Acute cannabis administration is reported to alleviate HIV neuropathic pain (HIV-NP), but there is limited knowledge about the effects of cannabis constituents (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol/THC and cannabidiol/CBD), the consequences of long-term cannabis use, and the impact of cannabis on endocannabinoid (EC) function in people living with HIV- NP. Our objective is to address these three fundamental gaps in our knowledge by: 1) examining the acute effects of various CBD/THC products on HIV-NP, 2) utilizing a mHealth text messaging protocol, Individual Monitoring of Pain and Cannabis Taken (IMPACT) to monitor daily real-world cannabis use and changes in pain; and 3) studying the relationship between cannabinoids, EC biomarkers, and chronic neuropathic pain
Effect of Cannabis Administration and Endocannabinoids on HIV Neuropathic Pain Primary Study - Phase 2
Our objective is to assess 120 community-dwelling people living with HIV who have neuropathic pain and are currently using cannabis. These participants will be enrolled in a study that consists of two phases:
Phase 1) This will involve a cross over study involving three different doses of vaporized cannabis that contain THC and varying concentrations of CBD:
- Low CBD session: 8 puffs of 1.6% THC + 0.09 CBD
- Medium CBD sessions: 4 puffs of 1.6% THC + 0.09 CBD plus 4 puffs of 1.73% THC + 5.4% CBD
- High CBD sessions: 8 puffs of 1.73% THC + 5.4% CBD
This phase will examine the acute effects of cannabis on pain intensity, blood endocannabinoid levels, and the relationship of pain with heart rate variability (HRV).
Phase 2) This phase will involve the association between dispensary-obtained cannabis and changes in pain reported via IMPACT, a mHealth text messaging program that will serve as a useful tool to monitor the relationship between pain and cannabis use. Text messaging is an effective method to modify health behaviors, monitor substance use, and track pain. Our group has recently demonstrated the feasibility of using short message service (SMS) texting to promote anti-retroviral therapy adherence and monitor daily methamphetamine (METH) use in persons living with HIV neuropathy with bipolar disorder or METH dependence.