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Last updated on 25 May 2022

Does CBD help with HIV?

  • Researchers believe they believe that CBD and THC affect the health of a person through different ways of interfacing with the endocannabinoid systems (ECS). Medical cannabis consumption also affects your immune system in a direct way (1 ).
  • Research has shown that CBD can help to increase immunity and offer relief from some HIV symptoms, including swelling, discomfort as well as anxiety that are characterized by excessive worry and agitation, restlessness as well as tiredness (2 ).
  • Since the HIV treatment process can be stressful CBD supplements can alleviate the stress of treatment and help improve sleeping (3 ). According to a study from 2013 that was published within the journal of the Acquired Immune Deficit Syndromes, antiretroviral drugs are more effective when the user gets enough sleep and isn’t stressed (4 ).
  • Research studies have proven that those who used TCH and CBD in a one-to-one ratio, or in a ratio of 1:9 and antiretroviral medications noticed an increase in their CD4+T-cell number (5 ). The CD4+T cell is a white blood-cell that helps fight infections.
  • But, CBD has also been proven that it interacts with different medications and affect the way that the body processes certain drugs in a study from 2017. study found (6 ). Talk to a physician who is familiar with cannabis prior to beginning the CBD regimen or mixing it with prescription drugs currently in use.

How to Choose the Right CBD for HIV

The research that has been mentioned previously shows that CBD isn’t the only cannabinoid in cannabis that may aid in treating HIV and its manifestations. Therefore, when selecting the best CBD product, choose one that has the full spectrum of CBD oil.

Full-spectrum CBD oil is a complete source of phytonutrients found in hemp, such as small quantities of THC and terpenes, flavonoids, as well as essential oils. These substances combine to enhance the therapeutic effects of each cannabinoid, which results to an “entourage effect”.

People who are allergic to THC might want to consider CBD oil with broad spectrum, which is similar to full-spectrum CBD, but without the THC which causes users to get high.

But regardless of the type of CBD product you choose A careful approach must be taken when selecting the most effective CBD oil that can help the immune system as well as pain, inflammation, and anxiety.

The following elements are crucial to assure the safety and security of CBD products purchased: CBD products you purchase:

  1. Study the legal requirements that apply for CBD in the region in which it is purchased and utilized.
  2. Buy only top-quality CBD products from reputable and dependable brands. Most companies who manufacture top-quality CBD oil products cultivate their hemp on their own farms, or purchase it hemp from certified hemp producers.
  3. Read reviews of products before purchasing from an online retailer. If you purchase at a physical shop or dispensary, make sure the shop is licensed from the federal government offer CBD.
  4. The most important thing to look out for when purchasing CBD product is the certification code. Certain certification bodies accept certain CBD products only after a thorough screening test.
  5. Compare the claims of companies about the effectiveness of their products against the third-party lab tests. Find a certification of analysis for each purchase.
  6. A consultation with a reputable medical professional who is experienced in CBD usage is a good idea prior to purchasing his or his initial bottle of CBD.

CBD Dosage for HIV

There isn’t a recommended CBD dosage specifically for combating the fungus, or for any other fungal diseases.

According to an article published by Peter Grinspoon, MD, on Harvard Health in August 2019 Experts aren’t aware of the most effective therapeutic dosage of CBD for a particular medical health condition (35 ).

In the absence of sufficient evidence that is high-quality in human studies, the doses that are effective can’t be established.

How to Take CBD Oil for HIV Symptoms

CBD oil is not able to treat HIV however it can be helpful in managing the symptoms. One of the most common signs that people with HIV suffer from is a constant and painful skin eruption.

In this case, CBD oil may be beneficial as it can also be found in topical forms like cream, lotion balm, patch, salve, as well as bath salts.

For products for topical use, look for the words on the labels that show the use of nanotechnology, encapsulation or the micellization process of CBD. These terms suggest that their solution could transport CBD throughout the epidermal layer instead of just remaining in the dermis.

CBD oil capsules and edibles, like brownies, Gummies and lozenges are an easy and convenient method to consume CBD oil, particularly for those who are first CBD users.

It is simple to incorporate into routines and the dosage is constant. CBD oil can be added to a person’s most loved food or drink and more.

CBD drops or oil tinctures are an ideal alternative for those looking for quick results and the highest dose control.

Drops and tinctures can be given under the tongue (under the tongue) via which the CBD oil is directly absorbed into the bloodstream.

The desired amount of drops on the tongue with the dropper. Then allow the CBD oil remain in place for at minimum 60 minutes. After 60 seconds have passed take a sip of your CBD oil.

CBD oils in vapes is among the fastest methods to introduce CBD into your body, as it is absorbed into the bloodstream via the lungs without having to go via the digestion system.

It is important to note that vaping isn’t for everyone, and some individuals may not be at ease with this method.

Experts aren’t sure whether vaping causes lung issues, but they believe that the primary cause is contamination, which could cause allergic reactions or irritation to the chemicals present in vapours inhaled (36 ).

What is the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV)?

SIV can be described as an HIV like virus that has the potential to be transmitted to monkeys and apes, and may cause a condition similar to AIDS.

Since HIV and simian immunodeficiency (SIV) are closely related viruses Researchers study SIV as a means to gain knowledge about HIV.

But, SIV cannot infect humans as well as HIV is not able to be transmitted to the monkeys (37 ).

THC and Antiretrovirals

Marinol (dronabinol) is an approved drug from the United States Food and Drug Administration is a human-made version of cannabis. It has been advertised as a safer substitute for medical cannabis.

The active component is THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a substance that causes the psychoactive effects of marijuana.

One study has only examined the effects of cannabinoids the drug’s pharmacokinetics. Researchers from this research concluded that the use of marijuana or dronabinol is not likely to affect the effectiveness of antiretrovirals (38 ).

Quality of Life

HIV disease is one of the most depressing of diseases, with a variety of and life-altering effects on sufferers. Therefore, the evaluation of QOL is vital.

The research released in Indian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS defines QOL as a general feeling of well-being that includes satisfaction and happiness with the world around you (39 ).

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines QOL as an “individuals’ perceptions of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in connection to their goals, standards, expectations, and concerns.”


HIV is an auto-immune condition which has no cure. CBD’s benefits for treatment can assist people suffering from HIV and AIDS combat their symptoms and help them relax and enhance their lives.

CBD is a great supplement to other alternative and complementary medicines taken by those suffering from HIV who are unable to feel relief or comfort from the most common antiretrovirals.

As a natural remedy that has distinct benefits, CBD also has its disadvantages and dangers. Therefore, those who want to incorporate CBD in their routine must first consult with a physician who is knowledgeable about cannabis usage.

An increasing amount of states with the exception of CBD oil-only states, or states that have an endless list of ailments, specifically include HIV as well as AIDS as a condition that qualifies to use medical marijuana.

In 2019, the 29 states comprise Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Vermont, and Washington.

There are more than 8000 clinical studies on HIV and related disorders on ClinicalTrials.gov An online resource that is maintained and provided through the U.S. National Library of Medicine for providing details on HIV.

  1. Biles, M. (2019, May 8). Cannabis and The Immune System: A Complex Balancing Act. Retrieved from https://www.projectcbd.org/science/cannabis-and-immune-system.
  2. Burstein S. Cannabidiol (CBD) and its derivatives A study of the effects they have on inflammation. Bioorg Med Chem 2015;23:1377-85. 10.1016/j.bmc.2015.01.059; Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Zuardi AW, et al. Safety and adverse effects of cannabidiol, which is a Cannabis sativa component. Curr Drug Saf 2011;6:237-49. 10.2174/157488611798280924; Russo EB. Cannabinoids for the treatment of difficult to manage pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):245-259. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s1928; Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041; Hanson, R. (2019, June 4). CBD: A Promising Aid for HIV Patients? Retrieved from https://hivatis.org/cbd-a-promising-aid-for-hiv-patients/.
  3. Hanson, R. (2019, June 4). CBD: A Promising Aid for HIV Patients? Retrieved from https://hivatis.org/cbd-a-promising-aid-for-hiv-patients/.
  4. Chen WT, Shiu CS, Yang JP, et al. Fatigue and Sleep Disturbance Related to Perceived Stress in Chinese HIV-Positive Individuals: A Mixed Methods Study. J AIDS Clin Res. 2013;4(6):15524. doi:10.4172/2155-6113.1000214.
  5. Costiniuk CT, Saneei Z, Routy JP, et al. Oral cannabinoids for people with HIV who are receiving effective antiretroviral therapy: CTN PT028-study protocol for an initial randomised study to determine the safety, tolerability, and impact on the activation of the immune system. BMJ Open. 2019;9(1):e024793. Published 2019 Jan 17. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024793.
  6. Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):139-154. Published 2017 Jun 1. doi:10.1089/can.2016.0034.
  7. Vajpayee M, Mohan T. Current methods in laboratory surveillance for HIV infection. Indian J Med Res. 2011;134(6):801-822. doi:10.4103/0971-5916.92627.
  8. Hanson, R. op. cit.
  9. ibid.
  10. ibid.
  11. Russo EB. Cannabinoids for the treatment of difficult to manage pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):245-259. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s1928; Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041.
  12. Russo EB. Cannabinoids for the treatment of difficult to manage pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):245-259. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s1928.
  13. Hanson, R. op. cit.
  14. ibid.
  15. Chen WT et al. Op cit.
  16. Hanson, R. op. cit.
  17. Costiniuk CT et al. op. cit.
  18. Burstein S. op. cit.
  19. Keen L Keen L, Keen L, Abbate A, Blanden G, Priddie C, Moeller FG, Rathore M. Confirmed the use of marijuana and the lymphocyte count among blacks who suffer from HIV. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 Nov 1;180:22-25. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.07.026.
  20. Costiniuk CT et al. op. cit.
  21. Bazzoli, C., Jullien, V., Tiec, C.L. and Tiec, C.L. The Intracellular Pharmacokinetics and Biochemical Activity of Antiretroviral Treatments for HIV-infected Patients and their Relationship with the Drug Action. Clin Pharmacokinet 49, 17-45 (2010). https://doi.org/10.2165/11318110-000000000-00000.
  22. Biles, M. op. cit.
  23. Caroline Turcotte, Marie-Renee Blanchet, Michel Laviolette, and Nicolas Flamand. Michel Laviolette, Nicolas Flamand and Marie-Renee Turcotte CB2 receptor as well as its function as a mediator of inflammation. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 2016; 73(23): 4449-4470. doi: 10.1007/s00018-016-2300-4.
  24. Rupal Pandey, Khalida Mousawy, Mitzi Nagarkatti, and Prakash Nagarkatti. Endocannabinoids and the regulation of immune function. Pharmacol Res. 2009 Aug; 60(2): 85-92, doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2009.03.019.
  25. .Biles, M. op. cit..
  26. Nora Volkow. NIDA. Researching Marijuana for Therapeutic Purposes: The Potential Promise of Cannabidiol (CBD). National Institute on Drug Abuse website. https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2015/07/researching-marijuana-therapeutic-purposes-potential-promise-cannabidiol-cbd. July 20, 2015. Accessed January 31, 2020.
  27. Expert Committee on Drug Dependence Fortieth Meeting. Cannabidiol (CBD) Critical Review Report. June 2018.
  28. Bauer, B. (2018, Dec 20). What are the advantages of CBD — and is it suitable for use? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700.
  29. Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):139-154. Published 2017 Jun 1.
  30. Peachman, RB. (2019, Feb 26). Can CBD Help Your Child? Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/can-cbd-help-your-child/.
  31. Bonn-Miller MO, Loflin MJE, Thomas BF, Marcu JP, Hyke T, Vandrey R. Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online. JAMA. 2017;318(17):1708-1709. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11909.
  32. Lorenc A, Robinson N. A brief review of the benefits of alternative and complementary medicine and HIV concerns to consider when treating patients. AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2013;27(9):503-510. doi:10.1089/apc.2013.0175.
  33. Ridge D. Arachne J. From alternative therapies to pharmaceuticals for HIV/AIDS: What’s the possibility? Health Care Analysis. 1997;5:275-282.
  34. Thorpe RD. “Doing” chronic disease? Use of complementary medicine among those who suffer from HIV/AIDS in Australia. Sociol Health Illness. 2009;31:375-389.
  35. Grinspoon, P. (2018, Aug 24). Cannabidiol (CBD) –What we know and what do not know. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476.
  36. Shmerling, R. (2019, Dec 10). Can vaping damage your lungs? What do we (and do not) know. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-vaping-damage-your-lungs-what-we-do-and-dont-know-2019090417734.
  37. AIDS Info. (2020, March 10). Retrieved from https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/understanding-hiv-aids/glossary/660/simian-immunodeficiency-virus.
  38. Kosel BW et al. Cannabinoids’ effects upon the pharmacokinetics of indinavir as well as the drug nelfinavir. AIDS. 2002 Mar 8;16(4):543-50. DOI: 10.1097/00002030-200203080-00005.
  39. Basavaraj KH, Navya MA, Rashmi R. The quality of life in the context of HIV/AIDS. Indian J Sex Transm Dis AIDS. 2010;31(2):75-80. doi:10.4103/0253-7184.74971.


Integrative medicine specialist | View posts

Nicole Davis is a integrative medicine specialist who focuses on sleep and fatigue. She has extensively explored the therapeutic properties of cannabis, and provides specialized treatment plans according to personal symptoms. Dr. Davis is passionate about helping people feel their best, and believes that everyone deserves access to quality healthcare.

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