Marijuana Could Help HIV Patients Maintain Mental Stamina

Photo Credit: High Times

Photo Credit: High Times

A new study published in the journal AIDS suggests THC could help those suffering from HIV maintain mental stamina. Researchers from Michigan State University have determined cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties could reduce mental deterioration from the virus by about 50% by preventing white blood cells and their proteins from causing damage in the brain. THC could slow or stop the inflammatory process. Researchers studied the blood of 40 HIV patients, both marijuana users and non-users, and found non-users exhibited a much higher rate of inflammation within their white blood cells when isolate. Co-author Norbert Kaminski explains, “The patients who didn’t smoke marijuana had a very high level of inflammatory cells compared to those who did use… In fact, those who used marijuana had levels pretty close to a healthy person not infected with HIV.”

Marijuana could be a beneficial supplemental therapy to the antiretroviral therapies that exist today through its ability to control white blood cells and inflammation. This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

What Are The Medical Benefits of Marijuana? - Part 2.

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

In our previous post, we began to look at the conditions medical marijuana can help, but it doesn’t end there! Let’s continue that discussion now.

Medical marijuana may help those with inflammatory bowel disease, including conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Marijuana may improve symptoms to the point of remission and can help patients ween off of traditional medications. Marijuana may also help those with Parkinson’s disease, and patients have experienced relief from tremor severity and pain symptoms. Surprisingly, marijuana may also help those with asthma. Because THC acts as a bronchodilator, it opens up the pathways of the lungs, reduces spasms, and prevents over-inflation of the lungs. Not surprisingly, marijuana is known to stimulate appetite, which can be extremely beneficial for patients suffering from conditions like AIDS and cancer, where appetite loss is a common symptom of the conditions and side effect of the disorders’ treatments. On the other hand, marijuana can also help combat obesity. Although it is able to increase appetite, marijuana is still associated with a smaller waistline and lower cholesterol in users than in non-users, and it has been found to better manage glucose levels.

As mentioned in the previous post in relation to cancer, medical marijuana is effective in the treatment of nausea and vomiting, and it can be so effective at treating this common side effect associated with chemotherapy and HIV/AIDS treatment regimens that it can allow patients to continue with these unpleasant treatments. Medical marijuana can also improved the recovery and survival rates of patients with traumatic brain injury. Similarly, researchers believe phytocannabinoids or synthetic cannabinoids could improve the outcomes of spinal cord injury, as well, due to the fact they have observed increases in the body’s natural endocannabinoid production following injury in an attempt to prevent damage.

Thanks for following up with today’s post on the medical benefits of medical marijuana. Still, there are so many more conditions where medical marijuana is useful! We’ll continue our discussion of more conditions in the next post. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

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.”

This information has been brought to you by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Cannabis Not Harmful to Immune Systems of HIV Patients, Study Finds

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

According to research published in Drug and Alcohol Review, patients co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C Virus (HCV) who use medical cannabis to manage their symptoms will not further damage their immune systems. A team of researchers from the French Institute of Health and Medical Research led by Fabienne Marcellin gathered information from 955 HIV and HCV patients to examine if cannabis use affected their circulating CD4 T-cell count. Using self-administered questionnaires, the team determined cannabis use was not associated with significant changes in CD4 T-cell count. Marijuana could be a particularly beneficial method for symptom management due to its ability to improve appetite, and reduce muscle pain, nausea, anxiety, and depression. 

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. You can access the study here

How Cannabis Eases Suffering for HIV/AIDS Patients

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

While HIV/AIDS treatments have proven effective for treating the virus itself and have significantly extended the lifespan of patients, they produce a wide range of negative side effects. Studies have shown cannabis may able to reduce these side effects associated with the medications, so that patients can continue to undergo treatment without discomfort. A study from 2014 in Canada found 38.5% of its study participants used cannabis while undergoing treatment for HIV/AIDS. Of those users, 80% reported cannabis relieved HIV-related stress and pain.

HIV/AIDS patients often lose their appetites, which results in rapid weight loss. The loss of nutrients exacerbates other symptoms and puts patients in danger of risking infections. In 2007, a study found cannabis increased caloric intake and body weight in spite of the negative side effects of HIV medications like nausea and vomiting. HIV/AIDS patients also experience pain, specifically peripheral neuropathy. In one study that looked at cannabis in relation to HIV-induced nerve pain found, 50% of patients smoked cannabis three times a daily for five days. These patients reported a 34% reduction in pain, results that are similar to the pain relief provided by traditional oral drugs. Lastly, there is evidence to suggest cannabis may act as an immune modulator and anti-viral agent, however this information has not been concluded in human trials. Another longitudinal study over the course of a decade found cannabis use was associated with lower viral loads.

This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Conditions Medical Marijuana Could Help

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Medical cannabis is full of chemical compounds called cannabinoids and terpenes that interact with the body's endocannabinoid system. The different concentrations of compounds allow the plant to have a wide array of different effects, which make cannabis suitable for many different conditions and symptoms, or even combat the side effects of other treatment regimens. For cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, cannabis can alleviate side effects associated with the treatment like fatigue, nausea, pain, loss of appetite, and insomnia. Similarly, HIV/AIDS treatment regimens produce similar side effects that can be alleviated by medical cannabis. 

Patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis experience neurological problems and muscle spasms. Medical Cannabis can help alleviate these symptoms, which can allow patients to gain control over their muscles, regain bladder control, improve vision and mobility, and thereby improve their overall quality of life. Cannabis can help those with epilepsy by reducing the frequency of seizures and even, at times, eliminating them all together. Studies have found CBD is an effective treatment option even in those who suffer from forms that had previously proven treatment-resistant. Chronic pain accompanies a wide range of conditions, but research has found cannabis can be as effective as pharmaceutical options. This offers patients a safer alternative to dangerous pharmaceuticals like opioids. Lastly, some patients with depression or anxiety could benefit from the relaxing properties high-CBD strains of cannabis. 

This information has been brought to you by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

 

3 Pain Conditions Medicinal Marijuana Can Treat

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

For those who suffer from debilitating pain and want a safe option for relief, they may want to look to medical marijuana for pain relief without the addictive or harmful side effects of opioids. Medical marijuana can treat a wide range of pain conditions, including the pain caused by HIV/AIDS and cancer treatments, chronic pain, and pain caused by damaged nervous systems. Cannabidiol and delta-9-THC are already used in an oral spray called Sativex that is used to relieve severe cancer pain. Along with cancer patients, cannabis can also help HIV/AIDS patients by relieving pain, nausea, and increase appetite, and improving overall quality of life. In these cases, cannabis should not replace traditional treatment methods, but rather supplement them.

Patients who suffer from chronic pain can also benefit from cannabis use, and studies have found test subjects who take daily doses of medical marijuana report no ill-effects on their kidneys, livers, or hormonal function. They also report that cannabis is a successful treatment even when conventional therapies fail. Patients who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other debilitating disorders could benefit from medical cannabis. Lastly, cannabis helps those who suffer from pain in their central nervous system by treating the pain itself, but also by targeting other symptoms like sleep and anxiety.

This information has been provided by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

MMJ for HIV/AIDS

Photo Credit: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Photo Credit: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

HIV/AIDS weakens the immune system, making those living with the virus more susceptible to infections and cancers. Current treatment options include antiretroviral drugs that help prolong survival. Cannabis may be helpful in treating the debilitating symptoms and unwanted side effects like pain, nausea, appetite loss, wasting syndrome, and emotional decline. 

One study published in Aids Research and Human Retroviruses found THC lowers the number of HIV particles, also known as the viral load, and prolongs survival in patients. A study from NIH revealed the activation of CB2 receptors inhibits the ability of HIV to spread to specific cells, which reduces the frequency of infected cells by 30-60%. One study published in PubMed found cannabis inhalation reduced neuropathic pain by 34% without serious adverse side effects. This suggests cannabis would be effective in relieving the numbness or pain patients experience in their hands and feet, one of the most common neurological complications of HIV infection. Another study in PubMed found 97% HIV/AIDS patients reported cannabis improved their appetites. Lastly, a JAIDS study found patients were 3.3 times more likely to continue with their treatment regimens if they supplemented their medications with cannabis, which reduces their side effects.

This information has been brought to you by Health MJ and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Medical Marijuana for HIV and AIDS

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) spreads through body fluids and attacks the immune system's CD4/T cells, thereby weakening the immune system and making the body less effective in combatting diseases and infections. When left untreated, HIV becomes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which is when the body's T cells fall below 300 cells per cubic millimeter of blood, which can make even common diseases and infections potentially fatal. HIV is highly contagious through the transfer of bodily fluids, and many people who have HIV are unaware they have it. Currently, antiretroviral therapies effectively prevent HIV from becoming AIDS, but the symptoms of these therapies include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heart disease, weakened bones, muscle tissue breakdown, and neuropathic pain.

Because cannabis can help target these side effects, it can be used as a supplementary treatment for those undergoing antiretroviral therapy so that it is easier for patient to complete their therapy. HIV patients who consumed medical marijuana reported improvements in appetite, muscle pain levels, chronic neuropathic pain, nausea, anxiety, depression, and skin tingling. By boosting appetite and daily function, medical marijuana helps prevent weight loss and muscle breakdown. Studies also show that medical marijuana is safe for HIV/HCV patients, and consuming the medication had no adverse side effects on the immune system or the body's T cells and it did not increase the risk for developing liver fibrosis. Lastly, one study found marijuana-like compounds blocked the spread of late stage HIV, and an animal trial found monkeys infected with the animal form of HIV saw a decrease in damage to the gastrointestinal immunity in the stomach when they were administered with THC for 17 months.

This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

A Beginner's Guide To Medicinal Marijuana Strains

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Patients new to medical marijuana will, most likely, not find their perfect medicinal strain on the first try. Most patients must titrate and experiment with their cannabinoids, frequency, and vehicle in order to discover the optimal dosing regimen. Still, you have to start somewhere, so where do you begin? This information is generalized and may not apply to everyone, but it offers a good starting point when choosing a strain for beginning your medical marijuana therapy. 

Strains high in CBD are often referred to in the general sense as indica, and it often helps patients feel more relaxed and calm. This property makes it especially helpful in treating sleep disorders like insomnia. High CBD strains are often used to treat cancer and HIV/AIDs patients, as it has been shown to reduce nausea and increase appetite. CBD strains also help to reduce the pain levels associated with many illnesses, and it has commonly been used to treat glaucoma. You may benefit from CBD strains if you need to relieve body pain, relax your muscles, relieve spasms, reduce seizures, relieve headaches and migraines, or reduce anxiety and stress. CBD strains have been used to treat epilepsy, gastrointestinal illnesses, anxiety, and multiple sclerosis.

Strains high in THC are referred to under the umbrella of sativa, and they are known for producing an uplifting and energetic mood, possibly due to the fact research has shown THC smokers are linked to increased levels of serotonin. That being said, THC by itself may not provide the pain relief necessary for a particular illness. You may benefit from THC strains by feeling happiness and pleasure, feeling energized, feeling focused or getting lost in deep thought, and fighting depression. THC strains have been helpful in treating ADD/ADHD, HIV/AIDS, and anorexia.

This information has been brought to you by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

 

How Cannabis Improves Appetite

Photo Credit: D-Kuru/Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: D-Kuru/Wikimedia Commons

Medical marijuana is known for its ability to stimulate appetite, something that is important for patients who suffer from malnutrition or a loss of appetite due to chemotherapy, HIV/AIDS, eating disorders, and other diseases. Cannabis does so through its cannabinoid THC, which attaches to receptors in the endocannabinoid system where it stimulates appetite and manipulates the senses. Data published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry revealed that when THC interacts with receptors in the hypothalamus, it increases the release of the hormone Ghrelin which is responsible for sending hunger signals to the brain. 

Cannabis also makes food more appealing by manipulating the senses so that it tastes and smells better. A study published in the Annals of Oncology reported 73% of advanced cancer patients who took THC pills daily experienced a greater appreciation for food. Another study published in Nature Neuroscience revealed THC interacted with receptors in the olfactory bulb to enhance the sense of smell in mice. Those that were given THC scented oils ate more food and for a longer period of time than those who were not. 

This information has been provided by Health MJ and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

10 Diseases Where Medical Marijuana Could Have Impact

Photo Credit: Blaze Now

Photo Credit: Blaze Now

It seems every day more and more information is revealed about the wide array of medicinal properties of marijuana and the variety of illnesses and symptoms that could benefit from its therapeutic impact. In this list, Blaze Now discusses 10 of the many diseases that could benefit from medical marijuana and how. It's important to note that the support for treatment of these conditions comes from studies that are either small scale, observational, or in their early stages. The benefits from medical marijuana for patients suffering these varying ailments are summarized below:

Patients suffering from HIV/AIDS were able to eat better and sleep better and they experienced a better mood and less neuropathic pain when they smoked medical marijuana. Marijuana helped Alzheimer's patients gain weight and feel less agitated. It also slowed the deposit of proteins onto the brain, which some researchers believe may cause the disease. Some research suggests marijuana can ease exercise-induced asthma and dilate the airways, facilitating airflow. That being said, these studies have faced contradictory results from other patients who experienced chest and throat pain. 

In some studies, marijuana extracts have shown the ability to kill cancer cells and slow cancer growth. The cannabinoid THC has also enhanced the impact of radiation on cancer cells. Cannabis also helps reduce the nausea and loss of appetite that result from chemotherapy. The analgesic effect of cannabinoids can ease pain, helping those who suffer from chronic pain or the pain that accompanies multiple sclerosis or different cancers. Marijuana can also help those suffering from MS by preventing muscle spasms, pain, tremors, and stiffness. That being said, it can also have a negative effect by impairing memory.

For those who suffer from Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, inhaled cannabis helped ease pain, increase weight gain, and reduce the frequency of diarrhea. Cannabis is also known for its effects on those who suffer from epilepsy. Many times, the frequency of seizures reduce by over 50%. Marijuana is also thought to be an effective treatment for glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness, because of THC's ability to lower eye pressure and preserve the nerves. The effect it has on lowering blood pressure, however, could actually harm the optic nerve due to a lack of blood supply. 

For a more detailed look at these diseases and the small studies that support the idea of using marijuana as a treatment option, check this out

HIV/AIDS and Medical Marijuana

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) results from a disruption to the immune system, which infects a person as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), a wasting syndrome. Patients who suffer from HIV often experience nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and neuropathy. As the infection worsens the immune system, patients are more likely to fall victim to other infections. 

HIV is treatable with a variety of harder pharmaceutical drugs that often coincide with negative side effects. Because of cannabis' ability to ease nausea and stimulate appetite, it is thought to be a valuable treatment in fighting not only the symptoms of the condition itself, but also the side effects associated with the pharmaceutical drugs used to treat the condition. 

When it comes to HIV/AIDS, there are many clinical studies supporting this claim. A study conducted by the White House and the Institute of Medicine in 1999 said, "for patients such as those with AIDS or who are undergoing chemotherapy and who suffer simultaneously from severe pain, nausea, and appetite loss, cannabinoid drugs might offer broad-spectrum relief not found in any other single medication." This statement umbrellas many of the healing properties found in cannabis that have been discussed in other various studies on HIV/AIDS. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to conduct more efficient clinical trials on humans until marijuana is no longer classified as a Schedule 1 drug. For a more detailed look at the various studies that support medical marijuana for HIV/AIDS, look to Whaxy! http://bit.ly/1gzGSp7

10 diseases where medical marijuana could have impact

10 diseases where medical marijuana could have impact

Marijuana is one of the tightest controlled substances under federal law, but it's gaining popularity among patients as a medication for a variety of illnesses. Many Drs. have also changed their tune in support of the drug, including Dr. Sue Sisley, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Dr. Mehmet Oz. This CNN report highlights some of the illnesses medical marijuana could potentially treat, including PTSD, AIDS and HIV, Alzheimer's, Arthritis, Asthma, Cancer, Chronic Pain, Crohn's Disease, Epilepsy and Seizure disorders, Glaucoma, and Multiple Sclerosis. http://cnn.it/1Nimp33

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