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Jan 6, 2011

I've noticed, quite by accident, that smoking marijuana greatly reduces the side effects associated with my meds. Is this common with other HIVers? I casually mentioned this to my doctor and even inquired about obtaining it for "medicinal" purposes..that way it would be legal for me to have it and my side effects would be controlled.She wasn't sure that it was indicated for medicinal purposes in HIV patients and dismissed the topic. I want to ask you if it is indeed indicated in HIV disease, and if so, what channels do take? I am in Canada, and the rules may be different that those in the USA....But, I'd like to talk to my doctor again about it, but would like to have some facts and more information to take with me..... appreciate you help...

Response from Dr. Fawcett

There is literature documenting the benefits of medicinal marijuana to alleviate symptoms common in persons living with HIV, including a loss of appetite, nausea from medications, and various types of pain. Several states in the US have legalized medical marijuana. Check with your physician about local laws. Like any mood changing drug, use of marijuana has a potential for abuse and therefore anyone with an addictive history should be cautious. You should also be mindful that marijuana smoke contains numerous toxins, so a synthetic cannabinoid such as Marinol may be preferred.

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