Cannabis Research - AIDS- HIV
- Dronabinol and Marijuana in HIV-Positive Marijuana Smokers
Objectives: Individuals with HIV constitute the largest group
using cannabinoids for medicinal reasons; yet, no studies have
directly compared the tolerability and efficacy of smoked marijuana
and oral dronabinol maintenance in HIV-positive marijuana smokers.
This placebo-controlled within-subjects study evaluated marijuana
and dronabinol across a range of behaviors: eating topography, mood,
cognitive performance, physiologic measures, and sleep.
- Cannabis in painful HIV-associated
sensory neuropathy -
A randomized placebo-controlled trial D.I. Abrams, MD et al.
Abstract—Objective: To determine the effect of smoked cannabis on the neuropathic pain of HIV-associated sensory
neuropathy and an experimental pain model. Methods: Prospective randomized placebo-controlled trial conducted in the
inpatient General Clinical Research Center between May 2003 and May 2005 involving adults with painful HIVassociated
sensory neuropathy. Patients were randomly assigned to smoke either cannabis (3.56% tetrahydrocannabinol)
or identical placebo cigarettes with the cannabinoids extracted three times daily for 5 days. Primary outcome measures
included ratings of chronic pain and the percentage achieving > 30% reduction in pain intensity. Acute analgesic and
anti-hyperalgesic effects of smoked cannabis were assessed using a cutaneous heat stimulation procedure and the
heat/capsaicin sensitization model. Results: Fifty patients completed the entire trial. Smoked cannabis reduced daily pain by 34% (median reduction; IQR = -71, -16) vs 17% (IQR = -29, 8) with placebo (p = 0.03). Greater than 30% reduction in pain was reported by 52% in the cannabis group and by 24% in the placebo group (p = 0.04). The first cannabis cigarette reduced chronic pain by a median of 72% vs 15% with placebo (p < 0.001). Cannabis reduced experimentally induced hyperalgesia to both brush and von Frey hair stimuli (p ≤ 0.05) but appeared to have little effect on the painfulness of noxious heat stimulation. No serious adverse events were reported. Conclusion: Smoked cannabis was well tolerated and effectively relieved chronic neuropathic pain from HIV-associated sensory neuropathy. The findings are comparable to oral drugs used for chronic neuropathic pain.