Marijuana and HIV are two topics that can come together. Due to the medical properties of cannabis, it is no secret that HIV patients have used it as a pain and stress relief method for a long time. HIV is a terminal condition and the sufferers are faced with tough consequences that make their life difficult. Marijuana is known to provide some benefits for these patients, and these claims are backed by medical research.
Marijuana and HIV for Mental Health
Living with a terminal condition such as HIV can not only be difficult for the body and the vital functions of the systems. It is also a very high psychological pressure and people diagnosed with HIV have commonly suffered a deteriorating mental health. And it goes past that – the cognitive functions of individuals are also getting worse due to brain inflammation. However, one study suggests that consuming cannabis can slow down the mental decline in up to 50% of HIV patients. This study has been conducted by Michigan State University.
Namely, in HIV patients, the mental cognitive capabilities are continuously deteriorating due to the constant brain inflammation. The immune system is constantly trying to fight off the disease, triggering responses in the brain which cause chronic inflammation. However, what this study found is that the THC found in cannabis work as a great brain stimulant which can help HIV patients retain their cognitive abilities longer. THC together with other components found in marijuana can work as anti-inflammatory agents that can decrease the number of inflamed white cells and stop them producing the protein in the body. These agents found in marijuana can slow down or even stop the inflammation from spreading.
As part of the study, 40 individuals with HIV have been monitored. The findings pointed out that marijuana does help in retaining cognitive capabilities longer. Namely, the patient who did not consume marijuana at all experienced high brain inflammation. On the other hand, patients who consumed marijuana had significantly less brain inflammation, some patients even coming close to no inflammation whatsoever, same as with people who are not infected with the HIV virus.
This study is highly promising in terms of advancing the use of marijuana for HIV patients and the doctors in charge of the study are continuing to explore the benefits of marijuana in such cases.
The University of Florida is also conducting a major research project on marijuana and HIV. This study is worth $3.2 million and it will include 400 HIV positive patients. The project is hoping to additionally provide proof of the benefits of marijuana and HIV patients.
Marijuana for a Better Appetite
It is a very common thing for HIV patients to lose appetite due to the virus. This is an additional blow to the immune system since it is lacking the crucial elements to keep on going. A study found that even 97% of patients who used marijuana reported that their appetite is better due to cannabis use.
Marijuana and HIV Chronic Pain
It is known that HIV patients experience severe pain, especially in the joints, head, and muscles. Cannabis consumption has proven to provide these patients with pain relief due to its medical properties. Namely, the participants in a study who were given standard THC dose in a form of edibles reported that over the course of a year in which they have been using cannabis they have been experiencing less pain. Additionally, they have also reported that marijuana consumption improved their overall quality of life.
Marijuana Improves Mood and Decreases Anxiety
Living with HIV can prove to be very challenging not only due to the pain that the person experiences, but also to the fact that it is a terminal condition that can influence the person’s outlook on life and also social pressures. However, it has been proven that marijuana consumption can help tackle these problems. According to HIV patients, cannabis consumption has helped them have a more positive outlook on life regardless of their condition and it also gave them a big confidence boost. The cannabis they have consumed is also responsible for improved mood, better and more positive lifestyle and an increased feeling of euphoria.
Marijuana and HIV Nausea
One of the most common things that HIV patients experience is nausea. In fact, nausea is one of the first telltale signs of the virus, and as the condition progresses nausea can become worse and more complex. It has been observed that HIV patients who are cannabis users experience less nausea and respond better to medications they take to decrease it.
Marijuana Improves Sleep
It is a commonly known thing that marijuana helps consumers sleep better. This actually has nothing to do with whether a person is infected with HIV or not – cannabis helps relax the muscles and can provide with a better quality of sleep. However, for HIV patients sleeping can be a challenging thing to do due to the fact that they experience a lot of pain, especially in the muscles, causing insomnia in a lot of them. By consuming marijuana, a lot of HIV patients reported that they are experiencing a better quality of sleep.
Aids protest via PuffPuffPost
The medical benefits of marijuana have been something that has been argued over a long time. Still, if you ask any doctor in the world they would probably recommend marijuana as something that can be quite beneficial for HIV patients. More and more studies are being conducted on marijuana and HIV and it seems that all of them are providing results in favor of marijuana consumption. HIV is a complex virus which weakens the immune system and other infections that can easily be overcome by a healthy person can get out of hand an even become lethal. Such diseases are meningitis, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. While cannabis is unfortunately not the miracle cure we are looking for, it can surely provide a lot of benefits for HIV patients.