Cannabis for HIV

CBD to help manage HIV/AIDS

The HIV attacks the CD4 white blood cells in the body leading to their destruction, which results in a number of symptoms and later health complications. With the attacks on these critical cells, the entire immune system breaks down since the white blood cells fail to perform their duties.

Medical cannabis helps fight HIV symptoms, including constant fever, tiredness, and weight loss. Here we will look at medical marijuana as a potential treatment for HIV symptoms.

Conventional Treatment for HIV

The ARV (antiretroviral) drugs have traditionally been the major solution in managing HIV and its symptoms. Initially, many patients were changing or canceling their treatment due to the adverse effects associated with ARVs. Some of the more severe risks include cardiovascular effects, liver damage, bone loss, depression or serious skin conditions.

It is, however, important to bear in mind that most pharmaceutical drugs have potential side effects. Moreover, ARV treatment regimens are more defined now as compared to the past days. According to the recent studies, only less than 10 percent of patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy today are likely to experience treatment-limiting reactions.

However, even though antiretroviral drugs help doctors treat HIV, the presence of other ailments in the patient (such as alcoholism, hepatitis) and concurrent drug treatments can potentially increase the chances of the patient suffering from adverse reactions to ARV drugs.

Marijuana and HIV Symptoms

Disadvantages of Using ARVs

The major downside of antiretroviral drugs is that they lack the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. On the other hand, CBD (medical cannabis) provides a clear advantage in this area over the traditional treatment.

Studies from Harvard University reveal that about 40% of HIV infections lead to some form of brain impairment. The common impairment is referred to as mild neurocognitive disorder (MND), and the other one is HIV-associated cognitive impairment (HAND). These conditions affect decision-making, learning, behavior, and memory function as well as some potential loss of coordination.

Apart from treating HIV symptoms, research has shown that cannabis compounds are effective in protecting the brain, unlike ARV medication. The two main cannabinoids, CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) suppress leukocyte responses, which helps prevent brain inflammation.

Brain inflammation can lead to huge implications, including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and numerous other ailments.

Protection against Heart Disease

Related aging effects and chronic inflammation are often associated with early heart conditions in HIV patients. Studies have also shown that the same occurs with conventional ARV medication. Therefore, using CBD for HIV treatment can potentially help overcome such implications.

Other Benefits

Apart from the anti-inflammatory properties, CBD has plenty of additional health benefits. These include:

  • Antibacterial
  • Antiepileptic
  • Analgesic
  • Antiemetic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-ischemic
  • Anxiolytic
  • Antidiabetic


Overall, CBD (medical cannabis) offers several medical benefits besides treating HIV symptoms. Moreover, there are ongoing studies on the effectiveness of CBD treatment of cancer, since some studies have demonstrated that it can damage certain cancer cells. This means that cannabidiol (CBD) offers a wide range of health benefits as it has the ability to relieve the symptoms of several diseases.


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