Cannabis vs HIV/AIDS | Infographic
Cannabis VS HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS currently affects 1.2 million people in the United States. We, at The Healing Clinic, understand that there are many symptoms of the disease, and also side effects from traditional treatment, in which cannabis can lend a critical hand. To learn more about HIV/AIDS, facts and statistics about the disease, and how cannabis can treat symptoms/side effects, please continue reading.
What is HIV?
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a disease which attacks the body’s immune system. HIV infects helper T cells, specifically CD4 cells, macrophages and dendritic cells. If left untreated, HIV will advance to it’s final stage, known as AIDS, and will reduce the number of CD4 cells in the body to a dangerously low level, making the body susceptible to opportunistic infections and unable to fight off disease.
HIV is spread through unprotected sex, contaminated blood transfusions, drug needles, and from mother to child, either during pregnancy or through breastfeeding.
There is currently no cure available for HIV, but treatments of antiretroviral therapy (ART) can prolong the lives of those with HIV greatly. ART has side effects that are treatable with cannabis including, loss of appetite, depression, fatigue and insomnia.
What is AIDS?
AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is the final stage of HIV infection where the body’s CD4 cells fall below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood, putting the person at high risk of developing diseases in which the body can no longer fight off. Not everyone with HIV will advance to AIDS, but treatment is required to prevent the development of AIDS.
1.2 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with HIV
36.7 million people in the world are diagnosed with HIV
1/8 people in the U.S. living with HIV are unaware that they have AIDS
40% or 14 million people worldwide don’t have access to HIV testing services
4% of all those diagnosed with HIV in 2015 were children
1.8 million children worldwide live with HIV
Cannabis vs HIV/AIDS?
How does cannabis treat symptoms of HIV/AIDS?
Many of those suffering from HIV/AIDS experience nausea. Antiemetics are usually prescribed to relieve these symptoms. Cannabis is a proven, successful antiemetic. Vaporized, inhaled cannabis is the most effective and safe way of consuming cannabis to deal with nausea.
Another side effect of traditional HIV/AIDS medications is the loss of appetite, leading to severe weight loss and malnutrition. When smoked, cannabis raises the levels of two important hormones which regulate appetite, ghrelin and leptin. While these two key hormones are raised, cannabis does not significantly alter insulin levels, indicating it may be a safe way to increase appetite.
Neuropathic pain, or damaged nerves causing numbness, weakness or pain, can occur in those with HIV/AIDS. Cannabis has two major cannabinoids, THC and CBD. These cannabinoids, when consumed, activate the two major cannabinoid receptors located in the human body, CB1 and CB2. These receptors control the release of neurotransmitter and central nervous system immune cells to regulate pain levels.
The human body has a naturally occurring system, built in to it, called the endocannabinoid system. Those with HIV/AIDS can experience stress and anxiety due to the seriousness of the disease. This causes the endocannabinoid system to stop producing the necessary amount of chemical compounds responsible for mood balance and regulation. By consuming cannabis, the endocannabinoid system is then properly regulated from the cannabis’ cannabinoids, which act as a replacement to the bodies endogenous endocannabinoids.
Sativa, a marijuana strain known for its uplifting tendencies, can help to reduce fatigue in those with HIV/AIDS.
About The Healing Clinic
The Healing Clinic is a medical cannabis advocacy center that provides Illinois residents suffering from HIV/AIDS, and all other eligible conditions, access to medical cannabis. We speed up the process by providing a doctor, submitting all paperwork to the state, and designating a dispensary near your home. It’s so easy to request an appointment. Or, just give us a call at 1(312) 890-6113. We look forward to helping you treat your condition.