FDA Approves the First Synthetic Liquid Marijuana

We hear a lot about medical marijuana in the news. It seems to be a regular topic covered between states joining the ranks of legalizing medical marijuana and the challenges that arise for different states to solve for the first time in history.  One of the ongoing challenges since the legalization of medical marijuana began has been getting traditional healthcare providers and the Federal Government to recognize medical marijuana as an actual medical treatment.  Today, as the FDA approves marijuana usage for treatment, we continue to make more progress on the medical marijuana front taking place right here in the United States.

Finally and recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first liquid marijuana substance that is classified for medical use. The drug, Dronabinol is a synthetic liquid formulation of a cannabinoid. The liquid is placed in a capsule that is then swallowed. Unlike real the current classification of real marijuana, Dronabinol is classified as a Schedule III drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that it is considered to be a safe treatment that is also free of elements linked to addiction.

Marijuana itself remains classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule I drug meaning it is considered to be among one of the most dangerous drugs with a high potential for abuse. Marijuana is currently in the same class as drugs like heroin, LSD, ecstasy and peyote. This classification has made scientific medical studies in the U.S. nearly impossible to conduct.

On the market, Dronabinol will be known as Syndros and has been approved for treating anorexia associated with weight loss in patients suffering from AIDS. When taken as directed, Syndros can be used to increase a patient’s appetite. Syndros has also been approved to treat cancer patients experiencing nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Syndros is expected to be available sometime before the end of this year.

While this is a synthetic version of marijuana, this is a pretty big step in terms of our federal government not only allowing the use of medical marijuana, but actually approving the use of a cannabis related drug as treatments for certain medical conditions. While there is still much progress to be made when it comes to mainstreaming medical marijuana, the fact that the FDA approves marijuana is a step in the right direction. Attitudes towards medical marijuana are slowly starting to shift and now even on the federal level, marijuana is being viewed as a legitimate medical treatment.

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