Cannabis and Inflammation in HIV: A Review of Human and Animal Studies
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.3390/v13081521
Persistent inflammation occurs in people with HIV (PWH) and has many downstream adverse effects including myocardial infarction, neurocognitive impairment and death. Because the proportion of people with HIV who use cannabis is high and cannabis may be anti-inflammatory, it is important to characterize the impact of cannabis use on inflammation specifically in PWH. We performed a selective, non-exhaustive review of the literature on the effects of cannabis on inflammation in PWH. Research in this area suggests that cannabinoids are anti-inflammatory in the setting of HIV. Anti-inflammatory actions are mediated in many cases through effects on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the gut, and through stabilization of gut-blood barrier integrity. Cannabidiol may be particularly important as an anti-inflammatory cannabinoid. Cannabis may provide a beneficial intervention to reduce morbidity related to inflammation in PWH.