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CBD has shown potential as a therapy for individuals with HIV. Despite the manageability of the virus through proper medical interventions, its impact on the brain and cognitive functions remains a significant concern.

Anti-inflammatory properties of CBD can regulate HIV infected cells

Florida International University (FIU) researchers have discovered that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties effectively regulate HIV-infected cells in the brain, preventing them from becoming active. This is crucial in preventing neuroinflammation-related complications, as inflammation can trigger hidden infected cells to replicate and spread the virus throughout the body. The study, published in Scientific Reports, reveals that CBD operates at the molecular level to reduce inflammation and maintain the dormancy of these cells.

In addressing HIV’s impact, suppressing inflammation and HIV-infected cells is crucial due to the virus’s ability to infiltrate the bloodstream and cross the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain, HIV targets microglia, inducing a dormant state. Despite antiretroviral medicines preventing replication, they struggle to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, turning the brain into an HIV reservoir.

Adriana Yndart Arias, the study’s lead author, highlights that HIV-associated neuroinflammation reactivates dormant cells, leading to virus production. Consequently, the infection can exit the brain and re-enter the bloodstream, emphasizing the importance of targeted interventions for comprehensive HIV management.

CBD prevents cell activation by reducing inflammatory molecules

Professor Madhavan Nair, director of FIU’s Institute of NeuroImmune Pharmacology, highlights the harmful cycle perpetuated by HIV infections, leading individuals to use cannabis for symptom management. Cannabis, containing THC causing psychoactive effects, exacerbates symptoms and potentially worsens HIV. Nair’s team, studying the impact of drug abuse on HIV, emphasizes the lack of research on how THC and CBD affect the brain at the molecular level.

Researcher Yndart, in Nair’s lab, tested THC and CBD on HIV-infected microglia cells, discovering that CBD reduced inflammatory molecules, preventing cell activation. This sheds light on the potential therapeutic effects of CBD in managing HIV-related symptoms.

Nair and Yndart highlight CBD’s potential in treating neurocognitive and inflammatory disorders resulting from HIV. They stress the need for further research, specifically clinical trials exploring diverse CBD formulations.