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- Some Studies Show Marijuana Actually Improves Immune Function
- Studies Have Confirmed Marijuana Helps People with HIV/AIDS
- Cannabis Helps Improve Immune Function
- Not All Marijuana Research is Good News
- So, Does Marijuana Affect Your Immune System
Cannabis has proven time and time again that it has medicinal value. Experts even claim that medical marijuana can be used to treat many different ailments and sometimes can even be used in conjunction with other medications to decrease side effects.
People who suffer from HIV, epilepsy and cancer are all frequent users of marijuana. In fact, many people choose to only use cannabis when they are sick instead of drinking alcohol. But the question remains: does marijuana affect your immune system? Well, here is what we know so far…
Some Studies Show Marijuana Actually Improves Immune Function
Currently, it is often difficult to do research on marijuana because the government still views marijuana as a schedule one illegal drug, which is crazy but reality. With that being said a few studies have been conducted without federal backing and have shown some promising results.
There is very little conclusive data that shows how cannabis impacts a healthy person’s immune system. However, there is some research on how cannabis affects patients with HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS by definition are immunodeficiency viruses which means the disease directly targets the immune system. Since cannabis does indeed help people who are suffering from this terrible disease it suggests that cannabis can have a positive effect on the body’s immune system.
If people who are suffering from HIV/AIDS are able to safely use cannabis with an impaired immune system it is likely that cannabis could be safe for almost everybody.
Studies Have Confirmed Marijuana Helps People with HIV/AIDS
According to reports in 2005, 27 percent of people suffering from HIV/AIDS have used marijuana in some form or another to help cope with their symptoms. It is safe to assume that since medical and recreational marijuana is now a lot more accessible that more people suffering from this terrible disease are using marijuana to help cope with symptoms.
Cannabis helps alleviate some of the most common symptoms of HIV/AIDS such as pain, depression, nausea, loss of appetite and anxiety. I’m sure you are well aware of pot’s ability to help increase someone’s appetite.
Cannabis has also helped cancer patients as an effective and non-addictive painkiller. It can also help with depression that cancer patients struggle with.
In addition to abundant anecdotal evidence that marijuana can treat HIV/AIDS symptoms, the Annals of Internal Medicine published an article on the “Short-Term Effects of Cannabinoids in Patients with HIV-1 Infection.”
The data presented in the article were extremely positive. They found that marijuana had no effect on patients’ CD4 and CD8 cell counts (immune system cells targeted by the HIV/AIDS virus).
The study also found that people who smoked weed in a glass pipe or ingested marijuana were healthier than those who didn’t. The accompanying explanatory article states, “Patients receiving cannabinoids had improved immune function compared with those receiving placebo. They also gained about 4 pounds more on average than those patients receiving placebo.” So if you are suffering it’s good to keep your marijuana pipe close by.
Not only did marijuana help HIV/AIDS patients gain weight, it also had a positive effect on their immune systems over the course of 21 days.
Cannabis Helps Improve Immune Function
Two recent studies have supported the claim that cannabis helps improve the human immune system when suffering from HIV/AIDS.
The First Study
The first study, from 2014, was published in the scientific journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. It connects THC to higher production of CD4 and CD8 cells in monkeys. These two cells are primarily responsible for fighting disease.
The Second Study
A second study conducted by New York City’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine discovered that cannabinoids prevented the HIV virus from infecting immune system cells, which is huge.
In conclusion these studies found that cannabinoids were able to reduce the number of infected cells by 30 to 60 percent.
Due to the fact that cannabinoids work directly with the endocannabinoid system in the body cannabis is likely to have a huge impact on the immune system. On a cellular level cannabis can significantly strengthen the body’s immune system.
Not All Marijuana Research is Good News
The big worries when it comes to cannabis is that when a lot of people consume it they smoke it, which many researchers think can cause issues down the line. In an article from 2001 published in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, Dr. Donald P. Tashkin worries about the effects of smoking.
“Effects of Smoked Marijuana on the Lung and Its Immune Defenses: Implications for Medicinal Use in HIV-Infected Patients” reads: “Frequent marijuana use can cause airway injury, lung inflammation and impaired pulmonary defense against infection.” If you choose to smoke a joint, it’s always best to use natural hemp rolling papers. If you prefer glass, buy a cheap marijuana pipe or bong. You could consider or a brand new or freshly cleaned bubbler or one-hitter too.
Shocker of the century, the DEA does not support people using marijuana to treat HIV/AIDS. The DEA was even asked to clarify their stance on marijuana and wrote this:
“[M]arijuana can affect the immune system by impairing the ability of T-cells to fight off infections, demonstrating that marijuana can do more harm than good in people with already compromised immune systems.”
The DEA is often subject to politics so their comments similar to the National Institute of Health should be taken with a grain of salt unfortunately. Marijuana legalization poses a risk to many high-powered people’s money which continues to hold off federal legalization of even medical cannabis.
So, Does Marijuana Affect Your Immune System
With all cannabis related health questions nothing right now can be certain with the lack of research, but from the studies that have been done some say it has no effect and others say it does indeed have a positive effect on immune system cells.
Another thing that can have a positive effect on the immune system is being properly vaccinated so keep that in mind.
Once marijuana is federally legalized, researchers will be able to truly answer the question; does weed affect your immune system? Until then, I am just going to smoke weed out of my glass chillums. Here is my favorite from Atomic Blaze:
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