Medical marijuana’s benefits for pain relief and anxiety treatment have been well documented.  The ability to relieve cancer-related pains and cancer treatment pains has also been widely reported.  However, there is another avenue to consider: medical marijuana’s health effects on sexually transmitted diseases, most notably hepatitis and AIDS.

What the Doctors Say

Dania L. Sylvestre, MD, of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, stated that “modest medical cannabis use may offer symptomatic and virological benefit to some patients undergoing HCV.”  One of the most challenging aspects of HCV treatment is the medication regimen, and cannabis helps improve retention.  This statement was later printed in the European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

The National Cancer Institute Makes a Statement

Later, the National Cancer Institute, stated that according to their findings, patients with HIV/AIDS and suffering from excessive weight loss could benefit from medical marijuana; namely dronabinol (delta-9-THC), which increased appetite and inhibited weight loss.  The effects were dramatic compared to placebo-fed patients.

The National Cancer Institute further stated that the inhalation of cannabis could lead to an “increased consumption of calories”, something that marijuana users obviously know.  The fact that it still proves true even in the case of immune system diseases is significant.  The same organization also stated that “inhaling cannabinoids increases food consumption, as well as smoking and ingesting.”

The Institute of Medicine also added their statement to the debate, when they said in a 1999 report (Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base) that rapid patient decline and severe pain were linked to wasting; something that increased appetite could improve.  The Institute did seem to speak unfavorably of smoking marijuana, as opposed to other methods, because of what they deemed a poor delivery system.

The facts show that medicinal cannabis could be used to treat STD sufferers, and that’s good news for states that have opened their minds and hearts to the idea of legalizing this helpful plant.