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Study: Marijuana May Stop HIV from Spreading

Study: Marijuana May Stop HIV from Spreading

While marijuana has been known to effectively treat HIV symptoms such as weight loss and chronic pain, the findings of a new study determined that it might also be able to stop the spread of HIV itself.


Researchers at Louisiana State University administered a daily dose of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main ingredient in marijuana, to monkeys that were infected by the animal form of HIV. Over the course of the seventeen months, scientists discovered that damage to the immune tissue of the stomach, one of the most common areas of the body for HIV to spread, had decreased (Schwartz, 2014). In addition, the monkeys infected with HIV and treated with THC were able to retain more of their healthier cells. 


The study was recently published in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. According to Dr. Patricia Molina, the lead author, “these findings reveal novel mechanisms that may potentially contribute to cannabinoid-mediated disease modulation” (Schwartz, 2014). Dr. Molina’s previous research on marijuana and HIV also found that infected monkeys treated with THC had a better chance of surviving.


Aside from this new development in HIV treatment, marijuana research has also shown that some compounds found in marijuana can kill cancer cells in leukemia patients and perhaps even fight other forms of cancer.  


Schwartz, C. (2014). Marijuana may stop the spread of HIV, study finds. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/11/marijuana-hiv_n_4767901.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular