Although the FDA wants everyone to know that marijuana doesn’t cure cancer and has warned four companies they say are making these claims, to stop, the FDA is, at the same time, aware that “cannabis and cannabis-derived products are being used for a number of medical conditions” 1 (AIDS wasting syndrome, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, neuropathic pain, treatment of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, and cancer and chemotherapy-induced nausea).2
However, even though medical marijuana is successfully being used to help people and bring them relief, the FDA has still not approved one drug product containing or derived from the whole cannabis plant (which I’m sure has made Jeff Sessions rather happy).
But, they have, however, approved three cannabinoid-based medicines derived from isolated synthetics: Marinol, Syndros, and Cesamet (Marinol and Syndros include the active ingredient dronabinol, a synthetic THC, and Cesamet includes the active ingredient nabilone, which is synthetically derived and has a chemical structure similar to THC.3)
(We fully understand that it is the responsibility of the DEA to remove marijuana’s Schedule I classification and that as long as it remains there, under the Controlled Substances Act, that it will be nearly impossible for the average business to create a non-synthetic cannabinoid-based medicine.)
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While there are people who swear by NON-SYNTHETIC medical marijuana because it saved their lives (even though using it might have been illegal) there is FAR LESS profit incentive for Big Pharma to sell actual cannabis or whole plant extracts than to simply isolate and synthesize its components.
However, there currently exist three different (synthetic) cannabinoid-based products that are FDA approved, in case the illegal route doesn’t appeal (just be careful- there is a huge difference between the botanical version of cannabis and its synthetic versions).
For more information on the three FDA approved cannabinoid-based products visit Medical Jane here, for a thorough explanation.
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