It is no secret that HIV and marijuana both have been huge discussion topics amongst the scientific community. However, the community is just now starting to understand the effects that marijuana can have on HIV symptoms and side effects.
Bear in mind that the scientific community has already proven that marijuana can ease some of the painful side effects that are caused by this disease.
In addition to this, the powerful plant can cure some of the unwanted side effects that are associated with taking HIV medications. The finding that really has the community in a stir is that there is new promising research showing that marijuana can actually slow the progression of the virus.
A Look At The HIV/AIDS Virus
HIV is an acronym that stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This is a virus that directly attacks the immune system and there are a variety of ways that a single individual could contract this disease. One of the most common methods of contraction is sexual.
The virus can be transmitted through semen or vaginal fluids. It can also be transmitted through blood, which means a mother could pass down this virus to her offspring during pregnancy.
Once someone is infected with the virus it will immediately spread through the immune system’s CD4 cells. CD4 cells are also commonly known as T cells. After the cells are infected they will begin to produce more and more infected cells.
Eventually, this will leave the body filled with infected cells, which can make the patient’s body susceptible to other illnesses and disease.
Most people don’t really understand that AIDS is the third and final stage of the HIV virus. When the virus has reached this stage, the individual’s body will be extremely vulnerable to other illness, due to the fact that their immune system is totally flooded with infected cells.
Once contracted if left untreated it could take anywhere from eight to ten years for the virus to reach the second stage. However, if the virus hits the third stage and it is still left untreated, the life expectancy of that individual is usually estimated at three years.
What Are The Stats Of The HIV/AIDS Virus
The latest research and studies conducted by the UNAIDS Foundation show that 36.7 million people were affected by this horrible disease in 2016. The studies also show that 74 percent of individuals in the United States living with this virus are men.
Unfortunately, due to the inaccessibility of treatment more and more people are having to live with this horrible virus.
The rising number of people infected along with the difficulties of trying to cope with the side effects of the virus and medication really raises the question of how cannabis can help.
Treatments Available For The Virus
As of right now there is no known cure for this horrible disease. However, through the use of medications and antiretroviral therapy (ART) it is possible to stop the progression of the virus. This new treatment was introduced in the last 1990s and the results have been astronomical.
In fact, individuals that have access to ART and medications have over twice the life expectancy rate as compared to the individuals that don’t have access.
Unfortunately, the only problem is that not everyone has access to these types of treatments. The latest stats show that 47 percent of people infected with the virus don’t have access to any type of treatment.
If left untreated the virus can be extremely painful and eventually lead to serious life-threatening conditions. Even individuals that are currently taking medications can expect to endure a lifetime of harsh symptoms and side effects.
Can Marijuana Help Manage Symptoms?
The positive effect that marijuana can have on a host of illnesses has been extensively studied over the years. In fact, many individuals with the HIV/AIDS virus are already using marijuana to help cope with the side effects and symptoms.
Weight loss, depression, anxiety, nausea, and loss of appetite are without a doubt some of the more common side effects of HIV. It has been a well-known and proven fact for many years now that cannabis can aid with these types of symptoms.
In the 1980s an activist known as Dennis Peron launched his campaign for the use of marijuana to treat HIV/AIDS symptoms and side effects. It was his partner and several of his friends that gave him the idea to launch this campaign.
They had contracted the disease and discovered that through the use of marijuana, they were able to alleviate some of their sufferings.
His campaign eventually caught on, because as of 2005 a survey showed that 27 percent of infected individuals are using marijuana to treat their symptoms and side effects. In today’s generation marijuana is more accessible than ever and the awareness of its positive health benefits are more widely known than ever before.
Due to these discoveries more and more HIV/AIDS patients are turning to marijuana to ease their side effects and symptoms. That being said, smoking has been proven the most effective way of administering this powerful plant.
The positive effects will not only be seen faster, but it is much easier to gauge the amount you will need to relieve your suffering.
Can Marijuana Slow The Progression Of The Virus?
Scientists are now discovering that marijuana can go way beyond alleviating the symptoms and side effects. The latest researches show that marijuana can be used in conjunction with ART to slow the progression of the virus altogether.
This was discovered, because a recent research study showed that the THC in marijuana could actually help the body produce more CD4 and CD8 cells in the immune system. These are the cells that help fight diseases and the ones that the HIV/AIDS virus infects.
Final Thoughts: Treating Symptoms And Side Effects Of HIV/AIDS With Marijuana
As you can see, marijuana will only help with alleviating the suffering that is caused by the symptoms and side effects of this horrible virus, but it can also stop the progression of the virus as well.
When you really consider the millions of individuals that are suffering from this virus and the consequences of not getting treated, it only makes sense to utilize marijuana as a modern form of treatment.