In rhesus macaques, THC (0.32 mg/kg, twice daily, intramuscular) was found to significantly decrease viral load development and decrease mortality from Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (the monkey equivalent of Human Immunodeficiency Virus)(Molina et al., 2011).
This protective effect is at least partially due to a THC-driven change in microRNA expression towards an anti-inflammatory profile (Chandra et al., 2014).
Chronic (1 year) treatment with THC showed persistent therapeutic value (reduced viral load, reduced expression of pro-inflammatory MCP-1, reduced mortality).
Negative side effects of THC use (loss of memory, attention and motor function) were only transient (Winsauer et al., 2011).
Thus it seems that the negative side effects of THC are transient while the therapeutic effects remain in the treatment of Immunodeficiency Viruses.
Infected cells secrete trans-activating factors (Tat), which consequently attract macrophages and macrophage-like cells.
THC blocks this migration in a dose-dependent way via CB2 receptors (Raborn and Cabral, 2010).
Denbinobin is a non-cannabinoid compound found in Cannabis.
Denbinobin prevents binding of transcription factor NFκB to DNA and as such can interfere with diseases like AIDS and cancer.
For instance, denbinobin can inhibit HIV-1 replication and consequently prevent viral spread.
Chandra, L.C., Kumar, V., Torben, W., Stouwe, C.V., Winsauer, P., Amedee, A., Molina, P.E., and Mohan, M. (2014). Chronic administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol induces intestinal anti-inflammatory microRNA expression during acute SIV infection of rhesus macaques.
J. Virol. Molina, P.E., Winsauer, P., Zhang, P., Walker, E., Birke, L., Amedee, A., Stouwe, C.V., Troxclair, D., McGoey, R., Varner, K., et al. (2011). cannabinoid administration attenuates the progression of simian immunodeficiency virus. AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses 27, 585–592.
Raborn, E.S., and Cabral, G.A. (2010). cannabinoid inhibition of macrophage migration to the trans-activating (Tat) protein of HIV-1 is linked to the CB(2) cannabinoid receptor. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 333, 319–327.
Sánchez-Duffhues, G., Calzado, M.A., de Vinuesa, A.G., Caballero, F.J., Ech-Chahad, A., Appendino, G., Krohn, K., Fiebich, B.L., and Muñoz, E. (2008). Denbinobin, a naturally occurring 1,4-phenanthrenequinone, inhibits HIV-1 replication through an NF-kappaB-dependent pathway. Biochem. Pharmacol. 76, 1240–1250.
Winsauer, P.J., Molina, P.E., Amedee, A.M., Filipeanu, C.M., McGoey, R.R., Troxclair, D.A., Walker, E.M., Birke, L.L., Stouwe, C.V., Howard, J.M., et al. (2011). Tolerance to chronic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) in rhesus macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus. Exp. Clin. Psychopharmacol. 19, 154–172.