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Cannabidiol and the Fight on HIV/AIDS

By Dan Putnam September 15, 2016 0 comments

Cannabidiol, also known in its abbreviated form as CBD, is one of the main components found in the cannabis plant, alongside tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. While marijuana is most commonly known as a recreational drug, that gives people a buzz, sometimes leaving them a bit like a zombie, with munchies and paranoia, recent changes in legislation mean that the public is becoming aware of the medical benefits. And yes, they really do exist, and are actually rather powerful.

What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

Cannabis is made up of two main components, THC, and Cannabidiol (CBD), however despite these being part of the same plant, the components couldn’t be more different. THC is psychoactive, it reacts with your brain and causes a high, as well as some of the more negative effects associated with cannabis use, like the munchies, memory loss, or paranoia. A lot of cannabis today contains high levels of THC, in order to create a stronger drug, as it is largely being grown by immoral and illegal drug dealers. CBD, on thee other hand, is very different, and people wanting to explore the medical benefits of cannabis, are developing strains with high levels of CBD, and reduced THC. CBD doesn’t cause a high, and actually doesn’t effect receptors in your brain at all, it just increases the production of some chemicals that you produce naturally, that are for example pain relievers. It is a calming-anti stress agent, that can be used to treat a whole host of conditions. All of the scary facts you’ve heard about cannabis can be attributed to THC. That is the danger, not the cannabis. And CBD actually causes the opposite results – it is in the plant to counteract the effects of THC, and it’s only the fact that strains have been developed with reduced CBD that cannabis has gained a bad reputation. So, while long term risks of using cannabis are something people would need to take into account when using it as a medical treatment, they should focus on CBD specifically, as the risks are far fewer than cannabis with higher levels of THC.

How can CBD fight HIV/AIDS?

For a long time, a diagnosis of HIV or AIDS was the equivalent of a death sentence. It was misunderstood, and many victims of the disease were unfairly discriminated against, or faced prejudice from the outside world. The truth is now very different, and if caught early, people with HIV can lead pretty normal and healthy lives. Unfortunately, public perception is still behind the times, and once HIV turns into AIDS, there is much less that modern medicine can do to help. However, a breakthrough regarding HIV/AIDS and how to treat it could be fast approaching in the form of CBD. HIV, which is spread through bodily fluids, affects the sufferer by attacking the immune system, and thus rendering the body unable to combat diseases and infections, even those which are generally considered fairly harmless. The immune system is attacked via the destruction of ‘T’ cells, and once there are less than 200 of these T cells per cubic millilitre of your blood, then the HIV is considered to have progressed into AIDS – at which point the body is incapable of fighting almost any disease at all, and even a common cold could prove fatal. Studies now show that compounds similar to those found in cannabis – specifically CBD – can help fight this cruel condition. This is an important study as right now the patient’s best chances are to catch HIV early, however this study showed that CBD could fight HIV in the later stages, and try to stop the progression to AIDS.

Is CBD for Me?

At this point in time, more studies need to be done to know exactly how to best treat HIV with CBD. But even though some of the research still needs to be done, we already know that the anti-sickness, anti-pain elements of CBD can help AIDS sufferers with an appetite, and help them keep up their strength. Even without the further tests, some uses of CBD in treating HIV or AIDS are already established. This is a tragic, tragic disease, that, when uncontrolled, can turn the victim’s life upside down, and even result in their death at a young age. More studies do need to be done, but adding CBD – a natural component – to your treatment plan can’t hurt, and may even help block some of the effects of medication, like nausea or dizziness.

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