Dr. Simone Marini awarded $67,309 to study effects of CBD on chronic inflammation for PLWH

The Consortium for Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Research awarded Co-PIs Dr. Simone Marini (Department of Epidemiology), and Dr. Carla Mavian (Department of Pathology), and Co-Is Dr. Robert Cook (Department of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine) and Dr. Paul Borsa (Department of Applied Physiology & Kinesiology), with a grant in the amount of $67,309 to study the effects of CBD on chronic inflammation in people living with HIV (PLWH).

PLWH suffer from painful comorbidities that appear to be strongly related to chronic inflammation, a condition characterizing PLWH. Phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) are available on-line, in many drug stores, as well as in medical marijuana dispensaries. Phyto-cannabinoids, such as CBD, are known to have anti-inflammatory properties, however, their intra-cellular mechanisms used to alter inflammation are poorly understood.

The main outcome of this project will be to identify inflammatory reduction biomarkers after CBD administration, as well as other systemic effects on cell signaling pathways.

Investigating the role of cell-specific biomarkers that describe the molecular response to CBD may open avenues for additional therapeutic strategies that can help reduce the burden of comorbidities in PLWH.

The team proposes to study the effects of CBD on inflammation in PLWH by enrolling five persons with HIV who will provide blood samples before and after taking CBD for four months.

In the process, the goal will be to establish the molecular role(s) of different immune cells using single cell RNA-sequencing. Preliminary data from this study are expected to pave the way for further investigations in larger clinical cohorts.