Cannabis & HIV

TITLE: Cannabis in painful HIV-associated sensory neuropathy

A randomized placebo-controlled trial

AUTHORS: D. I. Abrams, MD, C. A. Jay, MD, S. B. Shade, MPH, H. Vizoso, RN, H. Reda, BA, S. Press, BS, M. E. Kelly, MPH, M. C. Rowbotham, MD and K. L. Petersen, MD

ABSTRACT: Prospective randomized placebo-controlled trial conducted in the inpatient General Clinical Research Center between May 2003 and May 2005 involving adults with painful HIV-associated 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. (full paper $39)