Medical Marijuana For HIV/AIDS In Tennessee
Does HIV/AIDS Qualify for Medical Cannabis in Tennessee?
Affecting over 1.2 million Americans and over 17,000 Tennesseans, HIV is a virus that causes a compromised immune system that can leave patients debilitated. If left untreated, HIV leads to AIDS, or human immunodeficiency syndrome, which causes a person to become extremely vulnerable to sickness.
With reportedly well over half of HIV/AIDS patients using medical cannabis to treat symptoms of HIV, many HIV positive people use cannabis to treat unpleasant side effects from the aggressive medications that are frequently prescribed for the condition.
Tennessee has approved AIDS as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana when it is diagnosed as severe or end-stage.
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What is Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)?
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that causes the immune system to weaken through a process of destroying cells and making copies of itself, once HIV is contracted it stays in the body and will develop further if left untreated.
There is no known cure for HIV, and treatment plans usually emphasize preventing the virus from progressing and support the immune system.
If left untreated or in cases where medications do not work, HIV will progress to AIDS, where the immune system will become further compromised at a very dangerous level.
What is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)?
AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a complication of HIV that causes the immune system to become tremendously vulnerable to otherwise mild sicknesses like the common cold, flu, or pneumonia.
When these mild illnesses are caught by AIDS patients they are called “opportunistic infections”, referring to the easy access that the infections have into the perpetually compromised immune system.
Because the immune system is in a state of permanent weakness, not only are patients with AIDS more susceptible to infections, but the symptoms of the new infections can be much more volatile on someone with a compromised immune system. Ultimately a compromised immune system can lead to chronic diarrhea, peripheral neuropathy, and even wasting syndrome.
Without a healthy immune system, the body does not maintain the number of cells necessary to keep your body healthy and fight off infections. A common cold or pneumonia can be life threatening for someone with a compromised immune system, and because AIDS is considered a chronic and often terminal illness, it can result in premature death.
Is HIV/AIDS Terminal?
In twenty-five years HIV/AIDS has gone from a global pandemic that was considered terminal and being diagnosed meant a life expectancy of only 49 years, to now, where a diagnoses of HIV/AIDS is a manageable chronic condition with the average life expectancy of 70 years as of 2011.
This is largely because of the creation of powerful antiretroviral drugs from drug companies. Antiretroviral drugs are prescribed to prevent or reduce the development of HIV/AIDS, and there have been many successes with pharmaceutical meds that are used to treat the condition.
Often these drugs are accompanied by demanding side effects such as extreme nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and can even cause internal bleeding or heart disease in some cases. Because of the intensity that the medications can have on the body, many HIV/AIDS patients use medical marijuana to help ease the symptoms of the condition, or the complications of the pharmaceutical meds.
Can Medical Cannabis Help With HIV/AIDS?
Cannabis is frequently used by patients suffering from HIV/AIDS.
In fact, cannabis derivatives or chemical mocks of compounds found in the cannabis plant are legally manufactured by drug companies specifically for HIV/AIDS and are regularly prescribed alongside antiretroviral.
Dronabinol (marinol) is prescribed to treat AIDS-related nausea, and is a cannabis-related synthetically derived compound based on THC.
It’s even synthesized into an oral mix called Syndros and is prescribed to HIV/AIDS patients as well as cancer patients to treat anorexia, weight loss, nausea, and vomiting.
In many cases HIV/AIDS patients may even choose traditional cannabis flower over dronabinol.
What Does Medical Cannabis Do for HIV/AIDS Patients?
Cannabis flower can be taken in a variety of ways that HIV/AIDS patients may find more appropriate than the hard-to-swallow horse pills, which can be difficult to ingest with chronic nausea.
It is often smoked, vaporized, or made into liquid solutions. The effects can also begin immediately with cannabis flower, an important factor when looking to treat nausea as quickly as possible.
Patients anecdotally report that the synthetic pharmaceutical counterparts to cannabis compounds can take up to two hours to take effect and can have unpleasant side effects of their own.
HIV/AIDS patients report seeing improved qualities with:
· General or AIDS-related Pain
· Peripheral Neuropathy
Tennessee has approved HIV/AIDS as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, and if you or a loved one is diagnosed as HIV positive consult with one of our medical doctors to see if medical marijuana could be an option for you.
Become a Tennessee Cannabis Patient
Qualifying Tennessee patients will soon be able to meet with one of our certified physicians and get approved for medical cannabis treatment.
Reserve your appointment today and get $25 off when we start processing applications!
We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at 844-249-8714, and we can answer your questions about getting medical cannabis in Tennessee.