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Therapeutic aspects of cannabis and cannabinoids.
Feb 24, 2004

Hi, my name is Nick. I'm 32 and am HIV positive as of June, 2002. I live in Toronto Canada and am married to my partner and soul mate, Jason, who is also HIV positive and taking anti-retrovirals. My HIV primary care doctor has suggested taking the drug "NABILONE", a synthetic THC medication used more for nausea caused by chemo therapy. I have mild Asthma, and I do smoke pot for anxiety and for general relaxation. I also take Effexor-XR 300MG/day, 3.0MG of Clonazepam/day. The Nabilone was suggested at 1MG in the evenings to start, and then he may titrate upwards to 1MG b.i.d, and so forth instead of me hurting my lungs with the smoke. In your professional opinion, do you think Nabilone is a good choice for someone in my position, or would you do something different with your patient? Articles on Nabilone from the British Journal of Psychiatry indicate a great use for Nabilone when it comes to issues of not only anti-nausea, but also anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. This is information from a Dr. Philip Robson, FRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist and Senior Clinical Lecturer, Warneford Hospital, Oxford UK. His editorial was subject named, "Therapeutic aspects of cannabis and cannabinoids". Is the use of cannabinoid medication such as Nabilone sanctioned for such ailments in one's medical history, and do you have any success stories with any of your patients that may be on it? It seems that the UK may be a bit a head of North America in it's research on cannabinoid medication and it's labeled uses, do you think? Your feedback on what your thoughts are for the indication of me taking Nabilone as directed by my doctor, again, to avoid damage to the lung tissue but still have that THC feeling, although it is not quite the same as smoking it I must say. What are your thoughts? Thanks for your time, and I hope your able to get to my query about this as I find the subject very intriguing. Thanks kindly, Nick Toronto Canada

Response from Dr. Conway

Nabilone is used for the treatment of nausea as well as for the stimulation of appetite. The initial dose is, in fact, 1 mg daily. Doses can be increased to 2 mg twice daily to maximal effect. IN my experience, it seems to work as well as smoked cannabinoid medication for these medical indications. Outside of these applications, it is difficult to understand how I could prescribe it, medically speaking. I hope this is helpful to you.

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