Learning that you are HIV-positive can be one of the most devastating experiences you encounter in life. You may feel frightened, depressed and even angry. This is a completely natural response and part of the coping process when facing such a life-altering diagnosis. However, it’s important to realize that HIV doesn’t have to prevent you from living a long, happy and fulfilling life. More and more, patients with HIV are turning to the safe, natural, therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana to ease the pain, depression, nausea and loss of appetite that often accompany the condition and its traditional therapies.
If you have HIV/AIDS and would like to learn how medical marijuana can help to improve your quality of life, please contact Access Marijuana RX (AMRX) today online or at 727-209-5470 to schedule a consultation with Florida Board of Health-certified physician Dr. Lora L. Brown.
Has Medical Marijuana been studied in HIV/AIDs patients?
Medical marijuana is difficult to research due to barriers like federal restrictions. However, there have been studies involving medical marijuana and HIV/AIDs patients. Many of these studies looked at the impact of MMJ on symptoms of HIV/AIDs and the side effects of antiretroviral therapy.
Does CBD or THC help with HIV/AIDS?
Medical marijuana is not a treatment for HIV or AIDS. However, the CBD and THC found in the cannabis plant may help ease symptoms related to these diagnoses. Some people use medical marijuana to combat nerve pain, weight loss, poor appetite, and other problems. CBD and THC have also been seen to mitigate the adverse effects of antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART drugs can cause side effects such as nausea and trouble sleeping. Medical marijuana may help. A prescription drug containing THC is used to stimulate appetite in people with HIV. The drug, called dronabinol (Marinol), is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Treating HIV/AIDS with Medical Marijuana
By killing protective white blood cells, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a condition that compromises an individual’s immune system. As the body’s defensive system shuts down, it loses its ability to combat diseases and infections such as tuberculosis, bronchitis, meningitis, influenza and pneumonia. HIV can advance and lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a disease characterized by a low T-cell count and the appearance of additional infections.
Similar to cancer, conventional AIDS treatments involve powerful drugs with a number of negative side effects like vomiting, loss of appetite and severe pain. The past decade has shown that marijuana may help patients by:
- Helping to improve sleep
- Controlling neuropathy (nerve pain)
- Bolstering the appetite
- Preventing weight loss
- Reducing nausea
In addition to these benefits, marijuana use also has the ability to treat stress, anxiety and depression by providing a euphoric effect. The vital importance of mental health is often swept under the rug. However, numerous studies have found that when patients have a positive outlook and good mental health, their ability to maintain physical health and well-being increases. When patients are free from depression, anxiety, stress and worry, they are more able to live their lives to the fullest.
Is Medical Marijuana Right for Me?
Marijuana has strong, proven medicinal value. It can alleviate nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. However, everyone is different, and each patient requires a recommendation and dosage that is tailored specifically to his or her needs. Ensuring that your experience is positive and in compliance with state law, you need to begin with a thorough medical evaluation with a Florida Board of Health-certified physician. In your initial consultation, Dr. Brown will review your medical records and assess your condition. She will answer your questions, address your concerns and make a recommendation for medical marijuana if she determines it will be beneficial in your situation.
"The team were extremely professional, courteous and helpful. Being my first experience I would highly recommend. They are extremely knowledgeable and reassuring every step of the way. Thank you so much Access you guys are amazing!"
Can I receive the Medical Benefits of Marijuana without getting high?
Some people enjoy the euphoric effect that comes with taking THC. However, others want to feel clear-headed while enjoying the additional benefits that medical marijuana has to offer. The good news is that there are several ways to avoid getting high while using medical cannabis. You may want to take CBD, use topicals, or even try microdosing. Talk to our physicians for guidance.
Can I combine Medical Marijuana and other HIV treatments?
HIV treatment involves taking medicines that help lower your viral load and fight infections. They can improve your quality of life and reduce your chances of transmitting HIV. These medicines are called antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), and a number of patients combine them with MMJ. Ask our physicians and your HIV doctor or HIV pharmacist about potential interactions. Recent studies have shown that some anti-HIV drugs may increase the effects of marijuana. Also, the use of marijuana with certain ARVs may result in increased or decreased drug levels.
Smoking Medical Marijuana while on ARVs
Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) are commonly used to treat HIV infection. You may choose to smoke medical marijuana while taking ARVs to relieve nausea and other side effects. Some patients have found that using medical marijuana makes it easier to stick to their ARV medication. Missing or skipping ARV doses is problematic because it can lead to HIV drug resistance. There are different types of ARVs, and they work in different ways. Ask our physicians for information about the potential relationship between marijuana and your medication. Keep in mind that smoking marijuana may affect your lungs’ ability to fight infection. Other forms of marijuana may be a better choice if your immune system is already damaged by HIV.
Are there alternatives to smoking Marijuana for my HIV?
There are many different alternatives to smoking marijuana. Other legal methods of taking medical marijuana in Florida include:
Our physicians can help determine which options may work best for you. Schedule an evaluation appointment today to discuss the different alternatives to smoking marijuana.
Call Access Marijuana RX Today
Don’t delay the comfort you deserve. Call AMRX today at 727-209-5470 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brown. We proudly serve patients from St. Petersburg, Tampa and all of Florida.