Many people living with HIV (PLWH) use cannabis for medicinal reasons. Patients’ knowledge of the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) concentrations of the cannabis products they use may be important in helping patients achieve symptom relief while guarding against potential risks of cannabis use. However, no studies have examined cannabinoid concentration knowledge among PLWH.
PLWH (N = 29; 76% men, mean age 47 years) reporting cannabis use for both medicinal and nonmedicinal reasons completed daily surveys over 14 days assessing cannabis products used, knowledge of cannabinoid concentrations of cannabis products used, cannabis use motives (medicinal, nonmedicinal, both), and positive and negative cannabis-related consequences. Across the 361 cannabis use days captured on the daily surveys, at least some knowledge of cannabinoid concentrations was reported on an average of 43.1% (for THC) and 26.6% (for CBD) of the days.
Generalized linear mixed models revealed that participants were more likely to report knowing THC and CBD concentrations on days when they used non-flower forms of cannabis relative to days when they used cannabis flower only. Participants who used cannabis for medicinal reasons on a greater proportion of days had greater knowledge of cannabinoid concentration overall across days. Further, greater overall knowledge of cannabinoid concentrations was associated with fewer reported negative cannabis-related consequences.
Findings suggest that among PLWH, knowledge of cannabinoid concentrations may be higher when using non-flower cannabis products and among those reporting primarily medicinal cannabis use. Moreover, knowledge of cannabinoid concentration may protect against negative cannabis-related consequences in this population.