Treatment News : Synthetic Compounds From Marijuana Appear to Fight HIV

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Treatment News » May 2013

Most Popular Links
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

20 Years Ago In POZ

More Treatment News

Click here for more news

Have news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to


May 7, 2013

Synthetic Compounds From Marijuana Appear to Fight HIV

Synthetic anti-inflammatory compounds derived from the active ingredient of marijuana appear to show potential as anti-HIV agents, reports. Publishing their findings in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, researchers from Temple University School of Medicine’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Center for Substance Abuse Research (CSAR) studied synthetic derivations of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, a key chemical compound in marijuana, in cultures of HIV-infected cells.

Cannabinoids, which are the primary active compounds in marijuana, bind to proteins called CB2 receptors on the surface of macrophage immune cells. The CB2 site may play a role in reducing inflammation in the central nervous system, which is a major concern for people living with HIV, even those whose virus is fully suppressed thanks to antiretrovirals (ARVs). It is the CB1 receptors, mostly found in neurons in the brain, however, that cause marijuana’s psychoactive effects. So synthetic THC that has been developed to bind only to CB2 receptors should not make people stoned.

It is believed that macrophage cells, which are found throughout the body, are a major component of the HIV reservoir and are probably the first cells infected after sexual transmission of the virus.

Using a non-clinical cell model, the investigators treated HIV-infected macrophages with one of three different synthetic compounds that bind to CB2. By periodically measuring the activity of the enzyme reverse transcriptase, which HIV needs to replicate itself, the investigators concluded after a seven-day period that all three compounds fought HIV replication.

The findings suggest that these “CB2 agonists” could be a potential addition to ARV therapy, and also that the human immune system could be prompted to fight the virus using similar mechanisms.

To read the Wired story, click here.

To read a Temple University release on the study, click here.

Search: HIV, marijuana, pot, anti-inflammatory compounds,, Temple University School of Medicine’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Center for Substance Abuse Research, CSAR, CB1, CB2 agonists, receptors.

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (7 total)

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.