Many of the crippling symptoms that accompany HIV can be mitigated with cannabis. Some of these symptoms include pain, loss of appetite, nausea, and anxiety. Despite the social stigma surrounding cannabis as a treatment, it can be incredibly effective.
What Exactly is HIV?
HIV is an acronym for human immunodeficiency virus. When suffering from HIV, ones immune system is severely compromised. The disease kills the body's protective white blood cells, and without this protection the body becomes susceptible to infections. Some of these infections include, but are not limited to: pneumonia, tuberculosis, meningitis, and more. As HIV progresses, it leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, otherwise known as "AIDS."
Can Cannabis Help with HIV Treatment?
Despite the limitations on research due to existing legislation, there are a plethora of studies that support the plants efficacy for treating many of HIV's symptoms including appetite loss, pain, and nausea.
As an alternative to medical marijuana, Marinol, a drug created by AbbVie. Inc. (NYSE: ABBV), is often prescribed. As a synthetic form of delta-9-THC, Marinol has very similar benefits as being treated with cannabis (although it doesn't contain all the cannabinoids and terpenoids that marijuana has). Some individuals complain of unpleasant side effects from Marinol, although others have found it extremely helpful.
Marijuana does more than just reduce the symptoms of, it has shown signs of inhibiting the progress of HIV. Studies have shown that a constituent of cannabis referred to as Denbinobin may help slow the replication of the virus.
Often, when thinking about health, we only worry about the physical side, and end up neglecting the importance of taking care of our mental health. When one is sick with HIV, the mental anguish can take a serious toll on a sufferer. Many feel that not only is cannabis a relief for physical symptoms, but offers some much needed relief from the stress and anxiety associated with HIV as well.
One should always consult with a physician before they moved forward with any type of medical treatment. Luckily more and more doctors are seeing medical marijuana as a viable option for treating symptoms in HIV patients. Only time will tell how legislation continues to change, to allow sufferers to access cannabis as medicine, no matter what part of the United States they are in.