How To Treat HIV/AIDS Symptoms and Side Effects With Cannabis

The scientific community is just beginning to uncover how to treat HIV/AIDS symptoms and side effects with cannabis. So far, we know that marijuana can alleviate symptoms specific to the virus and the side-effects of HIV/AIDs medications. But there is also promising research showing that cannabis can slow the virus’ progression.

Here is an overview of cannabis’ manifold benefits for managing the symptoms of HIV/AIDS, diminishing drug side effects, and inhibiting this deadly virus.

What is HIV/AIDS?

HIV, the acronym for human immunodeficiency virus, affects the immune system. One typically contracts HIV sexually, often from blood, semen or vaginal fluid. A mother can also transmit HIV/AIDS to her child during pregnancy.

After infection, the virus spreads throughout the immune system’s CD4 cells, also known as T cells. These cells then produce more infected cells. Over time, the body becomes more susceptible to disease as the number of infected, and therefore less efficient at disease prevention, T cells increases.

AIDS is the final stage (of three) in HIV infection. A person with AIDs is extremely vulnerable to illness because HIV has severely impaired their immune system. It typically takes ten years for someone with untreated HIV to progress to the second stage of infection, Chronic HIV infection. At the third stage of untreated HIV, AIDs, the life expectancy is three years.

How Many People Have HIV/AIDS?

According to UNAIDS, 36.7 million people were affected with HIV/AIDS in 2016. In the US, 74 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are men.

Today, more people than ever live with HIV/AIDS due to the inaccessibility of treatment.

The number of people living with HIV/AIDS – and coping with HIV/AIDS medication side effects, make the question of how to treat HIV/AIDS symptoms and side effects with cannabis a pressing issue.

Treatment For HIV/AIDS

There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, through medication known as antiretroviral therapy (ART) stops the virus’ progression. With the help of this new treatment, implemented in the late 1990s, the life expectancy for those with the virus who treat their condition with ART is almost that of non-infected people.

Yet far from everyone has access to antiretroviral therapy. UNAIDS estimates that 47 percent of people with HIV/AIDS remain untreated.

This translates to a painful, and eventually life-threatening condition. Even for those with access to medication, the virus often ensures a lifetime of difficult symptoms and side-effects.

Using Cannabis To Manage Symptoms

Many people with HIV/AIDS use marijuana to cope with their symptoms. We’ve explored cannabis’ incredible effect on seizures, postpartum depression, and a host of other medical conditions.

One of the most medically versatile substances, cannabis can effectively treat the most common HIV side-effects and symptoms: weight loss, depression, anxiety, nausea and loss of appetite.

In fact, noted activist Dennis Peron got his start in medical marijuana activism at the height of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. His partner and some of his friends contracted the virus. And they found that cannabis was the best treatment to alleviate their suffering.

Marijuana is so successful in managing these symptoms that 27 percent of people with HIV/AIDS reported using it in a 2005 survey. Thirteen years later, marijuana stigma is decreasing, accessing the herb has never been easier, and awareness of medical marijuana’s benefits is on the rise.

Undoubtedly, more HIV/AIDS patients than ever are turning towards one of nature’s best medicines.

Due to its immediate efficacy, smoking is a great way to manage these symptoms and side effects. Plus, it’s easier to gauge how much you’ll need at the moment.

Marijuana Can Potentially Slow Progression

Still wondering how to treat HIV/AIDS symptoms and side effects with cannabis? Scientists are discovering uses for marijuana that go beyond smoking.

Research shows that marijuana could be used in tandem with antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV/AIDS. A study published in AIDS research and Human Retroviruses in 2014 discovered that THC produced more CD4 and CD8 (disease-fighting cells) in monkeys’ immune systems.

These findings are especially significant since the area of the lymphatic system that THC protected is critical to the virus’ progression.

Another study, published by New York City’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine and written up in HIV Plus Magazine discovered another use for cannabis.

By introducing cannabinoids in the body, scientists prevented HIV from communicating with the receptors on immune cells. This reduced the number of infected cells from 30 to 60 percent.

By interrupting the process by which HIV infects the body’s cells with cannabinoids, scientists greatly slowed the virus’ progression.

Both these studies, among others, suggest incredible treatments in the future.

Final Hit: How To Treat HIV/AIDS Symptoms and Side Effects With Cannabis

Not only is cannabis an effective and commonplace treatment for HIV/AIDS symptoms and side effects, but promising research demonstrates that cannabis can stop HIV’s progression. As put forth by HIV Plus Magazine, an antiviral medication would be potent and cost-effective.

Considering the millions of people coping with the difficult side-effects of treatment or the dangerous consequences of going without it, care that included cannabis would be a momentous breakthrough for modern medicine.

To prevent contracting HIV, practice safer sex, get tested regularly and avoid sharing needles or syringes. There is also a daily medication, Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) that you can take to further reduce your risk of infection.

The post How To Treat HIV/AIDS Symptoms and Side Effects With Cannabis appeared first on High Times.

Stevie Stone and JL’s “Kontra-band” Now Available For Pre-Order

Strange Music‘s Stevie Stone and JL have teamed up to release an album together.  The album is entitled, Kontra-Band.

It’s scheduled to be released on April 20th.  You can pre-order the album by CLICKING HERE.

More details about the album can be read in the press release below.


Press Release:

Make your 4/20 memorable with a joint project from Stevie Stone and JL  KONTRA-BAND!

Combining the forces of Stevie Stone and JL, the album KONTRA-BAND represents an extraordinary team-up between these 2 powerful independent voices. Here’s your chance to preorder your copy of KONTRA-BAND – featuring the likes of Tech N9ne, Phresher, Joey Cool, Flawless Real Talk, Krizz Kaliko, Peetah Morgan and including the singles “Groomed By The Block”, “Envy” and “Too High”.

Preorder your copy now at – you’ll get a signed copy of KONTRA-BAND, a limited edition KONTRA-BAND t-shirt (XL only), a Strange Music sticker and an exclusive mp3 download track, “What You Gon Do”!

Don’t miss your chance – head over to and preorder your copy of Stevie Stone and JL’s collaborative project KONTRA-BAND

from Faygoluvers

Mr. Hyde – “Demon Chant” [Official Music Video]

from Faygoluvers

Skattabrain – “Mission Statement” [Official Music Video]

from Faygoluvers

Marijuana vs Melatonin: Which Is Better For A Good Night’s Sleep?

These are stressful days. A good night’s sleep is hard to come by, which leads many to ponder the following. Marijuana vs melatonin: which one of these sleep remedies will help you sleep throughout the night? A good night’s sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Sleep is your body’s time to recharge and recover from daily activities that it encounters throughout the day.

For those suffering from a sleeping disorder, such as insomnia, the act of sleeping can be a difficult process. Many who struggle with getting a good night’s rest have tried to remedy their problem with melatonin and cannabis. Some may prefer the supplements, while others will choose the more natural route. Which works better? Here’s what the professionals say.

Understanding Melatonin

The first question we will cover in our marijuana vs melatonin argument is what exactly is melatonin? Before we can understand the supplement that is taken to help sleep, we must understand the hormone that is produced in our bodies itself. According to WebMD, “melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain.” Its purpose is to help control your sleep and wake cycle.

“Normally, melatonin levels begin to rise in the mid- to late evening, remain high for most of the night, and then drop in the early morning hours,” WebMD reads.

The Sleep Doctor, Michael Breus, is a Clinical Psychologist and both a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

According to Breus, “disruption in natural melatonin levels can go hand-in-hand with sleep problems.”

Melatonin Supplements as a Sleep Aid

Marijuana vs Melatonin: Which Is Better For A Good Night's Sleep?

This is where melatonin supplements come in. When taken as a supplement, the function of melatonin is to copy the effects of the natural hormone. As stated by, drowsiness usually occurs within 30-minutes of taking the supplement.

“However, taking melatonin right before bed may not be the best strategy for all sleep disorders,” the site writes.

Breus writes in his blog that “melatonin treats Circadian Rhythm Disorders (where you sleep the right amount of minutes but your body clock is at the wrong time), Shift Work Sleep Disorders and early morning awakenings – all things that deal with the timing of your need to sleep.”

Melatonin supplements may help in these specific cases. But Breus states that it is not an effective treatment for insomnia.

Finding The Right Dose

The correct dosage of melatonin can also be a problem when it comes to its effectiveness. According to research done at MIT, the correct dosage of melatonin ranges from 0.3-1.0 mg. Breus explains that many commercially available forms of melatonin usually contain 3 to 10 times the amount that your body actually needs.

According to Breus, “there is some evidence that higher doses may be less effective.”

High doses of melatonin can cause side effects such as headaches, nausea, next-day grogginess, vivid dreams and nightmares.

Katlin Parrish, a college student who struggles with sleep deprivation, told us that she used to take melatonin but never saw any lasting results.

“I found it made me feel very groggy the next day and never actually started to regulate my sleep. I took it every day before bed for a 3 month period (advised by my doctor) and while it helped me fall asleep, I couldn’t sleep through the night,” Parrish said.

“I’d have really vivid dreams and often startled myself awake and end up with zero quality sleep.”

Although melatonin supplements may not work properly for certain individuals, it does seem to help those who are wanting to catch some rest at difficult parts of the day.

Marijuana as a Sleep Aid

Marijuana vs Melatonin: Which Is Better For A Good Night's Sleep?

Our next step in the marijuana vs melatonin argument is examining cannabis as a sleep aid. After all, people use cannabis medicinally in multiple ways.

According to Terry Roycroft, the president of the Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc. (MCRCI), cannabis can be used as a pain reliever, can treat muscle spasms caused by caused by such diseases as multiple sclerosis and can help treat those with epilepsy. Roycroft also says that it can work wonders for those who struggle with sleep.

“When using cannabis for sleep, it allows your body to relax,” Roycroft said.

According to Roycroft, “marijuana influences the bodies endocannabinoid system, which is a series of relative nerves and receptors. Its main goal is to maintain homeostasis.”

Cannabinoids, such as CBD (cannabidiol), help maintain a balance homeostatic balance. Cannabinoid receptors play an important role in regulating your anxiety, which calms the body enough to fall asleep.

Research suggests that cannabinoid signaling can directly benefit sleep.

THC, the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis that creates the “high”, has been proven by research to help with sleep. Another study suggests that THC “significantly decrease the time it takes to fall asleep in physically healthy insomniacs.”

Any Downsides?

THC is also shown to reduce the time spent in REM (Rapid Eye Movement), which means you won’t experience many dreams.

However, THC makes you sleepier the next day and can cause something known as a “weed hangover.”

Most professionals do agree that marijuana will help you sleep, but try to stick to an indica. Indica strains are very relaxing, while sativas are more energizing.

Although there may be benefits to using marijuana as a sleep aid, there are also downfalls to its use as well.

In 2008, a Penn Medicine study found that marijuana may impair sleep quality for those who consumed it throughout their teenage years.

According to the study, “any history of cannabis use was associated with an increased likelihood of reporting difficulty falling asleep, struggling to maintain sleep, experiencing non-restorative sleep and feeling daytime sleepiness.”

It is also recorded that marijuana users who try to decrease their usage of cannabis as a sleep aid may experience a rebound in REM, creating more vivid dreams and other sleep disturbances.

Final Hit: Marijuana vs Melatonin: Which is Better for a Good Night’s Sleep?

To conclude our marijuana vs melatonin argument, it all comes down to an individual’s personal perception. Marijuana seems to have more benefits when it comes down to it. But it really depends on what type of sleep you want.

Melatonin may help with the initial challenge of falling asleep. And it will not leave you feeling groggy or tired when waking up in the morning.

But, marijuana will not only help you get to sleep, Roycoft says its effects will usually last “6 to 8 hours,” lasting you through the night. You may just have to deal with a “weed hangover” in the morning.

The post Marijuana vs Melatonin: Which Is Better For A Good Night’s Sleep? appeared first on High Times.