IMPORTANT: All information contained on this website is for educational purposes only. None of this information should be construed as medical or treatment advice for any specific person or condition. Cannabis has not been analyzed or approved by the FDA, and there is limited information on the side effects of using cannabis as a medication. You should always consult a licensed physician in all matters related to your health.
HIV attacks the body’s immune system and, if left untreated, can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). AIDS impairs the body’s ability to fight off serious infections. Although there is no cure, many people are living longer, healthier lives with AIDS, thanks to advances in pharmaceuticals and other treatments.Little was known about AIDS throughout the 1980s and 1990s, causing fear and widespread misinformation. But as medical research and awareness have grown, AIDS has become more treatable and well-understood for the approximate 1.2 million in the United States living with the disease.
Besides easing symptoms, scientists are learning more about cannabis’ potential to inhibit HIV/AIDS progression. Although more research is needed, these studies show that cannabis may be useful, not only to manage symptoms, but to treat the diseases themselves.
Cannabis has long been part of the conversation for HIV/AIDS treatment, but as patients and doctors learn more, it has become an important factor in potentially helping to improve quality of life for patients.
Because early versions of AIDS medication caused unpleasant side effects similar to those of chemotherapy drugs, patients began exploring the benefits of cannabis to counteract those effects. Many found that cannabis eased nausea, lack of appetite, extreme fatigue, and pain caused by pharmaceutical medications.
“HIV wasting syndrome,” characterized by severe weight loss and muscular atrophy, was also common among patients. Decades of research, clinical trials, changing perceptions, and the legalization of cannabis in many states, have made medical cannabis an extremely common remedy for people living with HIV and AIDS.
Standard prescription medications for AIDS patients include antiretroviral therapy (ART) medications. ARTs don’t cure HIV infection, but they can make it a manageable condition, and reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.
AIDS medications work to reduce the amount of viral load in the body, which helps strengthen the immune system’s ability to fight infections. They can prevent the virus from duplicating, and from infecting the immune system.
By adding cannabis to treatment plans, patients may be able to increase the benefits of these standard therapies.
If you’re interested in learning more about adding cannabis medicine to your HIV/AIDS treatment plan, talk to your physician. If you’re interested in getting your medical marijuana card, NETA is here to help.