Usually, when it comes to medical marijuana news, CBD gets the glory while THC plays second banana, second fiddle and Second City to CBD’s SNL. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the black sheep of the cannabinoid family – the one who gets you high, pulls in all the girls, has that edge that makes it cooler but can also get you fired or put back in jail if he turns up swimming in your urine.

Cannabidiol (CBD), on the other hand, is legal more places. Parents aren’t scared to give it to their kids. Because of its effectiveness, especially in childhood epilepsy, when people say “medical marijuana,” usually what they mean is CBD-heavy strains and products.

But THC has a lot to offer too. Just because it’s a bad boy doesn’t mean it can’t do some medical good. Like say, shrink some tumors. Or maybe stop the spread of HIV in the body. Say what? Say truth.

Louisiana State University published last year a study of some good-time-loving monkeys who contracted SIV (like HIV but with “simian” swapped for “human”) then took daily doses of THC for 17 consecutive months. Some very patient researches discovered at the end of this nearly year and a half period that the monkeys on weed showed significantly less damage to the immune tissue in their stomachs, which are central and vital battlegrounds where SIV and HIV spread and gain a foothold in the body, than the much less lucky monkeys in the control group.

“These findings reveal novel mechanisms that may potentially contribute to cannabinoid-mediated disease modulation,” wrote Dr. Patricia Molina, the study’s primary author. Which means there may be further testing in the near future.

Molina had already discovered in a previous study that monkeys given THC had a better chance of surviving SIV, but didn’t know why. A separate recent study shows that THC can also be effective in fighting late stage AIDS.

So, why don’t you just eat that, you fucking little goody two shoes CBD?


Photo via Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Parker Winship