Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Study: Marijuana Slows SIV Disease Progression In Monkeys

monkeys marijuana
Monkeys infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) that were given chronic doses of the active ingredient in marijuana appeared to have slower SIV disease progression than monkeys given a placebo. These results, published in the June edition of the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, aren’t proof that marijuana will slow human HIV progression, but they do indicate that the drug does not increase disease progression, as had been feared by some.

HIV infection has been long associated with illicit drug use, including chronic use of marijuana. Moreover, given the results of studies showing that heroine, crack cocaine and methamphetamine could potentially speed HIV disease progression, some feared that the same might be true of marijuana.

On the other hand, many people with HIV turned to marijuana in the early days of the epidemic to combat wasting disease and to treat nausea and chronic pain. An early, but short study in people with HIV indicated that marijuana did increase appetite in people with wasting and appeared to be generally safe. What’s more, the synthetic marijuana alternative, Marinol, was tested more intensively and was found to be fairly safe and effective for pain relief, nausea and low appetite. Still, concerns have lingered about whether marijuana is safe during the long-term.


Full story here.
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