HIV is a virus that attacks and damages cells in your immune system, ultimately weakening it and reducing your ability to fight off diseases and infections. This can eventually lead to AIDS- a severe type of infection that’s often fatal. There’s currently no cure for HIV/AIDS, but medical marijuana has become a common treatment for both.
By compromising your immune system, HIV leaves you open to all kinds of diseases and infections, including life-threatening cases of AIDS. It can also cause severe pain, loss of appetite, anxiety, and depression, and various other symptoms that affect the quality of life of patients.
HIV currently impacts tens of millions of people and many people don’t show symptoms until months or years later, allowing the virus to wreak havoc on their immune systems. With no way to eliminate the virus, most look for ways to manage symptoms- including medical marijuana.
What is HIV/AIDS & How is it Treated?
The term HIV/AIDS is used to refer to a series of interconnected viruses and infections that can damage your immune system and potentially have life-threatening consequences. HIV is short for human immunodeficiency virus- a virus that damages your immune system and reduces your ability to fight off infections and diseases.
HIV is generally a slow-progressing virus that damages your immune system over time. When it’s caught and treated early, patients can live a healthy and normal lifestyle while taking measures to manage the symptoms. However, when it’s untreated, HIV can eventually lead to AIDS.
AIDS is short for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. This refers to a range of infections that affect HIV patients with severely compromised immune systems. AIDS is often life-threatening, although there are ways to manage it and reduce the risks. HIV and AIDS can also lead to issues such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, cachexia, depression, and severe pain.
Antiretroviral medications are often used to treat HIV and prevent patients’ immune systems from becoming too weak. Other medications are also used to help with the symptoms of HIV/AIDS and prevent further risks. Medical marijuana has also become a popular way to treat HIV/AIDS.
Medical Marijuana & HIV/AIDS
There’s currently no vaccine or cure for HIV/AIDS, and as such, treatment is often focused on reducing the growth and spread of the virus as well as managing symptoms. Medical marijuana has become one of the most common ways to treat HIV/AIDS and every state that offers medical marijuana makes it available for HIV/AIDS patients.
Research from the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes found that medical marijuana is often used in conjunction with traditional treatments such as antiretroviral therapy. Medical marijuana helps with HIV/AIDs symptoms and makes patients 3.3 times more likely to adhere to continued treatment.
It’s especially helpful as it can significantly improve the quality of life of patients. While HIV/AIDS often cause appetite loss, a 2007 study found that smoking marijuana helped patients increase their food intake as well as having a positive impact on their sleep and mood.
Similarly, a 2008 study also found that smoking medical marijuana helped reduce neuropathic pain in HIV patients and significantly improved their mood and quality of life. While it shouldn’t be used as a sole treatment, medical marijuana has been shown to help significantly in conjunction with other HIV/AIDS treatments.
How Medical Marijuana Helps With HIV/AIDS Symptoms
One of the key reasons that HIV/AIDS patients benefit from medical marijuana is that it can help manage and reduce many of its associated symptoms. As well as helping to boost your immune system thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, it also helps with many of the common symptoms of HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS patients often suffer from appetite loss and cachexia (wasting syndrome). This can cause them to lose weight and muscle at an alarming rate, as well as having a severe negative impact on their immune system. Medical marijuana helps counteract cachexia and improve appetite in users, helping significantly with these symptoms.
Antiretroviral therapy is the most helpful treatment for HIV/AIDS, but it can result in side effects such as nausea and vomiting. Marijuana helps with nausea/vomiting relief, which helps HIV/AIDS patients tolerate their treatment more effectively and avoid unwanted side effects.
HIV/AIDS can also cause severe, chronic pain, which can be counteracted by marijuana’s analgesic effects. On top of that, medical marijuana can improve your sleep and reduce anxiety and depression, all of which can help sufferers of HIV/AIDS live a more healthy and positive life.
How to Use Medical Marijuana for HIV/AIDS
Patients have many options when it comes to how to consume medical cannabis. The most common option for HIV/AIDS patients is smoking Marijuana Flower. Research shows that smoking cannabis helps instantly reduce symptoms such as stress, pain, and nausea. It can also help boost your mood and improve sleep.
Those who would rather avoid smoking cannabis may want to try vaping marijuana instead. Vaping is a similar experience to smoking, only it involves heating cannabis without producing smoke. Many patients find this to be a healthier experience.
Other options are also available. For instance, some patients may prefer the convenience of Cannabis Edibles or Capsules, which give you a dose of THC in oral form. You can also use Cannabis Tinctures- liquid products that are applied under the tongue. CBD products are also popular for patients who want to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC.
How to Get Medical Marijuana for HIV/AIDS
The good news for medical marijuana patients is that all states with an active medical marijuana program list HIV/AIDS as qualifying conditions. While many states allow you to buy marijuana for any purpose, it’s best to obtain a medical card or prescription to get high-quality medical cannabis products.
To get a medical card, you must first visit a qualified medical marijuana doctor. They’ll assess your health records and symptoms and approve that you have a qualifying condition. You can then apply for your medical card online, which should arrive within a couple of weeks.
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A medical card allows you to buy high-quality medical cannabis products from marijuana dispensaries. If you need help with finding a marijuana doctor and getting your marijuana card in Florida, we can help.
HIV is an incurable virus that can eventually lead to life-threatening diseases such as AIDS. While there’s no cure, medical marijuana can help patients with HIV/AIDS manage symptoms, handle treatment better, and improve their quality of life.
Treat HIV/AIDS naturally by getting your medical marijuana card. The first step is to schedule an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor. We make it fast and easy!
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