for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at San Diego, California
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Brook L Henry, PhD



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

Official Title

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.


Cannabis, HIV Neuropathy, Pain Syndrome, neuropathic pain, human immunovirus, vaporized cannabis, Neuralgia, Marijuana Abuse, Low CBD session, Medium CBD session, High CBD session


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  1. the ability to provide informed consent
  2. age 18 or older
  3. HIV infection documented at the HNRP or assessed by an HIV test at screening;
  4. a diagnosis of HIV sensory neuropathy
  5. current use of cannabis
  6. the ability to describe the THC and CBD content in the products they use, i.e., obtaining cannabis from dispensaries that list THC and CBD content
  7. ability to respond to daily text message

You CAN'T join if...

  1. meeting criteria for current substance or alcohol dependence
  2. traumatic brain injury
  3. dementia or Alzheimer's disease
  4. psychosis
  5. a respiratory condition, i.e., pulmonary disease, that would be exacerbated by inhaling vaporized cannabis
  6. history of cardiovascular disease, including myocardial infarction or stroke;
  7. uncontrolled hypertension, defined as a systolic blood pressure greater than 160 mm Hg or a diastolic blood pressure greater than 100 mm Hg
  8. pregnancy, breastfeeding, or unwillingness to prevent pregnancy during the cannabis administration portion of the study (using birth control in female participants of child- bearing age)
  9. unwillingness or inability to receive or respond to text messages


  • UC Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, UC San Diego accepting new patients
    San Diego California 92103 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Brook L Henry, PhD
    Assistant Researcher, Psychiatry, Vc-health Sciences-schools. Authored (or co-authored) 34 research publications


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Phase 2 research study
Study Type
Expecting 120 study participants
Last Updated