Marijuana And The Immune System


A placebo-controlled clinical trial designed to determine “the short-term effects of smoked marijuana on the viral load of HIV-infected patients” concluded the following, as reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 8/19/03, Vol. 139, Issue 4, pp. 258-266 (click here to see whole article in pdf format):

“Conclusions: Smoked and oral cannabinoids [marijuana] did not seem to be unsafe in people with HIV infection with respect to HIV RNA levels, CD4 and CD8 cell counts, or protease inhibitor levels over a 21-day treatment.”

The accompanying “Summaries For Patients” provided by the journal (click here to read summary in pdf format) stated:

“Patients receiving cannabinoids [smoked marijuana and marijuana pills] had improved immune function compared with those receiving placebo. They also gained about 4 pounds more on average than those patients receiving placebo.”
(8/19/03) Annals of Internal Medicine

In his book Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts, author Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D. wrote:

“There is no evidence that marijuana users are more susceptible to infections than non-users.

Early studies that showed decreased immune function in cells taken from marijuana users have since been disproven.

Indeed, not a single case of marijuana-induced immune impairment has ever been observed in humans.”
(August 1997) LZimmer

GW Pharmaceuticals stated on its website in January 2004;

“AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) wasting syndrome was a very frequent complication of HIV infection prior to the advent of protease-inhibitor drugs, and has been associated with major weight loss and cachexia, serving to further debilitate its victims, already weakened by immune system failure and opportunistic infections.

Cannabis has been a frequently employed alternative medicine for the condition, particularly in the USA, because of its reported benefits on appetite and amelioration of other AIDS symptoms.”
01/04 GW Pharmaceuticals