Despite the federal scheduling of cannabis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a synthetic form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on July 5.
Insys Therapeutics, Inc. has crafted Syndros, which contains the pharmaceutical version of THC in an orally administered liquid formulation. THC is one of the most well-known cannabinoids found in the cannabis flower. Being listed as a schedule I drug has classified cannabis as having no currently accepted medical use and a lack of safety for use of the drug under medical supervision. Although an organically cultivated cannabis plant is still viewed as a schedule I substance, to the publics surprise, the Drug Enforcement Administration classified this synthetic form of THC as a schedule II drug.
This synthetic form of THC, that mimics the cannabis plant’s natural form of THC, has been approved for treating anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS, and nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional treatments.
Cachexia or wasting syndrome and severe nausea or vomiting, if a symptom of cancer or HIV/AIDS, are both qualifying conditions for New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Program. Syndros’ alignment with the already known benefits of natural medical cannabis is of no surprise. Scientific research shows that THC can be “significantly superior” to other pharmaceutical options when treating nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. In addition, there are numerous studies showing the usefulness of THC as an appetite stimulant.
The question remains: When will the organic and naturally occurring form of THC be rescheduled to a category that clearly reflects the scientific findings of the drug?