Effect of marijuana on the immune system


New Member
I was told by a college teacher that marijuana has negative effects on the immune system somehow (cant remember exactly what he said) I believe he said something about it hurting t cells in some way, and because of this it is not a good idea to give to medical patients who need their immune systems that may already be deteriating. I was questioning the validity of this statement, and wondering if anybody had a factually supported answer if this was true or not.


New Member
It has been widely claimed that marijuana substantially increases users' risk of contracting various infectious diseases. First emerging in the 1970s, this claim took on new significance in the 1980s, following reports of marijuana use by people suffering from AIDS.


The principal study fueling the original claim of immune impairment involved preparations created with white blood cells that had been removed from marijuana smokers and controls. After exposing the cells to known immune activators, researchers reported a lower rate of "transformation" in those taken from marijuana smokers.

However, numerous groups of scientists, using similar techniques, have failed to confirm this original study.

In fact, a 1988 study demonstrated an increase in responsiveness when white blood cells from marijuana smokers were exposed to immunological activators.

Studies involving laboratory animals have shown immune impairment following administration of THC, but only with the use of extremely high doses. For example, one study demonstrated an increase in herpes infection in rodents given doses of 100 mg/kg/day - a dose approximately 1000 times the dose necessary to produce a psychoactive effect in humans.

There have been no clinical or epidemiological studies showing an increase in bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection among human marijuana users. In three large field studies conducted in the 1970s, in Jamaica, Costa Rica and Greece, researchers found no differences in disease susceptibility between marijuana users and matched controls.

Marijuana use does not increase the risk of HIV infection; nor does it increase the onset or intensity of symptoms among AIDS patients. 31 In fact, the FDA decision to approve the use of Marinol (synthetic THC) for use in HIV-wasting syndrome relied upon the absence of any immunopathology due to THC.

Today, thousands of people with AIDS are smoking marijuana daily to combat nausea and increase appetite. There is no scientific basis for claims that this practice compromises their immune responses. Indeed, the recent discovery of a peripheral cannabinoid receptor associated with lymphatic tissue should encourage aggressive exploration of THC's potential use as an immune-system stimulant.


New Member
I used to get sick like 5 times a winter. Since i've started smoking I haven't been sick once.....

Coincidence? You tell me.... Haha.


New Member
interesting read. id still like to see more modern research into this area from a neutral organization.


New Member
I have a good friend who is HIV possitive and has been since the late 80's, he says that when he would not regularly smoke and have a t-cell count it would be way down but when he did it was back up and he felt way beter, he also swears by gin...


New Member
Here's what the latest read is from the Mayo Clinic, April/2007:

How it works

When smoked or ingested, THC and other cannabinoids in marijuana attach to two types of receptors on cells in your body — like keys in a lock — affecting the cells, once attached.

CB1 is one such receptor. CB1 receptors are found mainly in your brain, especially in areas that control body movement, memory and vomiting. This helps explain why marijuana use affects balance and coordination and impairs short-term memory and learning, and why it can be useful in treating nausea, pain and loss of appetite.

The other type of receptor, CB2, is found in small numbers elsewhere in your body, mainly in tissue of the immune system, such as your spleen and lymph nodes. The function of these receptors is not well understood. They may serve as brakes on immune system function, which may help explain why marijuana suppresses your immune system.

After you smoke marijuana, its ingredients reach their peak levels in your body within minutes, and effects can last up to an hour and a half. When eaten — the plant is sometimes mixed with food — the ingredients can take several hours to reach their peak levels in your body, and their effects may last for hours.

The prescription drug dronabinol, which is taken as an oral capsule, takes effect in about 30 minutes and can continue to stimulate appetite for more than a day.

Marijuana as medicine: Consider the pros and cons - MayoClinic.com

Marijuana-like Compounds Suppress The Immune Response

Table 2.7 | Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base | Institute of Medicine

:3: :peace:

Like my buddy said..
"My cannabis use is proactive preventative care. No glaucoma, no HIV, no MS, no pain.. yep, living testimony to the preventative care cannabis bestows upon me and uncountable others."



New Member
i agree with some people here about not getting sick after i started smoking, tho i will get the occassional 1day-flu haha, but nope MJ is good for the immune system not bad.. so much negative propaganda.. gotta filter out the b.s ;)


New Member
Right you are.. no one has claimed they know categorically that medical cannabis is either good or bad for the immune system.. more research is needed.

:3: :peace:
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