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Alana Rossi
August 19, 2023

Marinol is a prescription medication containing synthetic THC approved by the FDA to help cancer patients combat nausea and AIDS patients restore appetite loss. It was originally developed to provide legal access to some of the palliative medical benefits of cannabis through an isolated cannabinoid versus the whole plant. However, Marinol simply contains purified THC, the main psychoactive component responsible for getting people high, unlike full spectrum whole plant cannabis which also delivers a complex mix of beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds like CBD, CBG, terpenes and lesser known molecules that elicit what experts call the “entourage effect.” For this reason, many patients feel isolated THC fails to confer the full spectrum of therapeutic advantages possible when multiple cannabis compounds work synergistically, the way nature intended. While not an ideal or complete cannabis substitute by any means, Marinol afforded crucial relief improving quality of life for many suffering patients in the era prior to cannabis reform when broader access seemed untenable. However, for most conditions and users, whole plant medical cannabis tends to consistently outperform and outshine its synthetic pharmaceutical imitation.

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