Among HIV patients whereas the incidence sampled in American and English medical clinics, 20% to 23% reported current marijuana use, in Canada ranges from 14% to 37%. Public support for medical marijuana is strong. Recent polls show that 70% to 80% of the American public supports a policy whereby physicians can prescribe marijuana, and 10 states have passed medical marijuana ballot initiatives in opposition to a federal policy prohibiting the use of marijuana.
Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.
Reasons for smoking marijuana cited by medical marijuana proponents and patients with HIV include countering nausea, anorexia, stomach upset, and anxiety associated with the disease and with antiretroviral therapy. The benefits of smoked marijuana are that its effects peak rapidly, allowing for dose titration and immediate symptom relief.
The data demonstrate that over 4 days of administration, smoked marijuana and oral dronabinol produced a similar range of positive effects: increasing food intake and body weight and producing a “good effect” without producing uncomfortable levels of intoxication or impairing cognitive function.
Although HIV-positive non-marijuana smokers can experience confusion and anxiety at even low dronabinol doses, marijuana smokers are less likely to find effects such as intoxication and dry mouth untenable than nonsmokers.
The current study on Dronabinol and Marijuana in HIV-Positive Marijuana Smokersstates
“As compared with placebo, marijuana, and dronabinol dose-dependently increased daily caloric intake and body weight in HIV-positive marijuana smokers.”
With the understanding that further studies are needed to replicate these findings, this study demonstrates that for HIV-positive individuals who currently smoke marijuana and who can tolerate oral medications, high doses of dronabinol are as effective and well tolerated as marijuana. However, more in-depth studies are needed on cannabis as a form of treatment for HIV.