The DEA recently approved a new oral liquid formulation of dronabinol — a synthetic version of the active ingredient in cannabis — as a schedule II drug. Namely, doctors can now legally prescribe the drug Syndros.
Syndros, made by Insys Therapeutics, an Arizona-based pharma company, is expected to hit the market soon. This company, which now intends to take the control over the good old homegrown pot, has been accused of using shady marketing practices to sell Subysys, a spray form of the extremely potent synthetic opioid fentynal, approved by the FDA as a cancer pain treatment.
Several of the top executives, including John Kapoor, the company’s billionaire founder, have been arrested and charged with bribing doctors and defrauding insurance companies.
Kapoor has pleaded not guilty and denied any and all wrongdoing, and he was released from jail on $1 million bail.
The company also faces other lawsuits from people and states for allegedly triggering America’s opioid crisis.
Yet, Insys President and CEO, Saeed Motahari, stated that the launch of Syndros is a “pivotal milestone” for the company. It is quite similar to Marinol, another synthetic THC product that was approved by the FDA to treat anorexia caused by aids and cancer. Syndros was granted preliminary Schedule 2 status in March and was listed alongside Oxycontin, Percocet, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other drugs, which have some medicinal value but also have a “high potential for abuse.”
Actually, synthetic THC, a chemical with the generic pharma name dronabinol, has been approved for the same indications as Syndros in capsule form since 1985. Marinol was originally scheduled in the more restrictive Schedule II grouping, and in 1999, it was shifted to Schedule III.
Although DEA approved a synthetic version of THC, which gave it medicinal value, while keeping plant based THC a Schedule I drug with “no currently accepted medical use,” this ruling applies only to dronabinol, and not to recreational products like K2 or Spice.
Although there are numerous arguments to make about logical inconsistencies in the DEA’s treatment of synthetic versus natural THC, such claims have been proffered since dronabinol was first approved for use by the FDA in 1985.
Therefore, the DEA and the FDA remain vocal that cannabis is not a medicine, and keep rejecting petitions that ask for the removal of cannabis from the Schedule 1 category.
This made numerous people oppose to their decisions, and the DEA responded by saying that FDA-approved products of oral solutions containing dronabinol [THC] have an approved medical use, which is not the case with cannabis, so it will remain classified in Schedule I.
Numerous experts are claiming that there is an obvious conspiracy to keep cannabis illegal while companies develop their synthetic THC products. Insys donated $500,000 last year to the campaign to defeat the cannabis legalization ballot initiative in Arizona, claiming that it fails to protect the safety of Arizona’s citizens and particularly its children.Furthermore, there have been a lot of reports of harmful reactions coming from the use of synthetic THC products.
The medical benefits of cannabis have been confirmed a thousand times, and scientists have shown that THC and CBD have already helped millions of people to treat their various ailments.
Numerous studies and researchers have found that cannabis can:
- Slow and stop cancer cells from spreading
- Soothe tremors for people with Parkinson’s disease
- Help with Crohn’s disease
- Relieve Arthritis
- Control Epileptic seizure
- Treat inflammatory bowel diseases
- Helps with nightmares
- Protect the brain from concussion and trauma
- Control other types of muscle spasms
- Alleviate pain of multiple sclerosis
- Reduce the symptoms of Dravet’s Syndrome
- Lessen side effects from treating Hepatitis C, and increase treatment effectiveness
- Treat anxiety
- Help reverse the carcinogen effects of tobacco and improve lung health
- Reduce severe pain, and nausea from chemo, and stimulates appetite
- Improve symptoms of Lupus, which is an autoimmune disorder
- Protect the brain after a stroke
- Prevent Alzheimer’s
- Treat Glaucoma
- Help veterans suffering from PTSD
The first direct reference was found in China in the writings of the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, around 2737 BC, and cannabis was then used for psychoactive agents. The writings showed that people then focused on its intoxication properties and used its powers in the treatment of malaria, gout, rheumatism, and absent-mindedness. Over time, its use spread to India, and then to North Africa, and as early as AD 500, it reached Europe.
During the period from 1850 until 1942, cannabis was listed in the United States Pharmacopeia and was prescribed for different medical uses like labor pain, nausea, and rheumatism.
The only reason why it is now illegal is that companies cannot capitalize or patent it and profit from its sales. If we raise the awareness of the potential of this flower, it will eventually become legal across the globe.