Chagas disease is a tropical disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite is spread by the insect Triatominae (aka “kissing bugs”). Chagas disease is also known as American trypanosomiasis. About 6 million to 7 million people worldwide are thought to have Chagas disease.
As far as cannabis’s usefulness in treating Chagas disease, the evidence so far is limited and double-edged. Cannabinoids may “block cardiac cell puncture repair mechanisms, thereby inhibiting trypanosome invasion as predicted by the mode of drug action.” This means that cannabinoids can block T. cruzi from attaching themselves to the body’s cells and reproduce.
However, cannabinoids are also a potent immunosuppressive agent, meaning that they can dampen immune response. Whilst this can be useful for treating autoimmune conditions, for infectious diseases this can cause further infection.
Get your medical marijuana card
Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes.