels significantly when compared to non-using HIV patients. However, a study in 2017 in the U.S. National Library of Medicine found these effects redundant in patients co-infected with hepatitis C.
3. Marijuana Relieves Neuropathic Pain
One of the main reasons for the existence of a weed delivery service in Los Angeles is to help patients suffering from chronic neuropathic and other types of pain. It’s analgesic effects are legendary. A study published by Nature in 2009 analyzed 28 HIV-positive patients and the effects that cannabis had on the associated neuropathic pain. Obvious to all by now, cannabis proved a highly effective analgesic.
Study participants experienced an average reduction in neuropathic pain of as much as 30 percent, and this just a few weeks after starting cannabis treatment. Patients also reported a notable improvement in mood after consuming cannabis, as well as better overall function throughout the day. It is clearer than ever before that cannabis helps HIV/AIDS patients enormously, and from many different angles.
Weed Delivery Service in Los Angeles
Despite the popularity of marijuana delivery for medical patients, including HIV/AIDS sufferers, it is important to remember that dose matters. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, too much THC can have negative consequences for sufferers, particularly on short-term neurocognitive function. These include attention, memory, verbal ability, and learning.
Fortunately, these effects are only temporary and if you do not enjoy the “high” associated with THC, you can still use it medicinally in minute traces to treat HIV/AIDS and its symptoms. With the abundance of evidence emerging, it is obvious that cannabis and all of its cannabinoids, terpenes, even flavonoids have a huge role to play in future therapeutic applications for this disease.