Treatment News : Synthetic Compounds From Marijuana Appear to Fight HIV

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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.

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  comments 1 - 7 (of 7 total)    

koliver, south africa, 2013-05-19 07:24:03
it is that true? it hiv can be cured? how can you get it?

Diana Dodson, Key West, 2013-05-16 18:40:16
I believe cannabis has kept me alive for the past 28 years of being positive.. I you g,ogle me diana Dodson and medical cannabis you can see a study l was in that proves it works for nerve patina.. I know it helps me in so many ways... We need safe access to good medicine...

Gregory Clifton, Rock Island, 2013-05-15 18:42:07
I think the natural extract from the whole plant would work much better than a synthetic. With a synthetic you are missing all the associated alkaloids and constituents of the whole plant. Synthetics are just big pharmaceuticals way of capitalizing off of something and it generally a poison to the body.

misty, dallas, 2013-05-09 12:48:54
I think this is awesome. I have a famiy member that has hiv and they smoke and i have always said it makes them healther. Keep up the good work.

Christopher, Toronto, Canada, 2013-05-09 10:46:17
Once the US abandons this misguided "war on drugs" zealousness, real science will be allowed to help humanity.

Glenn, Mid-MO, 2013-05-08 11:28:42
I have enjoyed pot since I was in high school (1976-present). These days I'm a very light smoker. I feel there are numerous advantages to pot with the main 2 being pain relief and increased appetite. I can imagine opening my window at the elder center and taking afew puffs before dinner. But in all seriousness I know it has had a major role in my 52 years of a wonderful life with HIV. I'm also blessed to have the support of my doctor.

A-4Easy's forever, Folsom, 2013-05-08 09:17:44
I became really sick after returning from Mexico Jan.08 I have no real idea who infected me. I started smoking after I became infected and I am glad that I did. I grow my own and I hope that they cure this thing.

comments 1 - 7 (of 7 total)    

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