Research: Marijuana Possibly a Treatment for HIV
It is well-known that marijuana and cannabis products can do a lot to help with the pain of many serious medical conditions. These products have proven invaluable to cancer patients, helping them overcome the often powerful nausea and lack of appetite caused by chemotherapy. Because marijuana returns their appetite, this in turn improves the odds of recovery, given that wasting is a common side effect of cancer treatments. Now, according to a new report from VICE, marijuana could also be invaluable to patients with HIV.
A new study concludes the active ingredients in marijuana may reduce the HIV viral lode. If true, this goes beyond helping with pain and other symptoms of the disease.
Since marijuana is still classified as a Schedule One controlled substance of the U.S. Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (USCSA), it is very difficult for researchers who get federal money to conduct any studies. Being on the highest schedule means that it does not have any valid medial use, as established by peer reviewed research, has a high potential for abuse, and is dangerous. While there is no question that marijuana is not chemically addictive and is not dangerous, it is hard to get peer-reviewed federal studies when conducting such studies were nearly impossible. However, as our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys can explain, congress has made it somewhat easier to conduct research in recent years as more states have legalized medical marijuana and some researchers are working on independent studies.
One researcher from the University of Florida is leading a study involving 400 patients who have HIV. This is the largest HIV marijuana study to date and it looks at various issues. One is how the drug affects the brain and central nervous system of the patients, but it is also attempting to prove whether marijuana can reduce the viral lode in these test subjects. The marijuana can either be consumed in edibles or inhaled through smoking and vaporizing and it is thought that it may be able prevent the HIV virus from entering and infecting new cells. Since the HIV virus is self-replicating and infects host cells, if this process was slowed or stopped, the viral lode would go down.
Since the regulations involving research are very complex, smaller firms wishing to do research, as opposed to major universities with entire legal teams, should work with an experienced medical marijuana attorney to navigate the web of regulations and possible restrictions so that they are able to conduct this important research without the fear of a federal crackdown. While there are many attorneys who are jumping on board as of late now that marijuana use is legalized, going to one who has been working in this industry for years may be of more help to those wanting to do research on marijuana so they can develop new products. In addition to the federal regulations, there are many state regulations that also may come into play and you can discuss this during an initial consultation with your attorney.
The Los Angeles Cannabis Law Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
Marijuana Could Be Huge for Treating HIV, November 16, 2017, By Steven Blum, VICE
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