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Uses of Cannabis: HIV/AIDS and Marijuana

Uses of Cannabis: HIV/AIDS and Marijuana

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 10/28/2010 in Medical Marijuana Conditions

AIDS is a chronic, life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that afflicts an estimated 39.5 million people worldwide. HIV is a virus that gradually attacks immune system cells. It is at the point of very advanced HIV infection that a person is said to have AIDS. More than 25 million people have died from AIDS since the first cases were identified in 1981.

Although there is no cure for AIDS, those living with HIV can take antiretroviral drugs to prolong the onset of AIDS. But side effects of antiretroviral therapy—which include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and severe pain in the nerve endings (polyneuropathies)—are often unbearable. Many patients choose to stop taking their medications due to the severe side effects.

Other side effects of HIV/AIDS include wasting syndrome or cachexia and intractable pain. Many patients use medical marijuana to help manage their symptoms. According to 2005 study published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, more than 60% of HIV patients use cannabis as a medicine.

Medical Marijuana is widely recognized as an effective treatment for symptoms of HIV/AIDS as well as the side effects related to the antiretroviral therapies that constitute the first line of treatment for HIV/AIDS. Its value as an anti-emetic (stops vomiting) and analgesic (relieves pain) has been proven in numerous studies and has been recognized by several government-sponsored reviews.

A series of human clinical trials beginning in the 1970s found that marijuana significantly improved appetite and nausea in comparison with placebo, and there were also trends towards improved mood and weight gain. Additionally, all unwanted effects of marijuana were found to be generally mild or moderate in intensity. Since then, many studies have found positive benefits of marijuana for HIV/AIDS patients. And according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM),”For patients such as those with AIDS or who are undergoing chemotherapyand who suffer simultaneously from severe pain, nausea, and appetite loss, cannabinoid drugs might offer broad-spectrum relief not found in any other single medication.”

If you or someone you know is afflicted with HIV/AIDS, medical marijuana may help. But you must first ensure you are in compliance with your state laws. In all medical marijuana states, the first step is to see a qualified medical marijuana doctor to get a recommendation for cannabis. Book an appointment today with and get the relief you need.

Read more about medical marijuana and HIV/AIDS.

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