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Marinol vs Medical Marijuana

Marinol vs Medical Marijuana

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 11/28/2010 in Medical Marijuana

Many patients have heard of the “pill form of marijuana” – Marinol – but many are unsure of exactly what this prescription drug is. Marinol, also called dronabinol, is an FDA-approved synthetic form of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is often marketed as a legal pharmaceutical alternative to natural cannabis—But it’s actually quite different.

Marinol is used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy in people who have already taken other medications to treat this type of nausea and vomiting without good results. Dronabinol is also used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in people who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). However, most patients prefer natural cannabis over Marinol, and for several reasons.

First of all, Marinol lacks many of the active components of medical marijuana. The cannabis plant contains 66 cannabinoids that have healing properties, including cannabidiol (CBD) (which has sedative, analgesic and antibiotic properties, and appears to heighten the depressant effects and moderate the euphoric effects) and cannabigerol (CBG) (which may reduce intraocular pressure and contribute to marijuana’s antibiotic properties).

Secondly, Marinol is much more psychoactive that the natural cannabis plant. Patients taking Marinol typically report that the psychoactive effects are far greater than those of natural cannabis. Furthermore, Marinol has much more adverse side effects than natural cannabis.  These side effects include the feeling of being “high,” drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, anxiety, changes in mood, muddled thinking, perceptual difficulties, coordination impairment, irritability and depression.

And finally, Marinol just doesn’t work with all patients. It’s been reported that Marinol in general provides only limited relief to select patients, especially in comparison with natural cannabis. Marinol is effective with some patients; however, it isn’t always a viable alternative to medical marijuana. When states prohibit the possession and use of natural medical marijuana, seriously ill patients are unnecessarily restricted to a synthetic and often sub-par substitute.

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