First, cannabis in pill form was synthesized and now a ” beverage “. The FDA has approved the use of dronabinol in liquid form. A kind of cannabis synthesized from the plant’s main active component, tetrahydrocannabinol. 

Marketed under the name Syndros. The product is now available by prescription to treat weight loss in patients with AIDS and anorexia. And to relieve nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy who do not respond to conventional treatments. 

“It is an easy-to-intake liquid that allows dose regulation based on clinical effects,” said John N. Kapoor, CEO, and President of Insys Therapeutics, the pharmaceutical company that developed the product, following the announcement. “We believe that the features of this product, as well as patient care services, will become a differentiating factor for patients and the professionals who prescribe it,” he added. 

Just as after the approval of cannabis pills (dronabinol and under the trade name Marinol). The debate over efficacy has returned to the forefront. Resurrecting the voices of those who argue that the cannabis plant has better effects when consumed in its natural form. 

Entourage Effect 

One such voice is that of Dr. Perry Solomon. This specialist argues that the disadvantage of Marinol or Syndros is the absence of the “entourage” effect. This term refers to the increased beneficial effects of THC and the reduction of anxiety induced by the psychological activity of the secondary compounds of the cannabis plant, namely cannabinoids and terpenes.

As a result, when a chemical is separated from the other components of cannabis. Such as dronabinol, the medical effect of cannabis is different .

And, for most people who use the plant to relieve their ailments, weaker.

“Many of our patients prefer to experience the full range of drug effects,” says Solomin, because most patients who use cannabis have a wide range of symptoms.

Other studies have also shown that the effects of cannabinoids are enhanced or attenuated by other secondary compounds such as terpenes. Even small concentrations of terpenes (scented oils that give cannabis its characteristic smell) can make a big difference.

It states that all the molecules in cannabis work better from a medical point of view when in combination. It showed that dozens of cannabinoids, ketones, esters, lactones, alcohols, fatty acids, steroids, and terpenes provide great therapeutic potential if they work together. But individually the effect is not the same. However, they do not always all work at once, but they change with different combinations. 

FDA 

However, and despite the preference of some patients for the whole plant in its natural version, FDA approval brings many advantages. First, it is confirmed that cannabis, even in its synthetic version, can help treat a variety of diseases. And represents a step, albeit a small one, to other possible legalizations. Unfortunately for the plant’s supporters, and even though the US agency has included this drug in Group III. Cannabis in its natural version continues in Category I along with substances such as heroin. Regarding safety and the absence of addictive tendencies.

Another interesting point about this new drug in liquid form is that it is easier to absorb than pills. Which is a particularly useful situation for some patients. Dr. William Eidelman, based in Los Angeles and a specialist in cannabis treatment. Recommends its use for certain conditions and has prescribed Marinol to his patients in recent years. In his opinion, in addition to easier absorption, Syndros will allow doctors to modify the dose more precisely. According to the needs and responses of patients. 

It must be added to the guarantee provided by these pharmaceutical companies. Providing these herbal medicines with a halo of respectability and legality. That a greater number of recognized drugs increases the possibility of cheating. Thus, those who obtain a prescription for one of these compounds in areas where recreational cannabis is not legal can smoke the original plant without fear that a test will reveal that they are not taking the pills. The most basic anti-drug tests do not show the difference between the natural compound and the drug. 

Synthetic cannabis

Nevertheless, these versions, developed in a controlled manner in a laboratory. Or approved by the FDA, should not be confused with other synthetic compounds. Which are dangerous on many occasions and which, claiming to be cannabis or derivatives. These psychoactive substances, which are commercially available under a wide variety of brands, represent dangerous use and sometimes have little cannabis. K2 or Spice have been the most popular in recent years and are responsible for the hospitalization of many unwary persons who have acquired the product, with heart attacks or psychotic effects such as extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations.

Catherine Jacobson, the director of clinical trials at Tilray, a medical cannabis production company in Canada, argues that companies operating synthetic cannabis products must follow all pharmaceutical development and preparation, making the resulting drugs reliable and proven options. “I find it important to understand the difference between a preparation that has to go through all the stages of a clinical trial and a preparation that doesn’t,” she notes. 

Although the use of synthetic cannabis developed by pharmaceutical companies is not ideal, its introduction into the legalized drug market appears to be another recognition of the positive effects of the components of cannabis. In addition to providing an option to improve the health of those who need it, it gives doctors an additional method to play with the dose and find the most appropriate one. The plant in its natural state will remain the queen, but its synthetic derivatives will provide, at least for the time being, health service and possible legalization.

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