Cannabis & HIV / AIDS

Cannabis helps HIV AIDS Patients

There is some evidence to suggest that THC edibles may help AIDS patients by improving their appetite and reducing nausea and vomiting.


AIDS patients often experience loss of appetite and weight loss, which can be detrimental to their overall health. THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, has been shown to stimulate appetite and increase food intake in some people.

This effect is commonly known as the “munchies.” By consuming THC edibles, AIDS patients may be able to increase their calorie intake and maintain a healthy weight. In addition, AIDS patients may experience nausea and vomiting as a result of their medications or the disease itself. THC has been shown to have antiemetic properties, meaning it can help reduce nausea and vomiting. This can improve quality of life for AIDS patients and make it easier for them to tolerate their treatment regimens.

Marijuana and HIV Nerve Pain

Peripheral neuropathy, or nerve pain, happens when some of your nerves get damaged. You may
feel stabbing, burning, or tingling sensations in your hands and feet. HIV and antiretroviral medications can trigger it. HIV also weakens your immune system, which makes it easier to get other infections that might lead to peripheral neuropathy. There’s not much research on this, but the few studies on the topic suggest that medical marijuana may be helpful.


In one study, researchers gave surveys to 565 people with HIV. Most of those who said they use marijuana reported that their nerve pain got better. Another research paper notes that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, eased nerve-related pain in people with cancer, so it might do the same for HIV-related nerve pain. But that hasn’t been proven in a study.

Marijuana and HIV-Related Weight Loss

Wasting is a common symptom of HIV. It’s when you lose lots of weight because you don’t feel well and you’re not as hungry, so you don’t eat enough food. One small study showed marijuana sparked users’ appetite. The FDA has approved the use of Marinol, a THC-containing prescription drug, to stimulate appetite in people with HIV.

Marijuana and Lung Health

Smoking marijuana (or anything else) is bad for your lungs. Marijuana smoke has many of the same toxins, carcinogens, and irritants as tobacco smoke. Research shows smoking marijuana can lead to ongoing issues with bronchitis and related symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and phlegm (the stuff you cough up when you have a cold).


It further weakens an immune system already damaged by HIV. Smoking marijuana affects your lungs’ ability to fight infection by killing the cells that help get rid of dust and germs. It also causes you to make more mucus. These things can put you more at risk for respiratory infections. Other forms of marijuana might be a better choice. Your doctor can help you decide within the context of your health and what’s legal in your area.

It’s important to note that THC edibles should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider and in accordance with local laws and regulations. They may not be suitable for everyone, and can have potential side effects such as increased heart rate, dizziness, and impaired cognitive function.


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