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Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Despite the major benefits of antiretroviral therapy on survival during HIV infection, there is an increasing need to manage symptoms and side effects during long-term drug therapy. Cannabis has been reported anecdotally as being beneficial for a number of common symptoms and complications in HIV infections, for example, poor appetite and neuropathy. This study aimed to investigate symptom management with cannabis. Following Ethics Committee approval, HIV-positive individuals attending a large clinic were recruited into an anonymous cross-sectional questionnaire study. Up to one-third (27%, 143/523) reported using cannabis for treating symptoms. Patients reported improved appetite (97%), muscle pain (94%), nausea (93%), anxiety (93%), nerve pain (90%), depression (86%), and paresthesia (85%). Many cannabis users (47%) reported associated memory deterioration. Symptom control using cannabis is widespread in HIV outpatients. A large number of patients reported that cannabis improved symptom control.
“We believe we will have some very interesting findings. Our study will add more mechanistic understanding for researchers regarding the factors behind HAND, and potentially lead to the development of more cannabinoid-based therapies,” Dr. Mohan said. “Finding the best therapeutic approach whether it is a single drug, a combination cannabinoid regimen or a synthetic cannabinoid drug is important.”
Using Indian rhesus macaques with Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), the monkey equivalent of HIV, researchers will be able to study if changes in gene DNA methylation levels impact inflammation in the brain, which is the underlying cause of HAND. Understanding these basic biological processes will allow scientists to create better therapeutic options. Researchers will also study whether JWH133, a synthetic cannabinoid (CB), affects DNA methylation and could serve as an alternate therapeutic intervention.
This study is funded by grant R01DA052845 by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on drug abuse. These investigations will use resources that are supported by the Southwest National Primate Research Center grant P51 OD011133, as well as Specific Pathogen Free Rhesus Macaque Colony Center grant U42 OD010442-20, from the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs, National Institutes of Health.
In particular, HAND is a major comorbidity that affects 50% of HIV infected patients who are on ART. The disorder affects brain function causing difficulties in attention, concentration, decision-making and memory. Dr. Mohan says evidence shows that neuro-inflammation persists in HIV patients on ART and is an important driver of HAND; however, little is known about the molecular mechanisms behind the inflammation. Separating the cells in blood, cerebrospinal fluid and brain gives researchers a closer look at the cellular changes leading to neuroinflammation. In addition, these studies will utilize metabolomics, microbiome profiling, PET/CT imaging and newly developed techniques at Texas Biomed to evaluate the impact of cannabinoids on cognitive function and neuroinflammation.
San Antonio, Texas (December 11, 2020) – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Professor Mahesh Mohan, D.V.M., Ph.D., and collaborators more than $3.5 million over five years to investigate the effects of cannabinoids on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND). This research project aims to evaluate whether delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) alone or in combination can potentially alter DNA methylation, which is a biological process that can create a change in the expression of certain genes.
Three decades ago, AIDS was a devastating disease with no cure. As a result, the manifestations were more acute. Due to the scientific advances made over time, including many that utilize nonhuman primate models of AIDS, we now have the ability to treat many AIDS patients, and increase their life-span. However, this is laying bare the more chronic effects of HIV infection, especially those of the neurocognitive variety.
Texas Biomed is one of the world’s leading independent biomedical research institutions dedicated to eradicating infection and advancing health worldwide through innovative biomedical research. Texas Biomed partners with researchers and institutions around the world to develop vaccines and therapeutics against viral pathogens causing AIDS, hepatitis, hemorrhagic fever, tuberculosis and parasitic diseases responsible for malaria and schistosomiasis disease. The Institute has programs in host-pathogen interaction, disease intervention and prevention and population health to understand the links between infectious diseases and other diseases such as aging, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. For more information on Texas Biomed, go to http://www. TxBiomed. org.
I’m a straight make. Who was raped by 4 males in 2001. And they all where HIV positive. Which lead me to become HIV positive. I have for the past year been a active smoking 420 since I became pos.
I have grate improvements in my viral load, T cells, depression and uncontrollable shaking from nerve damage. In fact since I started smoking I sen my numbers, nerve damage all be reversed.Our government really need to pass the medical 420 bill. And I love this study and post. I totally agree with it.
My friend, we are the same, when I get tested I found out that my cd4 count is just 19… i have no infections and im very healthy.. im just following my doctor’s advice.. as long as you undergoing threatment the hiv will stop destroying you.. the virus will sleep and your cd4 will rise again.. just do healthy living to help your cd4. My doctor is telling a story about a patient with only 1 cd4.. after a 3 months of threatment his cd4 increased to 300.. so dont lose hope my friend, just get yourself treated, you are on the right track.. just follow ur doctor’s advice ok
With best wishes,
4. Using cannabis as an analgesic to reduce pain
I have lived HIV positive since 2010 I started on my Antivirals after 3years when I became pregnant. I gave birth to a healthy baby. But viral load was 315 and I kept taking medication now it’s UN detachable. I have been juicing fresh leaves of marijjuana canabise and drink. Or boil the fresh leaves.
With best wishes,
I please need an answer my people
Only HIV antiviral meds can turn HIV positive to undetectable. Cannabis oil can help with the symptoms of HIV, improve appetite, reduce joint pain etc.