Medical Monday: Cashing In On Synthetic Cannabis

A liquid synthetic THC formulation of dronabinol has just been approved by the Federal Drug Administration and is now available to medical cannabis patients, under the name Syndros. And guess what, it’s Schedule III.

Dronabinol, the generic name for the brand name Marinol, was approved by the FDA as an oral pill in 1985. Marinol is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Syndros, the new liquid form, created by the pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics, is as well. Yes, Dronabinol was also developed by the same company. (Cha-ching!)

Marinol has been commonly prescribed for those seeking an increase in appetite and a decrease in vomiting, due to the effects of chemotherapy and AIDS.

Dr. William Eidelman, a pioneer of medical cannabis with an office in Hollywood, California has been prescribing Marinol to patients for years.

“Some of my patients like Marinol and some don’t,” explained Eidelman to DOPE Magazine. “It is THC, so any side effects that THC would cause, occurs. Syndros is essentially the same drug, but in a liquid form. There are not really side effects per se, but there are different kinds of psychoactive affects. It’s just like marijuana, but it’s solely THC so it doesn’t contain other things in it. The other things work synergistically to what Dr. Ethan Russo coined as ‘the entourage effect’ of everything working together.”

Eidelman said that with the new approved liquid form, a doctor would hopefully be able to control the dosage more effectively. It may also absorb faster in the mouth, rather than swallowing the medicine in pill form.

The FDA granted orphan drug approval status to Insys Therapeutics for a pharmaceutical formulation of cannabidiol (CBD) in 2014.

“Medical cannabis as a Schedule I has always been ridiculous,” added Eidelman. “Bringing THC as a Schedule III is bizarre. I am just speculating, because I don’t know their true motives, but they just want to keep it illegal. They just don’t seem to have everybody’s best interest at heart.”

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