Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes

  • Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency SyndromesAug. 15, 2007, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, Vol. 45, Number 5, Pages 545-554

    Margaret Haney, PhD, Associate Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at Columbia University, et al., wrote the following in their Aug. 15, 2007 study titled “Dronabinol and Marijuana in HIV-Positive Marijuana Smokers: Caloric Intake, Mood, and Sleep,” published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes:

    “Objectives: This placebo-controlled within-subjects study evaluated marijuana and dronabinol across a range of behaviors: eating topography, mood, cognitive performance, physiologic measures, and sleep.

    METHODS: HIV-positive marijuana smokers (n = 10) completed 2 16-day inpatient phases. Each dronabinol (5 and 10 mg) and marijuana (2.0% and 3.9% [DELTA]9-tetrahydrocannabinol [THC]) dose was administered 4 times daily for 4 days, but only 1 drug was active per day, thereby maintaining double-blind dosing. Four days of placebo washout separated each active cannabinoid condition.

    RESULTS: As compared with placebo, marijuana and dronabinol dose dependently increased daily caloric intake and body weight in HIV-positive marijuana smokers. All cannabinoid conditions produced significant intoxication, except for low-dose dronabinol (5 mg); the intoxication was rated positively (e.g., “good drug effect”) with little evidence of discomfort and no impairment of cognitive performance. Effects of marijuana and dronabinol were comparable, except that only marijuana (3.9% THC) improved ratings of sleep.

    Conclusions: These data suggest that for HIV-positive marijuana smokers, both dronabinol (at doses 8 times current recommendations) and marijuana were well tolerated and produced substantial and comparable increases in food intake.”

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