medical testimonies database contains 4 testimonies from cannabis users with AIDS
the complete collection of testimonies from medical users of cannabis, see our
medical testimony database.
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yet, there is not much published information about the efficacy of either cannabis
or its derivatives for the treatment of wasting syndrome (or indeed anything)
in HIV-positive patients. Clinical trials are beginning in the University of California,
under Dr Donald Abrams to establish the safety of cannabis in HIV-positive populations.
These trials also look at whether or not cannabis intake interferes with the effects
of the protease inhibitors currently used as medications.
studies have been done on healthy (HIV-negative) populations however, including
those by Foltin et al, and Mattes et al. Typically, they show a resultant increase
in body weight, appetite and thus food intake. Likewise in 1997, a National Institutes
of Health workshop showed a 'strong relationship' between the usage of cannabis
and increased eating. As Gieringer reports, since the 1970s evidence has shown
the ability of cannabis to increase appetite and thus induce weight gain in people.
Marinol (synthetic THC, Dronabinol) has been approved in America since 1992 as
a medication to treat AIDS-related wasting syndrome there is a significant body
of evidence showing its safety and efficacy in HIV-positive patients. Plasse et
al found that 70% of patients gained weight after being treated with Marinol.
Dronabinol has been shown to have 'significantly reduced nausea, prevented further
weight loss and improved patients' mood' according to a House of Lords report.
Indeed, Dr Robson gave evidence for the report suggesting that AIDS-related illnesses
are 'the most compelling indication' for cannabis-based medicines.
studies by Beal et al showed that when treated with Dronabinol patients gained
an increased appetite and a stable weight, both in the short-term and after long-term
medication. A study by Struwe et al showed that after 5 weeks of medication with
Dronabinol, patients had an increase in body fat of about 1%.
JE, Olson RLL, Morales JO, Bellman P. Yangco B. Lefkowitz L, Plasse TF, Shepard
KV. (1995) Dronabinol as a treatment for anorexia associated with weight loss
in patients with AIDS. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 10:89-97.
JE, Olson R. Lefkowitz L, Laubenstein L, Bellman P. Yangco B. Morales JO, Murphy
R. Powderly W. Plasse TF, Mosdell KW, Shepard KV. (1997) Long-term efficacy and
safety of dronabinol for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-associated anorexia.
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 14:7-14.
for Disease Control. (1992) 1993 revised classification system for HIV infection
and expanded surveillance case definition for AIDS among adolescents and adults.
Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report 41 :(RR- 17): 1 - 19 .
Brady J.V., & Fischman M.W. (1986) Behavioral analysis of marijuana effects
on food intake in humans. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 25
R W. Fischman M W. Byrne M F. (1988) Effects of smoked marijuana on food intake
and body weight of humans living in a residential laboratory. Appetite
D (1996) Review of Human Studies on the Medical Use of Marijuana
I., Kuehnle J., Mendelson J.H. & Bernstein J.G. (1976) Effects of marihuana
use on body weight and caloric intake in humans. J. Psychopharmacology
(Berlin) 49 79-84.
L, Bakalar JB. (1993) Marijuana, the forbidden medicine. New Haven: Yale
L.E. (1971) Hunger and appetite after single doses of marihuana, alcohol and dextroamphetamine.
Clinical Pharmacology and Therapuetics 12 44-49.
of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology (1998) Science and Technology
- Ninth report. Science and Technology Committee Publications, UK.
of Medicine (1999) Marijuana and medicine: Assessing the science base.
National Academy Press
Rn, Engelman K, Shaw LM, Elsohly MA. (1994) Cannabinoids and appetite stimulation.
Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 49:187-195.
Institutes of Health (1997) Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana: Report
to the Director. Washington, D.C.
T.F., Gorter R.W., Krasnow S.H. et al. (1991) Recent clinical experience with
Dronabinol. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 40 695-700.
M, Kaempfer SH, Geiger CJ, Pavia AT, Plasse TF, Shepard KV, Ries K, Evans TG.
(1993) Effect of dronabinol on nutritional status in HIV infection. Annals
of Pharmacotherapy 27;827-31.
more information on AIDS-related matters, visit the Official
Journal of the International AIDS Society, or try The
Body - an AIDS and HIV information resource which includes research into experimental
and alternative approaches to treatment.
a large collection of research materials, see our research