by Seshata on 07/04/2015 | Medicinal

Top 5 benefits of cannabis for HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS refers to a group of conditions caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Around 35 million people worldwide are infected with the HIV virus, and since the 1980s, AIDS has caused approximately 36 million deaths. Cannabis has been shown to be extremely effective at treating several important symptoms of HIV/AIDS.

Appetite stimulant

Top 5 benefits of cannabis for HIV/AIDS
Cannabis use has been shown to increase caloric intake and consumption of fat, which can help patients to gain weight

A 2005 survey conducted on 523 HIV-positive patients found that 143 (27%) of the respondents used cannabis to manage their symptoms; of those, an overwhelming 97% reported that they experienced improvements in appetite.

In 2007, a double-blind study was conducted into the effects of smoked cannabis and dronabinol (a synthetic form of THC). This study found that both cannabis and dronabinol increased caloric intake compared to placebo, in a dose-dependent manner. The effect was characterized by increased frequency of eating occasions.

Furthermore, eating occasions averaged 404 kcal across the board, but dronabinol and cannabis caused a significant shift in distribution of nutrient intake–when given placebo, patients derived 51% of their nutrients from carbohydrates, 36% from fat, and 13% from protein; when given dronabinol, fat consumption increased to 40% and carbohydrate consumption decreased, and when given cannabis, protein consumption dropped to 11% while fat consumption tended to increase.

When given high doses of cannabis and dronabinol, patients experienced significant increases in body weight. Under placebo conditions, the respondents’ mean weight was 77.5 kg; after four days of cannabis, patients gained 1.1 kg, and after four days of dronabinol, patients gained 1.2 kg.


Top 5 benefits of cannabis for HIV/AIDS
Cannabis can help to alleviate nausea, which affects the majority of patients

Nausea is a common symptom of HIV infection, and as the disease progresses, the causes of the nausea can become increasingly complex. Nausea may arise due to gastrointestinal issues, hepatorenal dysfunction, central nervous system disorders, or as a result of treatments used to treat the disease.

The ability of cannabinoids and certain synthetic analogues to counter the symptoms of nausea in HIV/AIDS patients is well-known; indeed, the THC analogue dronabinol is approved by the US Food & Drug Administration for the treatment of nausea and appetite loss associated with cancer and HIV. An early study into the dronabinol as a treatment for AIDS-induced appetite loss was published in 1995, and found that patients experienced an average 20% improvement in nausea.

The previously-mentioned 2005 patient survey found that 93% of HIV-positive cannabis users reported subjective improvements in nausea after smoking. Another 2005 study found that among HIV-positive patients experiencing nausea, those who used cannabis were more likely to adhere to their anti-retroviral therapies than non-users. Patients not suffering from nausea did not experience significant improvements in adherence if they used cannabis, indicating that adherence was increased by improving symptoms of nausea.


Anxiety, depression and mood disorders are a common feature of HIV/AIDS, and can arise due to a combination of negative physiological, psychological and social pressures. The 2005 patient survey found that 93% of respondents experienced relief of anxiety after using cannabis, while 86% reported an improvement in depression too.

The above-mentioned 2007 double-blind study into cannabis and dronabinol found that both substances improved respondents’ mood and caused a “good drug effect” that increased feelings of friendliness, stimulation and self-confidence. Interestingly, lower doses of THC seemed to provoke higher rates of anxiety in the subjects than higher doses of THC, or dronabinol at any dose.


HIV/AIDS can cause severe and debilitating pain that arises from various complex sources, including joint, nerve, and muscle pain. A 2011 cross-sectional study on 296 socioeconomically disadvantaged patients found that 53.7% had severe pain, 38.1% had moderate pain, and 8.2% had mild pain; over half the subjects had a prescription for an opioid analgesic. More severe pain was also found to correlate with incidence of depression.

The 2005 patient survey found that 94% of respondents experienced relief from muscle pain as a result of using cannabis; 90% also reported improvement in neuropathy (nerve pain) and 85% in paresthesia (burning, tingling and prickling sensations). The fact that cannabis can provide significant long-term subjective relief of chronic pain in HIV/AIDS sufferers is noteworthy; safer and potentially-cheaper medications that could replace use of opioids in disadvantaged groups could have several positive ramifications, including a decline in opioid-related deaths and increased availability of medicine to those in need.

Reduces peripheral neuropathy

 Top 5 benefits of cannabis for HIV/AIDS
Cannabis is a safer and potentially cheaper alternative to prescription opioids

A specific and particularly common form of pain associated with HIV/AIDS is peripheral neuropathy, in which one or more nerves of the peripheral nervous system (any part of the nervous system outside the brain and spinal cord) become damaged and lead to pain, twitching, paresthesia, muscle loss and impaired coordination. It has been shown that cannabis can help improve symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in HIV/AIDS, as well as in other conditions in which it appears, such as diabetes.

Beyond the above-mentioned subjective reports of reduced nerve pain and paresthesia, several other studies have assessed the ability of cannabis to improve peripheral neuropathy in HIV/AIDS patients. In 2007, a patient survey conducted in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Colombia and Taiwan found that 67 of 450 patients with peripheral neuropathy reported use of cannabis to improve their symptoms.

A randomized placebo-controlled trial also published in 2007 found that pain was reduced by over 30% in 52% of the cannabis-using group and by just 24% of the control group, and that there were no serious adverse effects. The first joint smoked by the cannabis-using patients reduced chronic pain by a median of 72% compared to 15% in the placebo group.

In 2009, a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial into the effectiveness of cannabis in reducing peripheral neuropathy found that of 28 subjects, neuropathy was reduced by over 30% in 46% of the cannabis-using group and 18% of the control group, and that mood and general functioning were improved by a similar degree throughout the course of the study.

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Cannibali is the healing of the nation



i am hiv positive from 2012 and doc suggested me to start taking pills to increase my some count in blood
but i never wanted to live that way so i avoided it and i used to pot earlier and i started again and start living my life it helps me to mood swings and the fact that i dont have any life or future i just have to live by today
u cannot love anyone because u know u dont worth it
so cannabis helped me to be happy and focus on short term goals
i dont know i am right or wrong bit it never counts when u know the fact that u will die soon
And only this moment counts
so its btr to take pills and live like a dead body and wait fr ur death to go out have some pot fly ur imagination make some short term goals and enjoy



Sir u are wrong go do u research. People that are hiv positive and live a normal life span with the new medication in the market. I have been hiv postive for 15 years and i'm happy and healthy. Never lose hope specially that a cure is around the corner.
I'm a doctor myself btw so i know what i'm talking about



Are you still alive?



Sir I have been positive since May of 1992. My husband was diagnosed in Sept 1987. We are married now for to two and a half years. We live on a farm with lots of animals. I say that is a pretty long and productive life for the both of us you can do this to.



dude are you still alive start talking meds man


a friend

Having HIV doesn't mean that you are not worth loving, you are! Learn to love yourself and love will find you. And take Alex's advice and go get some meds, there's no reason you can't live a long healthy life.



Hi, still waiting to go have test done for colon cancer but my sis has HIV, question is can she use cannibis for the HIV and it might also help if she has cancer? Killing 2 bird with 1stone? My mom died of colon cancer and my sisters symptoms are exact same too... so it could possibly kill the cancer!!!


Scarlet Palmer

Dear Missy,

Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, as Sensi Seeds is not a medical practice, we are not able to provide any advice relating to medical situations other than to consult your doctor or other licensed medical professional. This article, written specifically for healthcare providers who may not be aware of the many properties of cannabis, may be useful to you in talking with your doctor. You could also try to contact local medicinal cannabis support groups, if you have not already done so. In the UK, there is the United Patients Alliance (you can find them on Facebook) and in the US there are many branches of NORML (google NORML followed by your area name). We hope this is helpful.

With best wishes,




Please any answer for me can cannabis or marijuana brings my hiv virus low which the virus won`t harm me or growing me learn



I'm a straight make. Who was raped by 4 males in 2001. And they all where HIV positive. Which lead me to become HIV positive. I have for the past year been a active smoking 420 since I became pos.
I have grate improvements in my viral load, T cells, depression and uncontrollable shaking from nerve damage. In fact since I started smoking I sen my numbers, nerve damage all be reversed.Our government really need to pass the medical 420 bill. And I love this study and post. I totally agree with it.


So smoking the weed could help when hiving hiv

I please need an answer my people



I have lived HIV positive since 2010 I started on my Antivirals after 3years when I became pregnant. I gave birth to a healthy baby. But viral load was 315 and I kept taking medication now it's UN detachable. I have been juicing fresh leaves of marijjuana canabise and drink. Or boil the fresh leaves.


Hi Alex, I am also HIV positive, I feel so depressed until now. I am a new found HIV subject. My CD4 count is 21. How can I make it to a normal CD4 count?

I hope Alex would respond to my reply to his comment.



Just wanted to know if HIV people can smoke cannibas to help lower the HIV in the body system. I am a stoner of 8 years here soon and wanted to know if someone like me can still take HIV medication and smoke cannibas to maintain a healthy lifestyle



Ive heard that cannibas oil stops the spread of hiv and i have been taking it my test results came back negative
Read Rick Simpson Phoenix tears on fb he shows u how to make it


Dr huzein

I ve been using it to cure diseases for 5 decades
its so great...



I havent got my test back but im scare and my boyfriend is with me all the way i was resurching online to see what i can do and i read the comments yall helped alot



What a wonderful advise, I just found out that m HIV positive was feeling horrible but after I started smoking marijuana I feel free and believe we can leave as much as our time while taking my medication


There is so much to there any alternative way you can be heal by natrual plants herbs etc. any doctor or person with expreience can amswer that question for me

There is so much to question is there any alternative way you can be heal by natural plants herbs etc. any doctor or person with experience can answer that question for me.



Look up Rick Simpson Phoenix tears tells u about cannabis oil which prevents hiv from spreading
My blood came up negative whilst taking the oil......
Try it
He shows you how to make YOUR own oil



Is it real? Cannabis oil can cure hiv positive turn to hiv negative?



Can you smoke your marijuana whiles taking medication



Hiv isn't a scary disease I am currently in a relationship with a Hiv positive person and aslong as u take your meds as advised ull be ok.. He smokes weed too and I worry it will make his immune system weak or make his medz ineffective but from your comments am alittle at ease..



From what I read above this site should not be promoting "NOT TAKING YOUR MEDS" for HIV and using Cannabis as a 'REPLACEMENT" for the life saving HIV meds now available. I would hate to be the person that runs this website and have it proven someone dies because they took the advice off of here. It is the meds that stop the growth of the virus and bring it down to an"UNDETECTABLE" level. Only then do your CD 4"s start to rebuild themselves and it takes a long time (years) before your CD 4 levels will stabilize. Yes Cannabis is great for all kinds of patients wanting to relive themselves of pain, depression, inflammation and on and on and on but it is no wonder drug like some here think it is. One guy on here said he was depressed but then smoked some cannabis and then felt great and then said he did not need meds ?? Yeah you feel great because the drug makes you feel great but that does not mean your health has improved from the HIV. People think that because they feel fine that they are healthy but in the meantime they are losing the battle inside their bodies to the vicious HIV virus. Don't be a fool use both your HIV meds and Cannabis together and it will work.


Scarlet Palmer

Hi Rick,

Thanks for your comment. Nowhere in the article is it recommended, or even suggested, that people should stop taking or reduce their medication. It would be irresponsible of us to send any such signals, and as an authoritative site on cannabis, we are always careful to stress that we are not a medical practice and cannot give any kind of medical advice. This article is concerned only with ways in which cannabis can help alleviate symptoms of HIV and AIDS, and/or side effects of treatment. Each way is backed up with scientific studies and evidence.

Comments left by our readers are only edited for reasons of offense, external links, clarity, and so forth, so approving a comment does not equal endorsement of the views expressed in it. Sensi Seeds emphatically does not recommend substituting cannabis for any treatment prescribed by a medical professional.

I hope this clarifies our position, and the information provided in the article.

With best wishes,




I got my diagnosis of being HIV positive and I thought it was going to ruin my life. I thought it was a death sentence even though I knew about how good the antiretroviral therapy medication is and I’m a veteran so I’m lucky that I have the VA. Either way the meds really do a number of my stomach with nausea, and while I can’t say for sure when I contracted HIV I have suffered from depression and neuropathy, chronic inflammation/pain and other ailments from it. Regardless, the VA hospital wants to prescribe me painkillers and nerve medications to take round the clock that make me feel like a zombie and a junkie. What I have found is that medical cannabis has alleviated my symptoms of nerve pain, chronic pain and inflammation, increases my appetite and eases my nausea, and as well I firmly believe it has been a contributing factor at helping to keep my viral load at undetectable levels. The reason I can say this with a relative degree of certainty is that at one point my PCP made me choose between opiates or Marijuana and I thought I needed opiates more and so I chose them and my next blood test showed for the first time since being on Antiretroviral Therapy and not on Marijuana a detectable viral load. Granted it was very low (only 54.4 copies/ml) and by many tests would still be considered undetectable/suppressed and my doctor described it as a small viral blip, I still found it to be ironic that the one time since diagnosed the only variablestjat had changed in my life were that I had stopped using marijuana and kept using opiates to treat pain. The doctors and big Pharmaceutical companies don’t want to admit what many of us living with this
disease already know and that is that it helps us in more ways than they want to admit. The federal government classifies marijuana as Schedule I but Marinol/Dronabinol as Schedule III. Can anyone explain that to me? Anyways, long story short, I live in Texas, and I have HIV, and I’m married to a woman that loves me unconditionally who doesn’t have HIV. Because I have HIV doesn’t make me any less worthy of being loved or make me any less of a person. I didn’t ask for this disease. I fight it every day. But unfortunately until the draconian in Texas laws change I’m a Criminal because I use a plant to help me fight my disease. Thank you for reading my post. I welcome all comments or questions.



Hi, Ryan. I don't know enough to answer you about the schedules, but I'm happy to hear that you have a great support group and a working treatment. Not everybody has that kind of privilege. I also wonder if you've stopped taking opiates and go back to marijuana. I hope you are healthy and safe wherever you are.
I shared this great article and discussions with my friends hoping that it will inspire more people to fight the disease.



I am 57 and HIV+ for 17 years since 2001.
1st off, I see a post here of a person feeling very destitute and that he is not going to live long.
What u have learned is that there is no golden rule of "one size fits all".
Everyone seem to have different experiences.
There are people that are doing excellent on medication and functioning normal.
Then there are people that seem to get all the side effects of the medicine, depression, Pherifiral Neuropathy, permanently fatigue, headaches, mussle dystrophy etc.
I have been one of those unlucky ones.
I have also become Diabetic Type1 5 years ago. (If I had to choose between the 2, I'd rather get HIV 3 times than Diabetes Type1 once.
It is really a dreadful decease and tic's all the negative boxes.
I also suffer from severe Lower Back Pain for which I use to take pain medication that is bad for your gut and just alround bad for one.
A year ago I decided to experiment with Cannabis Oil for the pain.
Well I was so surprised, my pain was taken care off within a couple of days and still 90% pain free.
With my last routine blood tests after being on the Cannabis Oil for a year, my CD4 count was 1598, were as before it would never rise above 1000.
I am convinced it is as a result of the Oil.
Under supervising of my Cannabis Oil Thetapist, Doctor and a specialist in Holistic Healing, I have decided to cycle off ARV's and Anti Depressants and see what results the Oil give me after 6 months.
It is my decisions to do the trial and am quite exited about it.
Why am I doing this?
Because my quality of life has become so poor, and I am hopeful that without all the toxic medicine my quality will improve.
I will keep a Journal to track my experiences.



Hey Rene, any updates?



Hi everyone!

I'm a young Colombian guy who has also a story to share as you all. I've been raped by two guys... Since that episode I've been dealing not only with my HIV treatment but I also developed a bipolar diagnosis as well due to the trauma.

Today I can say that I'm a young happy Colombian guy! And yes, cannabis has been an amazing help for both diagnosis, to help with my sickness, I've been gaining weight again, I'm doing sports as well and as an artist I find my self in peace to continue with my art work.

My parents are pastors, so as you may imagine we have discussed about the use of this plant. But even if you believe in God or no, I can tell you that this plant is one of the best creations that we discovered and its responsable and conscious use has helped me and I'm sure it helps a lot of people around the globe.

Cheer up! Remember: You may have a disease, but the disease does not have you.

Thanks for the post, much love to you all!


Scarlet Palmer

Hi Andy,

Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story with us. I am very glad to hear that cannabis helps you, and your outlook on life is truly inspiring. Much love to you too!

With best wishes,




I am 21 and was diagnosed positive 2 weeks ago with a CD4 count of 48. I just started my Antivirals yesterday with other Profilaxis meds. I also have PCP. an I smoke pot? And How will i know if its medical marijuana? Are all marijuana plants medicinal?


Scarlet Palmer

Hi James,

Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear about your situation. As Sensi Seeds is not a medical agency or practitioner, we cannot give any kind of medical advice other than to consult our registered healthcare professional. This article about the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis might be useful for you to show your healthcare provider if they are not familiar with it.

You may also find it helpful to contact a support group for medicinal cannabis patients. In the UK there is the United Patients Alliance, and throughout much of the rest of the world there is NORML, who should be able to put you in touch with a group in your area (search United Patients Alliance or NORML followed by your area name).

This are our pages on medicinal cannabis and medicinal cannabis strains, which you might also find interesting.

With best wishes,




dude are you still alive start talking meds man



Black seeds ground with honey will make you negative in a year or two. Additionally you can add cbd oil with high THC or juicing plant for complete remission

[Editor's note - I am posting this in the interests of freedom of communication and opinion but would like to remind everyone that there are no scientific studies or evidence referenced with this comment and you should always consult a registered medical professional before stopping or starting any course of medication - Scarlet]


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