The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), is transmitted through contact with blood, semen or vaginal fluids that have been infected. Often times, symptoms show up within a few weeks with flu-like symptoms: fever, fatigue and sore throat among them. Eventually, the disease becomes asymptomatic as it evolves into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
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Now, research shows that cannabis has the ability to tackle some of HIV’s ugliest symptoms.
In a recent study from researchers at Louisiana State University, they proved that a few daily doses of cannabis’ super-ingredient THC, can have numerous positive effects in the animal model of HIV.
The scientists administered THC to four-, five- and six-year-old male rhesus monkeys over a 17-month period. These monkeys were SIV positive (SIV is the monkey version of HIV) and received the THC dosage twice a day.
The researchers noted that the dosages dramatically reduced damage to the immune tissue of the gut over the 17-month period. This is positive because another study showed that inflammation and gut leakage are some of the main side effects of people infected with HIV.
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THC had another powerful effect: It was able to increase the amount of normal cells. THC targets CB2 receptors in the brain and these receptors harbor the cells that are connected to the brain. CB2 receptors respond to the healing aspects of THC, which include reducing swelling and pain sensitivity.
In this experiment, THC activated the CB2 receptors to build new cells (which form tissue) in the gut and these cells prevent the virus from peering through the cell walls.
So while HIV has the power to kill the cells that protect the linings of the gut, THC works to bring them back, stronger and healthier.