Marijuana Exposure Associated With Improved Immunity in HIV Patients

Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

A new study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence has determined patients with HIV who have tested positive for past cannabis exposure possess higher levels of CD4+ and CD8+, which are a subtype of white blood cells that can aid the immune process. Researchers from Virginia State University and the University of Florida Center for AIDS/HIV Research looked at differences in lymphocyte count among HIV patients who tested positive or negative for THC in urinalysis. Authors found, after adjusting for demographic and HIV-related covariates, those who tested positive for THC had significantly higher counts of CD4+ and CD8+. Authors conclude, “This preliminary study shows THC positive patients having better HIV-related immune levels than their negative counterparts, despite not being statistically different on various demographic HIV-related covariates. … The current findings suggest a potentially beneficial role to marijuana, additional to symptom palliation.”

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