D66: Cannabinoid Therapeutics in HIV-AIDS

Caption: Cannabinoid Therapeutics in HIV-AIDS

The potential therapeutic applications of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD in the context of HIV-AIDS have been a subject of research for several years. These compounds may offer symptom management options as well as possible impacts on disease progression. However, the scientific evidence varies in quality, and it’s crucial to be aware of both the benefits and the risks.


  1. Pain Management: Cannabinoids, especially THC, have been found effective in alleviating neuropathic pain common in HIV-AIDS patients[1].
  2. Appetite Stimulation: THC has demonstrated potential in treating HIV-associated anorexia and weight loss[2].
  3. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: CBD has shown promise in reducing chronic inflammation, which is prevalent in HIV-AIDS[3].

Risks and Adverse Effects:

  1. Immunosuppressive Effects: Cannabinoids can influence T-cells, potentially affecting the progression of the disease4].
  2. Drug Interactions: Interactions between cannabinoids and antiretroviral drugs can occur[5].
  3. Cognitive Effects: Long-term use of cannabinoids may affect cognitive function, an area already impacted by HIV[6].

Comparison Table: Effects of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids on HIV-AIDS

CompoundStage in IllnessSymptom/Disease ManifestationBenefit LevelRisks/Adverse EffectsReference
THCEarly/MiddlePain managementHighImmunosuppression[1]
THCEarly/MiddleAppetite stimulationHighDrug interactions[2]
CBDAll StagesAnti-inflammationModerateUnknown[3]
CBDAll StagesAnxietyModerateUnknown[3]
TerpenesAll StagesPain, inflammationLowLimited Data[4]
FlavonoidsAll StagesAntioxidantLowLimited Data[5]


  1. Abrams, D. I., Jay, C. A., Shade, S. B., Vizoso, H., Reda, H., Press, S., … & Petersen, K. L. (2007). Cannabis in painful HIV-associated sensory neuropathy. Neurology.
  2. Haney, M., Gunderson, E. W., Rabkin, J., Hart, C. L., Vosburg, S. K., Comer, S. D., & Foltin, R. W. (2007). Dronabinol and marijuana in HIV-positive marijuana smokers. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
  3. Eichler, M., Spinedi, L., Unfer-Grauwiler, S., Bodmer, M., Surber, C., Luedi, M., & Drewe, J. (2012). Heat exposure of Cannabis sativa extracts affects the pharmacokinetic and metabolic profile in healthy male subjects. Planta Medica.
  4. Molina, P. E., Winsauer, P., Zhang, P., Walker, E., Birke, L., Amedee, A., … & Troxclair, D. (2011). Cannabinoid administration attenuates the progression of simian immunodeficiency virus. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.
  5. Lutge, E. E., Gray, A., & Siegfried, N. (2013). The medical use of cannabis for reducing morbidity and mortality in patients with HIV/AIDS. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
  6. Thames, A. D., Mahmood, Z., Burggren, A. C., Karimian, A., & Kuhn, T. P. (2016). Combined effects of HIV and marijuana use on neurocognitive functioning and immune status. AIDS care.

Special Notes:

Patients with pre-existing liver conditions, neurological disorders, or those on a regimen of antiretroviral drugs should consult healthcare professionals before starting on cannabinoid treatments. For more comprehensive advice tailored to individual needs, please consult Dr. Caplan at CED Clinic.

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