Medical cannabis has been shown to be very effective at helping the treatment of various health conditions. These conditions also include HIV/AIDS. You just need a medical marijuana card to get access to medical cannabis for your condition. A Palmdale 420 doctor can evaluate your condition and provide you this recommendation card. If you are diagnosed with HIV or AIDS and wondering how you can manage its symptoms, medical cannabis can help. It offers analgesic and antiemetic effects. This makes one of the main reasons why so many HIV patients use cannabis. There are various indirect effects of cannabis that can also help HIV patients. Today, we will learn about all the benefits of medical cannabis for HIV/AIDS.
The data of the World Health Organization (WHO) tells that more than 500,000 Americans have died from HIV/AIDS. And more than one million people of the United States are living with this disease. This chronic, life-threatening condition is one of the most common reasons why patients use medical cannabis. In fact, it is a qualifying condition in every medical cannabis state. The symptoms of this condition and even the side effects of medications can cause problems for patients to lead a good quality of life.
Symptoms of HIV according to its stage
Symptoms of HIV vary on the basis of the stage of the disease.
Some people diagnosed with HIV may suffer from a flu-like illness. They will start feeling these symptoms within a few weeks or a month after being infected at first. While others do not suffer from any symptoms at all. Flu-like symptoms may include the following –
- Night sweats
- Mouth ulcers
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
These symptoms can even last for many weeks. HIV tests may not even show a positive result throughout this stage. But the infected person can still spread this illness to others. Some HIV-positive patients may even go without any symptoms for as long as 10 years or more.
This is the next stage of HIV and is also referred to as chronic HIV infection. At this stage, you may suffer from only mild symptoms (possibly none at all). The illness can be transmitted to others at this stage as well, even if you are very well. But, if you are in antiretroviral therapy (ART), chances of you transmitting this illness to other decreases.
Symptoms of AIDS include –
- Recurring fever
- Loss of appetite
- Memory loss
- Sores on the genitals, anus or mouth
- Unexplained extreme tiredness
- Profuse night sweats
- Rapid weight loss
- Diarrhea that may last more than a week
- Prolonged swelling of lymph gland in the neck, groin or armpits
- Profuse night sweats
The only way to find out whether you have HIV or AIDS or not is to get tested.
Some of the side effects of the medications of HIV/AIDS are nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. In addition to this, wasting syndrome or cachexia and intractable pain are some more side effects of HIV/AIDS. But now, more than 60 percent of HIV patients are using cannabis as their medication. Let’s see how cannabis can help people suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Cannabis can help in appetite stimulation
Loss of appetite is one of the most common symptoms that HIV/AIDS patients have to suffer. But it is crucial for them to avoid losing weight. And cannabis is known to help manage the loss of appetite. A 2005 survey shows that 97 percent of HIV/AIDS patients who used medical cannabis to deal with their symptoms reported improvements in their appetite. A 2007 double-blind study examined the effects of smoked cannabis and oral dronabinol. Oral dronabinol is a synthetic form of THC. This study showed that cannabis and dronabinol are more effective in increasing caloric intake than placebo, in a dose-dependent manner.
Recent research shows that cannabis vapor can make people eat meals more frequently. However, the meals are smaller than usual. The studies were done on lab rats that showed that it can trigger rats to eat even after they had eaten recently. In simple words, it tricks the appetite sensors of the brain into sensing hunger.
Studies show that giving high doses of cannabis and dronabinol can increase body weight significantly.
Cannabis can help in easing nausea
Nausea is another common symptom of HIV infection. The causes of nausea can become more complex with the progression of the disease. Some of the common causes of nausea may include –
- Central nervous system disorders
- Hepatorenal dysfunction
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Because of the treatments used to treat the disease
Cannabis has certain cannabinoids that have the ability to counter the symptoms of nausea that HIV/AIDS patients have to suffer from. There is a specific location on the midline of the brainstem known as the dorsal raphe nucleus. CBD (cannabidiol), one of the main cannabinoids present in cannabis, can ease in vomiting and nausea. It does so by indirectly activating a specific serotonin-receptor in the dorsal raphe nucleus.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved the THC analog dronabinol to manage nausea and the loss of appetite associated with HIV and cancer. A 2005 study showed that among the people suffering from HIV, those consuming cannabis are more likely to adhere to their ART than non-consumers.
Cannabis can help in boosting mood and reducing depression
HIV/AIDS patients have to fight anxiety, depression, and mood disorder issues as well. These issues can be caused because of a combination of negative physiological, psychological, and social pressures. Fortunately, cannabis is known to be very effective in tackling all these issues. Thus, it can also help HIV/AIDS patients deal with them. Studies show that HIV/AIDS patients reported relief of anxiety and improvement in depression after consuming cannabis.
Cannabis and dronabinol can improve the mood of HIV/AIDS patients. These substances cause a “good drug effect” that induces feelings of friendliness, self-confidence, and stimulation.
Cannabis can act as an analgesic and reduce pain
HIV/AIDS patients have to suffer from severe and debilitating pain. There can be various complex sources for this pain such as – joint, nerve, and muscle pain. Medical cannabis is known for being an excellent choice to deal with chronic pain. This makes it a great alternative to opioids to manage pain.
In fact, studies show that HIV/AIDS patients experienced relief from muscle pain after consuming cannabis. Many patients also found relief from nerve pain, and paresthesia (tingling, burning, and prickling sensations).
Cannabis may help in reducing peripheral neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy is a specific pain that is common in HIV/AIDS patients. The patients have to experience pain, twitching, muscle loss, paresthesia, and impaired coordination. This happens because of the damage in one or more nerves of the peripheral nervous system. Cannabis has been shown to be effective in improving the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
Studies have shown HIV/AIDS patients reporting improvement in their symptoms of peripheral neuropathy after consuming cannabis. Making cannabis a great choice for HIV patients to deal with this issue.