There are many patients who may want to begin cannabinoid therapy but live in states where cannabis remains inaccessible. Luckily, the FDA has recognized cannabinoids may be effective in treating AIDS wasting syndrome, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, spasticity from multiple sclerosis, cancer, and chemotherapy-induced nausea, and so they have approved of three cannabinoid-based medications using isolated synthetics: Marinol, Syndros, and Cesamet.
Marinol, which is the oral form of dronabinol (a synthetic THC), is used to treat anorexia resulting from weight loss in patients with AIDS, and nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who don't respond well to antiemetic treatments. Syndros is a newly approved liquid form of dronabinol, and it is used to treat the same conditions as marinol. Cesamet is a nabilone medication that targets the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in order to reduce proemetic signaling, and thereby reduce nausea and vomiting. There are still cannabinoid-derived medications going through clinical trials and awaiting FDA approval.
While these medications may be able to offer some of the relief that cannabinoids are able to, they are unable to provide some of the benefits that can only be offered by natural and/or whole plant cannabis. To learn more about these medications, their contraindications, and where the FDA stands on medical marijuana, visit Medical Jane. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer.