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®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week

Marijuana Relieves HIV-Related Pain
An FDA-approved study concluded “smoking cannabis cigarettes three times a day” significantly reduced pain from HIV-associated sensory neuropathy (HIV-SN). The randomized, placebo-controlled study published in Neurology also found that side effects “were low.”

The study was approved by federal and state agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse as well as by the Institutional Review Board at the University of California San Francisco and the Research Advisory Panel of California. The research trial was “was monitored by an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) established by the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.” The federal government supplied the cannabis and the placebo controlled cigarettes which were made of marijuana from which the cannabinoids had been chemically removed.

The study showed treating HIV patients with cannabis has an “acceptable safety margin.” The safety finding is significant since, as the article noted, the “Institute of Medicine report on cannabis and medicine concluded that cannabinoids likely have a natural role in pain modulation...” and “along with other recent reviews, suggest that if” that safety margin is found “cannabis compounds can be shown to have therapeutic value....”

  • See Washington Post article
  • See Neurology article, “Cannabis in painful HIV-associated sensory neuropathy: A randomized placebo-controlled trial”