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hiv virus
gastrointestinal problems
gastrointestinal tract
cannabinoids
cb2
psychological issues
Cannabis And Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection / Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
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Cannabis And Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection / Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

The use of cannabinoids has been shown to reduce morbidly and side effects of those who suffer from HIV and AIDS. People who have this virus often have several severe symptoms from their HAART medications, such as gastrointestinal problems like weight loss, vomiting and nausea, psychological issues like nightmares and depression, pain and many more issues.

Researchers from the Temple University Medical department have proven that cannabinoids bind to CB2 receptors which are responsible for not only the immune system but also for inflammation.

CB1 is what is responsible for the psychological affects that are associated with marijuana, synthetic THC that only binds to the CB2 would not allow for the psychological high. CB2 receptors are proteins that are on macrophages, which are what is attacked in the HIV virus.

HIV than replicated itself and when cannabinoids are increased in the body, the macrophages are able to help fight off the infection and decrease replication of the virus. This does not cure the virus, but it can help decrease how fast it progresses. This means that cannabinoids acts as a antiretroviral and can be used with the HAART medication to help slow down the virus.

According to Lutge; dronabinol which is a type of cannabinoid was used in a study for those who have HIV and it was shown that it helped with weight gain. According to the study it was twice as likely that the group who was on dronabinol had a two kg weight gain.

Another study was done by the University of California that proved that cannabinoids is effective in appetite stimulation in those with HIV. They did a study that included marijuana, dronabinol and a placebo and distributed either marijuana, dronabinol or the placebo to a group of sixty seven patients. The study concluded that those who used marijuana gained 3.51 kg, and those who used dronabinol gained 3.18 kg.

THC also interacts with CR2 which are cells that are in the brain, nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and the immune system. This means that it helps reduce the symptoms of pain and nausea and other gastrointestinal issues. CR2 is present on CD4 cells which have a big impact on the immune system. Because of this either smoking marijuana or taking marinol has been shown to increase CD4 and decrease viral load. According to Horn, “activation of CR2 blocked the ability of CXCR4 tropic virus to infect other cells by 30 to 60 percent.” This means that it helps decline how fast HIV takes over the body, and helps prevent it to turning into AIDS.

There is much research that has been done to prove that cannabis helps decrease the symptoms of HIV. Columbia University found that those who smoke marijuana four times daily have an increased food intake, less pain and no psychological effects. University of California San Diego also discovered that those who have HIV who smoke cannabis have reduced pain, better mood, and an overall better quality of life. It is important to recognize that cannabis should be included in the HAART therapy to help subside the effects of the medications and help improve one’s life and slow down the virus.


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