Marinol – the prescription marijuana pill
You may have heard about a prescription marijuana pill called Marinol. Marinol is the brand name for the generic drug called dronabinol. It is a man-made form of marijuana THC. It was made available to patients (with prescriptions from their doctors) in 1986. It has primarily been used as an anti-nausea drug for chemotherapy patients. It is also approved for the treatment of wasting syndrome associated with HIV/AIDS.
Many patients prefer to grow their own natural cannabis to Marinol for a number of reasons. A main limitation of Marinol is that it is available only as a pill that is taken orally. If you have nausea and vomiting, trying to swallow a pill can be a challenge. If you do manage to keep the pill down, you have to wait up to four hours for the Marinol to reach its peak effect. And only 5 – 20% of the medication is absorbed into the bloodstream. Another limitation of Marinol is that it contains only one compound – THC. Natural cannabis contains 60 cannabinoids (THC is the main one) and it is the interaction of these compounds with each other that gives a good therapuetic effect. Unlike pot, Marinol contains only THC so it has more psychoactive effects and less of the other medicinal effects that come from the other cannabinoids. Some Marinol patients describe hallucinations and other disturbing side effects. Marinol also is very expensive, costing about $500 – $1000 for a month’s supply. One advantage of Marinol is that is it pure and does not contain any bacteria, fungi, or pesticides. You can avoid this problem not smoking the medication and choosing another method to take cannabis (vaporizer or tinctures).
Many patients make the choice to use cannabis with a vaporizer or tincture to treat their symptoms instead of using Marinol. They feel that the natural form of the medication affords the best and most effective treatment of symptoms without the unwanted side effects of Marinol. And by using a vaporizer or tincture, the unwanted side effects of smoking weed are avoided.