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World AIDS Day: The Benefits of Medical Marijuana

by Faith Fidura December 01, 2017

Medical Marijuana Treatment for AIDS

Every December 1st, the world recognizes those suffering with AIDS. Over the recent years, medical marijuana has become a common treatment for patients as its properties help manage the disease’s symptoms. In fact, according to Leafly, around one in three HIV/AIDS patients turn to medical marijuana for relief.

What is HIV/AIDS?

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a disease that ultimately attacks the body’s immune system as it spreads through body fluids and gradually destroys protective white blood cells. When the immune system begins to weaken as a result, other harmful infections can begin to thrive and may pose a fatal threat that an otherwise healthy person would be able to ward off. There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, so treatment is focused on controlling the disease and preventing it from advancing to a fatality.

How can Medical Marijuana help?

Some of the most common symptoms of HIV/AIDS are pain, nausea, and loss of appetite – all of which medical marijuana can help defeat. The effects of either inhaling or consuming this form of medicine can help patients maintain essential nutrients and gain weight. Besides reducing symptoms and side effects, cannabis has also shown to serve as an inhibitor of HIV/AIDS progression, which explains why it’s such a popular treatment for patients across the nation.

Kate Scannell, MD, Co-Director of the Kaiser-Permanente Northern California Ethics Department, in an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2003 wrote, "From working with AIDS and cancer patients, I repeatedly saw how marijuana could ameliorate a patient's debilitating fatigue, restore appetite, diminish pain, remedy nausea, cure vomiting and curtail down-to-the-bone weight loss."

In nearly all the states that have approved a medical marijuana program, HIV/AIDS is a qualifying condition for medical marijuana use. In the few states that don’t include HIV/AIDS specifically, chronic pain is another common qualifying condition, which is an extremely regular symptom of AIDS. If you or someone you know is suffering from HIV/AIDS and is interested in this beneficial alternative form of medication, check here to see what you can do to become a patient in your state.

Remember to raise awareness this World AIDS Day! Dispensary Permits will be focusing on bringing the option of this alternative treatment to other’s attention in hopes of helping improve the quality of life for those suffering from AIDS.