Maple Marijuana and Potential Long-term Effects

This is a R01 research study funded by NIH under the project title, “Health Outcomes and Cognitive Effects of Marijuana Use Among Persons Living with HIV/AIDS.” The overarching goals of this study are to obtain evidence regarding the influence of marijuana on major health outcomes and behavior in persons living with certain health conditions in order to help guide clinical recommendations and identify risk factors for consequences. We are especially interested in the relationship of marijuana to novel aspects of cognitive function (e.g. motivation, intention, planning) and inflammation.


This will be the largest prospective cohort study focused on the health effects of marijuana in PLWH. The findings will inform HIV treatment providers and patients who are considering marijuana to manage HIV-related symptoms or HIV disease itself, and will identify patterns of marijuana use that are most strongly associated with the incidence of substance use disorders.

  • Determine the association of daily and occasional marijuana use with HIV care engagement, viral suppression, and HIV disease progression
  • Determine the association of past and current marijuana use with cognitive function, motivation, and planning
  • Determine the association of chronic marijuana use with cytokine markers of chronic inflammation.



We aim to screen up to 980 people in Alachua, Hillsborough, and Miami-Dade counties. We will enroll 480 total participants, including 360 marijuana users and 120 non-users. Participants will be asked to complete a baseline visit and yearly follow-up visits for five years.

SHARC research happens at universities and in communities across the state of Florida.

To learn more about each project and your eligibility potential, take a look at the opportunities available in your area!

Maple Measures

Core Survey

  • General Health
  • HIV Care and Treatment
  • Stigma
  • Emotion
  • Pain
  • HIV Disclosure
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Substance Use
  • Marijuana Use and Attitudes
  • Criminal Justice
  • Use of Technology

Marijuana Questionnaire

  • Methods of Using Marijuana 
  • Marijuana Strains and Varieties
  • Reasons for Marijuana Use
  • Feeling and Body Affects
  • Sources of Marijuana
  • Current Medical Marijuana Use

Medical History

  • Self-Reported Diagnoses, Conditions, and Treatment (including oral health)
  • Lab values and diagnoses from medical record abstraction


  • Blood: markers of systemic inflammation, markers of microbial translocation, cytokines, viral load
  • Urine: metabolites of marijuana, hydration

Neurocognitive Tests and Tasks

Alzheimer’s Supplment

Individual Measures

  • Lifetime and Current Substance Use Disorder (via MINI and SAM)
  • Timeline Follow back: patterns of marijuana use, marijuana use/dosing over the past 30 days
  • Distress Thermometer: level of distress, problems faced in the past week

access sharc data

Current and Completed MAPLE Concepts