According to data gathered by the World Health Organization, there are currently close to 37 million people living with HIV around the globe.
If you or someone you care about is one of these people?
We know that you want to do everything you can to ensure that either you or your loved one live a long, healthy, and happy life.
We also understand that the physical and emotional toll that Human Immunodeficiency Virus takes on a person can be incredibly difficult to live with.
You might feel shame, anxiety, an inability to sleep, depression, and severe pain. You might also deal with bouts of nausea and other physical symptoms.
The best and most important way to manage the symptoms of Human Immunodeficiency Virus is to follow all of your doctor’s instructions to the letter.
However, there are other, newer supplemental treatments out there that can help you to feel better.
One of the most popular?
But what exactly is HIV, and how can cannabis help someone living with it to manage it?
Read on to find out.
Before we discuss how cannabis can help to manage the symptoms of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, (HIV) let’s first make sure you have a clear understanding of what HIV is — and isn’t.
First of all, understand that HIV and AIDS are not the same thing.
Once a person becomes HIV-positive? They are at risk for later developing AIDS.
Still, they often have an extended period of HIV dormancy (usually, decades) before that happens.
However, HIV, even with the proper treatment, will remain in the infected person’s body for life, as there is currently no cure for HIV.
So, what exactly does Human Immunodeficiency Virus do?
In a nutshell, it wrecks havoc on the immune system of the infected person. Your body contains what are called T cells. These help the body to fight off infection and disease.
Without the proper treatment?
HIV drastically lowers your body’s number of T cells. This means that you’re likely to develop severe infections, diseases, and viruses, including AIDS.
Most people use what’s called antiretroviral therapy, or ART for short, to help to manage their symptoms.
HIV is most commonly transmitted sexually, through the sharing of needles, and through blood.
This is why taking precautions like wearing a condom when engaging in sexual activity or using clean needles if you are currently struggling with drug addiction is so important.
Most patients agree that the stigma surrounding Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the most challenging part of dealing with it. The most important thing is to continue to educate yourself about HIV, how it is transmitted, and how to protect yourself and others.
Now, let’s take a closer look at how cannabis helps manage the symptoms of HIV.
If you have it, then perhaps your doctor has already told you that you’re at an increased risk for a loss of cognitive function and cranial swelling.
This happens because, even with medication, the white blood cells in your body become overstimulated due to the effects of the virus.
However, the THC found in cannabis has been shown to contain many anti-inflammatory compounds. This can help to reduce the amount of swelling and stimulate cognitive function.
THC works by lowering the number of dangerous white blood cells that carry “bad proteins” throughout the body and into your bloodstream. The fewer of these “bad” white blood cells you have, the lower your risk for inflammation.
In addition to helping those living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus to maintain their cognitive function longer, cannabis also helps them with pain management.
While THC is responsible for maintaining healthy white blood cells in the body, it’s CBD that assists in pain management.
So, how does it work?
Your body has what’s called an endocannabinoid system. This is responsible for understanding and communicating feelings of both pain and relief from pain to the rest of your body.
Your endocannabinoid system contains receptors, called CB1 and CB2, that help to trigger a healthy response to stimuli in your body.
However, patients with HIV don’t always have enough CB1 and CB2 receptors to control pain. This is why they might feel more intense pain throughout the body for longer periods of time.
The cannabinoids found in CBD bind with and strengthen the natural endocannabinoids in your body.
This means they can help to stop migraines, keep nausea at bay, ease aches and pains, and much more.
Plus, because CBD doesn’t contain any psychoactive properties, you can use CBD oil to help you to deal with pain without worrying about whether or not you’ll end up addicted to cannabis.
This is a revolutionary way to manage the symptoms of those living with HIV, and it’s also one with very low risks.
Now that you understand how cannabis can help to manage the symptoms of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, it’s time to take a look at some of the most effective strains for HIV-positive individuals.
Once again, keep in mind that cannabis is not in any way meant to serve as a replacement for the medication prescribed by your doctor.
Instead, it’s meant to be a supplement to your treatment plan.
Always speak with your doctor before using cannabis to help you to manage the symptoms of HIV.
First up on our list of the best strains to treat HIV?
The Indica Mango strain, with a THC content of between 23-25%, and a CBD content of between 8-12%.
Especially if you’re new to the world of cannabis, this is the perfect strain to get started with. Its effects come on slowly, which means that you can ease yourself into them — and that you only need to take a few puffs.
As the name implies, you can expect a sweeter taste with this strain.
Especially if you struggle with falling asleep, this strain will be particularly helpful. It also comes with excellent pain management effects and will help to control any nausea you may be dealing with.
This Indica strain has a CBD content of 0.01% and a THC content of about 22%. Especially if you’re looking for a “mind” high, this is the strain to reach for.
This means that it’s primarily used to treat the emotional side effects that can come with living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
It is trademarked by its unique, strong odor, which means that patients who frequently deal with migraines and headaches may want to stay away from this strain.
It’s also incredibly useful when it comes to pain management, but it won’t leave you feeling so groggy that you’re unable to go about your day. So, it’s OK to use this strain in the morning before work, especially if you find yourself needing a boost of energy.
The last entry on our list of the best strains for HIV-positive patients?
SkyWalker OG, a Hybrid strain with a THC content of between 18-30%, and a CBD content of 0.10%. This strain is also rich with Terpenes, including Mycrene, Pinene, and Humulene.
Many HIV-positive individuals find that often, they struggle with a loss of appetite. This strain is especially helpful in increasing hunger and ensuring that you’re able to keep food down.
It’s a blend of the Skywalker strain and the classic OG Kush, making it an incredibly popular option for cannabis users of all experience levels.
This will give you a couch-locked feeling, which means that it’s also an excellent solution for those struggling to fall asleep at night.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone.
The happy truth is that HIV is no longer the death sentence that it once was, and that social stigma surrounding HIV-positive individuals is rapidly declining.
You may also want to take advantage of our database of scientific studies surrounding HIV and cannabis. Educate yourself about how cannabis can make your life easier and your symptoms more manageable.
Help is out there, and you have options. Start looking into them today.