THC and HIV - Treating symptoms of HIV and AIDs
Medical Cannabis has long been used to treat symptoms associated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, the evidence is mounting that cannabis may also stop the disease in its tracks.

Louisiana State University published a study in the Journal: AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.  In this study, it suggests that cannabis, specifically tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is an important component in battling HIV.

Researchers Investigate Cannabis, HIV/AIDS In Primates

Affecting more that 1.1 million people in the US alone, HIV a slow and steady replicating retrovirus that attacks those afflicted with the disease at their core – the immune system.  It is responsible for further development of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) when left untreated. AIDS took the lives of 15,529 in 2010 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Using monkeys as models, the Louisiana State researchers investigated the potential role of cannabis in treating HIV. They addressed a group of infected primates with as much as 0.64 mg/kg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per day for 17 months.

“Tissue from monkeys treated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) expressed fewer signs of HIV.”
Considering the gut is one of the most common ways HIV spreads, the research team sampled stomach tissue from the THC-dosed monkeys, as well as a group of infected primates that did not receive cannabis treatment.

What they discovered is that the AIDS virus did significantly less damage in those administered with the THC when compared to the control group. Tissue from monkeys treated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) expressed fewer signs of HIV also.

What does it mean? Lead author Dr Patricia Molina, who published a similar study in 2011, explains: “These findings reveal novel mechanisms that may potentially contribute to cannabinoid-mediated disease modulation.”

Of course, this not the first and only study to determine that cannabis can fight the progression of HIV. A study published in 2012 found that activation of the CB2 receptors could help combat the virus in late-stage AIDS patients.