"MARINOL VERSUS NATURAL CANNABIS"
New NORML Report Examines The Pros And Cons Of
Synthetic THC Compared To Cannabis
Washington, DC: Oral synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), legally
available in the US by prescription as the medication Marinol, often
provides only limited relief to a select group of patients -- particularly
when compared to natural cannabis, concludes a comprehensive report issued
today by NORML and The NORML Foundation.
The report, entitled "Marinol Versus Natural Cannabis: Pros, Cons and
Options for Patients," is a comparative analysis of the therapeutic efficacy
of cannabis and the pharmaceutical drug. Citing more than 50 published
studies and clinical trials, the report finds:
* Marinol lacks several of the therapeutic cannabinoids (naturally
occurring compounds) available in cannabis.
* The synergism of these cannabinoids is likely more efficacious than the
administration of Marinol alone.
* Marinol is far more psychoactive than natural cannabis.
* Cannabis vaporization offers distinct advantages over the oral
administration of Marinol.
* Marinol is more expensive than natural cannabis.
* Patients ultimately prefer natural cannabis to Marinol.
NORML Senior Policy Analyst Paul Armentano, who authored the report, said,
"Despite Marinol's legal status as the only FDA approved synthetic
cannabinoid medicine, many patient populations continue to risk arrest and
criminal prosecution to use natural cannabis medically, and most report
experiencing greater therapeutic relief from it."
He continued: "The active ingredient in Marinol is a synthetic analogue of
only one of the compounds in cannabis that is therapeutically beneficial to
patients. The federal prohibition of the possession and use of natural
cannabis unnecessarily burdens patients to use a synthetic substitute that
lacks much of the therapeutic efficacy of cannabis and its cannabinoids."
Armentano concluded: "Marinol should remain a legal option for patients and
physicians and the development of additional cannabis-based pharmaceuticals
should be encouraged. However, federal and state laws should be amended to
allow for those patients who are unresponsive to synthetic THC, or simply
desire an alternative to oral dronabinol, the ability to use natural
cannabis and its cannabinoids as a legal medical therapy without fear of
arrest and/or criminal prosecution."
View the entire report and extensive footnotes at: