Tuesday, 2 August 2011

What Is Marinol?

Dronabinol or Marinol as it is known by its pharmacutical trade name is a legal synthetic cannaboid used to treat illnesses such as nausea in relation to chemotherapy and also as an appetite stimulant for AIDS sufferers. It only comes in capsule form and contains synthetic delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or more commonly known as THC (the active ingredient in cannabis that is responsible for the high) and is approved by the Food and Drug Agency also been classed as a schedule III controlled substance after been downgraded from a schedule II controlled substance.

The capsules are made with synthetic THC and sesame oil, so it's a big no for anyone who has an allergic reaction to sesame oil. The capsules are taken orally and are usually available in doses ranging from 2.5 milligrammes to 10 milligrammes.

Although Marinol or Dronabinol is seen as a FDA approved medicine, it like all other medicines has its drawbacks. Reports and medical examination of Marinol have shown that it is a more psychoactive drug than marijuana, patients complaining that Marinol has much greater psychoactive effects than cannabis itself. Patients have seen side effects as diverse as mood swings and depression but this like any other drug prescribed isn't that common though, with most patients reporting of been high or drowsy which is to be expected by a synthetic THC based drug.

Side Effects Include

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Faster Heart Rate
  • Nausea
  • Paranoia
  • Euphoria
  • Heightened Awareness
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness

Although this is quite a large list of side effects, it looks not that much different to that of common cough medicine. The problem been that Marinol contains THC which in itself is gives a natural high.

The reasoning for Marinols psychoactive effects mainly come down to how the drug is administered. When Marinol is taken orally it first passes to the small intestine from the stomach after which it is absorbed into the patients bloodstream. Marinol then passes through the liver where a significant proportion of the drug is metabolized into other chemicals, one of these chemicals, 11-hydroxy-THC, may be four to five times more potent than natural THC, and is produced in greater quantities. Thus, patients administered Marinol experience the psychoactive effects of both THC and 11-hydroxy-THC, greatly increasing the likelihood that they will suffer from an adverse psychological reaction. By comparison, only minute quantities of 11-hydroxy-THC are produced when cannabis is inhaled. Moreover, Marinol lacks the compound cannabidiol, which possesses anxiolytic activity and likely modifies and/or diminishes much of THC's psychoactivity in natural cannabis.

Although Marinol does have it's benefits, cannabis is seen as the major player over its synthetic THC counterpart, especially since most of the chemicals found in cannabis that are not used in Marinol have most of the pain relieving chemical compounds, such as terpenoids and phenols which have been proven to demonstrate excellent theraputic qualities. Also now with vaporization of cannabis, the hype surrounding patients health risk by smoking cannabis has dampened and now medicinal marijuana is been sanctioned more and more around the world.


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