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Study: Inhaled Cannabis Modulates Appetite Hormones In HIV Patients

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Inhaled CannabisSan Diego, CA: Cannabis inhalation is associated with increased levels of appetite hormones in the blood of subjects with HIV infection, according to clinical trial data published online in the scientific journal Brain Research.

Investigators at the University of California, San Diego and the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research assessed the effects of inhaled cannabis on the appetite hormones ghrelin, leptin and peptide YY (PYY), as well as insulin, in adult subjects with HIV.

Insulin, ghrelin, PYY, and leptin are hormones individually modulated in response to food intake and energy homeostasis.

Researchers reported: "Compared to placebo, cannabis administration was associated with significant increases in plasma levels of ghrelin and leptin, and decreases in PYY, but did not significantly influence insulin levels. ... Cannabis-related changes in these hormones had a magnitude similar to what has been observed with food intake over the course of a day in normal volunteers, suggesting physiological relevance."

They concluded, "These findings support further evaluations of interventions directed at manipulating the endocannabinoid system for the treatment of eating disorders and obesity."

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, "A pilot study of the effects of cannabis on appetite hormones in HIV-infected adult men," appears in Brain Research.