Marijuana: Cure for AIDS?

Dating back to ancient times, the Chinese are already using marijuana and considered it as a “magical herb” as an alternative medication because of its soothing and hallucinogenic properties. Though the recreational use of cannabis is still illegal in most states in the U.S., the popularity of marijuana for its medical purposes are on the rise. Currently, many states have already passed legislation in legalizing its use for medical purposes.

Different articles have already been published worldwide through the internet claiming that marijuana can cure Autoimmune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. Is this real?

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What is AIDS?

AIDS is an autoimmune disease that targets or destroys white blood cells because of a virus called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). AIDS is a collection of symptoms or diseases that is why it is called a syndrome. The virus embedded itself in the normal white blood cells and destroys its genetic data and regenerates inside so that it could affect other white blood cells. If all healthy white blood cells are destroyed, the body is susceptible to different kinds of infection that could even cause his death.

Is There a Cure?

As of the moment, there is no direct cure for AIDS. Medications given to the patient are for the decreasing the probability of aggravation of the diseases and to prevent another infection. The treatment of AIDS such as immunodepressant and antiviral drugs are given to decrease the replication of the HIV and sometimes to treat other infections or disease caused by other factors.

Can Marijuana Cure AIDS?

There is no direct medical benefit marijuana has in curing AIDS. Based on research, it could only improve the state of the person who is infected with AIDS. This is in terms of improving the patient’s appetite due to the effect of the disease which causes weight loss. In treating AIDS, treatment is always aimed to return the optimum healthy state of the person to aid the prevention of other possible complications. One step of attaining this going is increasing appetite and preventing weight loss.

How Can Marijuana Prevent Weight Loss

Marijuana or cannabis is composed of a compound called Tetrahydrocannabinol, a cannabinoid that is compatible to receptors found in the nervous system and immune tissue. These receptors are called CB 1 receptor and CB 2 receptor. These receptors are found mostly in the brain, spinal cord, liver, kidneys and immune tissues. If cannabinoids trigger these receptors it induces the release of chemicals and neurotransmitters to elicit reaction to the body.

One specific reaction is the cessation of nausea which could affect one’s appetite. In addition, it also improves one’s appetite, thus improving one’s weight. It is because in AIDS, the patient loses weight and decreases in appetite as an effect of the disease. This change in neurotransmitter negates these symptoms and improving one’s appetite, which is very beneficial to the patient.

Recent studies show, but are not yet finalized and proven, that marijuana could directly have a big impact on treating AIDS. Based on scientific research and animal studies, these cannabinoids and its effect on the receptors, specifically CB2, improves one’s immune system. It is said that it helps in the regeneration and production of new and healthy white blood cells with was affected with AIDS. Continued studies and research are still ongoing to have a substantial proof of this claim.