Toronto, Ontario: Approximately one in three HIV patients in Ontario uses marijuana for medicinal purposes, according to the results of a study presented this week at the 2003 Ontario HIV Treatment Network research conference.
Among HIV-positive Ontarians, 29 percent use cannabis therapeutically, study presenter Michelle Furler of the University of Toronto said. Respondents explained that they used marijuana to stimulate appetite, aid sleep, and alleviate nausea and vomiting. A higher percentage of female respondents noted that they used marijuana for pain management.
Almost half of those who used cannabis medicinally said they used it daily.
According to a recently published study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, use of inhaled marijuana demonstrates “no major, short-term harmful effects and possibly some beneficial effects … in HIV-infected patients taking protease inhibitors.”
Presently, clinical trials examining the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in HIV patient populations are ongoing at the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.