Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics

Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics

[IACM Homepage] [Table of contents] [Article 2001-03-04]

[Full Text in PDF]

Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics


Immune System

Marijuana and Cannabinoids: Effects on Infections, Immunity, and AIDS

Guy A. Cabral

Abstract

Marijuana and its major psychoactive component, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), alter resistance to bacterial, protozoan, and viral infections in vivo and in vitro. These alterations have been accompanied by modifications in functional components of the immune system. In addition, marijuana and THC, as well as other cannabinoids, have been reported to directly affect functional activities of lymphocytes, macrophages, natural killer cells, and other immunocytes. These include effects on cytokine production resulting in a shift in the balance of Th1 versus Th2 cytokines. Both receptor and non-receptor mediated modes of action have been proposed as causative of cannabinoid effects. Reports that marijuana and THC alter anti-microbial activity in vivo and in vitro indicate that its use presents a potential risk of decreased resistance to infections. However, few controlled longitudinal epidemiological and immunological studies have been undertaken to correlate the immunosuppressive effects of marijuana smoke or cannabinoids on the incidence of infections or disease in humans.

Keywords. AIDS, HIV, cannabinoid receptors, cannabinoids, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, immunity, infections, marijuana, THC


[Full Text in PDF]

[IACM Homepage] [Table of contents] [Article 2001-03-04]

Members only

Please click here to visit the Members Only Area with a film to honour Prof Raphael Mechoulam, 
Please click here to become a member.

IACM on Twitter

Follow us on twitter @IACM_Bulletin where you can send us inquiries and receive updates on research studies and news articles.