Medical Marijuana for HIV and AIDS Patients

People with HIV (and other conditions) have used prescription marijuana to treat the side effects of medication, but a new study published in the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, recently showed that daily doses of may even help combat the disease.

In 2011, Molina and her team discovered that HIV-positive monkeys monkeys treated with THC had lower levels of viral infection, higher numbers of immune cells, better survival rates, and less weight loss.

The results of the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, were unexpected.

“When we started the study, we thought it was going to increase viral load, we thought it was going to decrease lymphocyte counts much more dramatically, and we did not see that,” she told Leaf. “If anything, it looks like there might be some beneficial immunomodulation, particularly at the early stages of infection.”

The next stop, she says, will be to try to understand why marijuana might help stop the spread of HIV so that treatments can be developed that are more specific to how THC works.

The researchers say that medical marijuana significantly reduces HIV-related neuropathic pain when added to the patient’s already-prescribed pain management regimen and may be an “effective option for pain relief” in those whose pain is not controlled with current medications.

* as always please be sure to consult with a health professional to assess the risks and rewards of adding medicinal cannabis to your treatment program.

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