HIV patients in Florida will have a chance to participate in a new study at The University of Florida funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse focusing on the health effects of cannabis use in patients with HIV. The research will be separated into recreational and medical users and quantity of use. Florida currently has the third-highest number of HIV patients in the U.S. The study is considered to be the largest and most in depth study examining the health effect of cannabis on HIV patients and will hopefully bring more information to both medical professionals and patients alike. With HIV currently on the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Florida, some lawmakers are concerned there is not enough evidence showing the benefit of the plant to HIV patients.
Participant outcomes will be recorded and separated into two groups: those who use marijuana recreationally and those who are prescribed it for medicinal purposes. The long-term use of opioids by HIV participants will also be monitored by UF Health researchers.
UF Health has said the study will track the quantity, frequency and cannabinoid content of marijuana used by participants in an effort to "identify patterns of use most strongly associated with control of patient symptoms, such as pain, stress and sleep problems."
“We expect the study to contribute to clinical and public health guidelines, while also addressing knowledge gaps about how much marijuana is ‘too much’ and how the effects of marijuana may be different in older individuals,” said Cook.