Category: Lifestyle

Taking on HIV with Cannabis: Inflammation

Poz people have reached a place where, with medications, they can expect the same quality of life as everyone else. Even so, HIV medications are not a cure all. They don’t reduce inflammation to the levels of the general population. Also, someone with HIVs immune health isn’t as strong as others. These problems and more have led many poz patients to take on HIV with cannabis to combat inflammation.

How Inflammation Affects us All

Inflammation is a big deal even in small doses. Long term chronic inflammation can result in fatigue and fevers. In some cases it can even lead to conditions like cancer or asthma. It is in the best interests of a HIV+ patient to take steps outside their typical medication regimen to reduce inflammation throughout their body. [1] [2]

Other methods to reduce inflammation exist, including diet and exercise. New research lends to the idea that weed and hemp can be effective at helping poz people with significant decreases in inflammation. [3]

It’s not just the basic cannabinoids that have a hand in tackling inflammation either. 2018 studies showed that the terpenes that we have identified have a hand in the anti inflammatory traits of cannabis and hemp. Without the ‘entourage effect’ active for the user, they were less effective.

One major take away from modern studies on hemp and cannabis is that if you are seeking medicinal effects aim for high terpene content therefore live resins are a good starting point for high terpene content when seeking overall medical benefits they also frequently do come with fun psychoactive effects. [4]

Takeaways and looking towards the future

In conclusion cannabis carries powerful benefits to a consumer’s health. As with most things weed, it needs deeper research and investigation. Because of prohibition, valuable data with large sample sizes are difficult to do. Because of federal legalization in Canada however, promising research is starting to flood our northern neighbors. With better research, tackling HIV with cannabis to get a handle on inflammation becomes easier every day.

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Taking on HIV with Cannabis

Taking on HIV with Cannabis: Coming Out Again

The Day my World Stood Still

I started making plasma donations between student aid checks in college at 23 years old. The donations were my way of making additional income while focusing on my degree. Rarely enough for more than Taco Bell but the donations proved invaluable to me at the time. One week I used donation money to help pay for a trip to Denver I had made the weekend prior.

When it was time for my donation, I was told someone would speak with me. I thought nothing of it, assuming something was wrong with my vital signs during the previous donation. When ten minutes melted into an hour, I noticed the phlebotomists looking at me strangely. There was definitely a moment where everything sort of clicked into place in my mind. What happened next would change my life and how cannabis enabled me to take on the world, even after it seemed to be over.

Coming Out Again

My blood tested positive for HIV and everything following that thought is a blur. I made the short drive home in a panic. I was thinking about the advice of the women I spoke with who encouraged me to get a second opinion. “…Get another test done,” they said. Who was going to have more accurate tests than the people who were selling my plasma? I did eventually get someone else to check; but on that day I started the unhealthy decision to jump straight through the stages of grief to acceptance, it was also the day I told my dad.

That was hard.

Getting him comfortable with the idea I was gay was hard enough. Now I got to carry all of the 80’s AIDs scare home with none of the levels of disconnect the news provided when it happened the first time, but to my father’s benefit he accepted it and me with it immediately. There was no judgement, there was no dismissal. Just him helping me emotionally process what had to be the hardest moment of my life. I wish I could tell you it made me stronger, but now I am quantifiably less than I was before. That news derailed my entire life and altered the course I would take permanently.

Using Cannabis to Take on HIV

The weeks following would fly past me and I would start my first antiviral medications. The first medication I took caused my entire body to bust out in hives and those were just the unanticipated side effects. I also got the usual blast of nausea and my appetite completely vanished with each little pill I dropped into myself. I was wasting away, unable to make it to class and incapable of keeping food down.

It was in this state of disarray I spoke with my father for the first time about using cannabis. I lived in a college town in Wyoming, a state where cannabis was not legal yet. My father asked me if I knew anyone who sold weed. One of the guys I played games with happened to and then my dad paid for my first weed purchase. Before now, I’d only smoked a few times and never got very high. Now I was going to use cannabis to take on HIV.

I weakly packed a bowl for myself that first time, with my nerdy dealer friend beside me, and started puffing on the blue pipe that I had bought in Denver a few weeks prior. To this day I am incapable of effectively describing the relief that spread throughout my battered body. The nausea, which seemed to have spread from my gut into my head faded entirely, and even the buzzing uncomfortable feeling of a low grade fever dissolved. I was still very sick, but I felt normal for the first time in days. Relief is barely sufficient to describe how I felt in that moment.

A Practical History Lesson

Cannabis is wonderful and to this day assists me in being a more competent person. HIV is not my only issue, I also carry psychiatric struggles. With proper psychiatric therapy and antiviral medications I am the most stable and successful I’ve ever been in my life. And Cannabis is a huge part of my success story. In this series I plan to show the ways people use Cannabis to take on HIV everyday.

Some Extended Resources

Some resources for the recently diagnosed. Click Here.

Learn how you can donate and help in other ways Here.

Read more of my HIV related articles Here.

More educational health content from TCJ is also available Here

E-liquid Vape

The Ultimate Guide to Vaping

While a lot of people have a vague idea of what is vaping, the truth is that in order to engage in this act or replace your smoking habit with vaping, you may need to learn a thing or two about it. Right here we have the Ultimate Guide to Vaping to  answer any of the questions you may have. Simply put, vaping is the act of inhaling a vapor made from the liquid that is heated in an electronic device or an electronic cigarette. Most commonly, this liquid contains flavor and nicotine, both of which are the very reason why so many people are doing it. So, now that you know exactly what you’re dealing with, here are a couple of other things to learn, as well as a brief comparison to its direct competitor – traditional cigarette smoking. Read on for the Ultimate Guide on Vaping.

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Autumnal Equinox: How and Where to Integrate Cannabis

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the Autumnal Equinox will fall around September 23rd this year. Calling back to ancient Pagan traditions, the astronomical event is also called Mabon. I thought it would be fitting to write about celebrating the Autumnal Equinox; it’s the time of year when day and night are totally balanced, and who doesn’t need to channel a bit more balance into their lives? And of course, we’ll talk about how and where to integrate our favorite herb into your festivities. 

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High End Highs

I say this all the time, but our battle for cannabis normalization didn’t just end when recreational systems were put into place. We’ve still got a long way to go to reduce the stigma around the plant, and today I’m presenting you with a doozy to destigmatize: paraphernalia. Not your uncles’ rasta colored bong, several companies are offering gorgeous and artful alternatives to the more stereotypical equipment. Even high end retailer, Barneys New York, has gotten in on it: Barneys Adds Bongs to Its Beverly Hills Store . In this blog, I’ve compiled 5 websites that hone in on a high end market, and are offering accessories that even your mother would look at and say, “ooh that’s pretty.”

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