Every year we see medical cannabis reveal itself to show promising signs of being able to help patients in the treatment of a variety of conditions. Medical cannabis for HIV and AIDS, for instance, has shown a high degree of potential.
While more research is needed in order to determine just how effective medical cannabis for AIDS and HIV can be, many patients are already benefiting from adding medical cannabis to their treatment plans.
But before we delve further, let’s first go over what HIV and AIDS are.
What Is HIV/AIDS?
While often mentioned together, HIV and AIDS are actually two separate conditions that are, however, interconnected.
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus that is most often transmitted through the blood or sexual contact.
When contracted, HIV begins to damage your immune system, specifically affecting your CD4 cells (T-cells) which are cells in your body that help you fight off infection. Without treatment, HIV leaves the patient vulnerable to infections and infection-related cancers. Again, without treatment, HIV will begin to destroy the remaining immune system cells leaving the patient totally unable to fight disease and infection.
Should this occur, the patient will then be diagnosed with AIDS.
While your body can fight viruses and there is a wide variety of advanced treatments available, at this time, it’s currently impossible to fully eliminate the HIV virus from your body, meaning that when a patient contracts the virus, they have it for life.
AIDS is considered the last stage of the HIV infection. But not everyone who contracts HIV eventually gets AIDS. AIDS is diagnosed when your immune system is so severely damaged that more dangerous infections begin to appear.
With AIDS, even relatively benign parasites, bacteria, and viruses become potentially harmful.
AIDS is directly related to the patient’s CD4 cells. When there are less than 200 cells per cubic millimetre of blood, the patient is considered to have AIDS. However, a doctor can still diagnose a patient with AIDS even if they have a higher CD4 cell count if they have suffered from an opportunistic infection.
Why Medical Cannabis Can Be Considered a Valuable Treatment
Medical cannabis for AIDS and HIV can’t directly treat the virus but it can be very effective in pain management.
There’s a growing body of research into medical cannabis’s effectiveness in treating a variety of ailments, including pain and mental health issues—both are common as a result of HIV/AIDS diagnosis and treatment.
In fact, as many as 37% of people living with HIV/AIDS use cannabis to help manage their symptoms already. Medical cannabis for HIV and AIDS has shown promise in helping address:
Many studies show noteworthy success in helping patients regain their appetite and avoid unhealth weight loss, or what is commonly referred to as wasting syndrome.
One study found that patients were able to control their symptoms more easily with the help of medical cannabis for HIV and AIDS.
Side Effects of HIV/AIDS Conventional Treatments
While there have been advancements in the treatment of HIV and AIDS, these treatments are not without side effects. Most notably:
- Loss of appetite
Medical marijuana for AIDS and HIV can help manage these symptoms as the patient undergoes potentially life-saving antiviral treatments.
Benefits of Using Medical Cannabis for HIV/AIDS
Reducing Chronic Pain
As previously mentioned, medical cannabis has shown exciting promise when it comes to pain management, specifically the management of chronic pain, something that many AIDS/HIV patients suffer from.
One study out of Canada showed that, over a one-year period, participants with chronic pain who consumed a standardized cannabis product (12.5% THC) in the form of flowers, concentrates or edibles reported a reduction in pain and increase in quality of life.
In fact, there are many studies available that point to medical cannabis for chronic pain being effective.
Improving Mood, Lowering Anxiety, and Treating Depression
The same study above showed that the group that consumed the medical cannabis showed a decrease in anxiety, depression, and fatigue. This has been supported by various other studies that show medical cannabis to be effective at helping manage depression, anxiety, and improving patients’ moods.
Reducing Pain from Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy is the result of damage to the sensory, motor, and automatic nerves. For HIV/AIDS patients, they may contract this chronic condition due to the virus itself or during treatment. It can also occur as a result of opportunistic infection.
Reducing Feelings of Nausea
During treatment, it’s not unusual for an HIV/AIDS patient to experience nausea. One study in 2005 found that in patients with HIV who experienced nausea, cannabis use was positively correlated with adherence to anti-retroviral therapies compared to non-users.
Medical Cannabis Consulting for Canadians with HIV/AIDS
If you’re a patient with HIV/AIDS or have a loved one with HIV/AIDS, contact a nurse practitioner or Patient Advisor at Medical Marijuana Consulting (MMC) to find out how medical cannabis for HIV/AIDS can help.
MMC is a trusted name in medical cannabis consulting. We help Canadians across the country access medical professionals who are experts on medical cannabis.
Our team of physicians, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners can provide a prescription, offer you help to get you coverage for your prescription costs (if eligible), refer you to a licensed producer, and help you apply for the ACMPR license.
With MMC’s personalized white glove treatment, you also get access to personalized one-on-one educational sessions, treatment plans, and ongoing support. Our cannabis clinic also helps with insurance filing for benefits and tax claims. On top of that, if you want to grow your own medical cannabis at home, our medical marijuana consulting team can help you apply for a Grow Your Own License with Health Canada.
At MMC, we want to make access to medical cannabis as simple as possible for as many people as possible. Join our Ambassador Program and receive $15 for every person you refer to MMC that becomes a patient. To learn more about Medical Marijuana Consulting and how you can secure a prescription as part of your personalized medical cannabis treatment plan, book a consultation online, contact us at 844-312-5143, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.