Marijuana and HIV Aids A New Horizon In The Arena of Medical Science

Marijuana and HIV

As of 2020, over 45 million people were living with HIV or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Astonishingly, despite being aware of the risk factors, people aren’t adopting adequate preventives, which is the prime cause of this escalating number of patients across the globe. HIV is a sexually transmitted disease that spreads through semen and blood and causes AIDS in the later stages.

The following write-up closely analyzes the relationship between marijuana and HIV/AIDS in light of formal research and anecdotal evidence to help the patients live a quality life with HIV/AIDS. Can cannabis extracts prove to be beneficial for HIV/AIDS patients? Stick around to get well-acquainted with the interactions of cannabinoids with the physiological systems of your body.

How Does HIV Affect Your Body?

HIV potentially threatens the well-being of your immune system by adversely destroying T cells or CD4 cells of your body. These cells play critical roles in fighting off diseases which means their destruction will make you potentially vulnerable to the diseases, and the body shall have a hard time fighting them off. The conditions that aren’t likely to cause any major harm to normal people are hazardous to HIV patients.

This consistent and gradual degeneration of your immune system leads to AIDS. Timely treatment may reduce the rate of destruction of CD4 cells or even diminish it completely, thus preventing the development of AIDS.

What are the main types of HIV?

HIV or human immunodeficiency virus may be characterized into two main types:

  • HIV-1
  • HIV-2

Although they widely differ from each other, both of them cause AIDS. Generally, we never hear these types from people because most HIV patients have HIV-1; thus, when you say HIV, it’s considered to be HIV-1. HIV-2 is rarely found to affect the patients as it hardly makes up 0.01% of the total number of HIV patients. HIV-2 takes a lot longer to affect the patients. Also, it’s harder to transmit. There are several subtypes of these broader categories.

What Are The Causes?

HIV spreads through semen, vaginal secretions, and blood, which generally means sexual contact, improper usage of syringes, sharing needles, and improper incorporation of drugs. In some cases, the virus transfers from the mother’s body to the fetus during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Destroying your CD4 T cells, HIV weakens your body’s immune system and makes it for the body to fight diseases.

The following event may result in the spreading of HIV:

  1. Sexual Intercourse:

Generally, unprotected sexual intercourse is the biggest factor that leads to the spreading of HIV. One partner having HIV may transfer the virus to the partner through semen, vaginal discharge, or blood, as the case may be, during intercourse. It must be noted that oral or anal contact may also lead to the spreading of the virus.

  1. Shared Syringes

Sharing needles or syringes is a common practice especially used for illicit drug activities. HIV might contaminate the syringes from someone who used them earlier. This is not only a significant cause of AIDS but other diseases such as hepatitis.

  1. Blood Transfusion

Donated blood is screened to ensure that there are no viruses such as HIV to harm the donee. However, this practice isn’t practiced everywhere globally; thus, those parts of the world that lack such measures suffer the spreading of HIV through blood transfusions.

  1. Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Mother and fetus share everything, including HIV. Thus, if the mother is infected with HIV, the child may also get infected. The same is the case for breastfeeding mothers. However, if the mother manages to get proper treatment through the pregnancy period, the risks of developing the same condition in the fetus are lowered to a great extent.

Risk Factors for HIV/AIDS

There are no barriers of gender, age, or race to spreading HIV. However, certain factors make you potentially more vulnerable to developing AIDS.

  1. Use of Illicit Injection Drugs

Syringes are mostly shared by drug addicts who use illicit drugs via injections. It makes them extensively exposed to one another’s blood droplets that may be infected with HIV. Thus, people indulged in such practices are greatly exposed to threats posed by HIV.

  1. Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted infections significantly increase your probability of getting HIV from your partner. STI is generally characterized by having open sores in areas around your genitals. It implies that these sores shall act like doorways to your body for HIV to enter.

  1. Unprotected Sexual Intercourse with Multiple Partners

Being indulged in sexual activity with more than one partner is even riskier, and that, too, without protection exposes you to a critical situation. You or your partner might not be aware of the presence of HIV in the blood as the symptoms start appearing in later stages.

Signs And Symptoms Of HIV:

As HIV makes its way into your body, it takes way longer to show apparent signs and symptoms. It takes too long for the patients to figure out as it takes over a decade to display changes in the body. That’s why medical practitioners strongly recommend taking regular tests for HIV, and if you’ve been exposed to unprotected sex or shared syringe needles, it’s even more critical for you. Remember that timely treatment may help you get over the condition easily.

The early signs of getting infected start appearing somewhere around the second or third week as you start feeling achy, sick, and mildly feverish. Interestingly these symptoms stay for a few weeks and vanish away. You do not feel any symptoms for a long time after this. Although your body doesn’t feel any symptoms, you can still spread the virus among other people.

Later stage

Following are the symptoms of AIDS:

  • Getting a sore throat accompanied by a white-colored thick covering on your tongue.
  • You may get yeast infections that might get pretty bad and stubborn to deal with.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Your tendency to get infections increases, and they’re even harder to cure.
  • Overall body condition leads to fatigue and tiredness.
  • Bruises get really bad
  • Getting severe headaches more often
  • Drastic and sudden loss of weight
  • Fever and diarrhea
  • Inflammation around the glands in various body parts, especially in the armpit, groin, and throat.
  • Dry cough
  • Numbness and declined reflex action.
  • Bleeding from mouth, nose, anus, and vagina.

How Marijuana Can Help HIV Patients?

The cannabis or marijuana plant has a robust chemical makeup that makes it a complete powerhouse of a phenomenal range of healing abilities. Its marvelous abilities to interact with the Endocannabinoid system of the body make it just right to deal with several chronic conditions. It’s considered way more effective because it addresses the roots of your medical conditions rather than simply suppressing the symptoms to overcome the disease.

The following is an account of several studies that reveal the incredible synchronization of the health benefits of marijuana and HIV/AIDS symptoms.

  1. The anti-inflammatory potentials of the marijuana plant help your body reduce inflammation in various regions of the body. Inflammation is the initial effect of your body’s response in case of infections which clearly explains how often you might experience Inflammation during HIV/AIDS.
  2. Help with pain management: This abilityof the cannabinoids present in the cannabis to interact with the ECS and various nerve channels of the body to reduce the frequency and intensity of pain signals.
  3. Relief from difficulty while sleeping: you’re likely to face problems while sleeping in a condition that involves such adverse symptoms. CBD, CBN, and several terpenes, including linalool, help you fall asleep faster.
  4. Immuno-modulating abilities of the cannabis or marijuana plant are the prime factor that makes it just suitable to deal with HIV/AIDS as it directly targets your body’s immune system. The following research explains how the cannabis plant turns out to be so curative for HIV patients.

Marijuana and HIV/AIDS: Research and Findings

Modern science has come a long way in understanding the significance of the interaction between the Cannabinoids of the cannabis plant and the endocannabinoid system of the body. Surprisingly, it’s way more effective than one could ever imagine. There’s a huge room for more research. Unleashing the relationship between marijuana and HIV/AIDS, experts have come up with the following results:

Your body has immune cells such as basophils, monocytes, lymphocytes, and macrophages, and endocannabinoids are present on them, which makes them potentially sensitive to the cannabinoids. These cells are produced through enzymatic signals on demand. [1]

  • Studies suggest that CBD and CBN, known cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, may interact with these endocannabinoids directly and thus, alter the immune system’s functions by acting as immuno-modulating agents. [2]
  • The cannabinoids of the cannabis plant can reduce your body’s inflammatory response by reducing the pro-inflammatory cytokine expression and promoting anti-inflammatory cytokines. [3]

Final Thoughts

The aforementioned areas of working on marijuana and HIV/AIDS deliver several factual aspects regarding the effects of medical marijuana on the patients. The intimate interactions of the cannabinoids can help the patients have a stronger immune system.



Legal Disclaimer : Medical Cannabis Doctors does not provide medical services or medical advice. This information is for awareness purposes only and is NOT medical advice. Do not self diagnose or prescribe any forms of treatments based on this information or the information on this site. Always consult with a licensed physician in your state for any medical advice, treatments, prescriptions and medical services.

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