Israel's Ministry of Health confirmed providing medical cannabis treatment to HIV/AIDS- Patients with Cahexia symptoms (defined as a >10% loss in body weight).


Tolerance to chronic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ⁹-THC) in rhesus macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus
Department of Pharmacology, LSU Health Sciences Center, 1901 Perdido Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.
Although Δ⁹-THC has been approved to treat anorexia and weight loss associated with AIDS, it may also reduce well-being by disrupting complex behavioral processes or enhancing HIV replication. To investigate these possibilities, four groups of male rhesus macaques were trained to respond under an operant acquisition and performance procedure, and administered vehicle or Δ⁹-THC before and after inoculation with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV(mac251), 100 TCID₅₀/ml, i.v.). Prior to chronic Δ⁹-THC and SIV inoculation, 0.032-0.32 mg/kg of Δ⁹-THC produced dose-dependent rate-decreasing effects and small, sporadic error-increasing effects in the acquisition and performance components in each subject. Following 28 days of chronic Δ⁹-THC (0.32 mg/kg, i.m.) or vehicle twice daily, delta-9-THC-treated subjects developed tolerance to the rate-decreasing effects, and this tolerance was maintained during the initial 7-12 months irrespective of SIV infection (i.e., +THC/-SIV, +THC/+SIV). Full necropsy was performed on all SIV subjects an average of 329 days post-SIV inoculation, with postmortem histopathology suggestive of a reduced frequency of CNS pathology as well as opportunistic infections in delta-9-THC-treated subjects. Chronic Δ⁹-THC also significantly reduced CB-1 and CB-2 receptor levels in the hippocampus, attenuated the expression of a proinflammatory cytokine (MCP-1), and did not increase viral load in plasma, cerebrospinal fluid, or brain tissue compared to vehicle-treated subjects with SIV. Together, these data indicate that chronic Δ⁹-THC produces tolerance to its behaviorally disruptive effects on complex tasks while not adversely affecting viral load or other markers of disease progression during the early stages of infection

Cannabinoid administration attenuates the progression of simian immunodeficiency virus

 Department of Physiology, LSUHSC , New Orleans, Louisiana
Abstract Δ(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC), the primary psychoactive component in marijuana, is FDA approved to ameliorate AIDS-associated wasting. Because cannabinoid receptors are expressed on cells of the immune system, chronic Δ(9)-THC use may impact HIV disease progression. We examined the impact of chronic Δ(9)-THC administration (0.32 mg/kg im, 2 × daily), starting 28 days prior to inoculation with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV(mac251); 100 TCID(50)/ml, iv), on immune and metabolic indicators of disease during the initial 6 month asymptomatic phase of infection in rhesus macaques. SIV(mac251) inoculation resulted in measurable viral load, decreased lymphocyte CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratio, and increased CD8(+) proliferation. Δ(9)-THC treatment of SIV-infected animals produced minor to no effects in these parameters. However, chronic Δ(9)-THC administration decreased early mortality from SIV infection (p = 0.039), and this was associated with attenuation of plasma and CSF viral load and retention of body mass (p = NS). In vitro, Δ(9)-THC (10 μm) decreased SIV (10 TCID(50)) viral replication in MT4-R5 cells. These results indicate that chronic Δ(9)-THC does not increase viral load or aggravate morbidity and may actually ameliorate SIV disease progression. We speculate that reduced levels of SIV, retention of body mass, and attenuation of inflammation are likely mechanisms for Δ(9)-THC-mediated modulation of disease progression that warrant further study

Cannabinoid inhibition of macrophage migration to the trans-activating (Tat) protein of HIV-1 is linked to the CB(2) cannabinoid receptor

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine, Richmond, VA, USA
Macrophages and macrophage-like cells are important targets of HIV-1 infection at peripheral sites and in the central nervous system. After infection, these cells secrete a plethora of toxic factors, including the viral regulatory trans-activating protein (Tat). This protein is highly immunogenic and also serves as a potent chemoattractant for monocytes. In the present study, the exogenous cannabinoids delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and (-)-cis-3-[2-hydroxy-4-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)phenyl]-trans-4-(3-hydroxypropyl) cyclohexanol (CP55940) were shown to significantly inhibit migration of human U937 macrophage-like cells to the Tat protein in a concentration-related manner. The CB(1) receptor-selective agonist N-(2-chloroethyl)-5Z,8Z,11Z,14Z-eicosatetraenamide (ACEA) had no effect on Tat-mediated migration. In contrast, the CB(2) receptor-selective agonist (1R,3R)-1-[4-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)-2,6-dimethoxyphenyl]-3-methylcyclohexanol (O-2137) exerted a concentration-related inhibition of U937 cell migration in response to Tat. Pharmacological blockage of CB(1) receptor signaling using the antagonist 5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-N-(1-piperidyl)pyrazole-3-carboxamide hydrochloride (SR141716A) had no effect on CP55940-mediated inhibition of macrophage migration to Tat, whereas treatment with the CB(2) receptor antagonist (1S-endo)-5-(4-chloro-3-methylphenyl)-1-((4-methylphenyl)methyl)-N-(1,3,3-trimethylbicyclo(2.2.1)hept-2-yl)-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide (SR144528) reversed the CP55940-mediated inhibition of migration. In addition, THC had no inhibitory effect on U937 migration to Tat after small interfering RNA knockdown of the CB(2) receptor. Collectively, the pharmacological and biochemical knockdown data indicate that cannabinoid-mediated modulation of macrophage migration to the HIV-1 Tat protein is linked to the CB(2) cannabinoid receptor. Furthermore, these results suggest that the CB(2) cannabinoid receptor has potential to serve as a therapeutic target for ablation of HIV-1-associated untoward inflammatory response

Smoked medicinal cannabis for neuropathic pain in HIV: a randomized, crossover clinical trial

Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, CA 92103, USA.
Despite management with opioids and other pain modifying therapies, neuropathic pain continues to reduce the quality of life and daily functioning in HIV-infected individuals. Cannabinoid receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems have been shown to modulate pain perception. We conducted a clinical trial to assess the impact of smoked cannabis on neuropathic pain in HIV. This was a phase II, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of analgesia with smoked cannabis in HIV-associated distal sensory predominant polyneuropathy (DSPN). Eligible subjects had neuropathic pain refractory to at least two previous analgesic classes; they continued on their prestudy analgesic regimens throughout the trial. Regulatory considerations dictated that subjects smoke under direct observation in a hospital setting. Treatments were placebo and active cannabis ranging in potency between 1 and 8% Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, four times daily for 5 consecutive days during each of 2 treatment weeks, separated by a 2-week washout. The primary outcome was change in pain intensity as measured by the Descriptor Differential Scale (DDS) from a pretreatment baseline to the end of each treatment week. Secondary measures included assessments of mood and daily functioning. Of 127 volunteers screened, 34 eligible subjects enrolled and 28 completed both cannabis and placebo treatments. Among the completers, pain relief was greater with cannabis than placebo (median difference in DDS pain intensity change, 3.3 points, effect size=0.60; p=0.016). The proportions of subjects achieving at least 30% pain relief with cannabis versus placebo were 0.46 (95%CI 0.28, 0.65) and 0.18 (0.03, 0.32). Mood and daily functioning improved to a similar extent during both treatment periods. Although most side effects were mild and self-limited, two subjects experienced treatment-limiting toxicities. Smoked cannabis was generally well tolerated and effective when added to concomitant analgesic therapy in patients with medically refractory pain due to HIV DSPN