Marinol vs. Medical Marijuana Comparison

marinol presriptions vs medical marijuana cannabis

What is The difference Between Marinol and Medical Marijuana?

If you are not informed or you’ve limited knowledge about medical marijuana and Marinol, it can be quite hard to know which the better option is. You don’t have to be worried because this guideline will help you understand the two to make the right choice when you have got a medical condition.

What is Marinol?

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1985, Marinol is a prescription medicine that contains dronabinol and it is used to relieve multiple symptoms. The drug is classified as a schedule III drug, therefore, it has less regulatory restrictions than schedule I or schedule II drugs. Marinol is legal in every state and most insurance plans offer its coverage although some insurance companies require a preauthorization before the drug is dispensed by a physician.

What is Dronabinol?

Dronabinol is a naturally occurring component (active ingredient) of Cannabis sativa. Therefore, dronabinol is an oral delta – 9 – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Naturally, dronabinol is a sticky, yellow resinous oil that is prepared with sesame oil. Since this compound is insoluble in water, you only get a fraction of it when you ingest it orally. In addition, when ingested, the liver reduces its effects through deamination because it is rendered as a toxic substance in the body. Therefore, you will only get a small amount of the compound upon ingestion. In fact, according to researchers, only about 20% of each dronabinol capsule will have effect in your body. For this reason, Marinol is available in soft gelatin capsule doses of 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg. These doses are available only after prescription.

What is Marinol Used and Approved For?

Marinol is approved by FDA mainly because of these two applications:a) To treat chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting – most patients have nausea and vomiting related problems when undergoing chemotherapy. THC is a proven anti-nausea drug and have been used for a long time to treat nausea.b) To treat HIV/AIDS-related appetite and weight loss – THC is known to reduce nausea and increase your appetite. This is a common problem with HIV/AIDS patients – they lack appetite and then lose a lot of weight. Marinol has been used successfully on HIV/AIDS patients to help them improve their appetite and gain weight.
Excessive loss of weight by HIV/AIDS patients is referred to as wasting syndrome by doctors. It is called wasting syndrome when a patient loses more than 10% of their body weight through an HIV/AIDS infection. Wasting syndrome can be due to a number of reasons which include:• A sudden change of body metabolism• Failure or not willing to take HIV/AIDS medications properly• Failure or lack of body to absorb nutrients as a result of an infection• A sudden change in tastes or sudden loss of appetite due to an infection.

Marinol is usually prescribed by doctors because THC along with other cannabinoids can help in regulating your metabolism thus boosting your appetite and eventually help in weight gain.  According to a study conducted in 1995, HIV/AIDS patients who were prescribed Marinol had improved moods, reduced nausea, increased appetite and weight gain. This is contrary to those patients who were taking placebo because they continued losing weight.

Off-Label Uses of Marinol

Marinol has been used to treat other medical conditions such as:a) Fibromyalgia – the drug was used to reduce pain in fibromyalgia patients.b) Multiple sclerosis – patients with multiple sclerosis experience neuropathic pain and Marinol have been used successfully to reduce the pain.c) Sleep apnea – for patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Marinol can be used to decrease sleep disordered/ suspension breathing.d) ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patients have also showed improved appetite and sleep well after taking Marinol.e) Chronic pain – chronic pain can be due to a number of reasons. Doctors have been prescribing Marinol to patients with chronic pain and there has been reduced pain because Marinol contains THC which have been known to relieve pain.f) Dementia – the drug is used to stimulate weight gain and facilitate reduced disturbed behaviour in patients suffering from dementia.

Drawbacks of Marinol

Although this drug has numerous benefits, these are some of its associated drawbacks:a) Delayed onset – unlike marijuana, Marinol takes a longer period of time to take effect in your body. According to a 2013 study, marijuana smokers only had to wait for about 15 minutes to experience its full effect while Marinol users had to wait for about 90 minutes to experience the full effect of the drug.b) Marino dose lacks flexibility – unlike a smoke joint which you can adjust depending on what you want or how you are feeling, Marinol doses are difficult to self-adjust because they have a delayed onset, have specific doses and have an extended action. You can smoke an extra joint or more puffs of a joint if you need more effect but this is not applicable in Marinol.c) Marinol is usually expensive and most patients who need it cannot be able to afford it. The drug is expensive because it is synthesized in the laboratory following a number of steps e.g. extracting it from a plant, purifying it, packing etc.d) Marinol is not recommended for patients who have any hypersensitivity history to any cannabinoid or sesame oil.e) When compared to cannabis, most patients experience more side effects and limited relief when they take Marinol drug.f) Marinol requires being stored in a refrigerator or in a place with 49 – 59 degrees Fahrenheit. When exposed to temperatures outside this range, Marinol breaks down and it cannot help you in any way.g) Marinol use can cause cognitive or psychiatric effects. Therefore, patients taking the drugs shouldn’t drive, operate machinery or perform any risky activity until they get to a point whereby they can safely perform these tasks.h) Dronabinol capsules have been reported to cause hypersensitivity reactions in users. Some of the reported reactions include rash, flushing, lip swelling, hives, oral lesions, burning and throat tightness.i) Patients taking Marinol in clinical trials usually report a high cannabinoid dosage. 8% have been reported in lower dose appetite stimulants while 24% have been reported in antiemetic (nausea and vomiting patients).

Marinol Side Effects

Side effects of Marinol reported by patients during trials include:• Euphoria• Nausea• Anxiety• Vomiting• Dizziness• Abnormal thoughts• Abdominal pain• Somnolence• Dysphoria• Confusion• Paranoid reaction• Depersonalization

How to Get Prescribed Marinol

It is easy to get Marinol prescription if you have got the legal requirements needed. To obtain Marinol prescription legally, you will have to consult with a licensed doctor to get a prescription for either of the two reasons:• Nausea and vomiting problems related to chemotherapy• Loss of appetite and weight related to HIV/AIDS.

If you are undergoing cancer related chemotherapy, have lost appetite or weight due to HIV/AIDS, you should consult with a Marinol physician. The physician will first examine your condition, conduct a thorough evaluation your body and the health disorder and then verify that you need Marinol prescription. You need to explain yourself to the physician to help him or she understand your condition. However, you should not assume that you will gain weight abruptly after Marinol prescription. Each patient is different and the drug might work differently in each case. With a doctor’s prescription, you don’t need to have a marijuana card use Marinol.

Marino vs. THC (Natural Cannabis)

Marinol and THC are quite different both in composition and mode of preparation. Marinol is synthesized in the laboratory rather than being obtained from a plant directly. This makes manufacturing Marinol complicated and demanding when compared to marijuana.Marinol and natural cannabis do not have similar THC compounds. The two compounds have the same chemical formula but their molecule elements are different. For instance, natural weed strains have more than 85 cannabinoids among them:• Psychoactive THC• Flavonoids• Sterols• Terpenes• Non – psychoactive CBD and• Other compounds.

How Marinol Compares to Natural Medical Marijuana

Marijuana vs. Marinol have numerous benefits which include the following:

1. Rapid relief with natural cannabisCannabis acts fast and you control the dosage easily by using more. On the other hand, Marinol takes a longer period of time but it is quite strong and lasts for a longer period of time. You take Marinol ingesting a pill while cannabis has a variety of options e.g. creams, tincture, inhalation, consummation, vaporization and oils.

2. Additional cannabinoids when using medical potMedical weed has additional cannabinoids that Marinol does not have (Marinol has only THC). Cannabis has the following cannabinoids:• Cannabigerol – it acts as an anti-tumour as well as an analgesic.• Cannabichromene – acts as an anti-inflammatory and as an antidepressant.• Flavonoids & terpenoids – they are antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.• Cannabidiol – acts as anti-tumour, anticonvulsant, antipsychotic, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory.Trials have shown that all these cannabinoids make marijuana a better therapeutic choice than Marinol.

3. Weed has fewer psychotic effectsMarinol can cause cognitive and psychiatric effects while marijuana does not have any of these side effects. A cannabinoid is an antipsychotic compound and it makes weed have fewer psychotic problems.

4. Marijuana has better delivery methodsMarijuana has variable delivery methods depending on what is effective or when you prefer at the time. This is contrary to Marinol which is only taken by ingesting a pill. Marijuana can be taken through vaporization, inhalation, tinctures etc.
Doctors, patients, scientists and researchers have shown with evidence that medical marijuana is superior and highly effective than Marinol. Some of the side effects Marinol patients have reported include the following:• Mood change• Dizziness• Drowsiness• Irritability• Anxiety• Confusion• Depression• Coordination impairment• Perceptual difficulties• Feeling high

At least a third of Marinol users experience one of the psychotic symptoms listed above. The psychoactive effects of Marinol can last up to 6 hours depending on the dosage among other factors.Marijuana has 6 cannabinoids while Marinol has only one! The 6 cannabinoids have different properties making cannabis have more therapeutic benefits. This makes most patients prefer using cannabis rather than Marinol. For instance, CBD which is the non – psychoactive cannabinoid have the following properties:• Anti-nausea• Analgesic• Anxiolytic• Antispasmodic• Antipsychotic• Ant rheumatoid arthritis properties
When natural extracts of CBD are combined with THC, they reduce pain, spasticity and other multiple sclerosis symptoms that usually don’t respond to conventional treatment. Studies have also shown CBD to have:• Cerebral infarction• Ethanol-induced neurotoxicity• Glutamate neurotoxicity or neuroprotective
Further research has also shown that CBD is better in protecting against stroke when compared to either Vitamin E (Alpha-tocopherol) or Vitamin C (ascorbate). The antitumoral properties of CBD inhibit brain tumour and glioma cell growth. As a way of preventing tumour growth, this cannabinoid induces apoptosis of malignant cells. Marijuana flavonoids and terpenoids have the following functions in the body of a man:• Kill respirator pathogens• Promote anti-inflammatory activity• Enhance cortical activity

Variable methods of using cannabis is another reason why patients opt to use it. This makes it easy for each and every patient to use the medical marijuana in a form they prefer and feel comfortable. Cannabis can be used in either of the following ways: cream, oils, vaporization, inhalation and cream. Marinol, on the other hand, can only be ingested as a capsule with a specific dose. The capsule takes about an hour before its effects are felt making it hard for the user to determine whether he or she has used the proper dosage. In addition, taking the capsule orally can create more problems. For instance, when you ingest the capsule, it is absorbed into your bloodstream then into your liver. After deamination, Marinol is converted into other chemicals. These chemicals might turn out to be stronger than natural THC. This might be one of the reasons why patients who take Marinol experience greater psychotic effects than those who take natural marijuana.

In addition to that, lack of CBD which reduces anxiety could be another reason why most Marinol users are anxious after taking the drug.
It is quite important to understand the benefits, dosage and mode of consumption and side effects of both drugs to make the right decision. If you are having any problem or you have any questions, you should not hesitate seeking medical advice from a doctor for medical marijuana cards.

Marinol vs. Medical Marijuana Comparison

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