March 5, 2012

Why Marinol Is Not As Good As Real Marijuana

March 5, 2012
Picture of marijuana: reviews of cannabis agree that it is better than marinol.

What is Marinol?

Marinol is a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration containing the active ingredient Dronabinol,  a man-made compound that synthesizes the active chemical compound in marijuana, THC, into a pill form to be administered orally. Most often, Marinol is used in cancer patients to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy, offsetting nausea and discomfort. Marinol has also been used to restore appetite to patients experiencing weight loss due to HIV/AIDS. 

Due to the fact that cannabis is still federally illegal in the United States, doctors are under very strict guidelines when prescribing Marinol, such as treating patients with cancer or HIV/AIDS. 

Marinol is not as good as weed, even though it contains synthesized THC.

Does Marinol Get You High?

Yes, Marinol contains synthesized THC, the active chemical compound in cannabis. its psychoactive effect is similar. However, an experienced weed smoker will notice considerable differences to natural cannabis. 

What Are Cannabinoids?

Marinol’s active ingredient Dronabinol is a synthetic version of THC the only active chemical compound in the substance. Natural cannabis however, offers a wide variety of other active chemical compounds, or cannabinoids, that can have especially beneficial and therapeutic properties. Here is a list of some (by no means all) cannabinoids present in natural marijuana: 

All told, there are more than 120 active cannabinoids occurring in natural weed. By and large, most people regard THC as the most important aspect of any weed product. It’s only within the last decade that the benefits of cannabinoids of natural cannabis beyond THC have been explored. When these cannabinoids all act together, as opposed to isolating just one cannabinoid like THC, they create what is called “the entourage effect” which is the feeling of all those compounds acting on your system in concert with each other, creating that particularly pleasant psychoactive reaction known as “getting high”.

Marinol, only utilizing one of the dozens of cannabinoids naturally present in marijuana, can’t hope to fully replicate that experience. It would be comparable to having a delicious soup at a restaurant, its rich flavor thanks to many different components, and then expecting to get that same delicious soup by just using chicken broth. 

How Long Does it Take for Marinol to Kick in?

Your experience with Marinol will depend entirely on the dosage in a given pill. Traditionally, Marinol comes in 2.5mg, 5mg, or 10mg dosages. If you’re not experienced with weed, a lower dosage is recommended, whereas if you’re a frequent cannabis connoisseur, a 10mg dosage will likely be better for you. 

Taking Marinol can be similar to eating weed edibles. According to the FDA, Marinol can take about 30 minutes to an hour before you’ll start feeling the effects and will last roughly 2 to 4 hours, depending on the dosage. 

Is Marinol The Same As CBD?

Marinol is a man-made form of cannabis where the foremost active chemical in marijuana, THC, is synthesized into pill form. CBD is a separate cannabinoid found in natural marjuana separate that differs from THC. CBD can be used to relieve anxiety, inflammation, and low-level pain. Marinol, while able to treat some of these same problems, is not CBD and reacts differently to the human body.

Is Marinol Good For Anxiety?

Generally speaking, THC can be used to treat anxiety, ideally creating a calming, pleasant feeling. However, not everyone will react the same way to THC. It can create heightened blood pressure and has been known to ramp up anxiety in some. CBD is known to relieve anxiety and may prove to be a more appropriate treatment. 

What Conditions Does Marinol Treat?

Both marijuana and marinol are used to treat a wide array of ailments.

Marijuana and the various can be used to treat a wide range of ailments. The focus of Marinol, however, is narrower and more rigid. Since it can only be prescribed by a medical practitioner, doctors have very strict parameters to treat patients with Marinol. Conditions that are used to treat Marinol include:

  • Loss of appetite and weight loss in cancer and HIV/AIDS patients
  • Pain management for cancer and HIV/AIDS patients
  • Nausea due to chemotherapy in cancer patients


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