DEA Officially Declares Synthetic THC More Medicinal than Whole Plant Cannabis
The pharmaceutical industry is pulling out the stops lobbying government officials and influencing those that are inclined toward prohibition, to protect not only their synthetic THC interests but also their vast exclusive pharmaceutical market.
Increased cannabis use is intruding on the pharmaceutical industry’s turf.
It has been implied and most of us could see it coming, but on November 22, 2017, it became official. The DEA placed synthetic THC, Dronabinol, the medicinally powerful compound that creates the high in marijuana, as a Schedule II controlled substance, yet whole plant cannabis remains as a Schedule I controlled substance.
This final ruling closed the door on public comments invited for the DEA’s initial interim ruling.
Here is a pdf copy of the DEA announcement document filed in the Federal Registry.
The DEA ensured in writing that dronabinol is Schedule II if only as part of a DEA approved drug. If not the active part of an FDA approved pharmaceutical drug it is listed as Schedule I along with whole plant cannabis.
Just in time for Insy Therapeutics to enjoy their exclusive marketing position with Syndros, a dronabinol spray liquid and delivery system recently approved for marketing by the FDA. This product is novel with its delivery as a spray, but the stated results are the same as Marinol or dronabinol in general. From the Insy webpage:
Syndros is approved for use in treating anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (“AIDS”) and nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional antiemetic treatments.
Dronabinol is a synthetically derived mimicry of THC. It is not an extract from the cannabis plant. Even if it were, isolating a compound from natural sources is usually not the best way to go. All the balancing compounds should be available. This totally synthetic chemical is compounded after a long chemical process, which is explained in this earlier patent submission.
Compared to whole plant cannabis products, this is a very minuscule list of purported benefits. And they conveniently don’t interfere with the pharmaceuticals that are the big money makers, such as the arsenal of chemo products for cancer patients and long list of drugs for “HIV” AIDS. Dronabinol products only attempt to compensate for the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs used for cancer and AIDS.
Many who use whole plant cannabis medically for cancer are successful with natural cannabis compounds directly. And there are no serious side effects as there are with synthetic versions of THC. Those who use whole plant cannabis for cancer often are able to avoid chemo and radiation.
Those who used cannabis to heal from Crohn’s or colitis, and other serious diseases were able to wean themselves away from the large amount of pharmaceuticals they had been on. Those who used cannabis exclusively to heal also avoided hospitalization and even escaped from hospice alive and well.
Schedule I controlled substances (drugs) are considered to have “no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.”
The phrase “no accepted medical use…” means it is not an FDA approved drug. That’s all it means. Schedule I drugs include drugs such as heroin.
Schedule II drugs also “have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.” But they can be prescribed by doctors because they are pharmaceutical drugs approved by the FDA: Oxycontin, morphine, Ritalin, and others. There are other opioids in addition to Oxycontin listed as Schedule II.
Cannabis has been used successfully to get opioid pain killer and heroin addicts off those drugs safely and permanently. One danger of opioids is their effectiveness diminishes over time, making them useless until the dosage is increased again and again, leading to a final lethal overdose.
Cannabis handles chronic pain safely without the need for increasing the dose, which if increased would not result in death. Cannabis is not physiologically addictive, though like anything else considered pleasurable, like eating ice cream or watching sports on TV, it can become psychologically addictive.
Many who cure themselves of terminal diseases maintain a lowered cannabis dose as a preventative, without harm.
There are three other broad classification schedules, all diminishing in danger of dependency and abuse as the numbers reach V (five). They are all pharmaceutical drugs approved by the FDA.
But only Schedule I drugs are “without medical merit” or unapproved by the FDA. Somehow this warrants arresting anyone who uses a Schedule I drug of any kind for any purpose.
The most basic irony is the idea of synthetically creating one compound of a natural plant and making it legal for medical applications while banning the plant from which it was copied synthetically, even making its use illegal. Unfortunately, this is business as usual with the pharmaceutical industry.
Much of what is passed as medicine is made that way, usually while vilifying or marginalizing the natural source from which a compound was synthetically copied.
Medicinal plants are composed of several compounds that balance out potential toxins while creating a synergistic preventative or curative dynamic. For example, THC is only one of two dominant cannabinoids known for their medicinal properties. The other is CBD or cannabidiol, which is not psychoactive at all. It does have some medicinal properties and helps dampen THC’s psychoactive effects.
CBD is either extracted from cannabis or taken from plants bred to be very low in THC and high in CBD. Some brands of CBD oils or tinctures are from industrial hemp, which is closely related to cannabis but hybrid naturally to be extremely low in THC.
To patent CBD or cannabidiol, the CBD molecule has to be created synthetically and not extracted directly from the plant, which would allow only the extraction process to be patented.
Synthetic CBDs can be registered for exclusive marketing for a period of up to 20 years with FDA approval and a brand name at a higher price than any natural CBD would go for.
Do you see how the alliance of Big Pharma, the FDA, and the DEA protects the pharmaceutical industry while denying natural medicines? More on this here.
After those two most dominant cannabinoids, THC and CBD, there are perhaps 80 others. The cannabis whole plant also contains many other health providing compounds. Terpenes are what give cannabis, and other flowers and fruits, their scent and taste. But more importantly, additional medicinal benefits.
Flavanoids are found in many plant foods and are phytonutrients that are often antioxidant and protective against major diseases.
A synthetic isolate from cannabis or any other plant source of medicine excludes all other phytonutrients and compounds that are naturally balanced to usually not provide adverse side effects.
This is why synthetic drugs have to be safety tested. They have no history of safety because they are novel and never used by any culture at any time in history, unlike herbs and other traditional medicinal plants.