Cannabinoids to treat HIV
Cannabis and research surrounding its use as medicine is continuously expanding across to the pharmaceutical industry and the current popular culture. Find out more information from Sean The Blogonaut.
Cannabis and research surrounding its use as medicine is continuously expanding across to the pharmaceutical industry and the current popular culture. Television newscasts and magazines now have long articles on THC and various medicinal effects of cannabis, including its ability to slow down and kill cancer cells, treat leukemia and anorexia, and their use as oxygen loss prevention during and after surgery in patients with brain damage.
Now a study published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology by a research team from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, has found that THC helped fight the HIV virus in tests, making it a potentially effective treatment for HIV .
Medical Science from here.
Macrophages are a type of white blood cells of humans, found in fewer lymphocytes, and who specialize in sick or dying cells. The HIV virus attacks the rapidly macrophages after infecting a human host, and can survive within the macrophage during periods of several months.
Living in the macrophage, travels through the bloodstream and eventually infect other cells in the body. Therefore, many researchers try to find ways to prevent the HIV virus to infect macrophages, as this would slow the infection and could stop or even destroy it completely.
It so happens that macrophages have cannabinoid receptors. CB2 receptors are very common throughout the immune and digestive system of humans.
The team conducted tests with macrophages, infecting them with HIV-1. HIV-1 is the most common strain of HIV virus, which is more than ninety percent of all types of HIV. And although the THC is a natural compound, the team used a synthetic form for the tests in order to ensure its purity and clinical CB2 receptors that would be the only variables with changing effects during the experiments.
First, macrophages were infected with HIV-1. Leaving a control group, the team tested three different synthetic cannabinoids which have particularly high affinities with the CB2 receptor. After only a week, compared with the control groups. They saw that macrophages that had been exposed to cannabinoids had developed a much higher HIV-1 virus resistance and that infection rates had dropped dramatically. Basically, the stimulation of CB2 receptors on macrophages had increased their overall resistance to infection. An advantage of the use of specific cannabinoids activity occurred only at the CB1 receptor, indicating that human use entail very reduced psychoactive effects, effects that many users find medicinal debilitating and too intense. Find out more in this post.
One of the authors of the study who works as a pathologist at Temple University, Yuri Persidsky, says the effects of cannabinoid CB2-specific HIV virus are not the limit of their potential in the treatment and cure of lethal disorders. "As these compounds are improving and will be available more broadly, will continue to explore its potential to combat other viral diseases difficult to treat."