The Link between Marijuana and HIV AIDS

Some medical conditions can affect a person’s sense of health and happiness like HIV/AIDs. In the past few years, medical cannabis has become an increasingly common prescription for patients living with HIV/AIDS as they attempt to manage the many devastating symptoms of this disease. Today, nearly one in three HIV/AIDS patients turn to marijuana  for the relieve of  pain, nausea, appetite loss, cachexia, and emotional decline, which are all side effect of this disease due to the social stigma and political blockades surrounding the disease

What is HIV/AIDS and what conventional treatment is available

Human immunodeficiency virus or its acronym HIV is a disease that compromises a person’s immune system by damaging the protective white blood cells. As the defensive system is damaged, other harmful infections, known as “opportunistic infections,” come in such as : Meningitis, pneumonia, encephalitis, tuberculosis, chronic diarrhea, and cancers. As HIV advances, it leads to AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, which consists of the appearance of additional infections and a low CD4+ T cell count. The primary and current treatment for HIV/AIDS is high active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which consist of a mixture of medications that slow the disease’s progression.  However, Pharmaceuticals may also be prescribed to manage opportunistic infections, AIDS-related symptoms, and the side effects of other prescription drugs but as of now no conventional cure exist for treatment of this disease

How does marijuana help in treatment of HIV AIDS

Marijuana research might be limited, but several clinical studies support the plant’s efficacy in eliminating nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss with a single puff all of which are symptoms of HIV. The effects of cannabis can also help patients restore weight and maintain essential nutrients. Marijuana, whether inhaled or consumed as an extract, also treats neuripathic pain triggered by HIV/AIDS therapy

Medical research has developed Marinol, a synthetic pill formulation of THC, is which generally prescribed befofe medical marijuana is. The l legal status of this pill makes it an easier target for research, but when compared to inhaled marijuana, patients see a difference. The cannabis plant contains hundreds of other therapeutic compounds known as cannabinoids and which are lacking in Marinol, and Marinol has been observed to induce unpleasant side effects in some individuals.

Keith Vines, an HIV/AIDS patient explained that not infrequently, a single Marinol capsule would make him  feel ‘stoned’ for several hours, such that he was unable to function at a level at which he felt comfortable or competent,” and at times even made him feel sleepy.

However Inhaled marijuana, either smoked or vaporized, provides patients with more flexible dosing and control over intoxicating effects. Keith Vines also revealed that he found that it took only two or three puffs from a medical marijuana joint for his appetite to return and that the beneficial effect took place within minutes rather than hours that he sometimes waited after swallowing a Marinol capsule.”

Not only does marijuana reduce symptoms and side effectsnof HIV/AIDS, research and clinical trials on it has also demonstrated some promise as an inhibitor of HIV/AIDS progression.  For example one clinical trial observed a cannabis constituent called Denbinobin slow the replication of HIV. Though this mechanism requires further medical research, it however opens up fascinating possibilities for improved HIV/AIDS therapies.

In today’s society, the importance of mental health is oftentimes greatly neglected. The main issue with HIV/Aids is is not just the symptoms but also the stigma that follows the disease. The symptoms of this disease can  affect a patient mentally  as physical discomfort converts to emotional anguish, depression, anxiety, and stress as they  continue to feed physiological deterioration, and yet the euphoric and therapeutic   associated with marijuana consumption has been pushed into the realm of taboo.

The Bottom Line of Medical Marijuana for HIV AIDS

Patients considering medical cannabis for the management of HIV/AIDS symptoms should always consult a medical doctor before using marijuana, but knowing what options are available can make a world of difference. There is no doubt that for some seriously ill patients, cannabis can help make the difference between life and death and that for other terminally ill patients, cannabis  can make the difference between exercising control over their final months and days and passing in relative peace and comfort, or dying in constant and severe agony. So its your choice to try medical marijuana treatment.

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