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USA: THC and cannabis increase food intake in HIV

Goldie

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THC and cannabis increase food intake in HIV
positives with weight loss

Researchers at the Columbia University in New York
investigated the effects of 10, 20, and 30 mg of oral THC and
cannabis cigarettes of different potencies (1.8, 2.8, and 3.9
percent THC) on food intake in two groups of HIV positive
cannabis smokers in eight 7-hour sessions. One group consisted
of 15 subjects with significant loss of muscle mass and the other
of 15 subjects without loss of muscle mass.

The three different cannabis cigarettes and the two lower THC
doses (10 and 20 mg) were well tolerated with few physical
symptoms and significant increases in ratings of "good drug
effect", while the highest dose of THC (30 mg) caused significant
side effects in some participants. Both THC and cannabis
increased caloric intake in the group with weight loss but not in
the control group. The effects on cognitive performance were
minor.

Authors conclude that "for experienced marijuana smokers with
clinically significant muscle mass loss, both dronabinol (at acute
doses at least four to eight times the current recommendation)
and marijuana produce substantial and comparable increases in
food intake without producing adverse effects."

(Source: Haney M, et al. Dronabinol and marijuana in HIV+
marijuana smokers: acute effects on caloric intake and mood.
Psychopharmacology 2005 Mar 19; [Electronic publication
ahead of print])
 

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