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Study: Cannabinoid Agonists Mitigate HIV Infection

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 7, 2013

    The administration of synthetic cannabinoid agonists limits HIV infection in macrophages (white blood cells that aid in the body’s immune response), according to preclinical data published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. Macrophages are one of the first type of cells infected by the HIV virus when it enters the body.

    Investigators at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia assessed the impact of three commercially available synthetic THC agonists on HIV-infected macrophage cells. Following administration, researchers sampled the cells periodically to measure the activity of an enzyme called reverse transcriptase (RT), which is essential for HIV replication. By day 7, investigators reported that the administration of all three compounds was associated with a significant decreased in HIV replication.

    Stated a Temple University Health System press release: “The results suggest that selective CB2 (cannabinoid 2 receptor) agonists could potentially be used in tandem with existing antiretroviral drugs, opening the door to the generation of new drug therapies for HIV/AIDS. The data also support the idea that the human immune system could be leveraged to fight HIV infection.”

    Patients living with HIV/AIDS frequently report consuming cannabis to counter symptoms of anxiety, appetite loss, chronic pain, and nausea, and one study has reported that patients who use cannabis therapeutically are 3.3 times more likely to adhere to their antiretroviral therapy regimens than non-cannabis users. In preclinical models, the long-term administration of delta-9-THC has recently been associated with decreased mortality and ameliorated disease progression in monkeys. In clinical models, cannabis inhalation is associated with decreased neuropathy and increased levels of appetite hormones in the blood of subjects with HIV infection.

    The abstract of the study, “Attenuation of HIV-1 replication in macrophages by cannabinoid receptor 2 agonists,” appears online here.

    11 Responses to “Study: Cannabinoid Agonists Mitigate HIV Infection”

    1. Ben says:

      Good work-
      and no shit.

      Now that the our world is starting to actually take a look many of the benefits of cannabis are being seen. Sadly, many will come about in synthetics, (to richen the pharmacorp).

      We are making headway.

      Keep the pressure up!

      Good work, NORML.

    2. Schedule I says:

      Let’s just keep it schedule I because there are obviously no medical benefits.

      There are so many wonderful non-toxic, non-addictive pharmaceuticals offered that act on tumors, HIV, mental disorders, pain, stomach problems, spasticity, auto-immune disorders, and inflammation the same way that marijuana does!

      /sarcasm

    3. Capt Nemo says:

      See folks, it really is a medicine that our forefathers knew and used. Hopefully more studies will be forthcoming to help the movement forward. Thanks NORML for all that you do, advocate for and assist in this terrible crime (drug laws and scheduling) against humanity.

    4. joepeeer says:

      Recently a judge in PA been convicted of
      illegally accepting money from a private juvenile detention .
      He sentenced thousands of young people to incarceration that otherwise would otherwise have had much
      lighter sentences or been found innocent.
      Cant a case to that effect be founded against our law makers
      and the lobbyist who perpetuate the prosecution of weed laws.
      on behalf of the American people .
      The people vs the state .

    5. Don Berry says:

      Who should we believe, data from an internationally respected, peer-reviewed medical journal or the DEA and ONDCP?

    6. Alex says:

      I’m skeptical of this because there have been plenty of anecdotal cases of people taking massive doses of hemp oil in an attempt to cure their HIV, but there haven’t been any reports of people’s viral loads actually dropping because of it. Granted those people weren’t taking pure CB2 agonists, but even still if they were using a good indica strain then presumably *someone* would have at least seen some benefit.

    7. Julian says:

      The medicinal argument is over. The Controlled Substance Act is running scared.
      On to the failed justice system and the case of Charles Ramsey resuing those three women who were brutally detained for 10 years:
      I wonder if the Cleveland police have a record of charging Charles Ramsey for small posessions? This case could diplay how police are rewarded for stopping non violent criminals while ignoring 10 years of complaints of possible rape and violent abduction. Our system is so broken that non violent civilians profiled for the target of small posessions have to take the law into their own hands when it comes to violent crimes blantantly being ignored across America. We must end the tyrrany; end prohibition. End the Controlled Substance Act. Donate to NORMAL.

    8. Johney says:

      For the third time ive found metal shavings in my weed to give it more weight! THIS HAS TO STOP! AT ANY COST!!

    9. Gerard Barker says:

      I don’t think many useful cannabinoids survive the processing of hemp oil as noticed little anti-anxiety effect of hemp oil implying that there was little or no cannabidiol present. I could be wrong but it may also be a function of the strain of hemp grown. Indica is precisely a strain avoided due to its THC levels.

    10. Brandon says:

      Gerard I think you meant “sativa,” not “indica.”

    11. stupidhead says:

      drugs are bad mmkay!!!

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