Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV for short has long been believed to be a death wish and thanks to advancements in the medical field over the years, that is no longer the case. HIV is a disease contracted by contact with infected blood, semen or vaginal fluid and attacks the body’s immune system. Treatment with HIV medicine is called antiretroviral therapy (“ART”) and patients take a plethora of HIV medicines on ART daily to treat the virus as efficiently as possible (1). Marijuana is another medicine that can be used to alleviate HIV symptoms and we’re going to shed some light on that avenue of care here.
HIV directly affects an individual’s ability to consume food due to anorexia, nausea etc., thus encouraging malnutrition and progressing the virus – which is something we don’t ever want. Smoked marijuana with a combination of 8 doses of dronabinol (cannabis) capsules daily implemented in a 16-day double-blind study, found that the group consuming both the smokable marijuana and dronabinol increased their caloric intake substantially (2). With boosted appetites, comes opportunities for vitamins and minerals to be passed into the body making THC’s hunger-inducing element a solid ally in this good fight. The marijuana in particular, also improved sleep ratings among restless HIV patients.
Neuropathic pain in HIV-infected individuals plague their condition of life, function and threshold of hope but cannabis can help diminish the detrimental in this aspect as well. Marijuana strains containing 1% to 8% THC potency, used in a 2008 study, revealed that cannabis delivered at least 30% of pain relief at four times daily smoked for 5 days consecutively to the using HIV patients involved (3). Pain wasn’t the only condition shown to be remedied; moods were enhanced as well and that is just as vital.
There is a difference between HIV and AIDS ladies and gentlemen. One of the most important differences is with the proper care and medication, HIV can be treated so well that it never gets the opportunity to develop into AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). AIDS is the final stage of HIV and at this point, your CD4 cell (cells responsible for fighting infections) count is dangerously low.
Be knowledgeable, be aware and speak with a medical professional for advice on cannabis use for your unique condition prior to any form of inclusion.