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Information about HIV and AIDS:
AIDS, and the virus that causes it, HIV affects nearly 40 million people worldwide, half of which may die from the disorder.
There is currently no cure for HIV; however, medications that prevent the development of AIDS (which is fatal) are in widespread use. Unfortunately, these life-sustaining medications often include uncomfortable side effects that make living a normal life difficult.
Marijuana and CBD oil can relieve symptoms caused by HIV medications (as well as HIV), and may also help prevent the development of AIDS. This article explains which of those symptoms are treatable by marijuana and CBD oil.
What is HIV/AIDS
“HIV” is the acronym for “human immunodeficiency virus.” It is a disease that attacks the immune system of the body, in particular, the CD4 cells, also known as T cells. These cells help the immune system fight off infections. For that reason, someone with HIV is likely to have other health complications, such as infections and cancers related to infections.
There is no cure for HIV, but there are various forms of treatment to control it. The most common way in modern medicine is to use antiretroviral therapy, or “ART.” When taken properly, this medication can lower the chances of spreading the disease and can increase the likelihood of the patient having a long life.
If it isn’t treated, however, HIV can lead to AIDS, or “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.” Once a person has AIDS, they can never get rid of it. AIDS is the final phase of the HIV infection — not everyone who contracts HIV will get AIDS, but everyone with AIDS has HIV.
AIDS occurs when the immune system is very damaged, and opportunistic infections are a significant threat to your body. In other words, a person with AIDS has about three years left to live with treatment, or one year without treatment.
What are the symptoms of HIV and AIDS
The following symptoms are typically found in people with HIV and AIDS:
- Lack of energy
- Weight loss
- Fevers and sweats often
- Yeast infections that occur frequently or persistently
- Persistent skin rashes or flaky skin
- Short-term memory loss
- Mouth, genital, or anal sores (from herpes infections)
What Causes HIV and AIDS
HIV is spreadable through a variety of ways. It is not terribly contagious except with certain activities. The causes of spreading HIV and AIDS include:
- Unprotected sex with a person who has HIV
- Sharing syringes, needles, other injecting equipment with someone who has HIV
- During childbirth or breastfeeding (if the mother has HIV)
- Sharing intimate toys with someone who has HIV
- Healthcare workers who accidentally prick themselves with an HIV infected needle (although it is unlikely)
- Blood transfusion
Basically, HIV transfers through certain body fluids. Semen, vaginal fluids and menstrual blood, breast milk, blood, and the lining of the anus can all spread HIV. Other fluids, (such as sweat, saliva, and urine), do not contain enough of the HIV virus to spread it to another person.
Conventional treatment for HIV and AIDS
HIV and AIDS are treated in a variety of ways, although there is no way to cure it altogether. Tenofovir tablets are the most common treatment option, and they need to be taken at the exact same time every single day for the rest of the patient’s life. These antiretroviral drugs will prevent more immune system damage from occurring and keeps the HIV levels low overall.
These drugs are commonly known as ARVs, anti-AIDS, or anti-HIV drugs. There is combination therapy that involves taking more than one antiretroviral at one time — this helps keep the development of resistance to a minimum.
There are, of course, some common side effects that come with taking antiretroviral drugs. They include:
- Skin rashes
- Neuropathic pain
- Lipodystrophy (changes in body fat distribution)
Types of HIV and AIDS
There are many different forms of HIV since it replicates and inevitably, mutations occur. However, there are also two separate viruses: HIV-1 and HIV-2. The most common type found around the world is HIV type 1, so when someone refers to HIV, then they are probably referring to HIV-1.
There is a concentration of HIV-2, but it is mostly in West Africa (although also in some other countries). It isn’t as infectious as HIV-1 and doesn’t progress as quickly, but we have little understanding as to how to treat HIV-2. HIV-2 also leads to AIDS.
There are even subtypes of HIV type 1, but we won’t go into that now. The most important thing to know is that the HIV-1 group M (“major”) virus is the one responsible for the HIV/AIDS pandemic, so it is more commonly found than other subtypes.
Effects of CBD on HIV and AIDS
While there aren’t very many studies on how CBD affects HIV and AIDS directly, we do know that it can have a strong effect on many of the symptoms of the disease. For example, issues such as weight loss, vomiting, and nausea can all be treated with marijuana. This helps patients maintain or restore their weight, which keeps the essential nutrients in their bodies. Medical marijuana can also help work on the neuropathic pain that comes with conventional HIV/AIDS therapy.
Other symptoms of HIV can include aching muscles and fatigue. Once the disease progresses to AIDS, some symptoms could include memory disorders and depression. These symptoms are all known to be relieved to some degree by marijuana, making it a useful medicine for someone who has HIV.
It may also be helpful for treating other symptoms including pain and nausea. Cannabis’ ability to relieve these symptoms is well-known in the marijuana community, and it is widely accepted that this can be a useful way to medicate these symptoms without having the adverse side effects of over-the-counter or even prescription drugs.
There is also some evidence to show that marijuana might actually slow the replication of HIV. This opens the door to enormous possibilities, beyond just treating the symptoms of having HIV or AIDS.
CBD as treatment for HIV and AIDS
Believe it or not, CBD and marijuana can make a big difference in the treatment of patients who have HIV and AIDS. It may not only relieve symptoms, but it can also potentially have some direct effects on the disease itself. Let’s look at a few studies to see what we know it can do so far.
According to one study, some promising discoveries about the potential effects of marijuana on HIV and AIDS have come to light. This study discovered that the one variety of Cannabis sativa can work against certain HIV-1 compounds. In other words, marijuana can be used as an alternative therapeutic approach against HIV and AIDS.
Although more thorough research is needed, the fact that there is an indication of marijuana being a viable option for the treatment of HIV and AIDS is hugely promising. With more studies being done and information being acquired, we should know sooner rather than later how helpful marijuana really is for HIV and AIDS.
According to another study, marijuana can potentially be useful for patients with HIV and AIDS in ways other than directly treating that illness. Specifically researched in this study, it can be used to help treat kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). This is a common condition that occurs in AIDS patients because they are immunocompromised individuals. The condition also affects other immunocompromised people, such as organ transplant recipients.
According to this study, the antitumor effects of cannabidiol (CBD) can help inhibit tumor growth associated with this condition. KSHV replicates over and over as the immune system of the body gets weaker — and that causes tumors to grow. Although it won’t heal the patient completely (KSHV can’t be eliminated from its host), it can reduce the growth of tumors. As usual, however, more research needs to be done.
In another study, women who participated in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) were evaluated to determine the effect THC has on liver fibrosis advancement over a long period of time. During this study, researchers tested patients based the severity of their liver fibrosis categorized as none, moderate or significant, as well as their exposure to THC and alcohol on a weekly basis.
Using Cox proportional hazards regression, researchers were able to gauge the role THC plays in affecting critical fibrosis. They tested 575 HIV/HCV infected women over an 11 year period where each patient was exposed to THC and alcohol consumption at different rates. The results concluded that THC has no negative effects on the liver for women with HIV.
Another important factor to consider is the fact that patients suffering from HIV/AIDS often face issues concerning weight loss. This is an area where many are seeking help, which prompted one particular study on HIV Wasting Syndrome. It sought to demonstrate marijuana’s role in influencing undesirable weight loss that is 10% or more of a person’s body weight. While there is no way to know for sure, researchers suspect HIV wasting syndrome affects 14 – 38% of HIV/AIDS patients.
HIV wasting syndrome occurs due to ailments that cause issues with appetite loss, the patient’s mindset around hunger, neurological disease leading to problems with food intake, mental illness, gastrointestinal disorders, cancers, various infections, eating disorders, and medications that result in anorexia. This all plays a role in an HIV patient’s ability to eat and maintain a healthy body weight.
Dronabinol is a synthetic substance found in cannabis that is frequently used to effectively manage HIV related weight loss. Every patient who is treated using Dronabinol (-2.0 to 3.2kg), will experience varying results in terms of how much weight they will gain; however, it is a trusted method for dealing with this concern. It has been successful in increasing appetite in these HIV/AIDS patients making it a useful substance to relieve people suffering from HIV wasting syndrome and potentially prevent this condition altogether.
CBD oil to treat HIV and AIDS
CBD oil can be particularly useful in the treatment of HIV and AIDS. It can be ingested to help with things like insomnia, pain, nausea, and appetite loss. These symptoms of HIV and AIDS significantly impact their daily quality of life.
One of the symptoms of having HIV and AIDS is a persistent skin rash or flaky skin. CBD oil can be especially useful for treating such ailments, especially when applied topically. That being said, adding CBD oil (especially if it is hemp oil) to foods can also help quite a bit with skin problems. This is because of the added nutrients found in the oil.
CBD oil can control cell proliferation and differentiation, which means they can help with a variety of skin ailments. It kills the cells in the abnormally growing cell groups — that said, the evidence is only anecdotal at the m
Grow your own marijuana to treat AIDS and HIV
Medical studies have shown how marijuana can treat the symptoms caused by HIV and AIDS, and potentially help patients heal. With marijuana, patients can experience a better quality of life. Plus, by growing their own plants, patients can administer medication as needed, with relief always at hand.
If you are considering growing your own HIV and AIDS medication, order your seeds today. Growing marijuana is easy, especially with expert help. Many strains, such as AK-47 and Amnesia Haze can help patients find the relief they desperately need – all you have to do is plant them.
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The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]