At Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania, our growers combine expert science and a passion for crafting high-quality therapeutics that address the spectrum of unique needs of Pennsylvania patients. Throughout December, which is globally recognized as HIV/AIDS Awareness Month, we are especially aware of meeting the medicinal needs of Commonwealth patients living with any stage of an HIV diagnosis.
For too long, the stigma surrounding HIV has prevented affected individuals from accessing the care and community they deserve. This installment of our qualifying conditions newsletter will provide education on the symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS and the medical marijuana options that may potentially help alleviate them. Read and share this free resource outlining which of our prime-quality therapeutics have the potential to benefit patients living with HIV.
“HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).”
About this qualifying condition: It is a common misconception that HIV/AIDS is a singular condition. In actuality, HIV is a virus that in severe cases may progress into the life-threatening stage of infection known as AIDS. HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids such as blood or semen, as well as breast milk, and can also be spread from parent to child during pregnancy. Most people who contract HIV will not experience any telling symptoms in the infection’s early stages, making it critical to get tested regularly. The infection’s initial markers can be mistaken for the common cold or a mild flu. Early symptoms of HIV may include: fever, muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes.
According to the CDC, a patient is diagnosed with AIDS as a result of a significant decline in their CD4+ cell count. Sometimes referred to as “T Cells,” your CD4+ cell count indicates the amount of healthy white blood cells that are available in your body to help fight off infections. AIDS is extremely damaging to the immune system, rendering it especially vulnerable to illness and often resulting in the contraction of other serious infections. Left untreated, the AIDS stage of HIV infection can lead to significant weight loss, fever, diarrhea, fatigue, neurologic complications, and even fatality. Ground-breaking medications and expert care has greatly reduced the mortality rate from HIV by raising the white blood cell count to a healthy level and keeping viral load low, minimizing the possibility of transmitting the virus.
There is no known cure for HIV infection, but the latest research shows promising data that – with close monitoring and consistent treatment – patients who have received an HIV diagnosis can lead long, fulfilling lives.
Medical Literature: Cutting-edge studies are revealing that medical marijuana may potentially provide HIV/AIDS patients with another tool to improve their daily quality of life. You may be familiar with THC, one of the most abundant cannabinoids in medical marijuana, for its potential to provide a psychoactive effect or “high.” This cannabinoid has also demonstrated a potential to help HIV/AIDS patients manage such symptoms as appetite loss, pain, and the condition’s adverse impacts on mood.
One study of over 500 patients living with HIV infections found that among the one-third of participants who consumed medical marijuana, the potential benefits of their cannabis use was vast: 97% of patients reported an increase in appetite, with more than 93% of participants experiencing a reduction in muscle pain and 93% saw less disease-induced anxiety.
With such promising potential, the FDA has even approved a lab-synthesized form of THC for HIV/AIDS treatment, dronabinol, which may prevent vomiting and stimulate appetite.
Terpenes and Cannabinoids: When looking for concentrated forms of THC, patients may want to consult their dispensary pharmacist about medical marijuana extracts and oils. RSO – named Rick Simpson Oil after its founder and renowned cannabis advocate – is a full extract cannabis oil designed for oral or topical use. Handcrafted in a THC Blend (48:1), our prime RSO is extracted for maximum potency and healing potential, which could possibly provide ongoing symptom relief for patients.
Terpenes – aromatic compounds in medical marijuana that may work with THC and CBD to potentially produce a desirable effect – may also be a helpful starting point for patients to identify how a product may possibly make them feel. HIV/AIDS symptoms may potentially be alleviated by products that contain the popular terpene called myrcene, which has been studied for its sedative and analgesic potential. Several prime strains feature impressive levels of myrcene including Papa Lega, Legend of 91, Scarlet Fire, Cthulhu, and Double Afghan Chunk. Check with your dispensary pharmacist to explore whether these prime options might work for you.
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