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WIRE: Cannabis not associated with adverse immune effects in HIV/Hep C patients

Marsielle, France: The use of cannabis does not adversely impact CD4 T-cell count in patients co-infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review. CD4 cells are white blood cells that fight infection.

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French investigators assessed the self-reported use of cannabis on immune function in a cohort of nearly 1,000 patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C. Authors reported “no evidence [of] a negative effect of cannabis use on circulating CD4 T-cell counts/percentages.”

Separate clinical data published in 2013 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases reported that the long-term use of cannabis did not adversely impact liver function in patients co-infected with HIV and the hepatitis C virus.

Subjects diagnosed with HIV and/or hepatitis C frequently acknowledge using cannabis to treat disease symptoms as well as the side-effects associated with conventional drug therapies, such as nausea and appetite loss.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “No significant effect of cannabis use on the count and percentage of circulating CD4 T-cells in HIV-HCV co-infected patients,” appears in Drug and Alcohol Review.

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