HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV is a sexually transmitted disease which is chronic and incurable. There are over two hundred thousand individuals in the US alone diagnosed with HIV each year. HIV greatly reduces the body's ability to fight off infection. When the HIV infection first occurs within just a few weeks patients may start to feel symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and sore throats. The disease typically is just symptomatic until it progresses to AIDS which is when it becomes very life threatening. Things such as intense weight-loss and reoccurring untreatable infections occur.
Currently there is no cure for HIV or Aids, however, adhering strictly to antiretroviral regimens can significantly slow down the progression of the disease as well as prevent further complications and secondary infections. Many of the symptoms that are associated with HIV and AIDS such as fevers, nausea, diarrhea, and others have been treated utilizing over the counter or pharmaceutical medications to help bring relief to these individuals.
Cannabis is another substance that can provide great benefits to individuals who have been diagnosed with this life-altering condition. From the neuropathic pain felt throughout the body to the gastrointestinal effects of HIV, cannabis has many benefits to offer patients. According to Leafly as of 2014 one in every three HIV patients are turning to cannabis to find relief from the many different side effects associated with this condition. Cannabis is known to have antiemetic and anti-inflammatory properties which provide relief from pain, neuropathy, and nausea. Cannabis also can help with the many mental side effects associated with being diagnosed with HIV as well such as anxiety, depression, and the overall sense of helplessness. According to those who have utilized cannabis first hand to treat the symptoms of HIV and AIDS some of the most effective cannabis strains for finding relief are Bubbleberry, Gobi OG, Mazar Kush, Fruit Punch, African and OG Cheese.
Aside from anecdotal evidence, there have also been several studies that suggest cannabis could play a big role in combatting not just the symptoms of HIV/AIDS but the disease itself. Louisiana State University published a study in the AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses journal in 2014 that outlined a 17-month long study on the effects of cannabis on HIV in monkeys. The study showed promising results. Over the course of the study, scientists found that the damage to the immune tissue in the subject’s stomachs actually decreased. This is huge. This shows that cannabis may not just help to prevent the spread or progression of HIV but could actually improve the damage done by the disease. If you or a loved one suffers from HIV, it would be in your best interest to research more about how cannabis could help!