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J Cannabis Ther 2001(3/4):005-16

Antiemetic and Appetite Stimulant

Therapeutic Cannabis (Marijuana) as an Antiemetic and Appetite Stimulant in Persons with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Author
R.E. Bayer

Abstract
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a common cause of death among young adults in the USA. AIDS wasting syndrome is the most common clinical presentation of AIDS. Antiretroviral drug therapy has improved the prognosis of persons with AIDS, but also contributed side effects, particularly nausea and anorexia. Case reports demonstrate persons with AIDS use cannabis as medicine to control nausea, anorexia, and pain, while noting improved mood. Recent clinical research comparing smoked cannabis to oral dronabinol (synthetic THC or Marinol ) demonstrates no immune dysfunction in persons using cannabinoids and positive weight gain when cannabinoids are compared to placebo. Harm reduction research indicates that heating cannabis to temperatures well below combustion ("vaporization") yields active cannabinoids and a significant reduction or elimination of toxics (benzene, toluene, naphthalene, carbon monoxide, and tars) commonly found in smoked cannabis. More research is indicated but vaporizers appear to substantially reduce what is widely perceived as the leading health risk of cannabis, namely respiratory damage from smoking. In spite of a need for more rigorous scientifically controlled research, an increasing number of persons with AIDS are using cannabis to control nausea, increase appetite, promote weight gain, decrease pain, and improve mood.


Keywords
Cannabis, marijuana, dronabinol, THC, Marinol , AIDS, HIV, harm reduction, immunodeficiency, vaporization, vaporizer, wasting, anorexia, nausea, appetite, pain

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